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Interview with George Weigel: A Big Week for Catholics in America


“Catholicism is a very tangible business — it’s about seeing and hearing, touching and tasting and smelling as much as it’s about texts and arguments and ideas,” George Weigel writes in Letters to a Young Catholic, “The Revised and Expanded Edition of a Modern Spiritual Classic.”

Weigel, distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of two books on John Paul II, talks about the book and the pope’s visit. — Kathryn Jean Lopez

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: You quote your late friend Cardinal Francis George of Chicago commenting to you: “Do you realize that we’re going to have to spend the rest of our lives trying to convince people that suffering and death are good for you?” Has that panned out?

GEORGE WEIGEL: Not very well. The flight from self-mastery, suffering, and death itself has continued, although the latter two now take the form of seeking death through the ersatz compassion of euthanasia.

LOPEZ: Can Pope Francis being here help us any on this and other fronts?

WEIGEL: If he summons the United States to a new level of moral seriousness, and a new depth of spiritual renewal, he will.

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