George Weigel

To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II

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Catholic and Vatican Affairs

Pastors are Not Interchangeable Parts

A few weeks ago I came upon the odd fact that, before and during World War II, the Royal Navy built battleships with fourteen-inch main battery guns, whereas Britain’s principal

The Bishop of Rome as Christian Radical

It was a brief greeting to former colleagues. But if you read Pope Francis’ recent letter to the Argentine bishops’ conference closely, you get a glimpse of the man, his convictions, and

A Reformed (and Re-Formed) College of Cardinals

The recent papal interregnum and conclave underscored the importance of re-forming, and reforming, the College of Cardinals. As configured on February 28 (when Benedict XVI’s abdication took effect), the College

Impoverished Spirits

Certain ritual encounters have now become standard operating procedure for a new pope. In each of these meetings, Pope Francis has done something surprising, in his low-key, gentle way. In

Cleaning Up the Engine Room

If the conclave of 2005 was about continuity — extending the legacy of John Paul II by electing his closest theological advisor as his successor — the conclave of 2013

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

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