John Paul II

Orthodoxy, State and Society

In a conversation about Russian Orthodoxy some dozen years ago, that famous source who can only be quoted off-the-record, the Senior Vatican Official, said to me, “They only know how

The John Paul II Difference in 1989

Twenty-five years ago, on Jan. 27, 1989, a joint statement from the communist government of Poland, the Solidarity trade union, and the Catholic Church announced a national “Roundtable” to discuss

A Papal Canonization Doubleheader

  I doubt that Pope Francis has heard of Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame shortstop. But like “Mr. Cub,” whose love for baseball led him to exclaim “Let’s play

John Paul II’s Canonization Wasn’t Too Fast

In April 8, 2005, something happened in Rome that hadn’t happened for over 1,400 years: the congregation at a papal funeral Mass spontaneously proclaimed the deceased Pontiff a saint. The

A Chapel of Consequence

CRACOW—The chapel in the archbishop’s residence in Cracow—which everyone calls by its street name, “Franciszkanska 3”—has witnessed a lot of modern Church history. Here, clandestine seminarians watched the city’s heroic

Pacem in Terris’ at 50

In the course of preparing “The End and the Beginning,” the second volume of my biography of John Paul II, I was struck by a historical coincidence that isn’t much

Beyond the Fortnight for Freedom

Kraków, July 4. The sensitivity to local anniversaries in the Catholic liturgical calendar often makes for happy, if coincidental, intersections with the civil calendar. Thus the “Fortnight for Freedom,” a

Catholic “Americanism”

On January 22, 1899, Pope Leo XIII addressed an encyclical letter to Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore and, through him, to the entire Catholic hierarchy of the United States. Entitled

Cardinal Dolan and the New Evangelization

The irrepressibly effervescent personality of Cardinal Timothy Dolan may tempt some to think of the archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as the

The Weakness of Tyranny

Blessed John Paul II loved the Christmas season. Guests in the papal apartment during his pontificate found the seasonal decorations up early in Advent; and, following Polish custom, they stayed

Desperate Churchmice

It’s been a bad three and a half decades for self-styled “progressive” Catholics. First, there was John Paul II, whom many in that camp habitually labeled a charismatic reactionary. Yet

Michael Novak, Founding Father

CRACOW. Twenty years ago, the American Catholic thinker Michael Novak put his head together with his friend Rocco Buttiglione, a distinguished Italian thinker, to see what might be done about

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