30 July 2020, The Tablet

When it comes to political and economic matters, Weigel is Catholic Lite personified


When it comes to political and economic matters, Weigel is Catholic Lite personified
 

The problem with heretics is that they are often right in what they affirm but wrong in what they deny. The neo-conservative Catholic writer George Weigel, for instance, is correct to demand that the successor to Pope Francis must be true to the whole spectrum of the Catholic faith. He writes that his recently published The Next Pope “must understand that doctrine is liberating, and that Catholicism can and must be both a Christ-centred Church of doctrinal clarity and a Christ-centred Church manifesting the divine mercy.”

Who could not say “Amen” to that, at face value? But the clear implication is that Pope Francis does not understand or teach such things, and instead promotes a religion which Weigel calls “Catholic Lite”, where doctrine and the Gospel are on opposite sides. He does not use the term, but this in effect is an allegation of heresy. Like many Catholic conservatives, Weigel accuses Francis of sidelining Church teaching on contraception, abortion and homosexuality; and he particularly regrets the impression Pope Francis gave in Amoris Laetitia, that there are circumstances where divorced and remarried Catholics may receive Holy Communion.

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