Karol Wojtyla

The Coming Pandemonium

In ten years, when you think back to the year 2020, which name will come to mind? Maybe it will be Donald Trump or Joseph Biden. Maybe it will be George Floyd or Rayshard Brooks. For me, I’m afraid, it will be Joseph D. Rosenbaum. A video recorded during the Kenosha protests shows Mr. Rosenbaum—a [...]

Germain Grisez’s Defense of Orthodox Faith

Germain Gabriel Grisez, 88, died February 1, 2018. Philosophy and Catholic theology in the United States lost a giant in his passing. After Karol Wojtyła, I probably owe my greatest intellectual debt to Germain Grisez and the late William May and their work in ethics/moral theology. Their work in defense of Catholic teaching on sexual [...]

Christianity: An Antidote to Tyranny

Like all modern tyrants, Karl Marx hated religion, Christianity in particular, because he understood that it was going to be very difficult if not impossible to get men to follow him so long as they continued to follow Jesus Christ, and so the first thing an aspiring tyrant in the middle of Christian Europe needed [...]

Benedict’s Intellectual Mentors and Students

Henri de Lubac famously said of Hans Urs von Balthasar that he was the most cultured man in Europe of his time (1905-1988).  Von Balthasar grew up in a family where everyone spoke at least four languages and had a high level of musical education.  His father was a Church architect, his mother was in [...]

Vatican II: A Hermeneutic of Continuity or Reform?

Cardinal Kurt Koch who is the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity recently gave an interview in which he remarked that Pope Benedict prefers to call his approach to the Second Vatican Council not a “hermeneutic of continuity” but a “hermeneutic of reform.” The expression using the word “continuity” rather than “reform” [...]

Once in a Century: Remembering John Paul II

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, I met the Holy Father on the stage and held the book of prayers for [...]

Remembering Pope John Paul II

Strange as it may seem, I've been vaguely worried about the beatification on May 1 of a man with whom I was in close conversation for over a decade and to the writing of whose biography I dedicated 15 years of my own life. My worries don't have to do with allegations of a "rushed" [...]

The Bonds of Friendship

Great biographical memoirs can arise from lucky coincidence: familial bonds, old school ties, or professional postings allow the narrator unrivalled access to his famous subject. Dark secrets, character insights, and historical footnotes enlarge and challenge the readers' understanding.   A Life with Karol: My Forty-Year Friendship with the Man Who Became Pope Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, [...]

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