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A Communist Crucifix

On Pope Francis’s recent visit to La Paz, Bolivia, he received an unusual—and many would say, offensive—gift. Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, presented Pope Francis with a wooden crucifix made of a hammer and sickle. A video shows Pope Francis considering the gift . . . . Continue Reading »

Cuban Hopes for the Papal Visit

In early June, the distinguished Catholic editor Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, a leader of the Cuban democratic opposition, gave a lecture at Georgetown and reprised its main points later that day at the National Endowment for Democracy (on whose bipartisan board I serve). Mr. Valdés has thought . . . . Continue Reading »

The Hero of Hungary

Today, we mark the fortieth anniversary of the death of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, a courageous Hungarian prelate who fought against communist tyranny despite great suffering, yet at the end was betrayed by Rome. As today’s Church faces threats around the world from secularists, Islamic fundamentalists and others, it is worth recalling his story to see the dangers of being excessively polite with evil ideologies.The Hungarians are an ancient, patriotic people united under one state and Christianized during the reign of King St. Stephen I (997-1038). In the subsequent millennium, Hungary had at times been a regional power (before the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, Hungary was three times its present size), and at others was subjugated and invaded by Mongols, Turks, Habsburgs, Nazis, Soviets. Continue Reading »

Famous Communists and Islam

For some time, an argument has been made that the liberal left, in refusing to examine the problems of Islam, has betrayed its Enlightenment roots. That is, while secular, feminist, and protective of free speech in dealing with its Western peers, the liberal left has been accused of abandoning its heritage in its quest for political correctness regarding Muslims. Continue Reading »

What Are the Best Films on Communism?

I’m currently working on an introduction to a book I’m co-editing on one of the greatest films about communism, The Lives of Others , and I’m wondering what other films there are that portray life under communist oppression that our readers know about. There don’t seem to be . . . . Continue Reading »

The Great Terror

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repressionby stéphane courtois, nicolas werth, jean-louis panné, andrzej paczkowski, karel bartosek, and jean-louis margolinharvard university press, 856 pages, $37.50 Publication of The Black Book of Communism in November 1997 in France stirred up a . . . . Continue Reading »

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