SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Niall Gooch

November 05, 2020
Current children’s bedtime reading chez Gooch is number seven in the Famous Five series, Five Go Off To Camp. Reading the book, I was struck by one thing in particular: the Five are accompanied on their camping trip by one Mr Luffy, a middle-aged teacher from Dick and Julian’s boarding school who is coming to
October 28, 2020
“I’ve always thought the need to know the news every day is a nervous disorder.” As a recovering news addict, I am fond of this amusing aphorism by the conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott. In particular, I wonder whether we perhaps hear much more news from Rome than is good for us. This may be a
October 22, 2020
In 2005, I worked for the pro-life charity LIFE, students who were sympathetic to us would ask how they could best contribute to the cause. I would suggest three ideas. Firstly, become very wealthy and give lots of the money to pro-life organisations. Secondly, become a scientific researcher or data analyst in order to analyse
October 15, 2020
From tiny acorns, mighty oak trees grow. I am not normally a great one for making New Year’s Resolutions. But I made one this year and it has turned out very well. At the start of 2020, I resolved not to lose weight or finish my novel or learn a new language – although I
October 09, 2020
Last summer a BBC journalist, Jess Brammar, caused a minor stir on Christian Twitter when she posted a short film of a Corpus Christi procession on Oxford Street in London, asking her followers what was going on. It seemed to me to be an honest question, born of genuine curiosity, rather than one of mockery
September 28, 2020
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia had an unlikely, but enduring, friendship. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court on 18th September reminded me that she had been part of one of the most unexpected and delightful friendships that I have ever heard about. The other half was her
September 22, 2020
We need the culture war. You may have seen on social media, or in the papers, some of the fierce debate about the Netflix TV film Cuties. It was released on Netflix in the US and the UK on 9th September, having already been shown in France, where it was made. The film features young
September 22, 2020
We need the culture war. You may have seen on social media, or in the papers, some of the fierce debate about the Netflix TV film Cuties. It was released on Netflix in the US and the UK on 9th September, having already been shown in France, where it was made. The film features young
September 19, 2020
How can Catholics practise patriotism in the UK? I was fascinated and delighted to read in this month’s Herald about the extraordinary finds at Oxburgh Hall, which has for 600 years been home to the Bedingfield family. The Bedingfields (of Norfolk) refused to abandon their faith during the Reformation and spent three centuries ploughing the
September 08, 2020
The concept of Catholic integralism divides opinion. In the world of online Catholicism, one of the big ongoing debates of the moment is about integralism, which is the view that – as Wikipedia helpfully has it – “the Catholic Faith should be the basis of public law and public policy within civil society”. Leading contemporary
September 02, 2020
Is everything a “life issue”?  A little while ago, Fr James Martin SJ made a few waves at the US Democratic Party’s national convention by including an intercession for the unborn child in the prayers he was invited to offer there. This was a courageous and impressive act. The unborn child was just one of
August 25, 2020
The power of social media dictates that people often feel greatness is unattainable.  A few years ago I wrote an article for the Catholic Herald in praise of the film It’s A Wonderful Life. One of the points I made there was that the hero of the film, George Bailey, excelled in the heroism of
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