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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 […]

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Catholic Democrats and abortion: same old same old

A thought exercise: It’s 1964, and Congress is debating the Civil Rights Act. For years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have taught that segregation is an offense against […]

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The episcopal opportunity

The late Ronald Knox was thought to have a sterling wit, but I’ve never found anything of his as funny as a proposal attributed to his brother, Wilfred: like Ronald, […]

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Reclaiming America’s cathedral

St. Patrick’s is, arguably, the most famous Catholic cathedral in the United States. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is, arguably, the most beautiful. But Baltimore’s Old Cathedral, now the […]

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Cartoons and the clash of civilizations

Harvard professor Samuel Huntington’s “class of civilizations” hypothesis — a provocative preview of a twenty-first century in which religiously shaped cultural conflicts define the fault-lines of world politics — created […]

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The Alito apologies

With Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., safely and, I trust, happily, seated on the United States Supreme Court, apologies are in order — as they frequently are after these judicial […]

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Benedict XVI and the divine love story

German journalist Peter Seewald once posed a question to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: why is the Catholic Church always saying “No?” Cardinal Ratzinger explained that the Church wasn’t fundamentally a matter […]

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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 […]