Protestant Unwillingness by S. M. Hutchens

Quodlibet

Protestant Unwillingness

by S. M. Hutchens

A number of Catholics who are speaking against the developments in Germany toward admitting non-Catholics to Communion as "Protestantization" need to brush up on Protestantism a bit. Generalizations about what Protestants believe or do are such parlous things that "Protestant" in the Catholic dialect is often not much more than an empty epithet. The Protestant use of "Catholic," on the other hand, is a bit more likely to refer to the actual doctrine and practice of the Catholic Church because these things, until the coup ratified in the election of Pope Francis, have been closely defined for the whole Church, as Cardinal Chaput observes in "A Polite Form of Hiding the Truth."

"Liberalization" is a better term than "Protestantization" for what is happening here, since in fact the only thing necessary to make a Western Christian a Protestant—because of the monolithic unity the Catholic Church perceives in itself—is unwillingness to confess the truth of any part of that Whole. This unwillingness accurately identifies every Protestant, from the strictest fundamentalist to the most debauched Unitarian, so it is limited in its application and should be very judiciously used. I don't see the Catholic Church getting closer to the Wisconsin Synod Lutherans under "good Pope Francis"—it looks more like Episcopalianism, and lots of Catholics obviously like it that way.

I would ask orthodox Catholics under the Bergoglian regime not to insult their Protestant sympathizers by confusing "liberal" with "Protestant," unless, that is, they really do not wish to make the distinction, it being, like "mere Christianity," a merely Protestant folly.

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on protestant from the online archives

19.4—May 2006

The Relatively Good Book

on the Liberal Protestant Bible Translation by B. J. Hutto

20.4—May 2007

Children of the Reformation

A Short & Surprising History of Protestantism & Contraception by Allan C. Carlson

30.5—Sept/Oct 2017

The Age of Reformations

The Critical History Before, During & After Martin Luther by James Hitchcock


more from the online archives

35.4—Jul/Aug 2022

The Death Rattle of a Tradition

Contemporary Catholic Thinking on the Question of War by Andrew Latham

31.4—July/August 2018

The Names of the Christian

Labels & the Ecumenism of Discipleship by James M. Kushiner

27.3—May/June 2014

Religious Freedom & Why It Matters

Working in the Spirit of John Leland by Robert P. George

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00