Paul Weyrich

Paul Weyrich, a major figure in the conservative movement for decades, has passed away. A colleague remembers him. I met Weyrich at a two-day conference on cultural separation he held at the Free Congress Foundation offices in 1999 (see this, this, and this). He seemed ill then, and apparently has been ill for years.

There are many comments about him at the Corner. Some of the permanent links are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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Vincent Chiarello writes:

Much of the praise surrounding the late Paul Weyrich has centered on his devotion to the growth of the conservative movement. If there was any doubt about his dedication to that philosophy, I’ve not read of any, including his extended obit in The Washington Post. Weyrich was, if only by accident, present at the creation of the modern conservative movement in the U.S., and saw its fruition during the successful presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan. But the Reagan legacy was to be short lived: Weyrich believed, and will be remembered, as one of those “paleo-conservatives” who felt that both Bush 41 & 43 were not true members. In that conviction he was not alone.

But my personal admiration for Weyrich, whom I never met, transcends his political perspective; what I admired most about Weyrich was his steadfast belief that the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of his birth and mine, had strayed from its original principles and traditions, and had accepted the “liberal” agenda following the disastrous Vatican II. In that he, too, was not alone. He did not become an “activist” and seek to march and/or demonstrate his displeasure with Vatican policies, but simply changed the venue of his worship from a Roman, to a Greek, (Melchite) Catholic Church, where he became a deacon. In the end, I suspect that he was persuaded that he had not changed his beliefs, but that the Church, particularly the Church in the West, had betrayed its traditions and duties.

During the last years of his life in which the pain of everyday life—he had a diabetic condition that required two legs be amputated below the knee—must have been unimaginable, he took solace in the fact that his faith was his passport to Paradise, and looked Death square in the eye. As it is with many who are touched by a Divine spirit, he will be missed. The words of the (pre-Vatican II) Missal are appropriate here:

Requiem aeternam don eis Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis—Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let the perpetual light shine upon them.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 19, 2008 11:07 AM | Send

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