One Must Be Fit to Move Forward

The following is a sentiment that I seem to have been hearing in multiple contexts, recently, written in this case by George Cardinal Pell in a review of Peter Seewald’s book on Pope Benedict (emphasis added):

… by his own account, the answers Seewald received “grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.” He started to read the gospels regularly and to go to Mass. Belief became a burning issue for him and he was horrified by the possibility that his questions had no answers. He has now quietly returned to the Church, acknowledging that, by Catholic criteria, only a conservative can be progressive—which is to say, only someone who keeps the treasure of faith complete and intact is able to achieve progress.

In our overgrown labyrinth of a reality, one can only get so far lunging forward, naked and desperate for progress. One must be adequately dressed, with such maps and guidebooks as are available, and with implements for self-provision and defense. That, in a metaphor, is conservatism, and I’m obviously inclined to expect the principle to follow from my religion as well as my politics — even prior to my politics.

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