Commentary by Fr. George Rutler
John Paul II
The early years of his pontificate were an unending round of surprises.
1943 - A Flight from Reality
The Soviets blamed the Nazis, and most of the West preferred to believe them.
1943 - Night Falls over Europe
"The demon of war has been unleashed and brings untold misery..."
1943 - The Ides of March
A somber loss for the Catholics of England.
1943 - Grievances Against the Holy See
Pope Pius XII thought differently.
1943 - Progressive Evil
The modern world provides unlimited prospects for its development.
1943 - Light the Candles
Dark austerity was beginning to lighten a little.
1943 - Lamentations
Today it does not seem long ago at all, and not without present application.
1943 - No Peace at Any Price
"The Holy Father is not the champion of a 'peace at any price.'"
1942 - Ending a Year with No End in Sight
A lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent.
1942 - The Coming of Emmanuel
The days before Christmas were dark.
1942 - State Absolutism
There is a distinction between service to the king and service to God.
1942 - Cloud of Witnesses
The best way to learn a thing is to teach it.
1942 - Lonely Voices
"Must not overlook the serious political injury which may be done to our cause."
1942 - Complicated Loyalties
Orthodox Churches were struggling with disorder.
1942 - Two Crosses Raised against Each Other
Muslims did not like the Allies calling the war a "Christian Crusade."
1942 - No Longer on the Defensive
In the second week of October 1942, Stalingrad was still standing...
1942 - Just Because You're Paranoid
Jesuitism had gained influence and was the strongest weapon of the Church.
1942 - Passing through a Severe Calvary
"I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, but I am not a Judas."
1942 - Life Goes On
So as life went on, not all lives went on.
1942 - An Ugly Amount of Success
For the Allies, the general picture was bleak.
Speaking Well of the Dead
If eulogies are not sensibly stopped, I do hope they will be more precise.
1942 - The Start of a Very Long Summer
Happiness will disappear, and pessimism will carry out the suicide of a nation.
More glaring villains and shining saints than almost any other year.
Crime in Kansas
It is always wrong to do something intrinsically evil...
'Manners Makyth Man'
We are not in a golden age, or even a reduced gilded age, of manners.
Stanley L. Jaki
Avery Cardinal Dulles (1918-2008)
His speechless patience could be heroic...
Pope Pius XII
"A martyr but 'without the nails.'"
Monsignor William B. Smith (1939-2009)
One of the most distinguished careers of any moral theologian.
Richard John Neuhaus, 1936 - 2009
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep..."
Hollywood's ultimate un-Hollywood personality.
A Prime Minister and Two Cardinals
Predicted "mass apostasy" due to lack of preparedness in spiritual combat.
George Edward Lynch
"It might not be too soon to start work on his canonization."
A model of the Council's decrees.
None could have been more curious than his own.
Eric Lionel Mascall
The greatest living 13th-century theologian.
"Always in the sight of all mankind your fame shall be great..."
William F. Buckley Jr.
God, family, and beauty are the core of life.
Maurice Noël Léon Couve de Murville
Knew that he was not indispensable, but as a Christian he knew he was unique.
Dennis Clinton Graham Heiner
Expected to hear nothing but hate...but only heard love.
Dominic Tang Yee-Ming
"The most faithful running-dog of the reactionary Vatican."
"A powerful defender of life, a leading advocate for a strong national defense..."
Erik Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
The 1930s were testing times for faithful Catholics in Austria.
His life would be rattled by lesser men on every side for whom he was not enough.
Hugh Dacre Barrett-Lennard
None could have ended as happily.
William Liguori Nolan
Able to see with eyes closed so many young faces pass by calling him Father.
Mentioned Christ to the Soviet secret police and smuggled Bibles into the Kremlin.
Possibly the smartest bishop in the nation.
Robert Francis Wilberforce
Inherited much of that spark from the most religious and wittiest man in England.
Maria Cristina Marconi
"So run that ye may obtain."
James Charles Risk
Threw off the Calvinism that had shackled his youth and became a Catholic.