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Two anniversaries of note

Robert Seton, grandson of Elizabeth Ann Seton, had an expansive sense of his proper position in the scheme of things. In 1861, after two years at Rome’s North American College, […]

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Tales from the Vienna woods

During a conversation in Cracow last July, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, O.P., the archbishop of Vienna, proposed that he and I organize a conference to discuss the growing gap between America […]

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Afraid of change? More myths of 1968

In a recent editorial on condoms and AIDS, the London-based Tablet, an influential weekly in the Catholic Anglosphere, argued that “in 1968, the most persuasive reason advanced in favor of […]

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Robust interreligious dialogue

London’s Trafalgar Square includes a bronze statue of Sir Charles Napier (1782-1853), an architect of the British Raj in India. Few Britons or tourists, pondering Napier’s role as a military […]

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Designer ‘gospels’

The New York Times had itself a glorious week last month. First there was the front page “news” that, given ancient Galilean climatological oddities, Jesus might have walked on … […]

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A Golden Dome opportunity missed

A pall will hang over commencement at the University of Notre Dame this year — the pall of a great opportunity missed. Temporarily, one must hope. Notre Dame’s new president, […]

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The “Truce of 1968,” once again

In 1968, Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle of Washington, D.C., disciplined nineteen priests who had publicly dissented from Pope Paul VI’s teaching in the encyclical Humanae Vitae. Three years later, the Vatican’s […]

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The Da Vinci Code opportunity

I was on the road a lot during Lent. And from sea to shining sea, nary an airport bookstore was without a Da Vinci Code display, in anticipation of the […]

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The embrace of the cross

Why is the cross the most apt of Christian symbols? G.K. Chesterton offered a typically, well, Chestertonian answer in his masterpiece, Orthodoxy. A circle, Chesterton wrote, suggests infinity and perfection, […]

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Remembering John Paul the Great

A year ago, the world stopped, quite literally, to honor a Polish priest and bishop who had touched hearts, minds, and souls unlike any anyone else of his era. Millions […]

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Europe’s two culture wars

The government of Slovakia fell in early February, when the governing coalition imploded after a fierce parliamentary debate over a report from the European Union’s “Network of Independent Experts on […]

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60 Minutes and stem cells

The CBS news magazine 60 Minutes prides itself on asking the hard questions that other television news vehicles are too polite, or perhaps too afraid, to ask. That tough-minded approach […]