Sooner or later, the National Catholic reporter is going to have to “let John Allen go”. He might have started off where the editors of this ultra-liberal, practically dissident, magazine is at, but his years of experience covering the Vatican has actually led him to be one of the most balanced and honest reporters in the Catholic world. One wonders how long his editors will continue to put up with his growing habit of calling a spade a spade.
He does it again in this piece, which links the talks with the SSPX, the Anglican Apostolic Constitution, and the European Court’s decision on Crucifixes in Italian schools, with what he calls (correctly, I believe) “Evangelical Catholicism”. Inter alia, he writes:
To over-simplify a bit, Benedict XVI is opening the door to the Lefebvrites and to traditionalist Anglicans in part because whatever else they may be, they are among the Christians least prone to end up, in the memorable phrase of Jacques Maritain, “kneeling before the world,” meaning sold out to secularism.
It is useful to read this piece with Fr John Zuhlsdorf’s comments here.
I actually self-identify (in case you hadn’t realised) with “Evangelical Catholicism”. I described myself as that long before John Allen started using he term – even as a Lutheran! But when Allen began describing it, I thought, yep, that’s me. I think there ar many out there – including you, dear reader – who fall into this category. Each of us is a little grain of proof of what John Allen says in this article.
Also interesting in the light of recent discussions here on the SCE blog is Allen’s reflection that:
Western secularization is crossing the line from neutrality to outright hostility, toward religion in general and Catholicism in particular. Cardinal Renato Martino, the former President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, put things this way: “It looks like a new Inquisition. It is a lay Inquisition, but it is so nasty. You can freely insult and attack Catholics, and nobody will say anything.”…
Perhaps the lone indisputable result of Tuesday’s ruling, therefore, is that it will cement impressions among many religious believers, and particularly among Catholics, that Europe’s secular elites are determined to drive religion out of public life—that the “nasty lay inquisition” to which Martino referred continues apace.
Well… the European lawyers can tick that box.