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The Catholic engine of western progress

The standard account of the history of the West from, say, 400-1500 would run something like this: The breakdown of the Roman Empire sent western Europe into the centuries-long civilizational […]

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Nothing ordinary about this time

The late Dorothy Sayers, author of the Lord Peter Wimsey detective stories, was a gifted amateur theologian, as the notes she wrote to her translation of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” readily […]

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Re-reading modern history

In his Christmas address to the Roman Curia on true and false interpretations of Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI asked why the Church had had such a difficult time opening […]

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Getting the Council right

Every year, just before or after Christmas, the pope meets with senior members of the Roman Curia for a review of the year just past and a preview of the […]

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Exaggerated love

Ten years ago, on the evening of December 6, 1995, Pope John Paul II changed my life. In May of that year, I had begun talking with his press spokesman, […]

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Fighting the new slavery

I first noticed the new slavery on the outskirts of Rome. There, along the back roads of the periferia, you could see today’s slaves: African women, mostly, with a scattering […]

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Seamus Hasson: knight of religious freedom

Kevin Hasson — “Seamus” to one and all —  is the founder of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm and educational institute, and a true […]

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That incredible shrinking Advent-Christmas season

Twenty-one years in Washington, D.C., should have rendered me impervious to the bizarre. But I confess to having been taken aback in mid-October when, inside a grocery where I was […]

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A betrayal of John Paul II

Pope John Paul II had a keen intuition about the dynamics of history in his native part of the world. In mid-1981, John Paul smelled trouble coming. When a young […]

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Asking the right questions about ‘touching’

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, is almost certainly going to get himself in hot water with the U.S. Bishops Conference Office of Child and Youth Protection. That’s entirely to […]

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A Catholic renaissance at Princeton

Having taught James Madison at the College of New Jersey (as Princeton was then known), the Rev. John Witherspoon has a claim to the honorable title, “Grandfather of the U.S. […]

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Finding God’s choice

For those who were there, April 2005 in Rome will always be remembered as a month in which one lived a year’s worth of experiences almost every day. The memories […]