The Romans Have Taken the Lord (Again)

“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t not know where they have laid him.” Such were the words, as recorded in the Gospel of John, of Mary Magdalene when she ran up to Simon Peter and John after she had gone to venerate the body of Jesus and found the tomb … Read more

Arrivederci, Roma

  Will popular democracy bring down the New World Order? A fair question. For Western peoples are growing increasingly reluctant to accept the sacrifices that the elites are imposing upon them to preserve that New World Order. Political support for TARP, to rescue the financial system after the Lehman Brothers collapse, is being held against … Read more

A Victory for Religious Freedom

Religious belief, and Christianity in particular, has found an unlikely ally in the debate over the proper public place of Europe’s Christian heritage: the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. In a closely watched decision, the Grand Chamber overruled a 2009 lower court decision, Lautsi v. Italy, and determined that public schools … Read more

It’s Time to Get Rid of the Drinking Age

I had my first taste of alcohol on vacation with my parents when I was eight years old. We had just sat down to dinner at a restaurant in Rome, and the waiter came as usual to pour wine for my parents. To my surprise, he didn’t pass over my glass. As I looked at … Read more

Should you let your kids drink at home?

An article in the Wall Street Journal examines the debate over whether parents should let children drink alcohol at home. Not surprisingly, both parents and experts differ. According to a 2009 survey, 86 percent of American youths have used alcohol by the age of 21. (This number actually seems a little low to me.)  The … Read more

What’s in a name? A lot, according to the pope.

On Sunday, as he baptized 21 infants in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged parents to give their children Christian names. He said this was “an unequivocal sign that the Holy Spirit gives a rebirth to people in the womb of the Church.” The Italian media then warned parents about not using names from … Read more

Viva Criminalità, Viva Italia

Strange. I don’t feel like a criminal. But Mark Twain, in his newly released Autobiography (published, as he wished, a century after his death), says, “I believe that the trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama, is the most degraded of all trades, and that it has no real value.” Well, there goes … Read more

On Dark Places

Recently, I encountered an online discussion among Catholic converts and Protestants that strayed into the topic of the St. Joseph house-selling kit. It was meant to be a sort of “gotcha!” moment for Catholics defending the cult of the saints. While I have no intention of going into the arguments concerning this particular practice, I … Read more

Eat, Pray, Love & Embracing the Beautiful

The excerpt below is from Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love,” which was recently made into a film starring Julia Roberts.  I haven’t read the book, but someone showed me this passage, and I must say I was strongly impressed by it.  I’m sure there are many “religious despisers of beauty,” as I have called them, … Read more

Fun with stereotypes

Bulgarian artist Yanko Tsvetkov is getting lots of attention for his “Mapping Stereotypes” project — various maps of Europe according to different countries’ real feelings about their neighbors. Here’s Europe according to the U.S.: Seems about right: What else is Ireland good for if not giving us St. Patrick? (Guinness, maybe.) And the further east … Read more

The eVatican

As a highly-if-not-quite-exclusively visual person, this story from the University of Villanova really caught my attention: A team from Villanova University has made touring the Sistine Chapel a reality with just the simple click of a mouse. For the last two years, students and faculty from Villanova have been granted rare clearance to photograph some … Read more

The Mass, brought to you by Steve Jobs

How would you feel about an iPad on the altar? Thanks to Father Paolo Padrini — the developer of the iBreviary app for the iPhone, and now an app for the iPad that contains the entire Roman missal — we may be seeing it sometime soon: Padrini, a consultant with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for … Read more

Vatican establishes ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’

This, I think, is a great idea: The Vatican is planning a new initiative to reach out to atheists and agnostics in an attempt to improve the church’s relationship with non-believers. Pope Benedict XVI has ordered officials to create a new foundation where atheists will be encouraged to meet and debate with some of the … Read more

On this Memorial Day, I find my thoughts turning to memories of my father, Jack W. Hudson. He served during World War II as the captain of a “Liberator,” the B-24 heavy bomber.  Here he is with his crew (top right) — all of whom came back to the US alive. He only told me … Read more

My Father, the B-24 Captain, and His Crew

On this Memorial Day, I find my thoughts turning to memories of my father, Jack W. Hudson. He served during World War II as the captain of a “Liberator,” the B-24 heavy bomber.  Here he is with his crew (top right) — all of whom came back to the US alive. He only told me … Read more

Paging Major Toht…

A historian at the Italian Montevergine monastery says that Adolf Hitler’s interest in religious artifacts apparently extended to the Shroud of Turin: Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler hatched a plot to steal the Shroud of Turin but was thwarted by a handful of plucky Benedictine monks, it was reported today. Hitler dispatched aides to swipe the … Read more

Pompeii snack bar reopens for business

Good news for the hungry tourists of Pompeii: Vetutius Placidus’ snack bar is reopening after extensive renovations. This being Italy, the work took almost 1900 years. Three hundred specially invited guests are to taste the delights of Roman fast food in the thermopolium (that’s snack bar to you and me) in a special ceremony to … Read more

United from Above

   “Religion is divisive,” we Christians hear from our secularist critics, and have heard from them since that night of totalitarian cravings called the Enlightenment descended upon Europe from Paris to Prussia. “It needs to be kept in check, relegated to the closet, for the sake of a decent and civil society.”   Yet exactly … Read more

Cicero, Catiline, and the American Left

One of the unfortunate byproducts of the fact that, for many years now, nobody has studied Latin in school is this: Hardly anybody remembers Cicero and the conspiracy of Catiline. If we could remember this, it would be helpful in thinking about what those on the American Right call “enhanced interrogation” and those on the … Read more

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