The Corner

Weigel: ‘Stupidity’ at the Vatican


Over on the homepage, George Weigel has a scorching denunciation of the Vatican’s decision to shut down the press conferences held by American cardinals: “It was a remarkably woodenheaded move, even by recent Vatican-communications standards. The American press conferences were the one regular venue for developing good news stories about the Church; that venue has now been closed.” Weigel is right. There’s a lot at stake in this conclave process: The Vatican is drastically in need of reform, and this particular story is an especially pointed example of what’s wrong. At its heart, religion is mysterious; that is an inescapable truth. But when Vatican officials, even some among them who may have good intentions, add to it phony, trumped-up layers of mystification and lack of transparency — what  Weigel refers to as “baroque evasions and obfuscations” and, even more pungently, “baloney” and “stupidity” — the result is only to strengthen secular-minded people in their suspicion that the whole thing is highly imaginative nonsense.

In short: The management of the Catholic Church’s head office is currently bringing the cause of religion into disrepute. Church reformers this month have the opportunity of a lifetime to try to set things right. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More