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 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 »

Keeping Catholic schools Catholic

March 10, 2015

There seems to be some dispute as to whether the original Trotskyite—that would be, um, Leon Trotsky—ever said, “You may not be interested in the dialectic but the dialectic is interested in you.” One quotation-archaeologist, digging deeply, claims to have found the origins of Trotsky’s alleged bon mot in that unforgettable treatise, “Petty-Bourgeois Moralists and… Read more »

No fighting God

March 03, 2015

Some months after my son-in-law, Rob Susil, died, a longtime friend asked me, in a gentle but point-blank way, “Are you still fighting God?” The only honest response was, “Yes.” At which my friend said, simply, “You’re not going to win, you know…” I think back on that exchange now, during the Lent following the… Read more »

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 »