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.

‘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 »

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 »