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Young Pius

Books like this are rare. The Pope Who Would Be King is one of the few publications that has made me commit a mortal sin—that of envy. I wish I could tell a story in such a colorful and lively way. Unlike David Kertzer’s tendentious works on Pius XI and Mussolini, I found myself . . . . Continue Reading »

Prurient History

Sex sells, all the more if one throws in Vatican secrets and conspiracy. Long before Frédéric Martel’s In the Closet of the Vatican, the Church had problems with sexual indiscretions, not least in the era of Pope Pius IX (1846–1878). Hubert Wolf, the self-appointed dean of German church . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dogmatic Principle

Last month I made a pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Church, the university church at Oxford, when I was visiting that ancient city of dreaming spires. Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer were tried and convicted there for Protestant heresy. But I did not have those men in mind. It was from the pulpit of St. . . . . Continue Reading »

This Catholic Moment

The current crisis in the global Church is not the worst crisis in Catholic history, but it is bad enough. Nor is it confined to the scandals of clerical sexual abuse and malfeasant Church leadership, though those scandals crystallize its meaning and implications. Today’s crisis must be properly . . . . Continue Reading »

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