SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Michael Warren Davis

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May 16, 2019
Pro-choice activists have long argued that prayer vigils outside abortion clinics constitute a form of “harassment” towards women who come to terminate their pregnancies. There has been scant evidence of violent or malicious behaviour on the part of pro-lifers. Now, however, we have proof of at least one aggressive demonstration outside a clinic; only the
May 02, 2019
‘The nones have it.” So goes the conventional wisdom on American religiosity. We’re told that those who identify with the faith of “none” – that is, none to speak of – are on the rise. It isn’t atheism so much as apatheism. They don’t care enough about God to actively doubt His existence. But is
April 25, 2019
How do Catholic colleges help to reform the Church in the wake of the latest revelations of clerical sex abuse? Answers vary widely across the hundreds of tertiary institutions that identify with the Faith. Dr Dennis DePerro, the president of Bonaventure University, has taken an unusually proactive tack, calling on his local ordinary, Bishop Richard
April 18, 2019
Thomas Merton looms large in the Catholic imagination as the quintessentially post-Vatican II spiritual writer. That should tell us all we need to know about the extremes of devotion and hostility he continues to elicit half a century after his death. Some call him a hypocrite. A Trappist monk, he travelled the world giving lectures
April 11, 2019
Archbishop Wilton Gregory is not Cardinal Joseph Tobin. For that reason alone, many conservative-minded Catholics will be relieved to learn of his appointment as Archbishop of Washington, DC. After the resignation of Washington’s last archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Tobin was considered the frontrunner to succeed him. That would have made Tobin the chief representative of
April 04, 2019
Vice presidents aren’t usually figures of great political consequence. When he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008, Joe Biden never broke five per cent. And yet, by the time he finished his term as President Barack Obama’s second-in-command, “Uncle Joe” was one of the best-loved figures in the country. Since the death of his
March 29, 2019
It’s (almost) official: Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta will be appointed the next Archbishop of Washington, according to Ed Condon of the Catholic News Agency. The office has technically been vacant since the last archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, resigned in October. Wuerl had been damaged by claims that he covered up sex abuse in his previous diocese
March 28, 2019
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former Archbishop of Washington, was once the most powerful man in the American Church – second, perhaps, only to his predecessor Theodore McCarrick, who has since been exposed as a serial predator. But in October, Cardinal Wuerl resigned, after after a grand jury report alleged that he had reassigned paedophile priests
March 28, 2019
There are some wounds that time simply doesn’t heal. One of them is the twinge of resentment Catholics feel at the sight of Canterbury Cathedral. The spectacular “mother church” of the Anglican Communion was once, in fact, the seat of English Catholicism. The cathedral was even home to a Benedictine monastery. That all changed, of
March 21, 2019
If an American diocese granted permission for the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) to celebrate nuptial Masses within their territory, you might assume a reasonably well-informed layman would hear something about it. Yet, unless you read the Archdiocese of New Orleans’s newspaper, it probably slipped your notice. On March 9, the Clarion Herald published
March 14, 2019
When the Obama administration tried to mandate that employers provide contraceptives as part of their health benefits package, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, declared that this would leave Catholics with only two choices: either to drop health coverage, or to violate their consciences. And the latter was unthinkable: “We cannot – we will
March 14, 2019
The Holy Father is anything but a techie. He admits to not knowing how to use a computer and encourages parents to forbid smartphones at the dinner table. Nevertheless, Pope Francis has granted audiences to more big tech magnates than most leaders of major world powers. In January 2016, Francis met Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt.