International Affairs

The Silly Season

In Britain, journalists call August “the silly season” because, with Parliament in recess and its members retired to their constituencies or the grouse moor, political stories tend to be trivial

Scotland the Brave…and Pagan?

Sailing back to Mallaig from the “little isles” of Eigg and Muck, with the craggy peaks of Skye’s Black Cuillins filling the horizon, it’s easy to have a Brigadoon moment

No Tears for Fidel, Please

News that Fidel Castro may be dead or dying has elicited a variety of sentiments, including an odd grief tinged with an even odder respect. My first reaction, on hearing

The China Syndrome

The recent decision by China’s government-sponsored Patriotic Catholic Association [PCA] to ordain and install bishops whose nominations had not been approved by the Pope has, according to press reports, put

Tales From the Vienna Woods

During a conversation in Cracow last July, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, OP, the archbishop of Vienna, proposed that he and I organize a conference to discuss the growing gap between America

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

Fighting the New Slavery

I first noticed the new slavery on the outskirts of Rome. There, along the back roads of the periferia, you could see today’s slaves: African women, mostly, with a scattering

Beyond Nostalgia in Poland

In late July, the Polish Parliament created a new national holiday, “John Paul II Day,” to be celebrated every October 16, the anniversary of Karol Wojtyla’s election as the 264th

Europe: Back to the Drawing Boards

The 70,000-word European constitutional treaty signed in Rome last October was a monstrosity. According to the eminent international legal scholar J.H.H. Weiler, constitutions should do three things: they should define

The Spiritual Malaise That Haunts Europe

America’s “Europe problem” and Europe’s “America problem” have been debated for years. The debate is usually framed in terms of policy differences: over prosecuting the war on terrorism; over the

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

Is Europe Dying?

America’s “Europe problem” and Europe’s “America problem” have been staple topics of transatlantic debate for the past several years. Political leaders, media commentators, and businessmen usually discuss those problems in

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