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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 »

Tolerance as Catholic Doctrine

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,” wrote Abraham Lincoln. Is there any American of sound mind who would not endorse this statement? Yet things having to do with freedom are not always so clear. The crucial case of religious freedom, celebrated by Pope John Paul II . . . . Continue Reading »

The Protestant Ethos

Iam a Catholic, but I married Protestant. My husband has steeped me in Protestant lore: Protestants get results. Protestants think ahead. Protestants save (Catholics spend). My Protestant in-laws had to endure our Catholic wedding, their faces rigid with polite distress as they took in the crucifix . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tale of Two Bishops

In the years 1975-76, Catholics attending Mass anywhere in the state of Montana would have heard the priest pray for “Paul, our Pope, and Eldon, our Bishop.” Apart from the fact that outside of Montana there has never been a Catholic bishop in the United States named Eldon, there was nothing . . . . Continue Reading »

From Aquinas to Aquarius

In his witty and affectionate autobiography, Ours: The Making and Unmaking of a Jesuit, the Islamicist F. E. Peters has this to say about his Jesuit training: “It was a marvelous nineteenth century English university education of the type that Arnold Toynbee believed he was among the . . . . Continue Reading »

Teach Me: A Catholic Cri de Coeur

No, the situation could hardly be more serious, unless Diocletian reclined still in his palace, and martyrs still faced night arrest and torture in the amphitheaters. The situation could hardly be more dire, unless the old Roman law still survived that stated flatly, frighteningly, “It is unlawful . . . . Continue Reading »

A Roman Cautionary Tale

On July 6,1991, the Italian Jesuit biweekly, La Civilta Cattolica, published a lengthy editorial arguing that the just war tradition should no longer be considered normative in Catholic thinking about the ethics of war and peace. Those familiar with the ideological peregrinations of many members of . . . . Continue Reading »

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