Germany

A Nation That Can’t Forgive Is Doomed

On October 2, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murdering Botham Jean in his own home. Guyger claims she entered Jean’s apartment by accident (she lived on the floor above) and, mistaking him for a burglar, shot him dead. Jean was eating a bowl of ice cream. Following Guyger’s sentencing, Jean’s 18-year-old [...]

What Kind of ‘Believers’?

This past June I was in the Munich area for four days, giving a public lecture on Evangelical Catholicism and doing a lot of media interviews. My hosts were exceptionally gracious, but it was also obvious that the Catholic Church in what was once Germany’s most intensely Catholic region is in terrible shape. The numbers [...]

Looking Down on Africa

No better example of a tendency of the most famous to be most quickly forgotten, is Albert Schweitzer. He lived ninety glorious years as theologian, musician, missionary, physician, and ranked at the top of each. His Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 was almost an afterthought, for by then he was what Blessed Teresa of Calcutta [...]

Nosferatu and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is the earliest adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula coming as it did just over 20 years after the novel’s publication in 1897. In some ways, however, that’s where any similarity ends. Book and subsequent film emerge from different worlds and through different mediums. In both good appears to triumph, and [...]

“Un-deporting” Homeschoolers: Thanks for Nothing?

So, the Obama Administration has decided not to deport the Romeike family after all. You may recall that the Romeikes are the Christian family from Germany that sought to homeschool their children in their homeland. The German government sent the equivalent of a SWAT team to “save” the Romeike children from the horrors of Christian [...]

St. Boniface, Apostle Among Pagans

St. Boniface had it all: natural brilliance, formidable powers of persuasion, and unstoppable energy and resolve. He could have had a great career and high status in society, but this saintly man wanted something very different: nothing for himself and everything for Christ and His Church. Although St. Boniface’s era (the seventh and eighth centuries [...]

Orgel, Orgel Über Alles: How the German Organist Put His Foot Down

Along the same tributary of Lethe which bears such narcoleptic headlines as “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative”, “Trade: A Two-Way Street”, “Surprises Unlikely in Indiana,” and “Funniest Man in Luxembourg”, there surely floats the banner “Fascinating Book on Organ Music.” The sad truth is that organists – ex officio as it were – tend to subsist at [...]

Life Worthy of Living

This is the last of Fr. Rutler's columns on World War II. In future weeks, look forward to excerpts from his classic A Crisis of Saints, and short pastor's reflections from his weekly bulletin at Our Saviour's Church in the Holy City.   June  of 1943 marked a new high point in the war between [...]

Why “Invent” the Palestinians?

This month, in Amman, Jordan, Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators met for their first time in 15 months to try to restart the “peace process.” Meanwhile, the Palestinian group that rules in Gaza, Hamas, has repeated its declaration: "The battle for the liberation of Jerusalem is closer than ever and, God willing, we will win." [...]

Putin and Stalin: Revising Reality

  Editor's Note: Steve Chapman is on vacation. The following column was originally published in September 2007. In most countries, the future is impossible to predict, but the past doesn't change. In Russia, it's just the opposite. President Vladimir Putin, when he is not busy restoring autocracy to a country that has known little else, [...]

1943: The Diplomats’ Battle

As Foreign Minister, and Viceroy of India before that, Lord Edward Halifax was the preferred choice of the Conservative Party and the King to succeed Chamberlain as Prime Minister, but he knew he was no match for Churchill and did not press his case. In this he showed an altruism which was commonly admired, notwithstanding [...]

A Misguiding Note from the Vatican

The recent Note issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, "Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority," has liberals jubilant and conservatives apoplectic with its call “to create some form of global monetary management” (Sec. 4). This Note is a compilation of papal Social Teaching [...]

Dissenting Catholics’ Modernity Problem

Judging from the hundreds of thousands of Germans who attended and watched Pope Benedict XVI’s September trip to his homeland (not to mention the tsunami of commentaries sparked by his Bundestag address), the pope’s visit was -- once again -- a success. And, once again, it was also an occasion for self-identified dissenting Catholics to [...]

The Ecumenical Future

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 XVI last month in the chapter hall of the former Augustinian priory at Erfurt: the [...]

An Out-of-Touch Pope?

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 in the Church, and he didn’t. Here, then, was an opportunity lost. “A number of [...]

Who is mein bruder?

I read an interesting article in Time today about Germany and the economic powerhouse it has become.  Their exports are high, unemployment is down to 6.9% and their GDP rose 3.6% in 2010.  They have recovered from the economic recession that swallowed Europe and their future is bright. What bothered me in the article was the view [...]

Oktoberfest

I grow old (but shall not wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled), and my interest in Anton Bruckner's music deepens with time because it speaks of the timeless. His Symphony No. 8 is one of the summits of music that endeavors to make the transcendent perceptible. In it you will hear the swirl and [...]

It’s too late for ‘multicultural’ Europe

On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the latest European politician to declare the end of multiculturalism. She was blunt: "Immigrants should learn to speak German," she said. "We kidded ourselves a while, we said: 'They won't stay, some time they will be gone,' but this isn't reality. And of course, the approach [to build] [...]

Pope Benedict: ‘The world needs priests…until the end of time’

Pope Benedict released a letter to seminarians today, encouraging them in their vocation. It starts with an incredible story from his youth in Nazi Germany, explaining why priests are so desperately needed -- "today, tomorrow, and always": When in December 1944 I was drafted for military service, the company commander asked each of us what [...]

1943: Lamentations

On the first day of the new year, in anticipation of his declaration of "Total War" twelve days later, Adolf Hitler had decided to make better use of manpower, weapons, and armor-plating by scrapping the High Seas Fleet. On January 3, Canadian troops landed in North Africa, one week before the Soviet Red Army entered [...]

1943: No Peace at Any Price

Germany had tried to suborn neutral countries with a dramatization of the war on the Russian front as a crusade against godless Communism. A new ambassador to Madrid was appointed with the intent of persuading Spain that the Nazis were the last defense of Catholic Europe. The former minister to Spain, Eberhard von Stohrer, had [...]

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