Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Holy Roman Empire

Politically conservative Catholic intellectual George Weigel offers advice for the next Pope in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages --

When China finally opens itself fully to the world, it will be the greatest field of Christian mission since the Europeans came to the Western Hemisphere.

So China should open up to Catholicism so that millions of people can be converted from Buddhism and Confucianism to Catholicism? What could possibly go wrong? Indeed, since he tells us that the opening up of the New World was basically a Catholic expansion project, how could anyone possibly see any downsides to this scenario?

He [the new Pope] must help an increasingly deracinated world—in which there may be your truth and my truth, but nothing recognizable as the truth—rediscover the linkage between faith and reason, between Jerusalem and Athens, two of the pillars of Western civilization. When those two pillars crumble, the third pillar—Rome, the Western commitment to the rule of law—crumbles as well.

It seems to be obligatory on the Right to imply an intrinsic link between democracy (Athens) and religion (Jerusalem/Rome).

There's just one problem, if you've got the Catholic spectacles on. Athens is Orthodox.

Amid all the talk of Chinese expansion and evangelical consolidation, Weigel couldn't be bothered paying any attention to the Church's Great Schism. Could it be that a Church hierarchy which finds way to ensure the centre cannot hold -- while in search of the next bunch of converts -- is part of the problem?