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.

Taking the “long view” on Russia

August 04, 2015

Queried about the Holy See’s less-than-vigorous response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, senior Vatican officials are given to saying (often with a dismissive tone, as if the question came from a dim-wit), “We take the long view.” On the diplomatic side, that “long view” seems to be a reprise of the Ostpolitik of Agostino Casaroli,… Read more »

The amazing, and now Venerable, Father Al

August 03, 2015

  At an inch or so over five feet and weighing, I would guess, something on the underside of 100 pounds, Sister Winnie, a soft spoken Filipina, is not your typical dinner speaker. Yet a few weeks ago she held a room full of Washingtonians spellbound with her story – which is also the story… Read more »

Flannery O’Connor and Catholic realism

August 03, 2015

  From this vale of tears, one can never be sure about the boundaries of acceptable behavior at the Throne of Grace. Is laughter at earthly foibles permitted? Encouraged? I like to think so. Which inclines me to believe that, this past June 3, Miss Mary Flannery O’Connor of Milledgeville, Georgia, was having herself a… Read more »

Progressive Catholic authoritarianism: an enduring problem

July 14, 2015

Back in the day (the late 1960s or thereabouts), Father Andrew Greeley – the model of an old-fashioned liberal Catholic – accused Father Daniel Berrigan (the beau ideal of post-conciliar Catholic radicalism) of harboring an authoritarian streak in his politics. By which Greeley meant that, were Berrigan and his radical friends to achieve power, their… Read more »

Cuban hopes for the papal visit

July 07, 2015

In early June, the distinguished Catholic editor Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, a leader of the Cuban democratic opposition, gave a lecture at Georgetown and reprised its main points later that day at the National Endowment for Democracy (on whose bipartisan board I serve). Mr. Valdés has thought long and hard about the challenges of democratic transition… Read more »

The Church and the “New Normal”

June 26, 2015

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, these sober thoughts occur: (1) The Supreme Court of the United States [SCOTUS] has rendered a decision that puts the Court at odds with the Constitution, with reason, and with biblical religion. (2) SCOTUS has gotten it wrong before. It got it wrong on race in… Read more »

The summer reading list

June 23, 2015

Fifty years ago, prior to my freshman year at Baltimore’s St. Paul Latin High School, the late Father W. Vincent Bechtel introduced me to The Summer Reading List, upper-case. Father Bechtel didn’t fool around: he tossed his teenage charges into the deep end of the English and American literature pool and told us, in effect,… Read more »

Now, the Kasper theory of democracy?

June 16, 2015

A few weeks ago, after Ireland voted to approve so-called “same-sex marriage,” a correspondent sent me an e-mail quoting Cardinal Walter Kasper’s comment on the result: “A democratic state has the duty to respect the will of the people, and it seems clear that, if the majority of the people wants such homosexual unions, the… Read more »

Themes for surviving ‘Ordinary Time’

June 09, 2015

I’m fortunate to hear good preaching on a regular basis. But even the best Catholic preaching these days leans far more toward moral exhortation than biblical exposition. This strikes me as a missed opportunity. For if one of the tasks of preaching today is to help the people of the Church “see” the world and… Read more »