Thursday, July 9, 2009

George Weigel subjects Caritas in Veritate to Higher Criticism

Over at National Review online, George Weigel has written an odd article concerning Benedict XVI's new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. Basically, Weigel subjects the encyclical to Higher Criticism, picking out the "authentic" Benedictine passages (to be marked in gold) from the unfortunate passages (marked in red) that don't really express the Pope's thinking, but are only sops the Holy Father allowed in to placate the Peace and Justice crowd. Weigel more or less tells the reader to ignore the red passages and pay attention to Weigel's gold passages. I don't think it is any stretch to suppose that the approved gold passages not only reflect the thinking of Benedict XVI but also... George Weigel.

It's the implicit insult that bothers me. The Holy Father signed his name to the entire encyclical (sort of like the Holy Spirit inspired the entire Gospels, not merely the parts approved by T. Jefferson or E. Renan.) A man who writes what he honestly believes and is wrong we can at least respect for being honest; the man who writes what he doesn't believe out of a misguided sense of charity or because he's too wimpy to stand up to opposition in his own camp - is not only wrong but not worthy of respect. It seems Weigel would rather us lose respect for the Pope than admit that the Holy Father might see things a little differently than he does.


rimwell said...

This sort of thing has become all too typical of the "leading" American Catholics. That "truly gentle soul" line is hardly different from saying, "I'm more of a man than the pope."

David T. said...

yes, a nice "back-handed" compliment!