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George Weigel


  • Speaker Ryan invites a social doctrine conversation

    CNN is not the customary locale-of-choice for a catechesis on Catholic social doctrine. But that’s what Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, offered viewers of a CNN national town hall meeting on the evening of Aug. 21.
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  • Motown and the turbocharged church

    Detroit hasn’t gotten a lot of good press in recent decades as it’s struggled to cope with the myriad problems of rustbelt American cities in the age of globalization.
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  • Ecumenism, influence envy, etc.

    Defending the indefensible is never pretty. Or so we’re reminded by recent attempts from the portside of the Catholic commentariat to defend the madcap analysis of America’s alleged “ecumenism of hate” that appeared last month in the Italian Catholic journal, La Civiltà Cattolica (edited by the Jesuits of Rome and published after vetting by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See).
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  • Are jihadis ‘losers’?

    When I first visited Israel in 1988, my friend Professor Menahem Milson, a distinguished Arabist at Hebrew University who was Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s military aide during Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem in 1977, told me that “you have to meet my friend, Colonel Yigal Carmon.”
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  • Way beyond the new atheist nonsense

    Given the intellectual flimsiness of their work, it’s best to look for cultural causes to explain the “new atheists” popularity. And surely one factor here is the now-canonical notion in Western high culture that biblical religion is incompatible with modern natural science: An idea rooted in the notion that the “scientific method” is the only way to get at the truth. (William Shakespeare, call your office.)
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  • Let’s not make a deal … at least this deal

    Helping those who have broken away from the Catholic Church come back into full communion is a noble endeavor. But such reconciliations cannot be conducted as if they were the ecclesiastical equivalent of labor negotiations: You give a bit here, we’ll give a bit there.
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  • The power of the cross

    Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) – a theologian who came to prominence in the Victorian age – can help us check the church’s spiritual pulse in the postmodern 21st century, thanks to his prescient sense of the deep cultural currents shaping (and warping) Western civilization. Thus on Aug. 26, 1832, Newman preached a sermon, “The Religion of the Day,” that bears reflection during Holy Week 2017:
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  • Waugh’s ‘Helena,’ Father General, and the reality of revelation

    Evelyn Waugh’s slim and critically unappreciated novel “Helena” was something of a literary experiment for a modern master of English literature.
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  • Persuasive disciples, not anarchic disrupters

    We are living through a dangerous moment in our national life, of an intensity and potential for destruction unseen since 1968.
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  • Theology isn’t math; but it is theology

    During the heyday of the solidarity movement, a famous Polish slogan had it that, “For Poland to be Poland, 2 + 2 Must Always = 4.”
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  • New Year’s wishes for some Catholic brethren

    2017 promises to be a challenging year for the Catholic Church. Thus some new year’s wishes:
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  • Books for Christmas

    It’s been a good reading year and I highly recommend the following to the readers on your Christmas (not “holiday”) shopping list:
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  • The grittiness of Christian faith

    JERUSALEM – Walking through the narrow, winding streets of Jerusalem’s Old City on my first visit here in 15 years, I was powerfully struck once again by the grittiness of Christianity, the palpable connection between the faith and the quotidian realities of life.
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  • Issues beneath issues at synod 2015

    Since Pope Francis announced that two synods would examine the contemporary crisis of marriage and the family and work to devise more evangelically dynamic responses to that crisis, a lot of attention has focused on issues of Catholic discipline:
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  • Popes in these United States

    The history of popes in these United States is full of surprises.
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  • Remembering ‘The Few’

    Seventy-five years ago, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1940, Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine were driven from the prime minister’s country house, Chequers, to the nearby village of Uxbridge: A Royal Air Force station and the headquarters from which Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park was directing the RAF’s No. 11 Group against the onslaught of the German Luftwaffe in southern England.
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  • Flannery O’Connor and Catholic realism

    From this vale of tears, one can never be sure about the boundaries of acceptable behavior at the Throne of Grace. Is laughter at earthly foibles permitted?
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  • Progressive Catholic authoritarianism: An enduring problem

    Back in the day (the late 1960s or thereabouts), Father Andrew Greeley – the model of an old-fashioned liberal Catholic – accused Father Daniel Berrigan (the beau ideal of postconciliar Catholic radicalism) of harboring an authoritarian streak in his politics.
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  • The church and the ‘new normal’

    In the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, these sober thoughts occur:
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  • The Catholic Church’s German crisis

    The 21st-century church owes a lot to 20th-century German Catholicism: for its generosity to Catholics in the Third World; for the witness of martyrs like Alfred Delp, Bernhard Lichtenberg, and Edith Stein; for its contributions to Biblical studies, systematic and moral theology, liturgical renewal, and Catholic social doctrine, through which German Catholicism played a leading role in Vatican II’s efforts to renew Catholic witness for the third millennium.
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