Unfriendly Skies

The bombing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai was most probably the end result of a stealth jihad operation. That might seem like a strange way of putting it, because we usually think of stealth jihad as something that radical Muslims do to subvert non-Muslim societies. Yet, unless there were already a stealth … Read more

Jesus of Egypt

“Out of Egypt I called my son.” — Hosea 11:1 In the Gospel of Matthew, the advent of the Messiah is followed by an abrupt departure. Almost immediately after the Magi visit them, the Holy Family rushes away to Egypt because Joseph has been warned in a dream that King Herod would kill the infant … Read more

Our Innocents Abroad?

  Friday’s lead stories in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal dealt with what both viewed as a national affront and outrage. Egyptian soldiers, said the Post, “stormed the offices” of three U.S. “democracy-building organizations … in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-led government that could imperil its relations with … Read more

Requiem for the Third See of Christendom

Egypt today is the site of a persecution of the Church on a scale unseen in Western Europe since the darkest days of the French Revolution; the Coptic Church is fighting for its life under vicious and escalating attacks from Muslims. A Muslim Brotherhood government is coming to power that promises to be more hostile. … Read more

Should We Get Realist About the Middle East?

The first round of Egyptian parliamentary elections has taken place, and the winners were two Islamist parties. The Islamists themselves are split between more extreme and more moderate factions, but it is clear that the secularists who dominated the demonstrations and who were the focus of the Arab Spring narrative made a poor showing. Of the three … Read more

And the Winner is… Islam

  For the 30 years since The McLaughlin Group began to run on network television, the Christmas and New Year’s shows have been devoted to the conferring of annual awards. The first award on the Christmas show is “Biggest Winner.” This year, clearly, one of the world’s big winner was — Islam. For this was … Read more

A Note from Good St. Bernard

From time to time, as my wife and I pray the Breviary in the afternoons, we come across a petition that asks the Lord to aid us “in our work of building the earthly city.” I think I know what was in the minds of those who wrote these prayers. The Church must enter fervently … Read more

Second-Guessing the President on Egypt

So here we are, the day we started referring to “Former president Hosni Mubarak,” and I can’t help feeling, with my 20/20 hindsight, that maybe our own president didn’t play things all so well. Truthfully, I haven’t felt very confident in our foreign policy throughout this entire struggle.  I was frankly surprised at the loudly … Read more


BREAKING NEWS: Egypt’s embattled president Hosni Mubarak has stepped down, and Cairo is rejoicing. I wonder what this will mean for Egypt’s Christian population, especially if the Muslim Brotherhood gains in power.

The Mother Teresa of Cairo

The Catholic Herald has a moving profile of one Coptic laywoman in Cairo who has made it her mission to minister to the people who live in the city’s garbage dumps. There are 60,000-70,000 Zabbaleen, or “garbage people,” in Cairo who survive on what they can scrounge in the dumps — children fighting with rats over … Read more

Egypt’s Christians fearful of an uncertain future

The protests in Egypt may continue unabated, but not everyone is so ready to see Hosni Mubarak removed from power. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, many of the nation’s minority Coptic Christians are concerned for their future in an unstable Egypt: Fear of what may follow the removal of Mr. Mubarak, … Read more

The best coverage of protests in Egypt

Hands down, the best coverage of the crisis in Egypt is coming from Al Jazeera English (AJE). I was originally introduced to the news source by an American friend — a conservative Republican and military veteran who has lived and worked in the Middle East for years. “It’s the best news channel in the world,” … Read more

Egypt and the Loss of U.S. Prestige in the Middle East

The upheaval in Egypt appears to be a political revolution in its purest form: a united, non-violent effort against a military dictator from across the spectrum of Egyptian people, including leftists, Christians, Muslims, Arab nationalists, Nasserites, and the Muslim Brotherhood. More than 100 Egyptians have been killed, with thousands more injured, and there has been … Read more

Friday Free-for-All: January 28

Good morning! Time for a few Friday links to get the day rolling: Protests against the president in Egypt are heating up — and so is the pushback from the government and police. There are reports now of Internet and cell connections being cut off (social media sites being one of the only reliable ways … Read more

Pope Benedict makes himself even more popular abroad

Pope Benedict addressed a gathering of diplomats to the Holy See yesterday, urging them to encourage religious freedom in their home countries: The Pope asked the representatives of 178 countries, as well as of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the European Community and the Knights of Malta, to examine how well their own countries respected the … Read more

Egyptian Muslims act as ‘human shields’ at Coptic Christmas Mass

Now this is encouraging: Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had a been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside. From the … Read more

A model for Christian-Muslim dialogue

In the wake of the suicide bombing at a Coptic Christian Church in Egypt on New Year’s Day, which killed 21 people and wounded almost a hundred more, Pope Benedict has called for a second gathering of world religious leaders in Assisi this October to mark the 25th anniversary of the first “World Day of … Read more

Cradle Will Rock

A college friend of mine once jokingly explained that Catholics propagate our faith a little differently from, say, the Jehovah’s Witnesses: “We don’t have to proselytize — we just knock boots!”   Of course, looking at things seriously, the first part isn’t true. Catholics have to do the hard work of evangelization. And unfortunately, the … Read more

Wielding Our Little Tridents

Recently, one of my readers wrote me: Here is a thought I’ve come back to after a time. Understand that I come at this as someone who has a bit of detachment from the idea of “love one’s country,” etc.; not of disdain, or despite of fellow man, but as one who can look hard … Read more

The world’s oldest monastery has been restored

Apologies for my long blog silence. I spent most of last week serving on a jury, and the remainder battling off a life threatening Man Cold. But now I’m done with both, and ready to get back at it. Lucky you. First, here’s a little good news for Christians in the Middle East: The world’s … Read more

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