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Purgatory for Everyone

A few years ago, the journalist Philip Nobile wrote an article near the first anniversary of the death of Princess Diana in which he raised what he termed “an indiscreet theological question.” “Where is she now?” he asked. According to Christian theology, the options were heaven, purgatory, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century

In the best that has been thought and said about the twentieth century, its Christian martyrs have hardly been mentioned. This should come as no surprise. From our vantage point at the beginning of a new millennium, it seems a little far-fetched that someone would be killed because he is Christian, . . . . Continue Reading »

Popes for All Seasons

God’s Representatives: The Eight Twentieth-century Popes by james bentleyconstable. 200 pages, £16.95 . Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes by eamon duffyyale university press. 500 pages, $23. The Papacy by paul johnson. edited by michael walsh wiedenfeld and . . . . Continue Reading »

Some of My Best Friends

Revolutions in consciousness sometimes announce themselves in minor, even trivial, ways. It was some ten or twelve years ago. My oldest daughter and I were watching a college football game on TV on a Saturday afternoon. Notre Dame was one of the teams, and my daughter, then a teenager, cheered as . . . . Continue Reading »

The Fifties Without Soul

This is not a book review, it’s a complaint.I have been reading—and, I confess, enormously enjoying—David Halberstam’s The Fifties (Villard), yet another of his blockbuster best-sellers. It’s great nostalgia, wonderfully evocative, and above all, about my generation. Like . . . . Continue Reading »

The Liberalism That We Need

There is liberalism, and then there is liberalism. We in the post-Communist societies of Central and Eastern Europe, and especially we in Poland, do not have an easy time sorting out the varieties of liberalism that are being proposed to us. . . . . Continue Reading »

Syllabus Errorum

God’s Politician: Pope John Paul II, the Catholic Church, and the New World Order by david willey st. martin’s, 258 pages, $18.95 Fifteen years ago, as the long pontificate of Paul VI drew to a close, a consensus on the qualifications for the next pope began to take shape among liberal Catholic . . . . Continue Reading »

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