The Dispatch

The Next Pope and Vatican Diplomacy

July 22, 2020 George Weigel 16

During a short papal flight from Boston to New York on October 2, 1979, Father Jan Schotte (later a cardinal but then a low-ranking curial official) discovered that Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, the Vatican’s Secretary of […]

History’s View of Vatican II
The Dispatch

The Next Pope and Vatican II

July 15, 2020 George Weigel 35

Polemics about the Second Vatican Council continue to bedevil the global Catholic conversation. Some Catholics, often found in the moribund local Churches of western Europe, claim that the Council’s “spirit” has never been implemented (although […]

The Dispatch

Books for the Summer of Our Discontent

July 1, 2020 George Weigel 8

These past few months, I expect many folks have found themselves resorting to the page and the lamp more often; may that literary trend continue long after our public health circumstances change! Since plague time […]

The Dispatch

The biases of a Royal Commission

June 17, 2020 George Weigel 11

A brief dip into Latin helps us understand how preconceptions can lead to biased judgments that falsify history — as they did when an Australian Royal Commission on sexual abuse recently impugned the integrity of […]


Audrey Donnithorne: Woman of Valor

June 12, 2020 George Weigel 7

The first two sentences of Audrey Donnithorne’s autobiography, China in Life’s Foreground, suggest something of her character, independence of mind, and dry sense of humor: I am an Overseas Brit and a Sichuan country girl. […]

The Dispatch

The Vatican’s Choice: Jimmy Lai or Xi Jinping?

June 3, 2020 George Weigel 4

In mid-May, Chinese leader Xi Jinping unveiled a plan to bypass Hong Kong’s legislature and impose draconian new “national security” laws on the former British colony. Putatively intended to defend Hong Kong from “secessionists,” “terrorists,” […]