Vox Nova has for years pointed out the negative influence Evangelical Protestantism have had on American Catholics, where such Catholics have engaged Protestant sensibilities, turning their back on authentic Catholic teaching. It is easy to see how many American political ideologies have become a part of the religious faith of Catholics, so that when discussing religion, they end up echoing American political screeds.
Now, I give you Hugh Hewitt, “There and Back Again: The Roman Catholic Church in America’s Next Decade.” In it we read:
The Roman Catholic Church in America owes a profound thank you to American evangelicals who, thoughout the last thirty years, stood in the gap created by a retreating Roman Catholic Church. In many ways they inspired and led the renewal in American Christianity while defending the teachings of the Gospel against the culture even as an enfeebled and wounded Church fell back in disarray.
This is rather absurd. Protestants have not stood any gap; they are not to be thanked for helping to encourage ideologies which run contrary to Catholic teaching. But there is more. We are told the future is bright because of these Protestants and their ways are now entering the Church! It’s not that they have to think and become Catholic — no; the enfeebled Church needs to become like them! And that is exactly what Hewitt is promoting; just look at the converts he praises:
Beckwith’s story was certainly high profile, and so were many other conversions or returns to Catholicism in recent years. From within the Beltway alone there were the stories of Senator Sam Brownback, Judge Robert Bork, and journalists Laura Ingraham, Larry Kudlow, and Robert Novak.
It’s easy to see the developing picture. He is happy that Protestant sensibilities are being used to push political agendas. The reason why we had an “enfeebled church” was because the Church didn’t hold to Protestant and secular-American ideologies. And now it is all good because we have leaders who do so. Of course, other leaders, who also fall for this sensibility, include those who mock Catholic social doctrine in Papal Encyclicals and those who think intrinsic evils, such as torture, is fine:
Catholic public intellectuals like George Weigel and Kathleen Lopez, backed by scores of Catholic bloggers, the reviving lay leadership, and the burgeoning memberships of organizations like Knights of Columbus and Legatus are recreating a Catholic culture that once again will nurture young Catholics as they set out to serve God and country.
Yes. I get it. The people who Vox Nova have consistently pointed out have been influenced by Protestants really have been. And we should be thankful, since Protestants alone, it seems, are the ones who have saved us.