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

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Meditations at the All-Star Break

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For the past two decades I’ve taught in Cracow every July. I’d not trade the experience for anything, but it’s had one drawback: I haven’t seen baseball’s All-Star Game in a long time. The game itself is no big deal. But the sight of so many great players gathered in one place is an annual reminder of the pastime’s remarkable capacity to renew itself, generation to generation. The rancid steroid era ends; the era of Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Stephen Strasburg, and Justin Verlander begins. Tell me baseball isn’t divinely inspired… . Continue Reading »

Fortnight for Freedom - Religious Liberty and Its Contemporary Enemies

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Independence Day concludes the Fortnight for Freedom mandated by the U.S. bishops, a two-week period of reflection and prayer on the defense of religious liberty that began on the vigil of the liturgical memorial of St. Thomas More. In July 2012, we may be grateful that none of us faces the headsman’s axe, as More did in Tudor England. But neither should we be indifferent to, or flippant about, the 21st century threats to religious liberty that surround us. They have yet to bring anyone to today’s equivalent of the scaffold on Tower Hill, but they are already putting severe pressure on both believers and religious institutions… . Continue Reading »

Fortnight for Freedom - Social Justice Priorities: Life and Religious Liberty

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At this critical moment in history, there are two social justice priorities for the Catholic Church in the United States: the defense of life at all stages and in all conditions, and the defense of religious freedom for all. During this Fortnight for Freedom, in which the U.S. bishops are calling all Catholics to pray and work for religious freedom, it’s important to reflect on the linkage between these two great causes… . Continue Reading »

Fortnight for Freedom-U.S. Catholics and Religious Liberty: The Origins

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Several months ago, I came across a two-volume history of the Church in the United States I’d never read before: Theodore Maynard’s The Story of American Catholicism, first published in 1941. Maynard was not a professional historian and his telling of the American Catholic story has a bit more of the apologetic edginess of early-20th century Catholicism than a 21st-century audience might find congenial… . Continue Reading »

Light From the South

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Prior to an April visit to Argentina, I read the “Aparecida Document,” the final report of the Fifth General Assembly of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), which was held in Brazil in 2007. This master plan for the New Evangelization in Latin America is rather long”20-times longer than the Gospel of Mark, I’d guess. But in virtually every other respect it’s an entirely admirable piece of work that should be known throughout the world Church… . Continue Reading »

The Cristeros and Us

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Most Americans haven’t the foggiest idea that a quasi-Stalinist, violently anti-Catholic regime once existed on our southern borders. But those who don’t know how bad Mexico was in the late 1920s are about to learn, at least those who see For Greater Glory, a recently-released movie about the Cristero War, a passionate (and bloody) defense of Catholicism that’s remembered today, if at all, because of Graham Greene’s novel, The Power and the Glory… . Continue Reading »

The Sisters: Two Views

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After the April announcement that the Vatican was taking the Leadership Conference of Women Religious into a form of ecclesiastical receivership, appointing Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain to oversee the LCWR until its statutes and program are reformed, Tom Fox, a major figure at the National Catholic Reporter for decades, had this to say … Continue Reading »

Critter Prayers and Transhumanism

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Poised as ever on the cutting edge of the politically correct and theologically dubious, the Episcopal Church“U.S.A. will soon consider adopting a Burial Service for Beloved Animals, in which the following two Collects appear: At the burial of a farm animal ” Most gracious, good Lord, we are the people of your pasture and the sheep of your hand … Continue Reading »

Charles W. Colson, R.I.P.

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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

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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 »