In the midst of going over some quotes from George Weigel’s recent Lessons in Hope for an academic article that I am revising on John Paul II, I came across (again) some interesting passages in which Weigel suggests that not only did Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger explicitly endorse Weigel, Novak, and Fr. Neuhaus’s reading of Centesimus Annus, but Cardinal Ratzinger, in fact, encouraged Weigel to get the commentaries he edited for the Ethics and Public Policy Center published in “Central and Eastern Europe.”
There are a couple of curious qualities to Weigel’s statement.
The first is that Joseph Ratzinger as cardinal and as Benedict XVI had specifically criticized capitalism–most famously in Caritas in Veritate. Weigel, for his part, had run a cover piece for National Review, arguing that the pro capitalist statements in the document were written by Benedict and that the passages critical of capitalism were inserted by the pontifical council for peace and justice.
The second is that I know, based on first hand experience and interaction with these groups, that many Catholic organizations, themselves strangely stacked with Opus Dei members, were used to peddle American capitalism as well as political and economic policy in Eastern Europe in the 90s and 2000s. In fact, George Weigel’s Tertio Millennio Seminars are geared to precisely this purpose.
And if American Intelligence is not involved in these efforts, I am a kangaroo.