Catholic and Vatican Affairs

High-Octane Catholicism

CRACOW. The Dominican basilica of the Holy Trinity, just off the market square of Cracow’s Old Town, hosts a weekly Sunday evening Mass for university students. The liturgy is magnificent:

"Joy is the Infallible Sign of God’s Presence"

It’s perhaps the most touching American tradition in Rome—the tolling of the bells at the Pontifical North American College, high atop the Janiculum Hill overlooking St. Peter’s, when a priest

Obstacles to Christian Unity

In an interview prior to the May meeting of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany, claimed that the papacy is “the principal obstacle” to progress toward

Notes on a Consistory

ROME. Press speculation about the “real” agenda of the extraordinary consistory of the College of Cardinals in May was even more fevered than usual. Every reporter I talked with was

The Pignedoli Principle

In light of the many speculations about papabili after February’s consistory, I am pleased to announce the Pignedoli Principle, to wit: a man’s chances of becoming pope decrease in proportion

The Beauty of the Crucified Lord

GLASGOW. In the decade since I was last here, one thing certainly hasn’t changed: that distinctive Glaswegian accent, almost incomprehensible to the unaccustomed ear. In other ways, though, Glasgow is

The New Eugenics

LONDON. Just before I began to speak to some twenty members of the British House of Commons and House of Lords on the Pope’s analysis of the challenges to twenty-first

Past and Future

From the moment the Great Jubilee of 2000 was announced in the 1994 apostolic letter, Tertio Millennio Adveniente [The Coming Third Millennium], it was clear that, for John Paul II, the

Words for Weddings

Serving weddings was always a prize assignment in pre-conciliar Catholicism, although not necessarily for the noblest of reasons. Assuming a generous groom or best man, serving a wedding may have

Martyrdom Today

As John Paul II has relentlessly reminded the Church for twenty-two years, we live in the greatest age of martyrdom in Christian history. Thanks to Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and

The Problem of the Self-Worshiping Community

In his recently published book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger offers an instructive commentary on the famous scene from Exodus in which the people of Israel fall

Changing the Guard at the U.S. Embassy-Vatican

Ever since formal diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level were established between the United States and the Holy See in 1984, the U.S. government has been represented at the Vatican

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