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.

World Christianity by the numbers

February 24, 2015

The annual “Status of Global Christianity” survey published by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research is a cornucopia of numbers: some are encouraging; others are discouraging; many of them are important for grasping the nature of this particular moment in Christian history. This year’s survey works from a baseline of 1900 A.D., and makes projections… Read more »

Ukraine: disinformation and confusion

February 17, 2015

Two recent interviews in the National Catholic Register suggest that there’s considerable confusion about what’s what in Ukraine. Those confusions reflect the success of the extraordinary Russian disinformation campaign that’s been underway for the past 15 months. They may also touch on the delicate but important question of Russia’s attempts to buy influence in the… Read more »

Lent, day by day

February 10, 2015

The phrase “Lenten journey” has become ubiquitous in contemporary Catholicism, but for once, AmChurchSpeak makes an important point: Lent is a journey—a journey to Calvary with the Lord and an opportunity to reflect on how well we’ve each picked up the cross daily (as instructed in Luke 9: 23) and followed him. The day-by-day quality… Read more »

Evangelical challenges for Vatican diplomacy

February 03, 2015

The bilateral diplomacy of the Holy See is unique in world affairs, in that it has little or nothing to do with the things with which diplomats typically occupy their time: trade issues, security matters, visas. Rather, the reason why the Vatican engages in bilateral diplomacy is to secure the freedom of the Catholic Church… Read more »

Nonsense on ‘Sixty Minutes’

January 27, 2015

“Sixty Minutes,” the CBS News “magazine” that helped redefine television journalism, prides itself on challenging conventional wisdom, discomfiting the comfortable, kicking shibboleths in the shins, and opening new arguments. No such challenge, alas, was evident in the program’s recent segment on Pope Francis, which aired last Dec. 28. One of the principal interviewees in that… Read more »

Europe and nothingness

January 20, 2015

In the wake of the horrific jihadist attack on the Paris-based journal Charlie Hebdo, the trope “satirical magazine” was regularly deployed to explain Charlie’s character and content. But that’s not-quite-right. And what’s wrong about it—when linked to the sentiment expressed on placards reading “We are all Charlie Hebdo”—suggests just how much trouble Europe is in,… Read more »

Owning our baptism

January 13, 2015

The transfer of the celebration of the Epiphany to a Sunday from January 6 (the solemnity’s traditional date), and the elimination of Sundays-after-Epiphany in favor of the ill-named Sundays of “Ordinary Time,” has made a hash of the Christmas liturgical season, as I suggested in “Evangelical Catholicism.” Still, the liturgical calendar of Blessed Paul VI… Read more »

Africa’s Catholic moment

January 05, 2015

According to an old Vatican aphorism, “We think in centuries here.” Viewed through that long-distance lens, the most important Catholic event of 2014 was the dramatic moment when Africa’s bishops emerged as effective, powerful proponents of dynamic orthodoxy in the world Church. The scene was the Extraordinary Synod of 2014, called by Pope Francis to… Read more »

To defend the disposable

December 30, 2014

Dr. Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is best known these days for an imprudent lecture in which he suggested that the Obamacare bill (of which he was an intellectual architect) was deliberately crafted to be so complex that the stupid American people couldn’t possibly understand it. Gruber’s lecture opened a… Read more »

Christmas and the humbling of the wise men

December 22, 2014

It might seem that everything that could be said, has been said, about the shepherds, the wise men and the Christ Child. But that’s one of the marvels of Scripture: the unfolding history of the Church draws out of the inspired Word of God allegories and images previously unrecognized. Thus the familiar Christmas story and… Read more »