First Things - Religion and Public Life First Things on your tablet & mobile
Login forgot password? | register Close

Remembering the Smiling Pope

He was Vicar of Christ for only thirty-three days—heading the tenth shortest pontificate in history—but Pope John Paul I’s impact on the Church has far outlived his time as its leader.Born Albino Luciani in 1912, he grew up in Forno di Canale, a poor region in northern Italy, but one rich in . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope v. Paganism

The pagan temptation,” as the philosopher Thomas Molnar described it, is hardly new—the Church has been fighting paganism since the time of Christ—but what is new is its aggressive resurgence, its seduction of so many Christians, and the warnings Pope Francis has issued against it.The Pope’s scorching words against paganism have not been well-received by many, but Francis has gone right on assailing it, particularly in areas that pagans care about most: the environment and sex.Francis has been a bold and eloquent defender of the environment, and understands that protecting the environment is not a recent fad, but a long-standing Catholic principle, highlighted by many of Francis’s predecessors. Continue Reading »

What the Pope Should Do. We’re Waiting

Not for many generations has the Church amassed as much prestige as it has under John Paul II and his successors. They underline (or have so far) the formidable quality of church leadership. Since John Paul II’s elevation in 1978, no nation on earth has been led better. That prestige ought to be used in an important cause, and one where it will matter. There is a desperate cause right under the Pope’s nose. What is he doing in the Philippines and South America at a moment when, throughout Europe, Christianity is dying? Continue Reading »

“La Popessa” Speaks

She was called “La Popessa,” depicted as the iron lady of the Vatican, and said to have wielded more power in Rome than any woman in centuries. She is the subject of numerous books, movies, and even a musical—often more fiction than fact. But the real story of Mother Pascalina Lehnert—the life-long assistant to Pope Pius XII—is still not widely known. Now, thanks to the English translation of her memoirs, His Humble Servant, she speaks for herself, to a far larger audience. Continue Reading »

John XXIII and John Paul II

Pope Francis’s bold decisions to canonize Blessed John XXIII without the normal post-beatification miracle, and to link Good Pope John’s canonization ceremony to that of Blessed John Paul II, just may help reorient Catholic thinking about modern Catholic history. For what Francis is suggesting, I think, is that John XXIII and John Paul II are the twin bookends of the Second Vatican Council—and thus should be canonized together. Continue Reading »

The Popes and the Economy

Papal doctrine on political economy has long been misunderstood as well as mistrusted among those economic liberals who in the United States have the curious habit of calling themselves conservatives. The recent publication of John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus, commemorating as it does the . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles