SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Comment
January 23, 2020
The Catholic Herald
It is more than 20 years since a pope set foot in India. In 1999, an ailing Pope John Paul II made what reporters called a “tense” visit to the capital, New Delhi. The 79-year-old pontiff made a strong defence of religious freedom during his 62-hour trip. “In the dusk of his two-decade papacy,” wrote
January 23, 2020
Christopher R. Altieri
I overslept on Monday. I had been working all weekend, but that’s no excuse. It was a school day, and there was lunch to pack for my daughter. In order to do that, I needed some of the things sitting in the sink and soaking. So I found myself pressed for time, and hastily reciting
January 23, 2020
The Catholic Herald
What can the Church do to better serve the indigenous peoples of Amazonia? And what can she learn from Amazonian spirituality? These questions have been much discussed in light of last year’s Amazon synod, but often with little understanding of the spiritual concerns of the people in question. Enthusiasts for the synod see it as
January 23, 2020
Bishop Robert Barron
I saw the film 1917 on the vigil of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and I think there’s a connection between the movie and the liturgical celebration. Bear with me. First, as everyone who has seen 1917 remarks, the editing and cinematography are so astounding that it appears to unfold completely in
January 23, 2020
Paolo Gambi
Andrea Riccardi is the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio, an influential lay association active in more than 70 countries. He has been a history professor for many decades and served as minister for international cooperation without portfolio in Italy’s Monti Cabinet (2011-2013). In 2017 it was rumoured that Pope Francis planned to name him
January 23, 2020
The Catholic Herald
Alarm bells ring for Iraqi Christians SIR – I concur with John Pontifex’s views in his accurate but disturbing article “Caught in the middle” (Cover story, January 17). Being of Iraqi origin myself, I try to keep up with news concerning our remaining ancient Christians of Iraq. They are in a very precarious position indeed.
January 23, 2020
Melanie McDonagh
Graveyards are, for those of a sombre bent, a useful way of reflecting on mortality. And the older they are, the better, though there’s an awful melancholy in the number of little graves of children in these places: “died young”, they say with heartbreaking brevity on gravestones in my home cemetery. But being buried in
January 22, 2020
Francis Phillips
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
January 22, 2020
Francis Phillips
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
Francis Phillips
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
The Catholic Herald
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
Christopher R. Altieri
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
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