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.

Francis, filtered

December 16, 2014

About a year ago, I suggested to one of the top editors of a major American newspaper that his journal’s coverage of things papal left something to be desired, as it seemed based on the assumption that Pope Francis was some kind of radical wild-man, eager to toss into the garbage bin of history all… Read more »

Kowtowing to Moscow = Bad Ecumenism

December 09, 2014

In his tireless work for Christian unity, St. John Paul II often expressed the hope that Christianity in its third millennium might “breathe again” with its “two lungs:” West and East, Latin and Byzantine. It was a noble aspiration. And when he first visited Orthodoxy’s ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople in 1979, perhaps the successor of… Read more »

Books for Christmas

December 02, 2014

That “there is no end to the making of books” is attested by both revelation (see Ecclesiastes 12:12) and a browse through your local bookstore—which, if well-stocked, will help you get the following to deserving readers on your Christmas list. N.T. Wright, “Paul: In Fresh Perspective” (Fortress Press). The former Anglican bishop of Durham is… Read more »

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 »