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.

Synod 2015 hopes

September 29, 2015

The XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family begins with Mass in St. Peter’s on October 4. No synod in modern Catholic history has drawn such worldwide press attention or generated such controversy within the Church (with the possible exception of the special synod called by John Paul II to… Read more »

Lessons from the Rough Rider for today’s political ruffians

September 24, 2015

Sitting at a writing-desk in the White House on December 11, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt was an unhappy camper. In previous letters, he addressed his correspondent as “Dear Maria.” Now, it was “Mrs. Storer” who would be on the receiving end of the presidential wrath. Maria Longworth Storer was a busybody – and a highly… Read more »

Popes in these United States

September 17, 2015

The history of popes in these United States is full of surprises. And one of them, to begin at the beginning, includes the little-known fact that Blessed Paul VI was not the first pontiff to set foot on American territory, when he landed at newly-renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on October 4, 1965. No,… Read more »

Remembering “The Few”

September 17, 2015

Seventy-five years ago, on Sunday, September 15, 1940, Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine were driven from the prime minister’s country house,  Chequers, to the nearby village of Uxbridge: a Royal Air Force station and the headquarters from which Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park was directing the RAF’s No. 11 Group against the onslaught of the… Read more »

An epistolary romp through Catholicism

September 01, 2015

In 2003, Elizabeth Maguire, publisher of Basic Books, made a proposal: I should write Letters to a Young Catholic as part of a series she was doing that included volumes like Letters to a Young Contrarian, Letters to a Young Chef, Letters to a Young Golfer, Letters to a Young Lawyer, and so forth. Liz… Read more »

Catacomb time?

August 25, 2015

A procession in the Catacomb of Callixtus; painting by Alberto Pisa

At Christmas 1969, Professor Joseph Ratzinger gave a radio talk with the provocative title, “What Will the Future Church Look Like?” (You can find it in Faith and the Future, published by Ignatius Press). One of the concluding paragraphs was destined to become perhaps the most quoted excerpt from Ratzinger’s extensive bibliography, when Professor Ratzinger… Read more »

The deeper issue at the Synod

August 18, 2015

Looking back on the controversy that preceded Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, I get the impression that there was an even deeper issue in play than the question of the morally appropriate means to regulate human fertility. Underneath that debate, another issue was being contested: How should Catholics do moral theology? The forces… Read more »

The perils of “preferred peers”

August 11, 2015

  On Catholic campuses that aspire to Top Ten or Top Twenty status in publicity sweepstakes like the U.S. News and World Report college rankings, one sometimes hears the phrase “preferred peers.” Translated into plain English from faux-sociologese, that means the schools to which we’d like to be compared (and be ranked with). At a… Read more »

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 »