SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
C C Pecknold

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May 22, 2019
As Americans hotly debate the state of Alabama’s abortion ban, as well as infanticide laws in New York and Virginia, it’s worth looking to a country which has “sorted out” all these questions. Last May the Irish people repealed their country’s eighth amendment which gave human beings in the womb the same rights as their
May 21, 2019
It’s rare these days to find Catholics who want to enter into public service as Catholics. Most want to be “personally Catholic” and “publicly Liberal.” Wherever the Catholic standard does not agree with the constantly shifting standard of “public reason,” for too many Catholic politicians, their faith loses every time. That’s bad for them, for
May 20, 2019
The Deputy Premier and Interior Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini has said he would like to meet Pope Francis. Salvini is one of Italy’s most conservative Catholics in political office. The secular press rails against him as a “nationalist” because he puts the common good of Italy over the European Union. But Salvini says that
May 17, 2019
Pope Leo XIII’s 1895 encyclical Longinqua, on “Catholicism in America,” begins with effusive praise of the nation. “We highly esteem and love exceedingly the young and vigorous American nation, in which We plainly discern latent forces for the advancement alike of civilization and of Christianity.” What did Pope Leo mean by “latent forces”? Among other
May 16, 2019
Last November, following the Pennsylvania grand jury allegations of episcopal cover-up in clerical abuse cases, the US bishops met in Baltimore hoping to pass a tougher code of conduct that would involve the lay faithful in episcopal accountability. Before they could begin, Cardinal DiNardo had to announce to his brothers that the Holy See did
May 16, 2019
Bishop Barron has just published the fatherly letter on the sexual abuse crisis I’ve been longing to read. He begins with an arresting image of the clerical abuse crisis as a “diabolical masterpiece,” a devilish strategy of seduction and temptation to win the cooperation of priests and bishops in a darkly designed plan to destroy
May 15, 2019
At a London conference this Monday, Sir Roger Scruton gave an illuminating address on why people have need of nations. But what had people talking afterwards was his answer to a different kind of question: whether people have need of universities. During the Q&A, a young conservative who had studied philosophy at Birkbeck College, where
May 14, 2019
America is awash with talk of secularism and socialism, and yet atheism remains unpopular. While the so-called “nones” have surged to a quarter of the population, less than four per cent of Americans describe themselves as atheists — the least favored religious minority in America. You might say that America is such a religious country,
May 13, 2019
Over the weekend, while fathers were finding last minute Mother’s Day gifts, Harvard announced that one of their most celebrated criminal law scholars, Ronald Sullivan, and his wife Stephanie Robinson, who also teaches in the Law School, would not be renewed as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s 12 residential houses on campus.
May 10, 2019
Last November, following the Pennsylvania grand jury allegations of episcopal cover-up in clerical abuse cases, the US bishops met in Baltimore hoping to pass a tougher code of conduct that would involve the lay faithful in episcopal accountability. Before they could begin, Cardinal DiNardo had to announce to his brothers that the Holy See did
May 09, 2019
The whole world was riveted with delight as Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex introduced their newborn son yesterday. The adorable Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is seventh in line to the throne. When his grandfather Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, becomes King, the newborn could become His Royal Highness Prince Archie of
May 08, 2019
Each May some 3,000 scholars descend upon Kalamazoo, Michigan for an annual conference of medieval studies. It’s a kind of jamboree for a wildly diverse group of academics who love their historical subject. It’s not the sort of thing the New York Times usually writes about. Yet just this week, Times reporter Jennifer Schuessler took
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