Modern Catholics ‘too wishy-washy’, says Scottish archbishop

Modern Catholics ‘too wishy-washy’, says Scottish archbishop

‘We accommodate. We compromise. We avoid conflict — even when conflict is the only proper course,’ Glasgow Archbishop Tartaglia wrote

[Including bishops such as His Excellency, who is “accomdating” here to the reception of Holy Communion]


by Nick Hallett
posted Wednesday, 16 Aug 2017

Scottish Catholics have become too “wishy-washy” in standing up for their faith, the Archbishop of Glasgow has warned.

In an essay for Crux, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said “too many believers” have submitted to secular values and failed to stress their faith.

When challenged by secularism, the archbishop said, many Catholics avoid saying they “really believe in anything supernatural; in anything they can’t see or touch or experience; or in anything beyond modelling and encouraging decent behaviour”.

“Too many believers no longer talk about Jesus winning salvation for the sinful but instead point to him as a moral ideal of what humans should strive for. We accommodate. We compromise. We avoid conflict — even when conflict is the only proper course. We are too wishy-washy, as we would say in Scotland.”

Archbishop Tartaglia was referring to arguments developed by Scottish moral philosopher John Haldane.

“Once upon a time, Catholics longed for and worked for the conversion of others, including a nation’s cultural elites,” the archbishop added. “Now many of our Catholic leaders, intellectuals and academic institutions bend over backwards to assure the gatekeepers of culture and prestige that they’re just as right-thinking as they are.”

The archbishop, who serves as president of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference, also said American Catholicism favourably to Europe. Addressing an American readership, Archbishop Tartaglia wrote:

“For 15 years in this country, your mass media have hammered away at the Church on the abuse issue, often fairly, but often not. But most of your people haven’t wavered. They support Catholic schools. They support your Catholic charitable ministries. They love their parishes, and they trust and respect their pastors with a high degree of confidence. That doesn’t stop them from complaining, but people complain when they want to belong and believe that it’s worth staying. It’s part of a normal family life.”

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3 comments on “Modern Catholics ‘too wishy-washy’, says Scottish archbishop

  1. Apparently, the Archbishop of Glasgow compliments and defends what the progressive modernists at La Civilta Cattolica and liberal American modernists despise. When a smug American modernist ridicules American Catholic culture and is unable to think of anything good about cradle Catholics in America perhaps he spends too much time in Washington think-tank circles. Imagine Catholics who actually longed for and worked for the conversion of others and who defended Catholic culture and Catholic institutions! How parochial, said the neo-Catholic modernist at the cocktail party. Imagine nuns in habits praying the Rosary and kids in Catholic schools learning Catholic teachings? How backward and reactionary. How Tridentine and medieval.

    For any liberals or progressives Catholics trolling, that was sarcasm and irony at the expense of the new anti-Catholic bigots who think nothing good ever happened before Vatican II (when modernists discovered that Catholicism was really Marxism that needed more elite non-Catholic proponents far from Catholic ground). Who needs Catholics, when you have the modernist jargon in La Civilta Cattolica embracing anti-Catholic progressives and their secular agenda? Who needs Catholics when you have a modernist Pope from Argentina serving up a parody of Situation Ethics from Commonweal in the 1960s and 1970s?

  2. The Scottish Hierarchy are entirely to blame. One diocese with which I am familiar, the bishop could hardly be called Catholic, with that diocese run-down whilst under his so-called care.

  3. We have quite a few non-Catholics running dioceses and Catholic schools and colleges in the U.S. Some of this is Stockholm Syndrome. When Catholics have been subjected to Protestant, anti-Catholic, and secular attitudes long enough, the weaker ones (the progressives and neo-Catholic modernists) surrender. They essentially agree with anti-Catholic critics. Pope Francis has exhibited this tendency himself (his bloviating against proselytizing and ranting about Catholics being too “rigid”).

    One of the more famous examples of this Stockholm Syndrome was John F. Kennedy’s Houston Speech to Protestant ministers in 1960. He probably had to make a concession speech like this, given the anti-Catholic hysteria of the time, but it was still a surrender to anti-Catholicism and quite wrong. There are numerous issues in politics involving ethical reasoning where Catholic natural law applies. Opposition to atheistic Communism would have been one of those. The dictatorship of relativism brings similar issues in contemporary UK politics.

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