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

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Charles W. Colson, R.I.P.

From Web Exclusives

Back in the days when Chuck Colson was willing to run over his grandmother for Richard Nixon, I would have happily done the same to Mr. Colson. Well, that was then, and this is now. And over the past 20 years, I never met a more thoroughly converted Christian, a more ecumenically serious Christian, or a more tenacious Christian than Chuck Colson, who died on April 21. He was a man whom I came, not just to respect, but to love… . Continue Reading »

Biblical Illiteracy and Bible Babel

From Web Exclusives

One of the disappointments of the post-Vatican II period has been the glacial pace of the growth in Catholic biblical literacy the Council hoped to inspire. Why the slowdown? Several reasons suggest themselves. The hegemony of the historical-critical method of biblical study has taught two generations of Catholics that the Bible is too complicated for ordinary people to understand: So why read what only savants can grasp … Continue Reading »

Pugin at 200

From Web Exclusives

The prospect of “redecorating,” or any other form of “home improvement,” generally gets me thinking, quickly, about a lengthy research trip abroad. Yet I can, and recently did, spend several pleasant hours contemplating ceramics, furniture, and”would you believe it?”wallpaper. But not at Home Depot, I quickly add; rather, in a book”Pugin: A Gothic Passion, published in 1994 by Yale University Press in association with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. … Continue Reading »

Rosa DeLauro, CNS, and the Disoriented Catholic Left

From Web Exclusives

One does wonder, sometimes, just what goes on at Catholic News Service (CNS), an agency that wouldn’t exist were it not for the U.S. bishops and the bishops’ conference. This past April 16, CNS distributed a lengthy interview with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., giving her a platform to blast the 2013 federal budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and to badger Cardinal Timothy Dolan to pay as much attention to “the poor, the hungry, the middle class, the people who are going to be eviscerated by the Ryan budget” as Dolan and the bishops he leads are paying to the defense of religious freedom… . Continue Reading »

Philip II, China, and the Great Catholic What-If

From Web Exclusives

History being linear, “What if….?” is an unanswerable question”but always a fascinating one. What if George Washington had failed in New York in the early days of the American revolution and the rebellion had been crushed? What if Lee had heeded Longstreet, won Gettysburg, and then taken Washington, thus ending the Civil War and achieving Confederate independence? What if Charles Lindbergh had been the Republican candidate in 1940 and had defeated FDR? What if Bush vs. Gore had been decided differently in 2000? … Continue Reading »

Jimmy Carter, Biblical Scholar and Theologian

From Web Exclusives

Given the specter of James Buchanan, the question of whether Jimmy Carter was the worst president in the history of the Republic must remain unresolved; yet there is no doubt that Carter is the worst ex-President ever. Having failed to convince his countrymen to re-elect him, he has spent his post-presidency explaining to the world what is wrong with his countrymen, and his country, in a pathetic attempt at self-vindication. … Continue Reading »

Easter Changes Everything

From Web Exclusives

Christmas occupies such a large part of the Christian imagination that the absolute supremacy of Easter as the greatest of Christian feasts may get obscured at times. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, an Italian biblical scholar, suggests that we might begin to appreciate how Easter changed everything—and gave the birth of Jesus at Christmas its significance—by reflecting on the story of Jesus purifying the Jerusalem Temple, at the beginning of John’s Gospel… . Continue Reading »

The Differences the Pill Has Made

From Web Exclusives

Mary Eberstadt is my friend, but I’ll risk charges of special pleading and self-plagiarism by quoting my endorsement on the dust jacket of her new book, Adam and Eve after the Pill (Ignatius Press): “Mary Eberstadt is our premier analyst of American cultural foibles and follies, with a keen eye for oddities that illuminate just how strange the country’s moral culture has become.” … Continue Reading »

Cardinal Dolan and the New Evangelization

From Web Exclusives

The irrepressibly effervescent personality of Cardinal Timothy Dolan may tempt some to think of the archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as the latest in a line of glad-handing Irish-American prelates, long on blarney and short on depth. Succumbing to that temptation would be a very serious mistake… . Continue Reading »

Religious Freedom: It’s Not Just Pakistan and China

From Web Exclusives

Thirty-some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time on religious freedom issues; which meant, in those simpler days, trying to pry Lithuanian priests and nuns out of Perm Camp 36 and other GULAG islands. Had you told me in 1982 that one of my “clients,” the Jesuit Sigitas Tamkevicius, would be archbishop of Kaunas in a free Lithuania in 2012, I would have thought you a bit optimistic. If you had also told me, back then, that there would eventually be serious religious freedom problems in the United States, I would have thought you a bit mad… . Continue Reading »