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George Weigel

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George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Opinions expressed are the writers' and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.

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The humanitarian and strategic disaster of Syria should focus Catholic minds on the hard fact that there is no easy or quick path to peace in the Middle East, a very dangerous part of the world where Christians of all persuasions are at daily risk of their lives.

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Chesterton’s rollicking humor, which bound both friend and foe to him, was not a quirk of personality. It was an expression of his Christian faith, hope and love.

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Russell Shaw has become the bull in the china shop of U.S. Catholic history, knocking heroes off pedestals and overturning conventional story-lines.

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It was a brief greeting to former colleagues. But if you read Pope Francis’s April 18 letter to the Argentine bishops’ conference closely, you get a glimpse of the man, his convictions and his vision.

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The recent papal interregnum and conclave underscored the importance of re-forming, and reforming, the College of Cardinals.

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Certain ritual encounters have now become standard operating procedure for a new pope. In each of these meetings, Pope Francis has done something surprising, in his low-key, gentle way.

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In a Sistine Chapel homily, given to the cardinals who had elected him pope the evening before, the new bishop of Rome, reflecting on the dialogue between Jesus and Peter at Caesarea Philippi (Matt 16:13-25), challenged those who had just laid a great cross on his shoulders to deepen their own commitment to Christ crucified.

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When Pope Francis stepped out onto the central loggia of St. Peter’s on the night of March 13, I thought of the man I had met in his Buenos Aires office 10 months before.

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Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the obvious, leading candidate to succeed John Paul II. There is no such clear frontrunner in 2013.

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Joseph Ratzinger proved himself a man of surprises. What did he accomplish, and what was left undone, over a pontificate of almost eight years?

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