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How Hugo Chávez Became the New Christ

As far back as the 1960s, the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua began infusing their speeches and writings with religious terms, likening their namesake, Augusto Sandino, to Christ. Sergio Ramirez, a commandant in the Sandinista ruling junta in the 1980s, claimed that upon Sandino’s assassination in 1932 Sandino’s father exclaimed “those who become redeemers die crucified” and attested that the soldiers cast lots for his clothes. Even such bald attempts to claim Christ’s mantle appear nuanced in comparison to the massive campaign now underway in Venezuela, led by Nicolás Maduro, to proclaim his predecessor Hugo Chávez as Christ himself. Continue Reading »

Rebuild Penn Station!

Yes, it sounds like a pipe dream. Rebuild Penn Station? Why imagine that’s possible when New York can’t even build a new subway line or bring a direct rail link to any of its three airports? Continue Reading »

Death, Again

Another intrusive death is rising in my life, and not just my own. He was a vigorous seventy-eight-year-old until last November. Then he experienced a fall, and another, and swiftly lost his motor skills. In the space of just a few weeks he quickly went from cane to walker to wheelchair to bed. Continue Reading »

Books for Summer Reading

Real readers read books all year round. But the convention of the “summer reading list” has become so thoroughly engrained in our culture that it seems appropriate to suggest four books-for-summer that will deepen any thoughtful Catholic’s faith—and any thoughtful Catholic’s perception of the challenges Catholics face today. Continue Reading »

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