Catholic and Vatican Affairs

The Humble Pope

Rome – Twenty-first-century ecclesiastical heraldry may strike some as an arcane hangover from a long-gone past, when bishops were lords temporal as well as lords spiritual. Still, the rich vocabulary of

The King Is Sleeping

In the centuries after Christianity emerged from the catacombs, the Church of Rome made an annual Lenten pilgrimage to a series of “station churches” at which the Bishop of Rome

Meeting Pope Francis

ROME–When Pope Francis stepped out onto the central loggia of St. Peter’s on the night of March 13, I thought of the man I had met in his Buenos Aires

The First American Pope

Rome–The swift election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J., as bishop of Rome is replete with good news–and not a little irony. To reverse the postmodern batting order, let’s begin

The Dynamics of Conclave 2013

ROME–Despite an enormous amount of media chaff throughout April 2005, it was clear to those with eyes to see that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the obvious, leading candidate to succeed

The Unique Conclave Microculture

Rome–My friend Alejandro Bermudez, capo of the Catholic News Agency and a shrewd observer of ecclesiastical affairs, told me something during the 2005 conclave that I’ve tried to remember–and to

What to Look for in a New Pope

[The Wall Street Journal recently published six views on what sort of leader the next pope should be. This was George Weigel’s contribution.] When conceived in strictly functional terms, democracy

Team America Shut Down

Rome–During his not altogether serene tenure as papal spokesman and head of the Holy See press office, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., has perfected a rhetorical style that is redolent of

Sede Vacante

Rome, March 1 — The elderly Carmelite who concelebrated the 9 a.m. Mass at the Church of S. Maria in Traspontina this morning was doing fine until he got to

The Evangelical Reform of the Church

Hans Kung, out there on the far left fringes of Catholicism, has ideas about the reform of the Catholic Church; so does Bernard Fellay, the schismatic bishop and leader of

The Legacy of Benedict XVI

At his election in 2005, some thought of him as a papal place-keeper: a man who would keep the Chair of Peter warm for a few years until a younger

A New Take on Modern Catholic History

When did modern Catholicism begin? The conventional wisdom says, “at Vatican II.” A sophisticated version of the conventional wisdom says, “with the mid-twentieth-century Catholic reform movements that shaped Vatican II.”

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