Charles Coulombe

Charles A. Coulombe is a contributing editor at Crisis and the magazine's European correspondent. He previously served as a columnist for the Catholic Herald of London and a film critic for the National Catholic Register. A celebrated historian, his books include Puritan's Empire and Star-Spangled Crown. He resides in Vienna, Austria and Los Angeles, California.

recent articles

Happy Birthday, America?

As America approaches the 250th anniversary of its birth, few seem interested in celebrating our country.

A Lenten Grail Quest

Ecclesiastical and political conditions make this Lenten season even more penitential, with no promise that anything shall be solved anytime soon.

February: a President and a Pope

The reigns of Ronald Reagan and Pope Benedict XVI resemble one another because both presided over periods of “Restoration” and were followed by a further fall.

Send in the Clowns

Maintaining a sense of humor in light of the depraved and cruel actions of some prelates is a healthy and necessary response for Catholics.

The Good, the Bad, and the Effeminate

Pushing the TLM out of parishes and into gyms is symbolic of what those in charge in the Church wish to do with the Catholic Faith and its adherents—push it out to the margins.

The True Spirit of Scouting

I derived a huge number of benefits from my participation in scouting, but at a time when it has morphed into something unrecognizable, I cannot help but want to muse on what scouting really means.

Pornocracy II: Electric Boogaloo

Pope Francis appears intent in his attempt to divide the loyalties of the Faithful between himself and Pope Benedict XVI, as Stephen VI did with his post-mortem trial of Pope Formosus.

Vatican II and the Political Manichees

Vatican II quite rightly spoke of a “Universal Call to Holiness” and called upon the laity to exercise the apostolate in their particular spheres, which includes the political sphere.

Ultramontanism: A Means Not an End

Ultramontanism itself—the hailing of the reigning pontiff as Supreme Leader of the faithful, whose every utterance must be accepted unquestioningly—is a relatively recent phenomenon in the life of the Church.

In Defense of Monarchy (Guest: Charles Coulombe)

In today’s world, especially in the West, monarchy is looked upon as, at best, a quaint relic of the past, or, at worst, a fundamentally repressive institution. But Catholicism has a deep relationship with monarchy and some Catholics argue it is the best form of government possible. Should Catholics be monarchists?

Why the Ordinariates?

Why did Pope Benedict XVI consider Anglican traditions “a precious gift” and a “treasure to be shared,” considering the Anglican church’s bloody history of schism from Rome?

Danish Flag

Something Wholesome in Denmark

I have always been fascinated by Denmark. The small Scandinavian Kingdom that was once so much larger (it even owned the U.S. Virgin Islands before 1917) first impressed itself on me as a child, when I watched Danny Kaye sing about “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.” The tales of Hans Christian Andersen made an early entrance into … Read more


The Pope’s Blast from the Past

The latest blast from Rome about the Tridentine Mass has roused all sorts of justified reactions. Many bishops—ranging from those concerned about souls to those worried about finances—have found various ways of ignoring it or setting it aside—at least for the moment. The more legal-minded have looked at different aspects, ranging from whether or not … Read more

Three Crosses

Saving the Secular Easter

For those who use as their calendar that great barometer of the year, i.e., the seasonal sales displays in retail stores and supermarkets, the passing of February’s red hearts for St. Valentine’s Day (or green shamrocks a month later for St. Patrick’s) makes way for Easter baskets and egg coloring kits. Indeed, for those of … Read more

Princess and Pope

The Princess and the Pope

Two of the Western World’s most venerable institutions are the Holy See and the British Monarchy. Love them or hate them, between them they encompass a large chunk of religious, cultural, and political history; without them, our world as it is would be unimaginable. At the moment, however, the one is led by an avowed … Read more


The Kids Are All Right

I have to admit many prejudices. I don’t usually read anything recommended by Father James Martin, SJ. I usually avoid the National Catholic Reporter, as forever burned in my memory from one of their articles—by the redoubtable Rosemary Radford Ruether—is the most fatuous line I have ever read: “The recent election of Joseph Ratzinger as … Read more


Inauguration Blues

Despite the deepest hopes of many die-hard Trump supporters that the outgoing president would somehow snatch victory from defeat at the eleventh hour, Joe Biden is to be inaugurated today.  Our second nominally Catholic president shall no doubt wish to ceremonially cloak himself in Kennedy’s mantle; unfortunately for him, both COVID-19 restrictions and the odd … Read more

Stop the Steal

Is Turnabout Fair Play?

The Congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election scheduled for today shows every sign of becoming a real circus. Whether the efforts of the President and his supporters—namely, to undo what is widely considered to have been a spectacularly fraudulent election—will succeed or not will may be known by the time you read these words. … Read more

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