Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

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

RSS Feed

Companions On the Road to Easter

From Web Exclusives

ROME”For the past six weeks, I’ve had the privilege of participating in the station church pilgrimage of Lent, a Roman tradition that dates back to Christian antiquity. From at least the early fourth century, the Pope celebrated Mass during Lent with his clergy and the Roman Christian community at a designated “station” church… . Continue Reading »

Christians in the Middle East

From Web Exclusives

Dr. Habib Malik of the Lebanese American University has been a friend for many years. Few men have such an informed and humane view of the sad, even desperate, position of Christians in the Middle East. As a Lebanese Maronite with a Harvard doctorate in intellectual history, what Dr. Malik knows comes from experience as well as impeccable scholarship. … Continue Reading »

Spanish Showdown

From Web Exclusives

In the fall of 2007, I spent a week in Spain, giving lectures, meeting with Spanish Catholic leaders, and making a hair-raising climb up several hundred scaffolding stairs to the top of Antoni Gaudi’s Basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona”preceded by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul II’s longtime secretary, who was doing the trip in a cassock (after confessing to me, sotto voce, that he wasn’t too fond of heights)! … Continue Reading »

All War, All the Time

From the April 2011 Print Edition

Martyrdom has been an integral part of Christian life since the Acts of the Apostles. Yet to many Christian minds, “martyrdom” is imaginatively confined to first-century Christianity”a matter of Richard Burton and Jean Simmons defying Jay Robinson’s Caligula while Michael . . . . Continue Reading »

Reforming Caritas International

From Web Exclusives

Several weeks ago, the Vatican announced that it would not grant the necessary approval for Lesley-Anne Knight’s second, four-year term as secretary general of Caritas International, a global network of 165 Catholic agencies working primarily in the Third World on development and health care issues… . Continue Reading »

The Church and the Unions

From Web Exclusives

Judging by the impassioned commentary from some Catholic quarters during recent confrontations between unionized public-sector workers and state governments, you’d think we were back in 1919, with the Church defending the rights of wage slaves laboring in sweat shops under draconian working conditions… . Continue Reading »

Cardinal Baum: A New Record-Holder

From Web Exclusives

Something quite remarkable happened recently: Cardinal William Wakefield Baum”emeritus Archbishop of Washington, emeritus Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, emeritus Major Penitentiary of the Catholic Church”passed the late Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore (who died in 1921) to become the longest-serving American cardinal in history. … Continue Reading »

Rome and Moscow

From Web Exclusives

Russian Federation president Dmitri Medvedev’s recent visit to the Vatican, which included an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, is being trumpeted in some quarters as further evidence of a dramatic breakthrough in relations between the Holy See and Russia, and between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. … Continue Reading »

The Chutzpa of the German Theologians

From Web Exclusives

In The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defined chutzpa as “…Presumption-plus-arrogance such as no other word, and no other language, can do justice to” and then offered classic examples of chutzpa in action: “Chutzpa is that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan… . Continue Reading »

Clarifying “Double Effect”

From Web Exclusives

The recent controversy over the termination of a pregnancy at Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, which Phoenix bishop Thomas Olmstead determined to have been a direct abortion and thus a grave moral evil, has generated a secondary controversy over the meaning of the Church’s traditional moral principle of “double effect.” … Continue Reading »