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Extremism? Whose extremism?

During the recent, raucous debate in the U.S. Senate over what’s procedurally kosher in considering a president’s judicial selections, opponents of several Bush nominees persistently dismissed the prospective judges in […]

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How doctrine liberates

A lot of press coverage of Archbishop William Levada’s nomination as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) revisited some old shibboleths about “watchdogs reining in […]

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Great expectations

A few days after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, a dozen men friendly to the new pontiff met for dinner in Rome. Judging from the expectations among some of […]

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What’s in a “milieu”?

Pope John Paul II’s spiritual testament, which was read to the College of Cardinals a few days after his death and later released to the press, beautifully captures the spirit […]

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The greats make a come-back

Although my high school years coincided with the Age of Aquarius, I was spared the kind of reading lists that now imagine Dan (DaVinci Code) Brown to be a serious […]

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Baseball, theology, and guilds

There’s more than enough blame to parcel out in major league baseball’s steroids scandal. Ownership ignored the problem because juiced home-run numbers were reviving interest in the pastime after the […]

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What Benedict XVI means

ROME — The election of Pope Benedict XVI means many things: a resounding affirmation of the pontificate of John Paul the Great; an overwhelming vote of confidence in Joseph Ratzinger, […]

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Europe’s present, America’s future?

What do Konrad Adenauer, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and the two Augustines (Hippo and Canterbury) have in common? Or Bach, Bacon, Becket, Bede, Benedict, Bernini, Bonhoeffer, and Borromeo? What […]

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Tales from eight conclaves

The next conclave will be strikingly different from its predecessors: there will be a far larger and much more diverse group of electors; the cardinals will be living comfortably (in […]

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John Paul II’s saints—and us

Why was Pope John Paul II the greatest saint-maker in the history of the Church? The question is actually a misnomer, although it’s been used regularly in retrospectives on the […]

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An open letter to Howard Dean

Dear Dr. Dean: Congratulations on your election as chairman of the Democratic National Committee — for many years, the “natural” political home of Catholic Americans. That’s not the case any […]

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Liberating obedience

In the second act of Camelot, King Arthur’s bastard son Mordred, a poisonous weed in the garden of the Round Table, mocks “the seven deadly virtues” in some of Alan […]