SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Matthew Schmitz

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May 24, 2018
For the past year, the Castel Romano Designer Outlet 12 miles south of Rome has been the site of a battle over the Sabbath. Its owner, the McArthur Glen Group, operates outlet malls in nine nations and prides itself on its “long-established heritage of drawing inspiration from regional architecture, building materials and traditions” – which
May 10, 2018
Cardinal Marx criticised Bavaria's move to put crosses in public buildings – but many others disagreed
May 09, 2018
Believe it or not, Christianity is returning to the centre of public life. In Poland, Christ has been crowned as king. In Hungary, the Holy Crown of St Stephen has been moved to the Parliament building and enshrined in a new constitution. In the US, Trump won his campaign in part by asserting that Americans
April 26, 2018
Beyoncé’s performance at Coachella shows 'liberation' is now achieved through conformity
April 26, 2018
People dismayed by Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 got what they wanted last week when Beyoncé took the stage at the Coachella music festival in California: a rich woman flanked by men in uniform and exploding rockets, singing the praises of “leaning in”, diversity and sexual freedom. As an image of imperial neoliberalism – that
March 29, 2018
Ross Douthat's book examines the deepest divisions in the Catholic Church
March 29, 2018
To Change the Church by Ross Douthat, Simon & Schuster, 256pp, £19 When Amoris Laetitia was published in 2016, few anticipated how deeply it would divide the Church, how endless the controversy would be. Amid all the scandal and chaos, one fact has become clear. Though John Paul II and Benedict XVI stabilised the Church
December 22, 2017
Eric Rohmer, a devout Catholic, saw film as a '20th-century cathedral'. He made a sublime Christmas movie, too
December 21, 2017
While thrilling art-house audiences with his urbane, witty films, Éric Rohmer attended Mass each Sunday at the Church of St Medard, subscribed to the royalist weekly La Nation française, and kept up his membership in the Louisquatorziens, a group devoted to the genius of the Sun King. Publicly, he was one of the leading directors of
August 31, 2017
Young Catholics feel they have been denied their inheritance. Where do they go from here?
August 31, 2017
Last week, in a speech to Italian liturgists, Pope Francis appeared to set in stone the liturgical changes that came at the time of Vatican II. “After this magisterium, after this long journey,” he said, “we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.” Liberal commentators celebrated his comments
July 27, 2017
The Pope's advisors have taken aim at US Christianity. Here's why this matters