Frequent commenter and friend Jimmy Mac sends me interesting emails by the bunches. But this link from the good ol’ American Conservative nearly made me laugh out loud.
The real action does not involve liberal “Catholics” at all. Liberal Catholicism, while well-represented in elite circles of the Democratic Party, qua Catholicism is finished. Liberal Catholicism has no future—like liberal Protestantism, it is fated to become liberalism simpliciter within a generation. The children of liberal Catholics will either want their liberalism unvarnished by incense and holy water, or they will rebel and ask if there’s something more challenging, disobeying their parents by “reverting” to Catholicism. While “liberal” Catholicism will appear to be a force because it will continue to have political representation, as a “project” and a theology, like liberal Protestantism it is doomed to oblivion.
It’s really about two camps of Conservatives now. The mild (including George Weigel) versus the radicals. Because you know, the liberals are all dead in the spiritual water anyway, and their kids will either flock back to Latin Masses or go off crystal gazing, or worse, join the Episcopalians.
And there’s a brief nod to one of the latest Catholic memes to dispense with labeling Catholics as liberals or conservatives. Meh–as if the problem was the particular labels.
Consider those AC guys (and I mean that literally, though women constitute sixty-plus percent of active Catholicism, they rank zero for the Real Thinkers). Their ideological opponents were more often out working in the world than jabbing and deking on the internet. And a lot of them have left behind the old comboxes. (They should look around in the ranks, too.)
Jimmy pasted the whole article and the commentariat into the message he sent. Do you want to know the one and only mention of “evangelization”? Comment #79 in a lament about the “New Evangelization.”
That will clue you that the culturewar Catholics are the ones in stagnant waters. “Go and make disciples” does not mean converting green preppie students in college classrooms to straighten their ties and drink their brandy. Real Catholicism is going to be about getting messy and dirty. That isn’t a novel idea with Pope Francis. It began with the Lord and with his saints.
Real Catholicism is not a debate club. The real action doesn’t involve infighting at all.