SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
C C Pecknold

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October 17, 2019
As a boy, I was fascinated by the kippah a Jewish friend wore upon his head. I did not understand it. Why did he wear it? I never asked. But I always looked, and pondered how much it set him apart. There was a part of me that coveted this small woven dome he wore.
October 15, 2019
At the University of Notre Dame this past Friday Attorney General Barr excoriated “secularists” who were bent on destroying a country which is fundamentally made for a religious people. Taking the defense of religious liberty as his primary theme, Barr began his 4,000-word address by recalling that for the Framer’s of our Constitution, “religion was
October 11, 2019
In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman upon authentication of a first miracle in which a man was healed of an incurable spinal disease by the benefits of the Venerable Newman’s intercessions. Last year, a woman with unstoppable bleeding was cured through the intercessions of the Oxford convert. And so, with two authenticated
October 08, 2019
As a boy I was fascinated by the kippah a Jewish friend wore upon his head. I did not understand it. Why did he wear it? I never asked. But I always looked, and pondered how much it set him apart. There was a part of me that coveted this small woven dome he wore
October 04, 2019
The world saw God in a Dallas Courtroom on Wednesday afternoon. For former police officer, Amber Guyger, who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing an innocent man, it was also a foretaste of the Last Judgment. Botham Jean had been minding his own business, when a distracted off-duty police officer was
October 01, 2019
Increasing numbers of people talk to me about their growing sense of “crisis.” A friend recently wrote, “my standard assumption when everyone starts saying ‘we can’t go on like this’ is that they are right, we can’t.” But if we can’t go on like this, how will we go on? On what will our crisis
September 27, 2019
While all eyes seem transfixed on either judicial usurpations of constitutional monarchy in the United Kingdom, nebulously partisan impeachment proceedings in the United States, or ecclesiologically invalid synods in Germany, I’ve been thinking about yet another institution which seems to be sawing off the branches upon which it sits. On Tuesday, the Vatican’s Secretary of
September 24, 2019
The young aspiring theologian who embarks on the academic study of theology encounters today a bewildering field of study. They may set out to understand their faith better, and perhaps one day come to teach it. But soon they may discover that theology is also about things other than God. They may soon come to
September 20, 2019
In the decades immediately following the Second Vatican Council, there emerged those who saw the council as a progressive break with the past. They were distraught when Paul VI affirmed the Church’s teaching in Humanae Vitae. For the decades that spanned the pontificates of St John Paul II and Benedict XVI, they came to understand
September 19, 2019
In the 1940s, a Jesuit theologian named Henri Bouillard proclaimed that a theology that is not “up to date” is a “false theology”. At such arrogance, the French Dominican Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange pounded his fist and insisted that it’s not eternal truths that should conform to a changing world, but a changeable world that must conform
September 17, 2019
There is something weighty about being “the paper of record,” even if everyone knows that the paper of record leans to the left of the average Democrat. Increasingly, however, The New York Times has been vying for a different kind of status — party broadsheet, first class. Evidence of this new ambition has long been
September 13, 2019
Anyone who has ever studied Augustine’s dispute with Pelagius will know that sometimes people can use a word to mean its opposite. Pelagius used the word ‘grace’ quite frequently, always acknowledging ‘the need for grace.’ As a result, many bishops gave him the benefit of the doubt. Augustine was not so convinced. He relentlessly pursued