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.

Easter with Flannery O’Connor

April 15, 2014

This coming Aug. 3 will mark the golden anniversary of Flannery O’Connor’s “Passover,” to adopt the biblical image John Paul II used to describe the Christian journey through death to eternal life. In the 50 years since lupus erythematosus claimed her at age 39, O’Connor’s literary genius has been widely celebrated. Then, with the 1979… Read more »

Easter glory in a Roman jewel box

April 08, 2014

One of the many reasons to follow the Lenten station church pilgrimage through Rome is that, along that unique itinerary of sanctity, one discovers otherwise-hidden jewels of church architecture and design, created in honor of the early Roman martyrs. Perhaps the most stunning of these is St. Praxedes on the Esquiline Hill, hidden behind the… Read more »

God and Freedom

April 02, 2014

For the better part of two centuries now, one of the standard tropes in western high culture has held that the-God-of-the-Bible-is-the-enemy-of-human-freedom. This past December, Professor Rémi Brague exploded that myth in a lecture at the Pontifical Urban University that was, I’m willing to wager, the most scintillating such exercise heard in Rome that semester. Professor… Read more »

Lent: the annual catechumenate

March 25, 2014

Historians of the Roman liturgy generally reckon the restorations of the Easter Vigil (by Pius XII) and the adult catechumenate (by Vatican II) as two of the signal accomplishments of the 20th-century liturgical movement. I wouldn’t contest that claim, but I’d add something else to the highlights reel: the recovery of the baptismal character of… Read more »

Orthodoxy, state and society

March 18, 2014

In a conversation about Russian Orthodoxy some dozen years ago, that famous source who can only be quoted off-the-record, the Senior Vatican Official, said to me, “They only know how to be chaplain to the czar—whoever he is.” Such asperity reflected deep frustration over the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow’s continued rudeness (some would say,… Read more »

Just war revisited and revitalized

March 11, 2014

Every once in a while, a truly special book comes down the theological pike: a book both scholarly and well-written, a book that stretches the imagination, a book that changes the state of a discussion, if it’s taken with the seriousness it deserves. The late Servais Pinckaers’ Sources of Christian Ethics was such a book…. Read more »

Ash Wednesday in Rome

March 04, 2014

Half an hour before sunrise on Ash Wednesday, hundreds of English-speakers from all over Rome will begin walking to the ancient basilica of St. Sabina on the Aventine Hill. They’ll start from student residences, from embassies to Italy and the Holy See, and from the Vatican. The Schwerpunkt, or focal point, for all this activity… Read more »

Rediscovering the Martyrology

February 25, 2014

The Catholic Church began compiling “martyrologies”—lists of saints, typically martyrs—during the first centuries after Constantine. In the pre-Vatican II breviary, a reading from the Roman Martyrology, or what we might call the Catholic Book of Witnesses, was an integral part of the Office of Prime, the “hour” recited after sunrise. The day’s date was given,… Read more »

Beyond the Papal States

February 18, 2014

When the Holy See signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, a friend knowledgeable in legal matters said, with considerable vehemence, that the Convention was a snare and a delusion that would eventually come back to bite the Vatican. The bite came earlier this month, in a deeply tendentious report… Read more »

Andrew Cuomo and the liberal blacklist

February 11, 2014

Pete Seeger died on Jan. 27, rich in years (94) and in honors (a lifetime-achievement Grammy, the National Medal for the Arts). His death rated a segment on the PBS News Hour, during which the inconvenient fact that Seeger had been a member of the U.S. Communist Party for years was finessed by the expedient… Read more »