POINT-COUNTERPOINT: Sheer Incompetence! On Whose Part: Spadaro or Weigel? [Both!]

POINT-COUNTERPOINT: Sheer Incompetence! On Whose Part: Spadaro or Weigel?
[Both!]

POINT: PopeWatch: Sheer Incompetence

Friday, August 4, AD 2017
Donald R. McClarey
THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC

George Weigel at The Catholic Report notes that the powers that be at the Vatican are not noted for their competence:

On occasion, however, that can be a journey through the looking glass and into Wonderland.

Last month, Civilta Cattolicà featured an article co-authored by its editor-in-chief, Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, and Pastor Marcelo Figueroa, who edits the Argentine edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. The article purported to analyze a startling “ecumenism of hate” in the United States, forged by ultra-conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants, and creepy-dangerous for its indulgence in a new Manicheanism that distorts the Gospel and divides everything in the world into rigid and narrowly-defined categories of good and evil. This bizarre screed generated weeks of controversy in the blogosphere, during which Father Spadaro tweeted that the article’s critics were “haters” whose vitriol confirmed the article’s hypothesis – a Trumpian outburst ill-becoming a paladin of “dialogue.”

My friends and colleagues R.R. Reno, Robert Royal, and Fr. Raymond de Souza have ably replied to the comprehensive inanities of the Spadaro/Figueroa article: its ill-informed misrepresentation of American religious history; its surreal descriptions of 21st-century American Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism; its obsessions with marginal figures in contemporary American religious life like R.J. Rushdoony and Michael Voris; its misreading of the dynamics of religiously-informed public moral argument in American politics; and its weird description of the premises of current Vatican diplomacy, which will give comfort to the likes of Vladimir Putin, Raul Castro, and Nicolas Maduro. Those who care to sift through this intellectual dumpster can consult Dr. Reno’s article, Dr. Royal’s, and Fr. De Souza’s. The questions I’d like to raise here involve Civilta Cattolicà’s relationship to its putative overseers in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

What kind of vetting did this misbegotten article get? Were any knowledgeable experts on U.S. Catholicism or American evangelical Protestantism consulted on what the overseers must have known would be an incendiary piece? Does the Spadaro/Figueroa article really represent the views of the Secretariat of State about today’s debates at the intersection of religion and politics in the United States? If the answer to the last is “Yes,” then what does the Secretariat of State make of the American situation as described by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, in his addresses to the U.S. bishops – a description that bears no resemblance to the wasteland of madcap pseudo-theology and hatred described by Spadaro and Figueroa? If the answer is “No,” then why was the Spadaro/Figueroa article cleared for publication?

Go here to read the rest. Why was the article cleared for publication? Malice and ignorance come to mind. Let’s face facts. The Pope is not a man known for his intellect, to put things politely, and he is known for having a very long enemy’s list, as demonstrated by the fact that he is the first Pope to have an insult generator crafted from some of his choice villifications. The Vatican tends to reflect the Pope. Don’t blame the minions and ignore their master.

COUNTERPOINT: George Weigel falls into Antonio Spadaro’s trap

Posted by Barona on Friday, 4 August 2017
Toronto Catholic Witness

George Weigel is no intellectual match for Antonio Spadaro S.J.

As I predicted from the outset, Fr. Spadaro’s article was a very carefully crafted essay, with no “mistakes”. Fr. Spadaro knew exactly what he was doing.

He knows how deeply Americanism runs in the DNA of the Catholic Church in America. Fr. Spadaro only threw the bone and the dogs come running. More will come.

George Weigel, in a neo-con, Americanist counter-attack against Fr. Spadaro ends up flailing at air. Weigel, a liberal (paradoxically like Spadaro) reveals his deeply set Americanist mind set.

Readers should be aware that Weigel, a hard-core neo-con war-monger, excoriated Pope John Paull II for the now sainted Pope’s warning against the 1st Iraq War. Weigel is part of the neo-con Beltway establishment connected to jet-setting, upper-tax bracket figures, who has amassed a small fortune on the licensing of his biography of the late, Polish Pope.

Weigel recently tried to twist the staunchly anti-liberal and anti-Americanist Leo XIII into a liberal like himself.

Well, a huge victory for Fr. Spadaro:

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