SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Matthew Schmitz

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November 08, 2018
Visiting the Eternal City feels like a kind of homecoming
November 08, 2018
When I return to Rome, I feel a foolish mixture of excitement and pride, as though the city belongs to me. Or rather, as though I belong to it. Every visit is a kind of homecoming. Like the fields and pastures of my father’s farm, its territory makes a claim on me. It reminds me
October 25, 2018
Grace Kelly took the route of assimilation. Hayworth remained exotic
October 25, 2018
If one were to tell the story of Catholic America in the 20th century, one could do worse than contrast the careers of Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth. Both were Catholic girls who became Hollywood royalty and married actual princes – but their personas could not have been more different. Grace Kelly embodied a perfectly
October 12, 2018
Progressive bishops want to replace 'rigid' codes and speak of sexuality 'without taboo'. How very bourgeois
October 11, 2018
When Pope Francis was elected five years ago, he announced that he wanted to build a “poor Church for the poor”. At the Synod on Youth taking place this month in Rome, a different kind of Church is coming into being: one that caters to the bourgeoisie. Journalists often suggest that the election of an
September 27, 2018
The Vatican's agreement with Beijing signifies the abandonment of Vatican II's political vision
September 27, 2018
Last week, the Vatican signed a concordat with a totalitarian regime. The Chinese government, which has harassed and tortured millions of Christians, will now have a role in selecting Catholic bishops. The agreement is provisional and the details are vague, but that much is clear. Whatever one makes of the deal, it inarguably constitutes a
September 13, 2018
High-minded members of the professional class disdain the sport, but they miss the point
September 13, 2018
Football is a great sport – so great that fans of other games have stolen its name, as if they could thereby borrow its splendour and glory. I am talking, of course, about American football, that brutal game played by 11 men on the gridiron, except in depopulated small towns where Americans unwilling to let
August 30, 2018
In upholding immutable truths, the ultramontanists of the 19th century were the true progressives
August 30, 2018
It is distressing to contemplate how much influence journalists have on Catholic life, but in truth this has long been the case. The furious exchanges among writers at First Things, Commonweal, La Civiltà Cattolica and the Catholic Herald have their precedents in the 19th century, when Louis Veuillot defied the Archbishop of Paris in the