I remember watching a Simpson’s episode as a child where Ralph Wiggum receives his report card from the teacher and it reads that he failed English, and Ralphie says “Me fail English that’s unpossible”. Needless to say after the last couple of days I have been engaged in different thoughts especially after the terrible and despicable bombings occurred. I find myself going back to current as well as old issues in the church. Last night I was reading some different blogs and I was honestly frustrated with the way some people are running with this concept of the “New Evangelization”. Specifically speaking Catholics in the US have different ideas. There are at least 3 groups of Catholics out there, perhaps 4 but the forth one which I would consider myself part of is like skateboarding on floss so it seems like madness. So how do these four groups go about promoting or destroying JPII’s so called new evangelization?
First is the Progressive delegation of the Church. There are many figureheads of this wing, to name a few
The second group is generally referred to as the conservative Catholics, some also refer to them as Neo-Cons in the church. You might be familiar with the term RINO after the last few elections me
aning that they are Republican in name only. The latter is not a perfect analogy, but for this I think it serves a purpose. This groups figureheads include the likes of George Weigle, the late Fr. Richard Nuehouse, many EWTN personalities, many bishops since the JPII era like Archbishop Dolan, Chaput, Wuerl and so forth. This group of people is not to be seen as against the faith like the progressives, but they should concern us because all too often they don’t actively engage problems with the necessary zeal. They are also concerning because they delve into a strict heresy from time to time called Americanism. They will often be on the front lines defending what they call “Americas First and greatest Freedom”, that is the freedom of religion. It seems to be that this group sees the new evangelization as the new spring time for the church were we show love and mercy, only compromising certain disciplines to create an easier to stomach face of the Church, a Catholic-protestant wing persay, that many not be specifically heretical but dance on the edge of indifference and modernism specifically. It is my opinion that this is the most troubling of the groups because the progressives don’t hide their agenda anymore because they have become prideful. These Neo-cons are like Wolves in sheeps clothing, whether knowingly or not they are a greater danger than the progressives because they keep alive the Jansinist heresy in different shapes.
The third group is generally referred to as the Tradtionalists with a capital T. Such people are notSedeVacantists nor SSPX for both of those groups are either not Catholic or they are canonically irregular. These people do find themselves on the edge of this abyss however and include the likes of Robert Sungenis, Fr. Michael Rodriguez and others. To be sure, and I want to make this clear, these people are not as bad as either the progessives or the Neo Cons, but they tend to take things a step too far and try to read all intentions as being wrong in themselves. It is the traditionalist view that the New Evangelization is nothing more than a sticker campaign to distract people from all the problems the church faces.
The last group which I generally find myself in is the traditionally oriented Catholics. Such other peoplewould include Fr. Z, Michael Voris, Louie Verrecchio, Patrick Madrid, Pat Arnold, and so forth. We tend to love all of the Catholic faith and really wish to promote more traditional practices within the churches life. We are also very focused on routing out heresy within the church, but are conscience to the problems of overt traditionalism like the near denial of VII or overstating the role of disaplines without the context. John Zimack who is a fantastic writer for the National Catholic Register and an author of a number of great books was on churchmilitants Mic’d Up show a while back and kind of attacked the “New Evangelization” as something without a a basic underpinning. It does seem like a bumper sticker campaign as well to us, but we do want to get out and build the church. Our concern is not the numbers like the neo-cons and progressives but the quality of the conversion to Christ. We are focused on teaching the whole faith, unfiltered truth of the faith and demanding a full commitment to Holy Mother Church. Perhaps the greatest way to look at our position is what Fulton Sheen would say, “The Catholic faith is like a Lion, just uncage it and it will do the rest”.
So what is the New Evangelization, and how should we go about it? The NE is just the attempt to rechristianize the West after Protestantism has realized its ultimate end. We should not expect that the new evangelization will yield grand fruit in terms of the amount of people its draws in, but we should expect that those drawn in by the no holds barred traditional approach will be of high quality. IT reminds me of the early church, there was only 12, but from those zealous 12 Christendom was born.