Dear Editor: George Weigel’s statement (Sept. 30) that “The Catholic left is nostalgic for the days when Catholic Lite ruled the roost” implies that anything other than what Weigel believes is either “wooly” (his term) or, worse, heretical. This begs a question: When exactly did such heresy actually “rule,” only now to be displaced by right-thinking Weigelites?
I know of no “lightening” of any core dogmas of our Church, i.e., the Incarnation, Resurrection, Transubstantiation, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assumption; nor does it appear that the tradition of the celibate clergy, no remarriage after civil divorce, heterosexual marriage, or the mandatory observances of Mass, holy days, or Easter Duty have been abolished.
What Weigel appears to have a problem with are any Catholics who disagree with him on matters of liturgy or “modern culture” (Pope St. Pius X and Blessed Pope Pius IX), who apparently are the only ones to be criticized for thinking the Church is “theirs.” To fall back on the unassailable bromide, “The Church is Christ’s” to support that conclusion is both simplistic and presumptuous; it assumes that only those who agree with Mr. Weigel can speak for the Deity.
Consider the recent Tea Party slogan, “I want my country back,” as opposed to anyone else’s. Both that sentiment and Mr. Weigel’s polemic wrongly assume that there is always one “right” answer in any serious controversy. The Church’s very name, not to mention its strength, has been in being “here comes everybody” (James Joyce’s phrase). In view of this strength in diversity, Mr. Weigel’s stance seems itself non-traditional, not to say un-“catholic.”
EDWARD R. DORNEY