I have noticed something strange in recent weeks, when reading news coverage — mainstream and Catholic — of the recent Vatican Amazonian synod of bishops.
Increasingly, I am finding that conservative and progressive Catholics sort of agree on what is happening in their global Communion. What they disagree on is whether it is good or bad, small-o orthodox or potentially heterodox.
They may also have different views of which potential synod “reform” is the most important, but they pretty much agree on what the big three or four topics of debate were during the proceedings. Click here for an analysis of that by my colleague Clemente Lisi.
This leads me to this weekend’s think piece, which is a First Things essay by the conservative Catholic intellectual George Weigel, official biographer of the late St. Pope John Paul II. We are dealing with a conservative thinker here — obviously — but one who is frequently creatively optimistic in terms of his views of trends in the church in the age of “the new evangelization.” This is a rather different mood, for Weigel.
The title: “There’s a pony in here somewhere: A post-synodal reflection.” I will allow readers to dig into the earthy Ronald Reagan parable that led to that title.
The positive pony hidden in the synod, Weigel opines, is that, “The Cards are Now Face-up on the Table,” in terms of discussions about what is happening in Pope Francis-era Catholicism.
Here is the must reading. It is long and it will anger Catholics on the doctrinal left.
So why run it here?