Pope John Paul II

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Psychological Warfare and Terrorism

In a recent column, I suggested that one of the best ways to fight terrorism is by undermining the terrorist’s ideology. For example, by undercutting the belief that seventy-two virgins await the young martyr in paradise, you simultaneously undermine the will to fight. That’s not to say that the standard method of fighting terrorists—with guns—can [...]

Ecumenism, Rightly Understood

In Tyler Blanski’s recent Crisis article titled “Did the Synod Endorse ‘Lifestyle Ecumenism’?,” he claims that “ecumenists are pluralists when it comes to truth.” In other words, they are relativists, searching for unity without truth. Essentially, Blanski claims that this is “what ecumenism [as such] really is.” The question here isn’t whether ecumenism is sometimes [...]

Media Bias Over Papal Canonizations

The satisfaction and indeed joy that Catholics can derive from the double canonization of Pope-Saints John XXIII and John Paul II cannot be significantly compromised by the objections that some have raised with respect to the Church's action elevating the two of them to the honor of her altars. Still, it was disconcerting, for example, [...]

Oh, White Lady: Faith as a Struggle

Faith has always been a struggle for me. Indeed, throughout my forty-six years of life, very rarely have I ever felt comfortable for any stretch of time with my religion or my religious practices. I readily and rather gleefully abandoned almost any faith and religious observance during my teenage years. I’m not totally sure what [...]

St. John Paul II and the Future of Ukraine

With Divine Providence, nothing is left to chance. On the Sunday of Divine Mercy, the Universal Church recognized what God had already ordained—solemnly declaring Pope John Paul II a saint. Almost twenty-four years earlier, this nascent saint made it possible for my future wife and I to meet in the Eternal City. It was to [...]

John Paul II Set the Barque Back on Course

Why was Pope John Paul canonized this past Sunday not alone but together with Pope John? There is a very good answer to this question: but it is not the one generally being touted by the liberal press, Catholic or secular. Here, for instance, is the often sensible John L Allen, writing in the National [...]

Are Canonizations Based on Papal Infallibility?

A few days previously Catholic Family News published an interview with Italian professor Roberto de Mattei.  The subject of the interview, which one should certainly read before perusing my own thoughts, is on the subject of the upcoming canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.  In particular, de Mattei discusses his concerns regarding [...]

Victory for Life in Colorado

 “It is from the blood of Christ that all draw the strength to commit themselves to promoting life.” — Blessed John Paul II (1995) John Paul’s statement was borne out in a poignant way this week, as men and women across my state, Colorado, spent Holy Week praying and fasting in response to a legislative [...]

Why We Need More Canon Lawyers

We’ve all known administrators who were hired to do a certain job, but when they found they couldn’t do that job, they either tried to do everyone else’s job or else tried to change the job into something else completely.  This problem is not uncommon, for example, among functionaries who do fund-raising for colleges.  They [...]

What Does it Profit a Catholic Politician to Endorse Contraception?

Sometimes pro-life leaders must disagree, as when I read in these pages an expiatory article about Barbara Comstock by Austin Ruse, followed by an endorsement of her candidacy for the U.S. Congress. My difficulty with Comstock, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 10th congressional district, is that she has, in her own words, [...]

Sorry USA Today, Evolution Isn’t “Settled” Science

It's official, ladies and gentlemen! The Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection is no longer a "theory"; it's confirmed science! At least, that's what USA Today would have us think anyway.  In a column entitled "Evolution is Not a Matter of Belief," Tom Krattenmaker proclaims, “As settled science, evolution is not a matter of opinion [...]

Sacrificing Religious Life on the Altar of Egalitarianism

Young Catholics are spurning religious life.  According to the Official Catholic Directory, there were only 1,853 seminarians studying for American religious orders in 2011.  That’s less than half the number of religious seminarians that were studying in 1980 (4,674), and less than one tenth the number that were studying in 1965 (22,230), according to Kenneth [...]

Two Noble Ends of an Authentic Education

The Oracle of Delphi foretold countless fortunes, futures, prophecies and mysteries over many centuries and is the same ancient fount of wisdom who declared Socrates to be the wisest man in the world. A great sign above the entrance to the Temple at Delphi exhorts all who enter her sacred halls to “know thyself,” for [...]

John Paul II’s 1983 Visit to Poland: Anniversary Reflections

It was sixty years ago that the Hungarian émigré historian, John Lukacs, published his first book, The Great Powers and Eastern Europe, a masterful treatment of the subject, whose conclusion, including an elegy on the lost world he left behind, has haunted me for years.   Surveying the wreckage of that shattered and divided world, he [...]

John Paul II’s Definitive Answer to Secular Feminism

St. Paul wrote in his Letter to the Galatians (4:4): “When the time had fully come, God sent forth his son, born of woman"; “Only by the power of the Holy Spirit,” added Pope John Paul II in the apostolic letter Mulieris dignitatem, (one of his very greatest teaching documents, the twenty-fifth anniversary of which [...]

Bl. John Paul II: Shepherd on the Slopes of Mt. Carmel

It seems everyone has his own John Paul II. Even among highly committed Catholics there are many views on the lessons of his papacy. Indeed, he was pope for so long, and did so much in so many spheres, that a full account of his activities is perhaps nearly impossible, especially for those who were [...]

A Throw Away Culture in Reproductive Medicine

The “Brave New World” of genetic manipulation in reproductive medicine has arrived, and its arrival embraces the utilitarian calculation that the death of the innocent is a legitimate means to secure the health of another. Mitochondrial diseases, such as Leigh’s Syndrome and Alpers Disease are passed down from mothers to their children because offspring inherit [...]

A Case of Mistaken (Sexual) Identity

My favorite novel of mistaken identity has always been C. S. Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy. It’s the perfect fairy tale, beginning with a miserable young boy, Shasta, growing up in Calormen, treated like a slave by Arsheesh, the man who he assumes is his father. When one of the lords of Calormen, a [...]

Crisis Co-Founder Celebrates 80th Year with New Memoir

It is a small detail, but a revealing one, as the small details tend to be.  Michael Novak in the final chapter of his personable memoir tells the story of his first meeting with John Paul II.  Friends of Novak know that Wojtyła counted him as his friend too. But somewhat surprisingly they did not [...]

The Beauty of Marriage

He stood on principle. He defended the Church. He refused to act against his conscience. He was stalwart in defense of marriage. And in 1535, the king chopped off his head. Saint Thomas More, whose Feast Day we celebrated on July 6, was an ardent defender of the institution of marriage. Among the most admirable [...]

Should the U.S. be a Catholic Society?

At the close of the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI noted that the Council had displayed an unparalleled desire “to know, to draw near to, to understand, to penetrate, serve and evangelize the society in which she lives.” That desire reflected a constant goal of the Church, to make her message effective by bringing it to men [...]

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