Magazine March 11, 2013, Issue

The Scholar Popes

(Associated Press)
How John Paul II and Benedict XVI changed their office

In the days since Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will step down at the end of February, speculation about his successor has obsessed about nationality, race, and geography. Are we about to see the first African pope? Or the first American one?

The answer to that second question is probably “No.” The Catholic Church is a worldwide institution with European roots and a population increasingly drawn from the “global South” (what used to be called the “Third World”). Both Europe and the global South think that the United States controls enough of the world as it is. This sentiment can

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

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

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 ...
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 ...

Sections

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 ...
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 ...

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