George Weigel

Some Bishops have broken ranks to defend Paul Ryan's budget. Here's what they get wrong about Catholic teaching:

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To hear some people tell it, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan virtually endorsed GOP Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget last week. “Paul Ryan Gets Boost From Catholic Bishops,” read a Politico headline, recounting the release of letters Ryan and Dolan had exchanged. “Dolan Blesses Ryan Budget,” lamented one liberal website. But Archbishop Dolan, who was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) last November, did no such thing.

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The Courage To Apologize

Michael Sean Winters frequently writes for The New Republic on the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI, who is turning out to be a far cry from the draconian enforcer of orthodoxy that some had feared, drew an important distinction the other day when he was taking questions from reporters on his flight to the U.S.

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Monday, October 9 Dear Damon, On your blog, which you've recently shut down, you posted links to two diametrically opposed reviews of your new book, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. One, by Adrian Wooldridge in The New York Times, calls your tone "admirably restrained, dispassionate and scholarly when it could so easily have been rank and recriminatory." The other, by Commonweal Editor Paul Baumann, accuses you of being "exaggerated and alarmist," not to mention "tendentious" and "frequently cartoonish" in your portrait of your former compatriots on the religious right.

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Correspondence

Icky Pop NIALL FERGUSON AND SAMUEL J. Abrams claim that anti-immigrant feeling in Europe stems from an illiberal, racist, and xenophobic populism that is especially pronounced in countries where people "most strongly support the proposition that immigrants should embrace the culture of their adoptive countries" ("Pop Up," June 19). Is that an unreasonable expectation? Aren't there elements of Muslim culture that, in the interest of liberal values, Europeans should not be prepared to welcome? Polygamy? Female circumcision? Honor killings of women in cases of adultery and rape?

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Without a Doubt

CATHOLIC MATTERS: CONFUSION, CONTROVERSY, AND THE SPLENDOR OF TRUTH By Richard John Neuhaus (Basic Books, 272 pp., $25)   Liberal modernity exasperates traditional religion. It fosters a pluralism that denies any one faith the power to organize the whole of social life. It teaches that public authorities must submit to the consent of those over whom they aspire to rule, thereby undermining the legitimacy of all forms of absolutism. It employs the systematic skepticism of the scientific method to settle important questions of public policy.

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