Saint and Scribe

Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul IIby george weigelbasic, 368 pages, $32 Czesław Miłosz once said that, in terms of moral grandeur and personal presence, St. John Paul II could have been one of Shakespeare’s kings. No less a judge than Joseph Ratzinger noted that it was . . . . Continue Reading »

The Washington Post and the Church of Me

The idea of freedom in the Church of Me was neatly captured by that great moral philosopher, Frank Sinatra, when he sang, “I did it my way.” Underwriting that self-centered (indeed, selfish) concept of freedom is the idea that the human person is just a twitching bundle of desires, the satisfaction of which is what we mean by “human rights.” Continue Reading »

An Epistolary Romp through Catholicism

In 2003, Elizabeth Maguire, publisher of Basic Books, made a proposal: I should write Letters to a Young Catholic as part of a series she was doing that included volumes like Letters to a Young Contrarian, Letters to a Young Chef, Letters to a Young Golfer, Letters to a Young Lawyer, and so forth. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Making of a Misleading Metaphor

The sturdiest storyline in the coverage of the canonization of two popes last Sunday was a narrative that claimed that Pope Francis yoked the two in a single ceremony because he wanted to unite the conservative and progressing wings of the Catholic Church—as represented by John XXIII (favored by progressives) and John Paul II (ditto by conservatives). That was the narrative in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and among several Catholic pundits who really should have known better. . . . Continue Reading»

Intimidating Intelligence Dims the Brights

In an anything-but-apologetic apologia, Mary Eberstadt challenges the many spokesmen (and they are almost all men) for the New Atheism in her satire, The Loser Letters.  Reminiscent of Ted Turner’s infamous comment that Christianity is a religion for losers, the Loser in this book is . . . . Continue Reading »