When George Weigel speaks, mainstream Catholic thought tends to listen. He's an obviously gifted writer who knows how to make Catholicism at least accessible to the world at large, if not respectable. (That won't ever happen, nor is he trying.)
Yet there's something about his latest pitch that just makes me yawn. It reads as if Weigel looked to pack as many buzz words from his checklist as possible into a column. I happen to agree that Catholics need to be a bit more creative and aggressive in presenting their faith. Yet how is this to take shape? Weigel offers no answers there.
I would say there's some uncomfortable truth Weigel doesn't want to encounter. The "mission territory" his Evangelical Catholics enter are their home parishes. Our Catholic schools, far from forming kids spiritually, are doing more damage than simply sending them to a public school. Even worse, they are taking tens of thousands of dollars a year from hard working middle class families so they can wreck the faith of their children. Want the grace to live out this "evangelical Catholic" life from the sacraments? The pop Catholic evangelists downplay those sacraments. Many of those evangelists are Mr. Weigel's friends, and whom he wants us to emulate.
The culture hasn't destroyed the faith of younger Catholics. The world has always been the world, and Catholicism has managed to produce saints in Christendom and the world of the heathen. The list of what destroyed the faith of Catholics is far too long to go into here, but everyone pretty much knows the story: Poor leadership, good intentions but bad ideas, echo chambers, old-fashioned sin, etc. Forget the culture at large. Obstensibly Catholic homes need to be made Catholic first before we worry about the world.