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.

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 »

Regensburg vindicated

September 16, 2014

On the evening of Sept. 12, 2006, my wife and I were dining in Cracow with Polish friends when an agitated Italian Vaticanista (pardon the redundancy in adjectives) called, demanding to know what I thought of “Zees crazee speech of zee pope about zee Muslims.” That was my first hint that the herd of independent… Read more »

Remembering the great Fouad Ajami

September 09, 2014

In a year replete with devastating news, the June 22 death of Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami hit especially hard. For decades, Fouad, a man of genius I was honored to call a friend, was an invaluable mentor in matters involving the Arab world and its often-lethal discontents. It was a cauldron of self-destructive passions… Read more »

The covenant of marriage

September 02, 2014

My son Stephen and I spent an unusual, albeit unusually moving, Independence Day: we attended the golden wedding anniversary celebration of my friends Piotr and Teresa Malecki, which began with a Mass of thanksgiving in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of Cracow’s Wawel Cathedral—the place where Piotr and Teresa had exchanged vows on July 4, 1964,… Read more »

Recognizing American saints

August 19, 2014

Most attention-paying U.S. Catholics are aware of the beatification causes for Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Catholic Worker co-foundress Dorothy Day. Five more causes, currently in the works, illustrate the rich diversity of American Catholicism and the extraordinary ways in which the Holy Spirit enlivens “heroic virtue”—the mark of a saint. The Servant of God Vincent… Read more »

Is history really over?

August 12, 2014

In 1989, as the Cold War entered the bottom of the ninth inning, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a memorable essay entitled “The End of History?” And despite the question mark in the article’s title, the argument resolved itself in a straightforward answer: “Yes.” It was a nifty bit of Hegelian reasoning, filtered through the… Read more »

A millennial column (so to speak)

August 05, 2014

I’ve been writing op-ed columns for the Catholic press since 1979. In its present form, “The Catholic Difference,” I began this column in 1993 at the invitation of the late Kay Lagreid, then-editor of the now-deceased Catholic Northwest Progress in Seattle; the column went into national syndication shortly thereafter, with the Denver Catholic Register eventually… Read more »