Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Friday, 26 August 2011

John Allen at NCR on Evangelical Catholicism

Defining Evangelical Catholicism
“Evangelical Catholicism” is a term being used to capture the Catholic version of a 21st century politics of identity, reflecting the long-term historical transition in the West from Christianity as a culture-shaping majority to Christianity as a subculture, albeit a large and influential one. I define Evangelical Catholicism in terms of three pillars:
  • A strong defense of traditional Catholic identity, meaning attachment to classic markers of Catholic thought (doctrinal orthodoxy) and Catholic practice (liturgical tradition, devotional life, and authority).
  • Robust public proclamation of Catholic teaching, with the accent on Catholicism’s mission ad extra, transforming the culture in light of the Gospel, rather than ad intra, on internal church reform.
  • Faith seen as a matter of personal choice rather than cultural inheritance, which among other things implies that in a highly secular culture, Catholic identity can never be taken for granted. It always has to be proven, defended, and made manifest.
I consciously use the term “Evangelical” to capture all this rather than “conservative,” even though I recognize that many people experience what I’ve just sketched as a conservative impulse. Fundamentally, however, it’s about something else: the hunger for identity in a fragmented world.
Read the article


Barona said...

In a certain sense "evangelical" is a better choice of words than "conservative" or "traditional", for Catholicism properly understood though conserving tradition is given life through the preaching of the Gospel; a conduit of the Sacramental Life.

Freyr said...

I know I have always described myself as a plain vanilla Catholic because the various hyphenated uses of the word seem divisive and limiting. I have to admit though that this designation is quite tempting.