George Weigel


George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian and one of America's leading public intellectuals. A native of Baltimore, he was educated at St. Mary's Seminary College in his native city, and at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto.


In 1984-85 Weigel was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. There, he wrote “Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace” (Oxford University Press, 1987).


Weigel is the author or editor of nineteen other books, including “The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism” (Oxford, 1992); “The Truth of Catholicism: Ten Controversies Explored” (HarperCollins, 2001); “The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church” (Basic Books, 2002); “Letters to a Young Catholic” (Basic, 2004); “The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God” (Basic, 2005); “God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church” (HarperCollins, 2005); “Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism” (Doubleday, 2007); and “Against the Grain: Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace” (Crossroad, 2008).


Let’s not make a least this deal
Apr 26 2017
The only Church unity worthy of the name is unity within the full symphony of Catholic truth.

Persuasive disciples, not anarchic disrupters
Mar 16 2017
In today’s deeply divided America, the public debate is too often being framed by those who substitute invective for argument while demonstrating a visceral contempt for normal democratic political and legal process.

Christmas and the divine proximity
Dec 22 2016
God is Emmanuel, God-with-us, in the midst of our lives, not outside them.

Catholicism embodied: “The Pivotal Players”
Nov 14 2016
There are important things to be learned from each of these God-touched human personalities for the challenges Catholicism faces in the post-modern world of the twenty-first century.

Catholicism’s empty quarter
Sep 09 2016
Québec, once home to legions of confessors of the faith, badly needs such men and women again.

Trump, Kaine and more illusions
Aug 03 2016
American Catholics for whom the noun, not the adjective, is determinative are thus faced with a brutal fact: our deeply wounded political culture has produced two impossible options in the 2016 Republican and Democratic tickets.

Still misreading Vatican II
Oct 22 2013
From his present location in the communion of saints, Jesuit Father John Courtney Murray, who died in 1967, is probably indifferent to the various ways his work on Catholicism and American democracy is misconstrued in the 21st century.

Future of pro-life cause
Oct 03 2012
“It’s the economy, stupid!” – James Carville’s memorable note-to-self during the 1992 presidential race – will be the determining factor in the 2012 campaign, according to the common wisdom.

Religious freedom: Not just Pakistan and China
Mar 22 2012
Thirty-some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time on religious freedom issues: which meant, in those simpler days, trying to pry Lithuanian priests and nuns out of Perm Camp 36 and other GULAG islands. Had you told me in 1982 that one of my “clients,” the Jesuit Sigitas Tamkevicius, would be archbishop of Kaunas in a free Lithuania in 2012, I would have thought you a bit optimistic. If you had also told me, back then, that there would eventually be serious religious freedom problems in the United States, I would have thought you a bit mad.

The cardinal Down Under
Feb 09 2012
George Weigel writes about his visit with Father George Pell, the cardinal archbishop of Sydney.

Ireland should look at Baltimore history
Dec 08 2011
Catholicism is in crisis all over Old Europe. Nowhere is that crisis more pronounced than in Ireland, where clerical corruption and disastrous episcopal leadership have collided with rank political expediency and a rabidly anticlerical media to produce a perfect storm of ecclesiastical meltdown. The country whose constitution begins “In the name of the Most Holy Trinity…” is now thoroughly post-Christian. And while there has been no one cause of that radical secularization, the church in Ireland had best look to itself, its sins, its errors and its unbecoming alliance with political power as it considers how to begin anew.

Father Barron’s ‘Catholicism’
Sep 29 2011
In the fall of 1972, a group of us, philosophy majors all, approached our dean of studies, Father Bob Evers, with a request: Under the supervision of a faculty member, could we build a two-credit senior seminar in our last college semester around Kenneth Clark’s BBC series, “Civilization,” which had been shown on American public television. Father Evers agreed, and we had a ball. “Civilization” was the perfect way to finish a serious undergraduate liberal arts education; it brought together ideas, art, architecture and history in a visually compelling synthesis of the history of western culture that respected Catholicism’s role in shaping the West.

The gentlemanly art of the insult
Sep 15 2011
One of the (many) signs of our cultural decline is that verbal insults, these days, are almost invariably scatological or sexual, provoking a blizzard of asterisks whenever A wants to put the smackdown on B. Once upon a time, it was not so.

Martyrdom in Pakistan
Aug 25 2011
Sixty-four years ago, on Aug. 14, 1947, Great Britain’s empire in the Indian subcontinent was divided into the independent, self-governing Dominions of India and Pakistan. The division of the subcontinent into two states was bitterly opposed by the Indian Congress Party and Winston Churchill, but supported by the Muslim League (with Congress, one of the two major pro-independence parties in the British Raj) and the Attlee government, which had displaced Churchill in 1945. Congress proposed power-sharing plans that would hold the subcontinent together as a political unit; they were all rejected by the leader of the Muslim League, a Scotch-drinking, pork-eating, and rather secular lawyer named Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The church and the unions
Mar 24 2011
Judging by the impassioned commentary from some Catholic quarters during recent confrontations between unionized public-sector workers and state governments, you’d think we were back in 1919, with the church defending the rights of wage slaves laboring in sweat shops under draconian working conditions. That would hardly seem to be the circumstances of, say, unionized American public school teachers who make handsome salaries with generous health and pension benefits, work for nine months of the year, and are virtually impossible to fire even if they commit felonies. I don’t think those were the kinds of workers Leo XIII had in mind in “Rerum Novarum,” or John Paul II in “Laborem Exercens.”