Magazine March 11, 2013, Issue

Benedict’s Legacy

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (Katie Hosmer)
A brilliant mind, a peerless communicator, an indifferent executive

History will most likely treat Pope Benedict XVI more kindly than his chattering-class contemporaries, who held him in barely disguised (or undisguised) contempt, caricaturing him as a former Hitler Youth become “God’s Rottweiler.” And, truth to tell, Joseph Ratzinger was made for caricature, at least in a culture of narcissism in which the exchange of sound bites passes for conversation, and polemics for serious debate.

An intensely shy, old-fashioned gentleman of deep and broad learning, the only man I have ever met who, when asked a question, paused, reflected, and then answered in complete paragraphs; a man whose life was built

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. His 27th book, The Next Pope: The Office of Peter and a Church in Mission, has just been published by Ignatius Press.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Benedict’s Legacy

History will most likely treat Pope Benedict XVI more kindly than his chattering-class contemporaries, who held him in barely disguised (or undisguised) contempt, caricaturing him as a former Hitler Youth ...

Features

Politics & Policy

USPS, R.I.P.

In 1691, Thomas Neale was given a 21-year concession on postal services in Their Majesties’ prospering American colonies. Neale never set foot in the New World and was an epically ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Take the Noir Pill

Steven Soderbergh has been making movies lately at a pace that feels almost compulsive, and his recent announcement that his latest film will be his last should probably be understood ...
Politics & Policy

The Empty Cradle?

Jonathan Last has just added one more cloud to the darkening sky that many conservatives see on America’s horizon. To growing conservative concerns about an entitlements crisis, fiscal ruin, soft ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

A Fighting Chance In “The Right to Bear Arms and Popular Sovereignty” (February 11), Charles C. W. Cooke reports that the Second Amendment was designed to protect the right of the ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ In a delicate operation, Hugo Chávez was removed from a cancerous tumor. ‐ The 2011 deal to raise the debt ceiling included an across-the-board cut to planned spending on defense ...
The Long View

News Clips from the Past

From the Manchester Poste, January 1774: . . . after a muche learned and complikated discourse, Mr. John Adams of Bostowne took a small breathe, and pursuant to continuing in his ...
Athwart

Put Down the Controller!

We need to have a national conversation about national conversations. There aren’t any guidelines. Do arguments in our heads with people who have different opinions count? Does “conversation” actually mean ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

OAK LEAVES She had a studious-sprightly walk, this wren, this girl ahead of me, she on the way to the brick, and so, to her eyes, alien library, nearly empty that weekend day. She didn’t ...

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