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

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Miracles in Soho

From Web Exclusives

Soho, in the West End of the British capital, has had a rather dodgy history. Wikipedia notes that, by the mid-19th century, “all respectable families had moved away, and prostitutes, music halls and small theaters had moved in.” So had Father Arthur O’Leary who, in 1792, established in Soho the first Catholic church since the Reformation that had not been located on some foreign embassy’s territory. … Continue Reading »

The Enduring Importance of Centesimus Annus

From Web Exclusives

Amidst the excitement of John Paul II’s beatification on May 1, the 20th anniversary of the late pope’s most important social encyclical Centesimus Annus, got a bit lost. Blessed John Paul II was not a man given to rubbing it in. Still, it is worth noting that the encyclical, which celebrated the collapse of European communism and probed the social, cultural, economic, and political terrain of the post-communist world, was dated on May Day, the great public holiday of the communist movement. … Continue Reading »

Roger Maris and the Summer of 1961

From Web Exclusives

Five years ago, I made the argument for Hoosiers as the greatest sports movie ever and lamented the absence of great baseball films. Hoosiers is still the gold standard but a confession is in order: There is a great baseball movie; it ranks right up there in the cinematic sports pantheon; and on this golden anniversary of the Mantle-Maris chase for Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, attention must be paid… . Continue Reading »

A 40-Something Cardinal?

From Web Exclusives

In recent centuries, the College of Cardinals has not been noted for its boyishness. Indeed, one of the human fascinations of a conclave is that it’s a rare opportunity to see a deliberation-with-consequences conducted by elderly men. This can have its down-side: According to one story, perhaps apocryphal, a very old cardinal kept writing “Achille Ratti” on his ballot throughout the conclave of 1958; Ratti had died in 1939 as Pius XI… . Continue Reading »

Reactionary Liberalism and Catholic Social Doctrine

From Web Exclusives

The debate over Catholic social doctrine and U.S. social welfare policy took an unhelpful turn in May when a gaggle of academics fired a shot across the bow of House Speaker John Boehner, prior to his commencement address at the Catholic University of America. Their charge? That Boehner’s House voting record showed him to be a man who fails “to recognize (whether out of a lack of awareness or dissent) important aspects of Catholic teaching.” … Continue Reading »

An Open Letter to My Friends in Poland

From Web Exclusives

A son of Poland is now Blessed John Paul II. What is Poland to do now? If a friend might offer a suggestion: The Church in Poland should start looking forward rather than backward. Ever since the late pope’s death in 2005, the Polish Church seems to have been looking over its shoulder at the colossal figure of John Paul II. … Continue Reading »

The Death of Osama bin Laden

From Web Exclusives

The death of Osama bin Laden did not end the war against jihadism, a war bin Laden had declared against the United States in a 1996 fatwa that mandated the killing of Americans wherever they could be targeted. But it did take one key leader of jihadist Islam off the global strategic chessboard… . Continue Reading »

Aquinas and Horses

From Web Exclusives

Lander, Wyoming is not an easy place to get to. I got there in February by flying from Washington to Denver and then sitting around the Denver airport for hours, while the local commuter airline that flies to the airport nearest Lander tried to get its small planes refueled in 15-degrees-below-zero weather. While waiting, I was informed that the flight schedule of this particular airline, which will remain nameless, is more subjunctive than indicative… . Continue Reading »

Catholic Social Thought and the 2012 Election

From Web Exclusives

Barring an international conflagration or another 9/11, both of which may God forbid, the 2012 election is going to be fought on the question of America’s fiscal future: Will the United States get a grip now, and over the next several decades, on the costs associated with an aging society? Or will we spend-and-borrow ourselves into virtual insolvency? … Continue Reading »