Michael Warren Davis

Michael Warren Davis is a contributing editor of The American Conservative and the author of The Reactionary Mind (Regnery, 2021). He previously served as editor of Crisis Magazine and U.S. editor of the Catholic Herald of London. His next book, After Christendom, will be published by Sophia Institute Press. Follow his Substack newsletter, The Common Man.

recent articles

The Curious Case of Bishop Zhu Baoyu

On May 7, Bishop Joseph Zhu Baoyu of Nanyang died peacefully in his sleep. The 98-year-old prelate is known throughout the world as the oldest person to contract the novel coronavirus and make a full recovery. It was an uplifting tale that brought comfort and hope to millions of Catholics struggling against despair in the … Read more

Christianity Gets Normal

Here’s a rule of thumb: if The New York Times is praising you, you’re doing something wrong. On March 8, the Times ran an article by Tara Isabella Burton called “Christianity Gets Weird.” It’s about an Extremely Online phenomenon called—yes—“Weird Christianity.” According to Ms. Burton, what Weird Christians (like herself) “have in common is that … Read more

In Search of Father Damien

“I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all to Jesus Christ. That is why, in preaching, I say ‘we lepers,’ not, ‘my brethren.’ ” — Saint Damien of Molokai The history of the Church during pandemic is full of saints who were miraculously defended from disease. For instance, the Church invokes Saint … Read more

‘Be Strong, Fear Not’: The Case for Christian Stoicism

“In an age of decadence, the Stoic philosophy held together the civil social order of imperial Rome, and taught thinking men the nature of true freedom, which is not dependent upon swords and laws.” – Russell Kirk Piety Hill is the name given by the late Russell Kirk, the “Father of American Conservatism,”to his ancestral … Read more

The View from Nazareth

“All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.” This passage from Ecclesiastes—about there being a time to be born and a time to die, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather them together, and vanity, and dust—well, it’s pretty grim stuff if you take it … Read more

In Defense of Saint Corona

There are only two kinds of people who seem to relish a national emergency: busybodies and buzzkills. Both take it as their life’s work to prove they know better than the poor hayseed who lives next door. In the middle of March, Catholic news outlets began to report an extraordinary coincidence: not only is there … Read more

The World Must Come to Walsingham

This face, for centuries a memory, Non est species, neque decor, Expressionless, expresses God: it goes Past castled Sion. She knows what God knows, Not Calvary’s Cross nor crib at Bethlehem Now, and the world shall come to Walsingham. Frederick Wilhelmsen called Juan Donoso Cortés the Augustine of the nineteenth century: the chronicler of civilization’s … Read more

Don’t Cancel Easter

Back when I was a Protestant, one of the Catholic Church’s great draws to me was its teaching that it’s actually a sin to skip formal, collective worship on Sunday. In the Episcopal Church, we were very much into the idea that you could honor the Sabbath “in your own way,” and—well, there’s only one … Read more

Celibacy Is a Gift to Priests—and the Laity

Few books have caused so much controversy even before they were published than did From the Depths of Our Hearts, a new defense of clerical celibacy in the Roman Church by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah. On January 14, Benedict’s private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, told the Italian news agency ANSA that, … Read more

Francis vs. the Deep Church

Does the Vatican have a General Directorate for Personnel? This is, perhaps, the most boring question ever posed by a writer in Crisis Magazine. And yet, as we fumble for an answer, we also come a little closer to understanding one of the most confounding papacies in 2,000 years of Christian history. Last Friday, the … Read more

Francis the Luddite

When the late William F. Buckley set out to find a religion editor for National Review, he was careful to choose a Protestant. Though a Catholic himself, Buckley feared that his magazine—by then, already the flaghship of American conservatism—was becoming “too Catholic.” Eventually, he settled on a bombastic Lutheran minister named Richard John Neuhaus. Alas … Read more

Suppress the Legion of Christ

Fr. Marcial Maciel makes Theodore McCarrick look like Barney the Dinosaur in a red mozzetta. The founder of the Legion of Christ sexually assaulted dozens of boys and girls, men and women, who had placed themselves in his care. He had at least four mistresses, whom he kept in lavish apartments paid for by the … Read more

The Pope Is Still Catholic

Yesterday, the Holy Father did something completely unexpected: nothing at all. In his long-awaited exhortation on the Amazon Synod, Querida Amazonia, we find the clearest insight into Pope Francis’s thinking on the vocations crisis, both in the Amazon and across the Western world. His solution is not to do away with clerical celibacy. It is … Read more

The Prophets of Post-Humanism

Andrew Yang is a man ahead of his time. Mark my words: within our lifetime, his ominous-sounding “Freedom Dividend—basically a universal basic income, or UBI—will become a plank of at least one of our two major political parties. And how could it be otherwise? Mr. Yang argues (correctly) that the developed world is going through … Read more

Onward, Catholic Soldiers

I’m ambivalent about that most common pro-life argument: that, because life begins at conception, to abort a pregnancy is to commit murder. That’s not to say I don’t believe it’s true. On the contrary: it’s not only true, it’s obviously true. It’s one of the few points upon which credible scientists and ethicists can agree. … Read more

‘A Crisis of Saints’: An Interview with Archbishop José Horacio Gómez

On November 12, the Most Reverend José Horacio Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. His Excellency graciously granted Crisis his first substantial interview since his election. Your Excellency, some Catholic intellectuals today are questioning whether we Catholics can be loyal citizens of the American republic. They say … Read more

Cardinal Sarah’s Guide to the New Counter-Reformation

In 1577, St. John of the Cross was taken prisoner by a group of Carmelites from Toledo who were opposed to the reforms of the Order he was undertaking with St. Teresa of Ávila. For eight or nine months, he was held in a six-by-ten-foot cell. The ceiling was so low that John (not a … Read more

What Will Francis Choose: ‘Expert’ Opinion or Orthodoxy?

Nobody was under any illusions about the stakes at the Synod on the Amazon. Ostensibly, the synod was convened to help the Pope address concerns about the Amazon in consultation with Amazonian church authorities. It was evident from the very beginning, however, that the synod would serve instead as a staging-ground for progressively-minded bishops to … Read more

SSPX: Back to the Bad Old Days?

“Tomorrow I’m leaving for Mexico,” Bishop Bernard Fellay tells me, “and then on to Cuba.” I balk. “What’s in Cuba?” The question seems to confuse him. “The faithful,” he explains. “They need Confirmation, too.” What’s the SSPX presence in Cuba like? “Small,” he tells me, “and mostly underground. They’re still badly persecuted by the communists.” … Read more

Francis of Assisi: A Saint for Our Age

Like most Catholic schoolboys in the 21st century, I grew up saying the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi more than the Our Father. You know the one: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…” Oh, how I hated it. The prayer seemed to encapsulate everything noisome about liberal religion. It was moral pacifism, … Read more

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