Pope Pius XI

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come

“Waiting for the Barbarians,” Constantine Cavafy’s poem about civilizational collapse, describes a geriatric Rome so desiccated and demoralized that it is almost entirely without hope. It has roused itself on one failing elbow to grasp at a last chance for regeneration—the barbarian hordes rumored to be approaching, doubtless to sack and burn, but perhaps also … Read more

The Fifties: Catholic Paradise Lost?

Memory is a tricky thing, and historical memory can be trickier. For example, to many Catholic Americans, the 1950s look like a golden age of innocence, when life—especially church life—looked like a series of Norman Rockwell and Harold Anderson illustrations. As with all such reminiscences, it is not entirely inaccurate. Certainly America’s Catholics benefited alongside … Read more

An Encyclical on Islam?

It was heartening to hear Pope Francis denounce the Armenian genocide even though he knew it would incur the anger of the Turkish government (which denies the genocide charge). Dr. Lawrence Franklin, who was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, took the occasion as an opportunity to pen an article suggesting the … Read more

Reactions to the Pope’s Encyclical on Contraception

It is interesting now to look back at the various reactions when the pope issued his encyclical on contraception. I dug up the following, and I think they pretty much speak for themselves. It is hardly necessary to add any comments at all except to say how little things have changed. A leader from an … Read more

Painting Catholicism with a Fascist Brush

David I. Kertzer’s Mussolini and the Pope illustrates the mindset that led me to write a book on antifascist obsessions. If we accept the axiom that no form of anti-fascist enthusiasm goes unrewarded, then it is understandable why Kertzer, a history professor at Brown University, received a Pulitzer Prize for his latest book—and the additional honor … Read more

Cardinal Pie and the Social Kingship of Christ

Near the close of the year 1925, Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Quas Primas, introducing the Feast of Christ the King.  By the celebration of this feast, it was thought that the teaching on Christ’s Social Kingship would more perfectly permeate the minds of men.  Among other things, attacking the increasing secularism in social … Read more

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