Roman Renewal by Leon J. Podles

Book Review

Roman Renewal

Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church by George Weigel

Basic Books, 2013
(291 pages, $27.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Leon J. Podles

George Weigel is not a Catholic restorationist who desires a return to some imaginary ideal period. He tries to go beyond the dichotomy of "traditionalism" and "progressivism" to discern how the Holy Spirit is giving a new form to the Catholic Church. He sees the beginning of the end of the Counter-Reformation form of Catholicism in the work of Pope Leo XIII, work which culminated in Vatican II and its call to holiness for all Christians. Weigel sees the essence of the Christian life as friendship with Jesus Christ, rooted in fidelity to revelation, nourished by the sacraments and liturgy, and leading to a deep conversion of life: "Evangelical Catholicism calls the entire Church to holiness for the sake of mission."

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Leon J. Podles holds a Ph.D. in Old English and Old Icelandic from the University of Virginia and is a senior editor of Touchstone. His latest book is Losing the Good Portion: Why Men Are Alienated from Christianity (St. Augustine's Press, 2020). He and his wife Mary (author of the Touchstone column "A Thousand Words") are the parents of six children. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

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