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

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Easter Glory in a Roman Jewel Box

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One of the many reasons to follow the Lenten station church pilgrimage through Rome is that, along that unique itinerary of sanctity, one discovers otherwise-hidden jewels of church architecture and design, created in honor of the early Roman martyrs. Perhaps the most stunning of these is St. . . . . Continue Reading »

God and Freedom

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F or the better part of two centuries now, one of the standard tropes in western high culture has held that the-God-of-the-Bible-is-the-enemy-of-human-freedom. This past December, Rémi Brague exploded that myth in a lecture at the Pontifical Urban University that was, I’m willing to . . . . Continue Reading »

Lent: the Annual Catechumenate

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Historians of the Roman liturgy generally reckon the restorations of the Easter Vigil (by Pius XII) and the adult catechumenate (by Vatican II) as two of the signal accomplishments of the twentieth-century liturgical movement. I wouldn’t contest that claim, but I’d add something else to . . . . Continue Reading »

Orthodoxy, State and Society

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In a conversation about Russian Orthodoxy some dozen years ago, that famous source who can only be quoted off-the-record, the Senior Vatican Official, said to me, “They only know how to be chaplain to the czar—whoever he is.” Such asperity reflected deep frustration over the Russian . . . . Continue Reading »

Just War Revisited and Revitalized

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Every once in a while, a truly special book comes down the theological pike: a book both scholarly and well-written, a book that stretches the imagination, a book that changes the state of a discussion, if it’s taken with the seriousness it deserves. The late Servais . . . . Continue Reading »

Ash Wednesday in Rome

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Half an hour before sunrise on Ash Wednesday, hundreds of English-speakers from all over Rome will begin walking to the ancient basilica of St. Sabina on the Aventine Hill. They’ll start from student residences, from embassies to Italy and the Holy See, and from the Vatican. The Schwerpunkt, . . . . Continue Reading »

Rediscovering the Martyrology

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The Catholic Church began compiling “martyrologies”—lists of saints, typically martyrs—during the first centuries after Constantine. In the pre-Vatican II breviary, a reading from the Roman Martyrology, or what we might call the Catholic Book of Witnesses, was an integral part . . . . Continue Reading »

Beyond the Papal States

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When the Holy See signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, a friend knowledgeable in legal matters said, with considerable vehemence, that the Convention was a snare and a delusion that would eventually come back to bite the Vatican. The bite came earlier this month, in a . . . . Continue Reading »

Andrew Cuomo and the liberal blacklist

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Pete Seeger died on January 27, rich in years (ninety-four) and in honors (a lifetime-achievement Grammy, the National Medal for the Arts). His death rated a segment on the PBS News Hour, during which the inconvenient fact that Seeger had been a member of the U.S. Communist Party for years was . . . . Continue Reading »

A date to remember

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Papal approbation being no bad thing, I was delighted to learn that Pope Francis, in a homily a few weeks ago, had suggested that his congregants learn the date of their baptisms and celebrate it—which is precisely what I have been proposing to audiences around the country this past year, when . . . . Continue Reading »