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Quick Hits: Portrait of Cardinal Sarah, a Catholic hero of Quebec, Europe's loss of will

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 11, 2016

  • An African prelate who was once the world’s youngest bishop, who was on the “hit list” of a corrupt dictator, who recharges himself with three-day fasts, and who now, from a powerful Vatican post, leads the defense of orthodoxy. Doesn’t that sound like someone you’d like to know better? In the Catholic Herald, Father Mark Drew obliges with a quick portrait of Cardinal Robert Sarah, author of the challenging new book God or Nothing.

  • Another fascinating portrait, of a Canadian politician of the mid-20th century. Paul Comtois, who rose to become lieutenant governor of Quebec, had an intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Father Raymond de Souza explains how the manner of his death makes it possible to think of Paul Comtois — a martyr for the Eucharist.

  • Pierre Manent, the leading political philosopher in France today, reflects on the crisis in Europe and the rise of Islam in a lead essay for the latest issue of First Things. “What to do about our diminished collective capacity is the great political question of Europe,” he says. Europe, he observes, has abandoned its cultural and political heritage, so that today there is no common ground for political action. Thus, Manent says, “‘Islam’ becomes a test of our post-political resolve. It must be accepted without either reservation or question in order to verify that Europe is indeed empty of any national or religious substance that might get in the way of human universality.”

    The challenge, Manent argues, is not to deny Muslims their political rights, but to integrate them into a society that understands its own tradition. “They find their place only within a nation that has the spiritual and intellectual resources to be generous without being complacent.”

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Mar. 11, 2016 5:27 PM ET USA

    Those of us living in France, Germany, and elsewhere have to ask: has it occurred to Pierre Manent that the REAL challenge is integrating into society a group of people who, unless we are very much mistaken, give every indication of not wanting to be integrated at all.