John Paul II

To See Things As They Are

This piece is a response to Michael Hanby’s essay “The Civic Project of American Christianity” in the February 2015 issue of First Things. For some time now, the cultural crisis

Kowtowing to Moscow is Bad Ecumenism

In his tireless work for Christian unity, St. John Paul II often expressed the hope that Christianity in its third millennium might “breathe again” with its “two lungs”: West and

John Paul and Francis at Yad Vashem

As that familiar parody of bad fiction has it, “it was a dark and stormy night”—March 21, 2000, to be precise—when I made my way from the Jerusalem Hilton to

The First Human Right

Extensive Catholic use of the language of “human rights” begins with Pope St. John XXIII’s 1963 encyclical, Pacem in Terris, but it was Pope St. John Paul II (happily canonized with

Two Popes, Two Saints, One Message

It’s doubtful that Pope Francis is familiar with the signature quote of Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks: “Let’s play two!” But in celebrating today the canonizations of both Pope John

John XXIII and John Paul II

Pope Francis’s bold decisions to canonize Blessed John XXIII without the normal post-beatification miracle, and to link Good Pope John’s canonization ceremony to that of Blessed John Paul II, just

A Soul for All Seasons

In a March 1996 conversation, John Paul II told me, almost wistfully, “They try to understand me from the outside, but I can only be understood from inside.” His tone

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