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

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Martyrdom in Pakistan

From Web Exclusives

Sixty-four years ago, on August 14, 1947, Great Britain’s empire in the Indian subcontinent was divided into the independent, self-governing Dominions of India and Pakistan. The division of the subcontinent into two states was bitterly opposed by the Indian Congress Party and Winston Churchill, but supported by the Muslim League (with Congress, one of the two major pro-independence parties in the British Raj) and the Attlee government, which had displaced Churchill in 1945… . Continue Reading »

Benedict XVI on Europe’s Future

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World Youth Day 2011, to be held in Madrid from Aug. 16-21, will be an important moment in Pope Benedict XVI’s campaign to remind Europe of its Christian roots and to call Europe to a nobler understanding of democracy. As the Holy Father demonstrated in an address in Zagreb, Croatia, in early June, the two parts of that campaign”the recovery of Christian roots and the deepening of 21st-century Europe’s idea of democracy”go together… . Continue Reading »

Why Hasn’t Francis Ford Been Beatified?

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In a 2010 interview with Catholic World Report, Cardinal Joseph Zen, S.D.B., the emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, wondered aloud about the Catholic Church’s reticence to acknowledge those who had been martyred by Chinese communists during the Maoists’ rise to power, and thereafter. “Why should we not publicize … those martyrs?” Cardinal Zen asked. The truth demands it. Self-respect requires it… . Continue Reading »

Michael Novak, Founding Father

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Twenty years ago, the American Catholic thinker Michael Novak put his head together with his friend Rocco Buttiglione, a distinguished Italian thinker, to see what might be done about educating a new cadre of young Catholic leaders in the social doctrine of the Church. John Paul II’s recently released social encyclical, Centesimus Annus, seemed an ideal intellectual anchor for such an enterprise, given its rich development of the social doctrine and its bracing challenge to build free and virtuous societies in the 21st century… . Continue Reading »

China-Watching in the Vatican

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Whatever its other accomplishments, Henry Kissinger’s new book, On China, ought to cause serious reconsideration of that now-familiar refrain, “China-is-the-lead-country-of-the-future.” Kissinger’s analysis of Chinese history has been criticized, as has his reticence about evils like the massacres at Tiananmen Square. But his conclusion”that China’s future depends on the resolution of the conflict between those of its leaders who want to maintain totalitarian political control at all costs and those who want to complete the country’s remarkable economic development with a genuine opening toward democratic governance”strikes me as a fair summary of the situation… . Continue Reading »

Moral Revolutions in America

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In a recent article, Yale professor David Gelernter noted that modern America had “two extraordinary accomplishments: victory in the Cold War and the all-but-eradication of race prejudice in a single generation … .” The back story of the latter is worth pondering around Independence Day. When I was growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, everything and everyone around me was segregated. Five years before I was born, local idiots vociferously insulted Jackie Robinson when he came to town with the Montreal Royals, prior to his debut in Brooklyn… . Continue Reading »

Miracles in Soho

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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

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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 »