SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Jeff Cimmino

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January 16, 2020
The American drone strike that killed an Iranian general on January 3 prompted calls for peace from Catholic leaders in the US, and a debate about the ethics of using drones in warfare. “We must pray urgently that our world’s leaders will pursue dialogue and seek peace,” said Archbishop José Gómez, president of the US
January 09, 2020
Thousands of young Catholics descended on Phoenix, Arizona, last week for a conference hosted by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), serving as a sign of hope amid an extended period of malaise in American Catholicism. From December 30 to January 3, the Student Leadership Summit brought together Catholics from across the country for
July 18, 2019
My friend Benjamin Brazzel’s journey to the Catholic Church almost began in a mosque. He was invited there by a friend, and was struck by the corporal nature and liturgical structure of the worship. It followed a clear direction which required worshippers to employ their bodies to kneel, stand, and thus fully engage themselves in prayer.
June 27, 2019
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC is treating visitors to a special exhibit of Jacopo Tintoretto’s works in celebration of the Venetian painter’s 500th birthday. Housed in around half a dozen rooms, the paintings span Tintoretto’s career. The second room contains a piece from about 1562, The Deposition of Christ. Christ has been
December 20, 2018
A controversy has erupted on American airwaves: Should Frank Loesser’s Christmas classic, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, be banned by radio stations? Those in favour of banning the song claim it promotes date rape, with the male singer refusing to accept a woman’s reasons for wanting to go home. Defenders argue that it’s just a light-hearted,
December 13, 2018
A visitor to the Illinois state capitol will find three holiday displays curiously juxtaposed: a Christmas tree, a menorah, and “an apple upheld by an arm which has been encircled by a snake” bearing the phrase “Knowledge is the greatest gift” on its base. According to the Catholic News Agency, that third display was put
December 06, 2018
Friar Alejandro Arias is a 22-year-old Conventual Franciscan who is in formation to be a Franciscan Brother. Originally from Colombia, Friar Alejandro began painting around the age of 12. Ten years later, and despite no formal training, he presented one of his works to the Habsburg family. “You don’t paint an icon: you write the story of
November 29, 2018
This February, the leaders of national bishops’ conferences from across the global Church will meet in Rome to discuss solutions to the sex abuse crisis. Last week Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, German Jesuit Fr Hans Zollner and Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai to serve on the
November 22, 2018
Last week’s meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore was almost derailed after the Vatican issued a directive prohibiting votes on two key agenda items. Yet despite the meeting’s shortcomings, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo insisted it was “a sign of hope” for him. The gathering also raised further questions about whether Cardinal
November 15, 2018
After months of speculation about a possible “blue wave”, the 2018 midterm elections delivered a mixed verdict on President Donald Trump’s first two years in office. For Catholic and pro-life voters, the results offer both disappointment and reason for hope. Democratic gains in the House of Representatives will likely preclude the passage of any significant