John Paul beatification highlights dysfunctional monarchy

Within a two-day period this week, contrasting monarchical spectacles will compete for billions of TV viewers. The first will involve a likely future king's wedding; the second, the beatification of a supreme pontiff.

Many will enjoy the glamour of Kate and Will's English royal wedding as a revolution that long ago replaced a once unaccountable British monarchy with a more benign parliamentary monarchy. By contrast, many have expressed deep reservations and concern about the second ceremony, a pageant aimed at brightening a dead pope's memory by adding spiritual acclaim.

New birth control commission papers reveal Vatican's hand


Germain Grisez, a retired moral philosophy professor who worked as an aide to a member of the papal birth control commission in the 1960s, appears to be trying to revise Vatican history with the revelation of new documents dealing with the workings of the commission.

However, the documents, apparently without intention, reveal how a powerful Vatican official, working closely with Pope Paul VI, privately maintained a close control of the process and results of the commission’s work.