The Corner


Will Saletan has some fun with Catholics who praise Pope John Paul II for continuing to serve as Pope while dying (“showing us an example of holy suffering”) and also praise Pope Benedict XVI for resigning (“what amazing humility”). Yet there isn’t really a contradiction. On many occasions people have multiple options that are incompatible with one another and serve as an opportunity to illustrate different virtues. Pope John Paul II showed the world how to bear a cross. He could not simultaneously teach that lesson and bear witness to the fact that nobody is indispensable, that the allegiance of all Catholics must be to Christ and not the Pope, that the Church endures as the Popes come and go.

It is certainly possible for a faithful Catholic to believe that John Paul II should have handed over the papacy when his health was failing, or that Benedict XVI should not be leaving it now. But there are surely virtues involved in each choice, which should be praised accordingly.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
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