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.

The Catholic Church’s German crisis

May 20, 2015

The 21st-century Church owes a lot to 20th-century German Catholicism: for its generosity to Catholics in the Third World; for the witness of martyrs like Alfred Delp, Bernhard Lichtenberg, and Edith Stein; for its contributions to Biblical studies, systematic and moral theology, liturgical renewal, and Catholic social doctrine, through which German Catholicism played a leading… Read more »

The difference Cardinal George made

May 12, 2015

On September 2, 1939, the House of Commons debated the British government’s response to the German invasion of Poland the previous day. The ruling Conservative Party was badly divided between those demanding that Britain fulfill its obligations to Poland and those addicted to the habits of appeasement. “Party loyalty” was being invoked to drown out… Read more »

John Paul II and ‘America’

May 05, 2015

In the years preceding the Great Jubilee of 2000, John Paul II held a series of continental synods to help the Church in different locales reflect on its distinctive situation at the end of the second millennium, and to plan for a future of evangelical vigor in the third. These Special Assemblies were easily named… Read more »

Remembering Number 84

April 28, 2015

He scored 40 times in an eight-year NFL career, best known, now, for the touchdown he didn’t score, as the sun set over Yankee Stadium on Dec. 28, 1958. His wife of 59 years, Joan, said that Jim Mutscheller, who died on April 10, wanted to be known as a man “who had led a… Read more »

‘Wolf Hall’ and upmarket anti-Catholicism

April 21, 2015

“Wolf Hall,” the BBC adaptation of Hillary Mantel’s novel about early Tudor England, began airing on PBS’s “Masterpiece Theater” Easter Sunday night. It’s brilliant television. It’s also a serious distortion of history. And it proves, yet again, that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable bigotry in elite circles in the Anglosphere. The distortions and bias are… Read more »

Newman and Vatican II

April 14, 2015

That Blessed John Henry Newman was one of the great influences on Vatican II is “a commonplace,” as Newman’s biographer, Father Ian Ker, puts it. But what does that mean? What influence did Newman have on a Council that opened 72 years after his death? And from this side of history, what might we learn… Read more »

Easter and evangelism

April 07, 2015

Galatians 1:15-18 is not your basic witness-to-the-Resurrection text. Yet St. Paul’s mini-spiritual autobiography helps us understand just how radically the experience of the Risen Lord changed the first disciples’ religious worldview, and why an evangelical imperative was built into that experience. Here’s the Pauline text: “… when he who had set me apart before I… Read more »

St. John Paul II and the ‘tyranny of the possible’

March 31, 2015

The reputations of the great often diminish over time. Ten years after his holy death on April 2, 2005, Karol Wojtyla, Pope St. John Paul II, looms even larger than he did when the world figuratively gathered at his bedside a decade ago: tens of millions of men and women around the world who felt… Read more »

The indomitable, and effective, Cardinal Pell

March 24, 2015

Shortly after George Pell was named Archbishop of Melbourne, he instituted several reforms at the archdiocesan seminary, including daily Mass and the daily celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, both of which had fallen by the wayside in the preceding years. The seminary faculty, enthusiastic proponents of Catholic Lite, thought to call the archbishop’s… Read more »

A mission of love

March 17, 2015

The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this September should be more than a vast Catholic “gathering of the clans” around Pope Francis—and so should the months between now and then. If the Church in the United States takes this opportunity seriously, these months of preparation will be a time when Catholics ponder the full,… Read more »