Category: Web Watch

Patrick’s clear sense of mission not on parade

Anybody watching St Patrick’s Day festivities with a thoughtful eye last weekend must have wondered what exactly was being celebrated. Was it Irishness? Maybe so, but that’s missing the point of the day in spectacular fashion: St Patrick’s Day is, after all, a celebration of the gift that Patrick and other missionaries brought to Ireland,…

Learning lessons about our bodies

St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body isn’t just about sex. That might seem unlikely to those who’ve only ever encountered specific introductions to the late Pope’s biggest area of catechesis, or who’ve only ever heard caricatures of the late Pope’s teaching, but it’s important to understand for all that. Emily Stimpson at thecatholictable.com…

If you read one thing online today, read this

Samizdat, before the fall of the Iron Curtain, was the name given to the clandestine copying and distribution of banned literature; in David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel Infinite Jest, however, it means something very different, a captivating film, also called ‘the Entertainment’, that saps wills and paralyses viewers, leaving them unable to tear their eyes…

What is Church without children?

Should young children be allowed in Church? Too many have commented on this question in recent times to skate through them here, but it’s been a big debate on the Catholic internet, with serious questions being raised about what actually happens at Mass, what we believe Mass is about and about whether a Church without…

Cultivating a healthy sense of online scepticism

“Wherever there is animal worship, there is human sacrifice,” declared the @GKCdaily Twitter account just last week, causing me to wonder whether the English author GK Chesterton ever said that. Sure, it sounds like something he would have said, but it also seems far too handy a quote for what some are dubbing ‘Veganuary’, and…

When spiritual warfare means spiritual war crimes

The very first Web Watch I wrote highlighted an unusual site, thenewemangelization.com, about “drawing men to Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church” and running an interview with Cardinal Raymond Burke, who claimed the Church has become too feminised, with “the goodness and importance” of men being obscured. Catholicism does tend to be practiced more assiduously…

Battling myths of clerical abuse

With the abuse crisis continuing to rock the Church at its highest levels, some thoughtful material is starting to be produced online grappling with the issues of abuse and concealment. Commonwealmagazine.org has published one of the most insightful and impassioned pieces in James Heaney’s article ‘Our myth, their lie’. “Ten years ago, I believed a…

Accusations heap pressure on a stressed Church

“The Catholic Church is facing its most serious crisis in 500 years.” So, at any rate, claims Villanova University’s Prof. Massimo Faggioli in an article for the prestigious Foreign Affairs magazine entitled ‘The Catholic Church’s biggest crisis since the Reformation’. In an unusual move, the article can be read at foreignaffairs.com without registration, which at…