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

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Easter Changes Everything

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Christmas occupies such a large part of the Christian imagination that the absolute supremacy of Easter as the greatest of Christian feasts may get obscured at times. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, an Italian biblical scholar, suggests that we might begin to appreciate how Easter changed everything—and gave the birth of Jesus at Christmas its significance—by reflecting on the story of Jesus purifying the Jerusalem Temple, at the beginning of John’s Gospel… . Continue Reading »

The Differences the Pill Has Made

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Mary Eberstadt is my friend, but I’ll risk charges of special pleading and self-plagiarism by quoting my endorsement on the dust jacket of her new book, Adam and Eve after the Pill (Ignatius Press): “Mary Eberstadt is our premier analyst of American cultural foibles and follies, with a keen eye for oddities that illuminate just how strange the country’s moral culture has become.” … Continue Reading »

Cardinal Dolan and the New Evangelization

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The irrepressibly effervescent personality of Cardinal Timothy Dolan may tempt some to think of the archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as the latest in a line of glad-handing Irish-American prelates, long on blarney and short on depth. Succumbing to that temptation would be a very serious mistake… . Continue Reading »

Religious Freedom: It’s Not Just Pakistan and China

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Thirty-some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time on religious freedom issues; which meant, in those simpler days, trying to pry Lithuanian priests and nuns out of Perm Camp 36 and other GULAG islands. Had you told me in 1982 that one of my “clients,” the Jesuit Sigitas Tamkevicius, would be archbishop of Kaunas in a free Lithuania in 2012, I would have thought you a bit optimistic. If you had also told me, back then, that there would eventually be serious religious freedom problems in the United States, I would have thought you a bit mad… . Continue Reading »

God Save the Queen

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On February 6, Queen Elizabeth II marked her diamond jubilee, an achievement that Great Britain will celebrate throughout 2012. I am not a monarchist, but I’ll happily join in saluting the Queen, who embodies several qualities that are in short supply among 21st-century public figures. In one of a slew of diamond jubilee books, author Robert Hardman reports that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is awed by the Queen’s “gravitas.” … Continue Reading »

The Catholic Diaspora and the Tragedy of Liberal Catholicism

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In a February 14 note to his people, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., the archbishop of Chicago, commented on the question of “who speaks for the Catholic Church,” which had become a subject of public controversy thanks to the Obama administration’s “contraceptive mandate””which is, of course, an abortifacient and sterilization mandate as well. The cardinal noted the administration’s crude attempt to play divide-and-conquer with the Catholic Church in the United States, a ploy to which some nominally Catholic groups quickly acquiesced… . Continue Reading »

Clerical Narcissism and Lent

From Web Exclusives

Since the introduction of the new liturgical texts this past November, I’ve attended Mass in Australia, California, New York, Rome, Washington, and Phoenix, and in none of these venues have I detected any of the calamities confidently predicted by opponents of the new texts. Not only has there been no visible distress over “consubstantial”; the People of God seem to have rather quickly and painlessly adjusted to the changes, so that, three months into the process, it’s a rare “And also with you” that escapes the lips of an unthinking congregant. In fact, most of the people who’ve spoken to me about the changes have applauded them… . Continue Reading »

HHS and Soft Totalitarianism

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The Obama administration’s recently-announced HHS regulations, which would require Catholic institutions to subsidize health insurance coverage that provides sterilization, abortifacient drugs, and contraceptives, should be located within the context of the administration’s three-year long effort to define religious freedom down. As the administration has demonstrated in its international human rights policy, it regards religious freedom as a kind of privacy right: the right to freedom of worship, which the administration seems to regard as analogous to any other optional, recreational activity… . Continue Reading »

Vatican III? Where?

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There are many good arguments against quickly convening a Third Vatican Council”a notion beloved of Catholics who occupy the portside cabins on the Barque of Peter. The most obvious is that Catholicism has barely begun to digest the teachings of Vatican II on the nature of the Church, the universal call to holiness, and the reform of the episcopate, the priesthood, consecrated life, and the lay vocation in the world… . Continue Reading »

Seekers or Finders?

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On the Solemnity of the Epiphany, I heard a sermon”a rather well-delivered one at that”about the Magi as religious “seekers.” The same note, I’ll wager, was struck from pulpits and ambos across the country, perhaps across the world. But isn’t there something a bit askew here? Isn’t the point of Matthew’s tale of the “wise men from the East” (Matthew 2:1) that they were finders, not just seekers? … Continue Reading »