Washington D.C., Jun 23, 2020 / 10:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
Evangelizing countries where the faith has been watered down and resolving the ongoing financial crisis in the Vatican are challenges which will extend past the reign of Pope Francis, author George Weigel said on Monday.
Weigel was discussing his new book “The Next Pope” with members of Catholic press in a webinar on June 22.
“The Church is living, vibrant, and effective in society where Catholics have embraced Catholicism in full and are joyfully living missionary discipleships,” said Weigel. In contrast, he said, places that have embraced a version of Catholicism which departs from aspects of the Church’s moral teaching, which he termed “Catholic lite,” have seen the faith have a waning influence on culture.
Weigel referenced several European countries where Church leaders have proposed sweeping accommodations with secular culture. In Germany, the bishops have inaugurated a “binding synodal process” to examine various aspects of Church teaching and discipline, including consideration of the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of women, and the repeal of clerical celibacy. Local lay leaders in the process have also come under scrutiny for their open support for abortion providers.
In Belgium, which has brought in sweeping permissions for euthanasia, some Catholic bodies have been at the center of ethical healthcare provision, with some seeking to accommodate the practice and others insisting on adhering to the Church’s teching on the sanctity of life.