Declan Leary

Mr. Leary is associate editor of The American Conservative.

recent articles

The Meaning of Viktor Orbán

On Holy Saturday, 1921, leaving his exile in the Swiss Alps, King Charles IV of Hungary discreetly entered Budapest by way of Szombathely with a falsified Spanish passport. He had come to reclaim his throne. The regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, had sworn fealty to the Habsburg king three years before at Schönbrunn Palace. Now, under … Read more

Bishop Mark Seitz

The USCCB Immigration Stance Does More Harm Than Good

Though the politics of the USCCB are rather more complex than we are often led to believe, there is at least one issue on which the bishops’ conference is reliably (and disastrously) left-wing: immigration. Who can forget the image of El Paso’s Bishop Mark Seitz physically escorting a family of five Honduran nationals across the … Read more

Elderly

Pushing the Elderly Out of Sight

It is both an underappreciated detail and a morbid irony that, as it celebrates the presidential inauguration of a man nearing his ninth decade on earth, the American Left shows more scorn than ever for the elderly and old age. Take, for instance, Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and the brother of Obama’s White House chief … Read more

USCCB

The USCCB’s Ill-Considered Anti-Racism

On the few occasions that the USCCB has, as a body, decided to publicly criticize now-President Joe Biden for his more egregious rejections of Church teaching, a reminder has always been included that the bishops eagerly look forward to working with the new administration on those issues in which Biden’s politics do not contradict (or, … Read more

Cupich Gomez

Cupich/Gómez Spat Reveals Divide in USCCB

Cardinal Cupich was not happy on Wednesday. He probably should have been; after all, the end of the Trump presidency was supposed to be a joyous day for denizens of the Left like Cupich. But the celebration was spoiled for the most vocal of the USCCB’s left-wing bishops because of a statement issued by USCCB … Read more

Trump Suspended

The Deplatforming of America

For a moment as brief as it was recent, the prospects of Catholics in the American public square looked better than they ever had. Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic mother, was nominated and confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. Attorney General William Barr was speaking frequently about the place of people of faith—and … Read more

Towards a New Counter-Revolution

I was in Boston on the weekend the Associated Press, and other esteemed arbiters of American democracy (Fox News, CNN, et cetera, et cetera,) preemptively declared Joseph R. Biden, Jr.—nominal son of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and of the Roman Catholic Church—the forty-sixth President of the United States. You’d think the Patriots had just won the Super … Read more

A Very Modern Mystic

When Saint Lawrence was thirty-three and a deacon in Rome, the prefect of the city’s secular government demanded the treasure of the Church be handed over; the saint brought forth the city’s poor. The prefect didn’t like that much, and ordered Lawrence burned on a gridiron. After he had been held over the fire for … Read more

Myles Standish, the Catholic Pilgrim

Amid an otherwise estimable analysis of the Pilgrims’ early years and legacy, Christopher Caldwell makes a common mistake in the Claremont Review of Books, describing Myles Standish not just as “brave, erudite, underhanded, and so diminutive that he was known (though not to his face) as Captain Shrimp”—all true—but as “a secular mercenary” to boot. … Read more

The McCarrick Report Is Worse Than We Thought

The professed intent of the McCarrick Report, released yesterday after much delay, is to shed some light on just how this man managed to rise to such status and power within the Church, all while his habit of sexual abuse were known to so many of his brother-bishops. In another time, in other circumstances, that … Read more

Xi’s Mandate of Heaven: Rewriting the Bible

What do Xi Jinping and Thomas Jefferson have in common? There may be a hundred interesting answers (which you can consider at your leisure), but as yet there is one that is both fairly substantial and sufficiently documented: both men set out to rewrite the Bible. Jefferson’s project—initially undertaken while president of the United States—was … Read more

Xi’s Pope

As expected, the Holy See has announced an extension of its provisional agreement with the People’s Republic of China, concerning the appointment of bishops. Under the controversial agreement, episcopal candidates will be recommended to the Holy See by the Chinese Communist Party, then approved and appointed by the Holy Father. The plan’s experimental phase will … Read more

Biden Is Bad on Everything

In a mid-September webinar on “The Church and Catholic Voters in the 2020 Election,” Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, weighed in on a question often asked these days: Can a Catholic vote for Joe Biden? Cardinal Tobin, long a stalwart of the U.S. Church’s liberal wing, dissented from the reigning consensus. “I think … Read more

Yes, Biden Is Catholic. That’s the Problem

Joe Biden is Catholic. This is, apparently, a controversial take these days. Picking up on the political utility of the label—a much needed counterbalance to the radical and secular spirit that has overtaken the party at large—the Biden campaign has been hammering home “Joe’s Catholic roots” in a last-ditch effort to retain those voters who … Read more

‘Catholics for Biden’ Is a Bad Joke

Catholics for Biden held its national kickoff call on the evening of Thursday, September 3. It was, predictably, an hour-long attempt to make us all forget that the candidate is implicit in—and his party is devoted to—the vilest crime ever perpetrated against humanity. It was a less than brilliant exercise in misdirection. The distraction was … Read more

The Fishwrap Goes Down the Rabbit Hole

From time to time the better angels of my nature are overcome and, submitting to that most vicious of temptations, I click through to an article in the National Catholic Reporter (which Father John Zuhlsdorf affectionately refers to as the National Catholic Fishwrap). Such was the malign, some may say demonic, influence that brought me, sometime last … Read more

Reclaim Hagia Sophia

The world’s most famous church goes up in flames. Some look on in shock and anguish. Some are quietly cheered to watch it go, some not so quietly. Some are too busy to notice—there is a great deal else going on these days. As the fire licks the building’s crest, the terrified, the hopeful, and … Read more

Does 2020 Matter Anymore?

As anno domini 2020 limps into another month, we are all bound to hear a thousand times, “I can’t believe it’s June already!” (or some slight variation thereof.) We heard it in May, and in April before that. This is one of the strangest side effects of the coronavirus crisis: it has wrecked our sense … Read more

This Isn’t Our First Plague

Christendom has seen a plague or two in its day. On more than one occasion a worse pestilence than that which we now face has plunged the West into chaos, or brought it to a grinding halt. In every extraordinary time, however, the Church has remained semper idem and has remained, at the very least, … Read more

There Is No ‘Catholic Vote’

Nearly half a century ago, L. Brent Bozell, Jr., and the editors of Triumph did some math. The editors in “The Catholic Vote” (1974) and Bozell in “Toward a Catholic Realpolitik” (1975) observed that Catholics, if unified, would be the most powerful voting bloc in the country and, in fact, the entire world. It’s a fairly … Read more

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