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    To Isolate and Marginalize: Obama takes Cue from Castro

    by Christian Tappe

    Next week, Pope Benedict XVI will visit Cuba in an effort to repair relations between the country and the Church. Perhaps he should pay a visit to the United States as well. As the Papal visit draws near, there is…

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    The Dark Gulf Before Us

    by Rev. George W. Rutler

    In March of 1938, when the naïve among his contemporaries still thought they might cut a deal with the National Socialists, Winston Churchill saw his country “descending incontinently, fecklessly, the stairway which leads to a dark gulf.” A gulf beckons…

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    Must the Roman Curia be Italian?

    by George Weigel

    Although he’s not very well known in the U.S., save among members of the Sant’Egidio community (of which he’s the founding father), Andrea Riccardi is a major figure in the Catholic Church in Italy: a historian of the papacy, a…

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    The Ecumenical Future

    by George Weigel

    The Evangelical Church in Germany is a theological muddle, being a federation of Lutheran, Prussian Union, and Reformed (or Calvinist) Protestant communities. Still, it must have been a moving moment when the Council of this federation met with Pope Benedict…

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    An Out-of-Touch Pope?

    by Russell Shaw

    Disappointment has been a common reaction from “progressive” sources inside and outside Germany in response to Pope Benedict’s September visit to his homeland. These disappointed progressives say they hoped Benedict would speak a good word for changes that they want…

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    Liar’s Paradox

    by Ralph McInerny

    Logicians have an exercise called “The Liar’s Paradox” which is used to illustrate a number of things. The basic scenario is this: Your ship goes down, and eventually you drift ashore, where you are greeted by a native who informs…

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    Jesus at First Sight

    by Daniel McInerny

    Some years ago, at an excellent high school in Minneapolis, I taught a seminar to junior boys on ancient and early Christian authors. The course began with a full-length reading of Homer’s Iliad, and at Christmas, with the seminar half…

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    What Plato Advises

    by Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.

    During the Labor Day holiday, I read two dialogues of Plato, the “Timaeus” and the “Parmenides.” These are among Plato’s longer and more difficult dialogues — the first about creating the world, and the second about the One. In the…

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    The Wrong Road to Cultural Revolution

    by Wolfgang Grassl

    The title of the sophomoric 1,518-page manifesto is “2083 — A European Declaration of Independence,” and its author, Anders Behring Breivik, is the self-confessed murderer of 93 people by current count. Nothing can justify his Breivik’s cold-blooded brutality, but the…

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    What’s In a Name?

    by Mark P. Shea

    So it appears that Osama bin Laden, in the weeks before his death, was noodling the possibility of rebranding al-Qaeda, since the old name seems to have attracted a bit of bad publicity. I held a brief contest on my…

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    The Pope’s Tweet: The Medium Is the Message

    by Tom Hoopes

    And so, the pope tweeted. What he said far less important than the fact that he tweeted — but what he said is nonetheless revealing. His tweet: “Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With…

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    Modern Insights and Ancient Virtues

    by John Zmirak

    Most of the arguments that occur over Catholic social teaching, made by people ranging from well-intentioned laity to very well-placed clergy, take place in an ignorance of economics so profound that I’m tempted to call it Edenic. I say this…

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    Once in a Century: Remembering John Paul II

    by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

    John Paul II was a man who left an indelible impression. My first personal encounter with him was in Phoenix, Arizona, when he visited the Native American Catholic community during his 1987 trip. As master of ceremonies for the event,…

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    The Children of the Ordinariate

    by Joanna Bogle

    The evening was hot and sultry, the first really warm day of the year. The church was an ugly modern one, with fans whirling in the ceiling in an unsuccessful attempt to keep the heat at bay. But nothing could…

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    How to Train Your Gargoyle

    by John Zmirak

    When we are spiritually weak, God often uses gentle means to draw us to Himself — aware that anything harsher would drive us off. This is one of the most attractive aspects of our divine romancer: that He woos as…

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    Servant of the Servants of God

    by Joanna Bogle

    The statement was pompously worded, expressing regret about what was to follow. Alas, it said, weeping crocodile tears, it gave no pleasure to present this statement to the public, but it had to be done. Pope John Paul II, it…

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    Behind the scenes at the Vatican

    by Margaret Cabaniss

    David Gibson of Commonweal alerts readers to a two-hour special airing on the History Channel tonight, giving a behind-the-scenes look at life in the Vatican and some rare footage of Pope Benedict at home and at work: The show provides…

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    Just War and Libya

    by Margaret Cabaniss

    In his weekly blessing yesterday, Pope Benedict called for an end to the fighting in Libya: “My fear for the safety and well-being of the civilian population is growing, as is my apprehension over how the situation is developing with…

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    What really happened with the birth control commission

    by Zoe Romanowsky

    Germain Grisez, professor emeritus of philosophy and moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s College in Maryland, has released some documents that few in the Church have seen before. According to the Catholic News Agency, Grisez wants to set the record…

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