George Weigel

The Catholic Difference

George Weigel

Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His column is distributed by the Denver Catholic Register.

Lessons from Dietrich von Hildebrand

November 25, 2014

Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977) was a German Catholic philosopher, part of a circle of thinkers that first formed around Edmund Husserl, founder of the philosophical method known as “phenomenology.” Others in that circle included Max Scheler, on whom Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) wrote his second doctoral thesis, and Edith Stein, now St. Teresa… Read more »

Vatican II and the Berlin Wall

November 18, 2014

History sometimes displays the happy capacity to arrange anniversaries so that one sheds light on another. On Nov. 21, 1964, Pope Paul VI solemnly promulgated the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, which began by proclaiming Christ the “light of the nations” and is thus known as Lumen Gentium. Twenty-five years later, on… Read more »

Ecumenism and Russian state power

November 11, 2014

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s department of external relations and a frequent visitor to the West, is a young man of parts: a widely-published author; a composer; a gifted linguist. He can be charming and witty, as I discovered during two hours of conversation at the Library of Congress in… Read more »

Exploded into being by divine love

November 04, 2014

I’ve long been fascinated by cosmology, although my deficiencies as a mathematician preclude my really following the arguments of astrophysicists, high-energy particle physicists and others exploring the origins of the universe. Yet the fascination remains and it was kindled anew by a May 12 article in the Boston Globe Magazine about Alan Guth, a key… Read more »

Frank Wolf: An Appreciation

October 28, 2014

For the first time since 1978, Frank Wolf’s name will not appear on the November ballot in Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District. The Republic will be the poorer for that. Virginia’s 10th CD includes territory familiar to James Madison. And it’s not hard to imagine the Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights taking deep… Read more »

An extraordinary Synod, indeed

October 21, 2014

According to Vatican-speak, a specially scheduled session of the Synod of Bishops is an “Extraordinary Synod,” meaning Not-an-Ordinary Synod, held every three years or so. In the case of the recently-completed Extraordinary Synod of 2014, extraordinary things did happen, in the “Oh, wow!” sense of the word. And if this year’s Extraordinary Synod was a… Read more »

Clash of straw men

October 14, 2014

Two recent speeches by senior Vatican officials whose responsibilities involve wrestling with world politics suggest that some default positions need a re-set in the Holy See. In both speeches, reference was made to the late Samuel Huntington’s book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, the point being to deplore what the… Read more »

Notre Dame honors Russia’s new martyrs

October 07, 2014

It’s sometimes hard to tell, this time of year, but there’s more going on at Notre Dame than football. Spirited debate continues about the university’s Catholic identity and what that means for everything from curriculum and faculty hiring to the campus master plan. Those involved in that debate can now take inspiration from an impressive… Read more »

Wanted: A Synod of affirmation

September 30, 2014

Pope Francis has called a special session of the Synod of Bishops, which will meet from Oct. 5-19 and prepare the agenda for the ordinary session of the Synod that is scheduled for the fall of 2015; both sessions will focus on the family. In my view, the Synod should focus on two related themes:… Read more »

Explosive business in North Dakota

September 23, 2014

The “Official Portal for the North Dakota State Government” lists that commonwealth’s nicknames as the Peace Garden State, the Flickertail State (something to do with squirrels, evidently), and the Roughrider State. Most Americans know today’s North Dakota as the Fracking State, where fortunes are being made in the energy industry. Catholics in the United States… Read more »