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The Last Counter-Reformation Pope

When he was elected as Paul VI just 50 years ago, Giovanni Battista Montini seemed the perfectly prepared pope. He was the son of a middle-class family of Italian professionals

The Last Laugh of Alfredo Ottaviani

Despite his humble origins as a baker’s son from Trastevere, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, longtime curial head of the Holy Office (“successor to the Inquisition,” in journalese) and scourge of the nouvelle

Remembering Max Kampelman

Some twenty-three years ago, Ambassador Max Kampelman—former nuclear arms reduction negotiator with the Soviet Union and Counselor to the Department of State—decided that I needed a bit of diplomatic experience and

Benedict XVI: Master Preacher

Pope Benedict XVI once observed, wryly, that one clear sign of the Church’s divine origins was that faithful Catholics kept coming to Mass despite hearing dreadful preaching, Sunday after Sunday.

WFB Today

Bill Buckley had that essential (but rare) element of leadership that involves energizing others. Like few other men I have known, his very presence charged up the atmosphere, got brain

The Legacy of Benedict XVI

At his election in 2005, some thought of him as a papal place-keeper: a man who would keep the Chair of Peter warm for a few years until a younger

The Madness of Dick Durbin

In his 1960 book We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition (which remains, happily, in print), Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray raised a cautionary flag about the American

Remembering Earl Weaver, and Thinking of Homer

Given the divine sense of humor, the reception committee appointed to meet Earl Weaver, the Hall of Fame manager of the Baltimore Orioles during their dynasty years — yes, Virginia,

Charles W. Colson, R.I.P.

Back in the days when Chuck Colson was willing to run over his grandmother for Richard Nixon, I would have happily done the same to Mr. Colson. Well, that was

Pugin at 200

The prospect of “redecorating,” or any other form of “home improvement,” generally gets me thinking, quickly, about a lengthy research trip abroad. Yet I can, and recently did, spend several

Ryan vs. Georgetown

There is snobbery, and then there is academic snobbery. Snobbery is often instinctual and inadvertent, and if it's cruel, it's the cruelty of the unthinking. Academic snobbery is deliberately cutting,

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