We, the founders of this journal, are deeply dissatisfied with the current state of the Church. And if you are like us you share this dissatisfaction: with the watered-down faith found in many of our parishes and schools as well as with the reaction, which seems to see the 1940s and ’50s as the golden age of Catholicism. We are appalled, too, by the domination of faith by politics, whether of the left or the right, and are weary of watching the struggle of a joyless “ain’t it awful” orthodoxy against a heterodoxy which seems intent not only on throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater but on smashing the bathtub as well. We are tired of these selective approaches to the Faith, both of which strike us as fundamentally assimilationist in nature. The whole Catholic, it seems to us, would not be a creature of the “right” or the “left” or even of the “center” but of the Transcendent, and would not consider the terms Catholic and radical or orthodox and prophetic to be mutually exclusive. . . .

What we are not interested in is debate about doctrinal orthodoxy or personal morality. The Church, in spite of the weakness of Her human members, is our Mother and Teacher. An attitude of fidelity will permeate these pages, but religious infighting is not the purpose of the magazine. To one side of the squabble we say: “on what foundation are you building?” and to the other: “So you’re orthodox. Now what?”

(Note that though it’s Catholic in voice & culture, this reads pretty coherently with Evangelical or Confessing Protestant inserted for Catholic.)

From the 1991 founding statement of long defunct small circulation journal Caelum et Terra. I’d read it before and was glad to have occasion today to read it again. It’s worth it to read the whole thing — here, at the journal’s founders’ still-ongoing blog.

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