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

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The Solidarity Difference

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Thirty years ago, on Aug. 31, 1980, an electrician named Lech Walesa signed the Gdansk Accords, ending a two-week-old strike at that Hanseatic city’s Lenin Shipyards. Walesa signed with a giant souvenir pen featuring a portrait of Pope John Paul II… . Continue Reading »

When Compromise Trumps Apostolic Tradition

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Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to Great Britain next month will unfold along a pilgrim’s path metaphorically strewn with landmines. Headline-grabbing new atheists like Richard Dawkins, along with their allies in the international plaintiff’s bar, may try to have the pontiff arrested as an enabler of child abuse… . Continue Reading »

In Defense of Israel’s Legitimacy

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Last month, I was happy to join with former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, Nobel Peace Prize laureate David Trimble, Italian philosopher and political leader Marcello Pera, and several other international figures in launching a global “Friends of Israel” Initiative, which debuted in the United States in a July 8 Wall Street Journal op-ed article… . Continue Reading »

An Anniversary of Consequence

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On June 30, 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Harris v. McRae and upheld the constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment, which had prohibited federal funding for Medicaid abortions since 1976. Three decades later, Harris v. McRae remains the pro-life movement’s most important legal victory since Roe v. Wade created a “right to abortion” in 1973… . Continue Reading »

What Gettysburg Means

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My home is a 45-minute drive from Gettysburg National Military Park, a site I’ve visited many times, never without some emotion. The nature of that emotion crystallized for me a few years ago when I took some Australian friends on an audio tour of the battlefield with the help of Father Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Greenville, S.C., who drove the other car in our small motorcade… . Continue Reading »

In Praise of Father Schall

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One does wonder sometimes about God’s ways with his most devoted servants. Several years back, Father James Schall, S.J., one of the greatest of American Jesuits and the living embodiment of Catholic liberal learning at Georgetown, was struck by an illness that cost him an eye. This summer, Father Schall is recovering from some nasty surgery, which involved removing a cancerous jawbone and its attendant teeth and replacing the jaw with bone taken from Schall’s leg… . Continue Reading »

Getting Beyond Bainton

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Roland Bainton, who died in 1984, was a fixture at the Yale Divinity School for more than four decades and remained an influential Church historian over during two decades of retirement. His most popular book was Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther; but Luther scholarship has gone far beyond Bainton since Here I Stand was published in 1950. Bainton’sChristian Attitudes Toward War and Peace, however, which was first published in 1960, continues to exert a significant influence on Christian thought today. The question is whether that influence is helpful, or baleful… . Continue Reading »

Storm Clouds in Ukraine

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Public expressions of piety at civic events may tell us something about a culture, but they rarely disclose geopolitical ambitions or strategic designs. One exception to that general rule of religion and public life took place this past February, in Kiev, capital of Ukraine … Continue Reading »