Holy Roman Reforming: Getting Down to the Business of the Future

tags: National Review, popes, papacy, Roman Catholicism, George Weigel



George Weigel’s new book, Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church (Basic Books), seems destined to be a reference point in the papal interregnum that begins at 2 p.m., New York time on February 28, and well into the new pontificate. I caught up with Weigel, who has been in Rome since Ash Wednesday, to pose some questions about the conclave, the state of the Church, and the analysis of Evangelical Catholicism:

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: By Pope Benedict XVI publicly acknowledging problems inside the Vatican is he giving guidance to the cardinals gathering in Rome this week?

GEORGE WEIGEL: The pope has mentioned these problems more than once, although no one seems to have noticed until the world’s attention suddenly became riveted on Rome and the Vatican. Benedict XVI has no intention of “giving guidance” to the men who will elect his successor; he is too good a churchman, too humble a man, and too much a respecter of the conclave process to even think of doing something like that. But there is no doubt, here in Rome, that the dysfunction in the Vatican bureaucracy will be a major topic of the cardinals’ conversations before the conclave is enclosed. Benedict XVI was ill-served by men in whom he reposed trust and to whom he gave great authority, and everyone knows it — except, alas, those who ill-served him....



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