Fr. Benedict Kiely

Fr. Benedict Kiely is a contributing editor to Crisis and the magazine's Middle-Eastern correspondent. He's the founder of, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to relieving the persecution of Christians in the Mideast. He is incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

recent articles


Home Behind Home

A home is not the same as a house. You can live or stay in a house and it is not a home. You can possibly live in a house many years and yet it never becomes a home. Home, the ancient expression goes, is where the heart is. While that might have become rather … Read more

Hallowed Be This House

Stand thou for ever among human Houses, House of the Resurrection, House of Birth; House of the rooted hearts and long carouses, Stand, and be famous over all the Earth. — Hilaire Belloc One of the few joys of this year, a year that has proved particularly joyless, happened back at the end of January … Read more

Dickens and America

G. K. Chesterton, that archetypal Englishman—he really could not be imagined as any other nationality—wrote probably the best biography of another quintessential Englishman, Charles Dickens. Chesterton’s biography is so wonderful, and so brimming with insight and understanding of his subject, mainly because he moves thematically through the life of Charles Dickens, rather than year by … Read more

The Radicalism of the Gospel

Looking at social media recently, I saw someone asking for people to explain why they were Christians in five words or less. I was tempted to write three words: “It is true.” Then I remembered the words of the novelist and Catholic convert Walker Percy. When asked why he had converted to Catholicism he answered, … Read more

A Little Oasis of Orthodoxy

Considering a title for this essay, I rather facetiously suggested to my friend, Father Edward Tomlinson, who assisted me with many of the facts for the piece, that I should call it either “Newman’s bums” or “Sacred bottoms.” Father Tomlinson, a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, as am I, is the … Read more

The Lockdown Forty-Nine

That the Church continues to canonize men, women, and children of “heroic virtue,” and to encourage their public veneration by the faithful, is not, however it may seem, the secular equivalent of The X Factor. They are not, in that sense, winners of a spiritual talent show, although we could say with Saint Paul that … Read more

Keep Death Daily Before You

We are now in what is called the “Great Fifty Days” of the Easter Season. As we know, every Sunday is really the celebration of Easter, what the Church calls the “Paschal Sacrifice,” the saving death and resurrection of Christ. During these great fifty days, we are meant to recall and be refocused on the … Read more

Comfort in Stone

For those who know what they are looking for, the journey to the twelfth-century Norman church of St. Mary the Virgin is still something of an adventure. Others—hikers, tourists, or just people who take a wrong turning—come upon the deserted church by accident. The winding country lanes of that part of Kent—the county where St. … Read more

With Burning Concern

Recently the nonagenarian environmentalist, Sir David Attenborough, familiar to viewers of BBC America over many years for his nature shows, warned in bloodcurdling terms that it was almost too late to save the world from the horrors of the “climate crisis.” I remember as a child watching similar warnings during the early 1970s, of the … Read more

Viktor Orbán, Defender of the Faith

Just a day after the second World Conference on Persecuted Christians ended this November in Budapest, Hungary, a “reformed” jihadi terrorist stabbed two innocent people to death in London, before being shot by police. The inability of the liberal secularists, who are at the center of most Western governmental policies and who control most of … Read more

What I Saw on the Road to Damascus

It was not the vision of the Risen Lord that nearly blinded me on the road to Damascus. It was the searing light and clouds of dust thrown up by the unusually hot October, and the fact that my driver believed in natural air conditioning: windows wide open. While it was romantic to imagine I … Read more

We Live in an Age of Martyrs

I have an elderly clerical friend who describes himself as a “martyr to his stomach.” Now, there are many reasons why one might become a martyr, but to bear witness to the needs of the colon seems fairly low on the list. He also goes to the pub and orders his beer in half-pint glasses, … Read more

In Orbán’s Hungary, Christ is King

At the end of the Second World War, the revered crown of St. Stephen, the first Christian monarch of Hungary, was smuggled out of Austria by the U.S. Army to prevent its falling into Soviet hands. It remained at Fort Knox in the United States until it was handed over to the communist government of … Read more

The Paradox of Persecution

It is a widely held belief, at least in these United States, that the greatest preacher of the 20th century in the English language was Fulton J. Sheen. Certainly, Archbishop Sheen was one of the greats—not to mention a pioneer of televangelism. Notwithstanding, the finest preacher of the century was, in fact, an Englishman, Monsignor … Read more

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