Shaky, Not Stirring: Catholic World Report

Jonathan Aitken, an Anglican, has penned a piece for The American Spectator praising the edgy, intellectual heights and depths of Rowland Williams and the late Cardinal Carlo Martini. The latter was not known to many non-Italian Catholics (at least on this side of the pond), I suspect, until after he died this past August and it was revealed, with much media furor, that he was critical of certain qualities exhibited by the Church in Europe. He stated, rather (in)famously, in an interview late in life, “The Church is 200 years behind the times”. This was top-grade catnip for the chattering classes, who immediately made Cardinal Martini a saint, prophet, and folk hero. (Russell Shaw ably critiqued the usual suspects in this September 2012 CWR article.)

Aitken is late to the party, but wants the tired band to play on. He writes that Cardinal Martini “shook up a heady intellectual cocktail for the Catholic Church before he passed away.” That’s certainly debatable. Making a splash and making a difference are, well, different. And an occasional fireworks display from the secular media does not equate in the least to serious—that is, meaningful, mature, and rational—discussion within the Church. But Aitken seems to think the dusk has fallen on the Catholic Church; yet a much stronger case can be made that the light of faddish, liberal Christianity

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