Rorate Caeli

Apostolic Rivers flowing from the Heart of the Lord
George Weigel's small-mindedness

The three men in the furnace (Dn 3),
in the Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome

In a new Americanist manifesto, George Weigel forges ahead against his favorite scapegoat:

"For the challenge now is to give America a new birth of freedom ... . This challenge will not be met by Catholic Lite. ... The challenge also won’t be met by Catholic traditionalists retreating into auto-constructed catacombs."

Now, it is almost "adorable" to watch men like Weigel seeing their life's work of a "new" kind of "Catholicism" (let us call it pseudo-Wojtylianism) dead and buried -- and so trying to ingratiate themselves with the new Roman order. In the new order of things, like roaches hit by insecticide, they do not know what to do, or where to go, or whom to ask for help. The easiest way out for them, of course, is to attack "Catholic traditionalists".

Weigel usually attacks us for our "Constantinian", "Triumphalist", heritage. Now, he also attacks us for "retreating into auto-constructed catacombs" -- catacombs being the epitome of the pre-Constantinian Church. For Weigel, cursed if you do, cursed if you don't, as long as you are a Traditionalist.

What Weigel sees as insults, though, we consider integral parts of our heritage. The image of "auto-constructed" as applied to a catacomb certainly sounded better and clearer in Weigel's mind than when printed out, as so much of what appears under his prolific but careless authorship. Yet we are joyful of being Catacombs and Constantinian, Medieval and Renaissance, Tridentine and Ultramontane: throw them at us, and we will accept them, because this is what being a Traditional Catholic means, that is, to love and to live the fruitful organic growth of our Catholic patrimony. 

We are not "to the right" of Weigel as he presumes in order to dwell in his own imagined "via media", but we remain above such concerns and epithets. We invite men like Weigel to stand back from the smallness and pettiness of the present moment and view with awe the greatness of the edifice that is the Catholic Church, that has outlasted and will outlast all worldly empires, including America, as incredible as it may seem. Yes, it is ironic that Weigel, of all people, accuses us of small-mindedness...

All parts of our Traditional heritage are precious to us, we do not disregard them because we cannot do so, bathed as they are in the apostolic rivers flowing directly from the Living Heart of the Lord. In the catacombs, our Dead who bequeathed us the treasures of Tradition await the resurrection, and so shall we, when all fads and politicking of the present time will give way to the Everlasting Jerusalem, under the sempiternal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Happy Sunday of Christ the King!