Busy Benedict: The Catholic Church in the 21st Century (So Far)

Rebecca Park, Diplomatic Courier


While the end of another decade is little more than a blip in the Catholic Church’s 2,000 year history, plenty happens in a brief span of time. A decade-in-review would be too exhaustive—including the death of the beloved John Paul II, the American priest molestation scandal, and the numerous gaffes of Benedict XVI—but just the past few weeks provide more than enough events and proclamations to inspire reflection on the Church’s role and relevance in the 2010s.

Even without consciously attending to pressing Vatican matters, a basic service like celebrating Christmas Mass attracts the

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New Year, New Diplomacy? A Question of Generational Change

Michele Acuto, Diplomatic Courier


While “the year of diplomacy” winds up—as the Courier highlights in our Winter edition—so does the first decade of the new century. Today, it might be a worthy exercise to look forward not to the coming 12 months and their promises but to the years ahead and their challenges. What of diplomacy in the decades in front of us?

Many in policymaking circles and academia alike would raise more than a few eyebrows here, throwing a grim look at what diplomacy means for an informational age of globalization, rumored civilizational clashes and demising state

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The Green Republic of Iran

Tara Mahtafar, Diplomatic Courier



In June 2009, just six months after the Islamic Republic celebrated its 30th anniversary, the unexpected occurred: Iranians reawakened to political action. Tainted presidential elections sparked a popular movement that now has accelerated in momentum and scope despite the government’s attempts to restore normalcy to the country.   

The past century marked seismic shifts in Iran’s development of a homegrown democracy. This centennial quest spans the 1906 Constitutional revolution that established Asia’s first parliament, the nationalization of oil in 1951, and the 1979 Revolution led by a coalition of leftists, liberals, and Islamists which abolished

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