SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
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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 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
January 22, 2020
The Catholic Herald
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 21, 2020
The Catholic Herald
Catholic Herald Chairman William Cash led the Herald’s first pilgrimage in October last year along the Via Francigena. The Herald has more pilgrimages planned for the coming year. Stay tuned to learn more. As William wrote in his Diary for the October 18, 2019 issue: Our walk to the Vatican was the Herald’s first such
January 20, 2020
The Catholic Herald
The first time I heard the Holy Name uttered this week was as I stood in a packed bus during my morning commute into Glasgow’s city centre. Like on any other urban transport system, passengers distracted themselves (and others) with wireless headphones, tablets and the day’s edition of The Metro. “God!” exclaimed one woman. “Jesus
January 20, 2020
The Catholic Herald
Plans for popular US chastity speaker Jason Evert to tour multiple schools and venues in Ireland this week faced online uproar and scaremongering that ended in his entire tour being cancelled. Jason was scheduled to speak at multiple schools in the Dublin area, a retreat in University College Dublin, and a number of venues in
January 19, 2020
Christopher Altieri
An embattled senior Vatican official again took to social media on Friday to defend himself from accusations of dishonesty in connection with a book he wrote with another senior churchman on the priesthood and priestly celibacy. The senior official is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal
January 16, 2020
The Catholic Herald
On Sunday, the French newspaper Le Figaro made a startling announcement. The Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had contributed to a book defending priestly celibacy alongside Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship. The 175-page work, which was due to be published in France on January 15, is entitled Des profondeurs de