SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Mary Kenny

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April 01, 2021
For a century, modern Irish Catholic writers have pushed against their faith 
– and yet drawn on it, too
December 02, 2020
In the US Senate, six pro-life women will serve for the incoming Congress (with a possible seventh, if Kelly Loeffler from Georgia wins a run-off in a second voting round in early January).
November 22, 2020
Are you baffled by the modern world and its alarming transformation of values? I certainly am, but now I’m reading a book which explains so much of what is going on. Douglas Murray’s The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity was published to acclaim last year, and this autumn it came out in paperback.
October 09, 2020
For many years, my aunt Maureen was the organist at a very pretty church in the Dublin suburb of Foxrock (famous now as Samuel Beckett’s birthplace). Our Lady of Perpetual Succour has an attractive Italian-type campanile, and is very fine stonework. And so, on a mild autumn weekday in September, I decided to go there
September 15, 2020
The actress Hilary Swank has said that a woman can be maternal without being a mother – she’s 46 and doesn’t have children – and I totally agree with her. No female educated in convent school harbours the notion that women can only be fulfilled by biological motherhood. Every convent schoolgirl has known nuns who
August 21, 2020
Phyllis Schlafly was a Catholic mother of six children who campaigned against the American Equal Rights Amendment back in the 1970s. So it was a racing certainty that she would be portrayed, in a TV mini-series, as a smarmy hypocrite. And that’s how Cate Blanchett plays her, in Mrs America, currently showing on BBC Two
July 24, 2020
Critical scorn has been poured on a three-part BBC documentary about the principality of Monaco (Monaco – Playground of the Rich, now available on iPlayer). It’s been widely described as a tedious portrait of silly rich people talking drivel. Monaco – once also known as Monte-Carlo – has always attracted a certain amount of disparagement.
July 01, 2020
For some years now, equality between the sexes – or “genders” as we now often say – has been such a strongly held orthodoxy that few dare to challenge it. I am all for equality before the law for everyone, but I don’t believe “equality” should obscure the fact that there are fundamental differences between
May 26, 2020
At the start of what we now call the lockdown, in mid-March (I date it from around St Patrick’s Day, March 17, when all festivities were cancelled) I was inclined to feel rebellious against these restraints on our lives. I disliked not being able to take a train, bus or plane; finding churches closed; seeing
April 09, 2020
It’s surely right that the new emergency field hospital opened in London in the Excel Centre has been called “Nightingale”. Florence Nightingale is just about the most recognisable name in British medical history. “Nightingale” evokes a beautiful songbird, but Florence very nearly didn’t bear that surname at all. Her father’s family name had been “Shore”,
April 02, 2020
Any crisis or emergency brings out different personality traits in different individuals, and it’s interesting to observe family and friends all reacting in diverse ways to the present emergency. One young foodie friend has taken to rising at 5 a.m. to go “foraging” in wild places, collecting all sorts of plants and herbs to add
March 26, 2020
I have followed so many debates and discussions about assisted dying and euthanasia that I had almost begun to get the impression that there was a sort of death-wish among certain sectors of society. We looked with dismay at events in Belgium and the Netherlands where, it seemed, doctors were permitted to end life because
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