A year under Pope Francis

A year ago today, I was broadcasting from St. Peter’s Square when the new pope’s name was announced — Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. He was unknown to the vast crowd in the piazza, and only slightly less unknown to the broadcasters. No longer. After an exhilarating year, Pope Francis has become the world’s parish priest, with Catholics and non-Catholics alike feeling close to him. Continue reading

Russia’s broken spirit

The nascent revolution in Ukraine and the subsequent invasion of Crimea by Russian forces makes urgent the question of Ukrainian sovereignty and the possibility of liberal democracy in Kyiv, the ancient capital of the Russian people. Yet what is at stake is also the future of Russia and, more particularly, whether Russians might one day achieve in Red Square what their fellow Slavs achieved these past months in Kyiv’s Maidan. Continue reading

The contemptible Messr. Hollande

On Tuesday in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande both rounded on Russia for its malign influence in Syria. Especially given Obama’s disastrous “reset” policy on Russia — the fruits of which include blood on the streets of Kyiv — it was rather late, but nevertheless welcome. For two presidents floundering on the domestic front, a turn to foreign affairs was welcome. Continue reading