George Weigel is distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

RSS Feed

The Church and the End of the Welfare State

From Web Exclusives

Throughout the post-Vatican II years, the U.S. bishops’ conference has typically defended the welfare state and not infrequently urged its expansion. Everyone familiar with the situation knows that this has had far more to do with the political predilections of certain conference staff members than with the settled judgment of the American episcopate”or with a careful application of the principles of Catholic social doctrine. But things are changing … Continue Reading »

The War on (Little) Women and Other Insanities

From Web Exclusives

The Supreme Court’s minor mistakes have few systemic consequences. But when the Supremes make a big mistake, the error tends to seep throughout the entire political process, poisoning everything in its path. That was what happened with the Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision, which intensified the passions and accelerated the dynamics that led to the Civil War”and to 600,000 Americans killing each other… . Continue Reading »

Meditations at the All-Star Break

From Web Exclusives

For the past two decades I’ve taught in Cracow every July. I’d not trade the experience for anything, but it’s had one drawback: I haven’t seen baseball’s All-Star Game in a long time. The game itself is no big deal. But the sight of so many great players gathered in one place is an annual reminder of the pastime’s remarkable capacity to renew itself, generation to generation. The rancid steroid era ends; the era of Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Stephen Strasburg, and Justin Verlander begins. Tell me baseball isn’t divinely inspired… . Continue Reading »

Fortnight for Freedom - Religious Liberty and Its Contemporary Enemies

From Web Exclusives

Independence Day concludes the Fortnight for Freedom mandated by the U.S. bishops, a two-week period of reflection and prayer on the defense of religious liberty that began on the vigil of the liturgical memorial of St. Thomas More. In July 2012, we may be grateful that none of us faces the headsman’s axe, as More did in Tudor England. But neither should we be indifferent to, or flippant about, the 21st century threats to religious liberty that surround us. They have yet to bring anyone to today’s equivalent of the scaffold on Tower Hill, but they are already putting severe pressure on both believers and religious institutions… . Continue Reading »

Fortnight for Freedom - Social Justice Priorities: Life and Religious Liberty

From Web Exclusives

At this critical moment in history, there are two social justice priorities for the Catholic Church in the United States: the defense of life at all stages and in all conditions, and the defense of religious freedom for all. During this Fortnight for Freedom, in which the U.S. bishops are calling all Catholics to pray and work for religious freedom, it’s important to reflect on the linkage between these two great causes… . Continue Reading »

Fortnight for Freedom-U.S. Catholics and Religious Liberty: The Origins

From Web Exclusives

Several months ago, I came across a two-volume history of the Church in the United States I’d never read before: Theodore Maynard’s The Story of American Catholicism, first published in 1941. Maynard was not a professional historian and his telling of the American Catholic story has a bit more of the apologetic edginess of early-20th century Catholicism than a 21st-century audience might find congenial… . Continue Reading »

Light From the South

From Web Exclusives

Prior to an April visit to Argentina, I read the “Aparecida Document,” the final report of the Fifth General Assembly of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), which was held in Brazil in 2007. This master plan for the New Evangelization in Latin America is rather long”20-times longer than the Gospel of Mark, I’d guess. But in virtually every other respect it’s an entirely admirable piece of work that should be known throughout the world Church… . Continue Reading »

The Cristeros and Us

From Web Exclusives

Most Americans haven’t the foggiest idea that a quasi-Stalinist, violently anti-Catholic regime once existed on our southern borders. But those who don’t know how bad Mexico was in the late 1920s are about to learn, at least those who see For Greater Glory, a recently-released movie about the Cristero War, a passionate (and bloody) defense of Catholicism that’s remembered today, if at all, because of Graham Greene’s novel, The Power and the Glory… . Continue Reading »

The Sisters: Two Views

From Web Exclusives

After the April announcement that the Vatican was taking the Leadership Conference of Women Religious into a form of ecclesiastical receivership, appointing Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain to oversee the LCWR until its statutes and program are reformed, Tom Fox, a major figure at the National Catholic Reporter for decades, had this to say … Continue Reading »

Critter Prayers and Transhumanism

From Web Exclusives

Poised as ever on the cutting edge of the politically correct and theologically dubious, the Episcopal Church“U.S.A. will soon consider adopting a Burial Service for Beloved Animals, in which the following two Collects appear: At the burial of a farm animal ” Most gracious, good Lord, we are the people of your pasture and the sheep of your hand … Continue Reading »