Former Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, is attempting to make clear his faithfulness to Catholic doctrine. In a letter published exclusively by Commonweal, McCarrick said that its important to, "set the record straight," in regards to questions George Weigel recently raised about his view of moderation and the faith.
Weigel, the best selling author of several books, including an authorized biography of Pope John Paul II, and one of the country’s leading "Vatican insiders," recently focused his weekly Denver Catholic Register column on comments repeatedly made by McCarrick regarding the importance of "being in the middle," as a priest or bishop.
Weigel quoted McCarrick in a National Public Radio interview as saying, "the job of a priest always forces you to the middle…We’ve got to be in the middle so that we don’t let those on the left or right get lost." The question, Weigel said, is whether "always" includes matters of faith and morals.
McCarrick said in his Commonweal letter that he would typically let such questions go by unaddressed, however he felt it necessary to speak now in order to make clear his, "uncompromising commitment to the doctrine of our Faith."
The cardinal says that Weigel is correct in his assertion that he often calls for "moderation and civility." However, McCarrick continues, "that doesn’t mean compromising our faith and our teachings."
McCarrick, who said that through his column that Weigel is guilty of, "deceptive journalism, if not worse," wrote in his letter to the readers of Commonweal that people should, "avoid name calling and personal attacks and be careful that what we say is always true both in its expression and its implication." "Sometimes…it truly is important to set the record straight in the face of half-truths," McCarrick said.
It seems that the clarification is what Weigel desired, "It’s not easy to know what Cardinal McCarrick means by his oft-repeated admonition to moderation," Weigel wrote in his article.
The question seems to be answered - the cardinal and the layman agree. "That priests and bishops must be able to minister to people across the spectrum of reasonable theological and political opinion goes, or should go, with out saying," Weigel wrote in his article. "That priests and bishops can be true ministers to the Gospel by thinking and acting as if every question were a football field on which truth lies a the fifty-yard line is another matter entirely."