SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020
Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen has written to Pope Francis describing China’s aggression and persecution of religion as “obstacles to peace,” and detailing the Communist regime’s “abuses of power.” “The crux of the issue is that China refuses to relinquish its desire to dominate Taiwan. It continues to undermine Taiwan’s democracy, freedom, and human rights with
January 22, 2020
Young seminarians from Switzerland have been surprised by the powerful global response to their new YouTube channel, accessible in English, through which they teach subscribers to sing Latin chant in the Dominican tradition. The channel, OPChant, publishes one video a week. In each video, the friars sing an ancient chant from the unique musical tradition
January 22, 2020
The Legion of Christ is back in the news, with AP reporting on a gruesome story in Mexico, not only of abuse and cover-up, but also of failure to reform in the wake of revelations regarding the outfit’s founder: a charismatic sociopath called Fr Marcial Maciel. He started the Legion, which served him as a
January 22, 2020
An undergraduate student on a midwife programme was barred from a placement in a hospital, reportedly due to her pro-life beliefs. The decision was overturned last week, but free speech advocates say the case is troubling. According to The Daily Telegraph, Julia Rynkiewicz, a 24-year-old student at the University of Nottingham, was blocked from entering
January 22, 2020
US President Donald Trump has declared January 22 to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day, in a proclamation signed Monday. “On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our Nation proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death,” Trump wrote in the
January 22, 2020
Debate began on a bioethics bill in the French Senate on Tuesday after tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Paris to protest state funding for medically assisted procreation for lesbian couples and single women. “A child is a gift to be received, not an order to be manufactured. The absence of
January 22, 2020
In a homily on Tuesday, Pope Francis condemned priests and bishops who use money to advance their careers. To be a priest or bishop, like being a Christian, is a free and undeserved gift of God, not something to be bought, he said January 21 during Mass in the chapel of the Vatican’s Santa Marta
January 22, 2020
A bishop has offered to mediate between Ireland’s feuding gangs. An Indian archbishop has said he is “terribly shocked” by the desecration of a church in Bangalore. Claims that the Patriarchate of Moscow is seeking primacy in the Orthodox world are untrue, Metropolitan Hilarion has said. Bishop Joseph Strickland says he was “a bit nervous”
January 22, 2020
This six-part documentary series may not seem to be for everyone, yet it brings more to the table than one might initially expect. The target audience seems to be the bored middle class who lack the social conscience to commune with those less fortunate in their own neighbourhoods and would rather spend their free time
January 22, 2020
What do we mean when we use the phrase “human dignity”? For instance, those who advocate “dignity in dying” generally mean something very different from a traditional Christian perspective on what it means to be truly human. Thus, Human Dignity in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition (Bloomsbury), edited by John Loughlin, provides a thoughtful, necessary and scholarly
January 22, 2020
I have been reading Flight from the Brothers Grimm: A European-Australian memoir by Valerie Murray, published in 1916 by Books Unleashed. Valerie is the widow of the Australian poet, Les Murray, who died in April last year and of whom a fellow Australian poet, Clive James, wrote in tribute – with typical Jamesian stylistic flourish
January 22, 2020
What does it mean to state with confidence that you know someone’s disposition at death, especially if he is an avowed and public atheist? This question occurs to me because I have recently read The Faith of Christopher Hitchens by Larry Alex Taunton, published in 2016. The title is slightly misleading – Hitchens was not