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

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Children as Commodities

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The Council of the District of Columbia is considering a bill, sponsored by its most aggressively activist gay member, to legalize surrogate child-bearing in your nation’s capital. Infertility is a heart-rending problem. But solving that problem is not what’s at issue here … Continue Reading »

Evangelical Catholicism: Response to Cavadini

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I am grateful to my friend John Cavadini for his searching review of Evangelical Catholicism. Despite employing a slightly jarring method (erect straw man; concede that straw man is, in fact, straw man; suggest that author should have “blocked” the possibility of anyone erecting straw man), Cavadini raises important questions about the relationship between Christology and ecclesiology that will help clarify the theological architecture and missionary imperative of the evangelical Catholic project, which has been embraced by Pope Francis in his first months as Bishop of Rome… . Continue Reading »

A Papal Canonization Doubleheader

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I doubt that Pope Francis has heard of Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame shortstop. But like “Mr. Cub,” whose love for baseball led him to exclaim “Let’s play two!” before Sunday doubleheaders in the 1950s, the pope from the end of the world seems to think that papal canonizations are better in tandem: hence the Sept. 30 announcement that Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II will be canonized together on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014… . Continue Reading »

Misreading Murray, Yet Again

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From his present location in the communion of saints, Father John Courtney Murray, S.J., who died in 1967, is probably indifferent to the various ways his work on Catholicism and American democracy is misconstrued in the 21st century. But those who think that Murray still has something to teach Catholics about the American experiment in ordered liberty must regret that Murray’s thinking continues to be misrepresented in some Catholic quarters and misapplied in others… . Continue Reading »

Middle East Reality Check

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The humanitarian and strategic disaster of Syria should focus Catholic minds on the hard fact that there is no easy or quick path to peace in the Middle East, a very dangerous part of the world where Christians of all persuasions are at daily risk of their lives. Two recently published books will help those eager to get beyond media sound-bites, wishful thinking, and vague pieties in order to think seriously about the realities that must be faced in a region with too little geography and too much history, where religiously-inspired passion too often leads to murder… . Continue Reading »

In the Land of Crosses

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SIAULIAI, LITHUANIA”No one knows when pious Lithuanians first erected crosses of all sizes on a hill about seven miles north of the city of Siauliai; it may have been after an abortive 1831 uprising against Russian rule over the small Baltic country. Oftentimes, the bodies of Lithuanian patriots killed during that rebellion, and a similar revolt in 1863, could not be found. … Continue Reading »

Where the 20th Century Happened

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This past August, while contemplating the beauties of the Ottawa River from the deck of my family’s cottage on Allumette Island, Father Raymond de Souza, the Canadian commentator and a former-student-become-friend-and-colleague, offered an interesting take on World Youth Day 2016, which will be held in Cracow. When you think about it, he said, “the 20th century happened in Cracow” … . Continue Reading »

G.K. Chesterton, Genius

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In a review quoted on the back cover of Ian Ker’s G.K. Chesterton: A Biography (Oxford), Susan Elkin suggests that Fr. Ker’s book “has the potential to establish Chesterton in what Ker regards as his rightful place as a major English author.” That’s certainly true; but one does wonder about that “Ker regards… .” business. Does Ms. Elkin not regard Chesterton as a “major English author”? I imagine she would regard George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton’s friendly antagonist, as such; and Shaw without doubt regarded Chesterton as such… . Continue Reading »

A Chapel of Consequence

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CRACOW”The chapel in the archbishop’s residence in Cracow”which everyone calls by its street name, “Franciszkanska 3””has witnessed a lot of modern Church history. Here, clandestine seminarians watched the city’s heroic archbishop, Adam Stefan Sapieha, put the terrible problems of the long, dark night of Occupation before the Lord, every night during World War II… . Continue Reading »

Living Inside the Bible

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Cracow, Poland”The village of Pasierbiec is in the south of Poland, about thirty miles from the old royal capital of Cracow. Its church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation, is full of votum gifts testifying to favors received through the intercession of the basilica’s namesake… . Continue Reading »