Category: Web Watch

Who guards the guardians?

It’s a common observation among informed Christians – regardless of their branch of the Christian family – that when it comes to covering religion, the mass media is embarrassingly out of its depth. Genuine mastery of the subject is rare, which is one reason why John Allen being hired by The Boston Globe in 2014…

Following in faithful footsteps

Catholic debate has revolved around a literal life-and-death issue since Pope Francis’ declaration last week that the death penalty is “contrary to the Gospel” and should be abolished. As usual, it’s always better to read the Pope’s own words in full – for example at en.radiovaticana.va – than to get embroiled in others’ comments, but…

Correcting the correctors, not for the first time

The pseudo-traditionalist website rorate-caeli.blogspot.com has become perhaps stranger than ever in the aftermath of the much-ballyhooed ‘filial correction’ of Pope Francis. It’s getting attention, as Roberto de Mattei says on the site, though it’s hard to justify his claim that it’s had an “extraordinary impact”, even if it’s been widely reported even in Russia and…

Societies and souls need more than the freedom of the market

Ever since Pope Leo XIII issued Rerum Novarum in 1891, the Church’s social teaching has commonly been seen as favouring a carefully qualified form of capitalism, of sorts perhaps best expressed in the Rhenish capitalisms of Christian democrat Germany and Holland, or even in social democrat societies. Catholic advocates of less restrained capitalist models, however, have long…

Converts, critics and clerical errors

Online debate over converts in the Church, addressed in The Irish Catholic in the August 3 article ‘Late labourers can do vital work’, shows no sign of going away. Joseph Shaw, who blogs at lmschairman.org, posted on Twitter an interesting passage from Joseph Pearce’s book Literary Converts, detailing how the converts Arnold Lunn and Frank…

A prophetic warning of the risks of social media

One of the strangest sights in social media in recent times has seen Cambridge classicist Prof. Mary Beard being mocked by the US-based essayist and risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb over her  supposed inability to handle evidence relating to the ethnic diversity of Roman Britain. The minutiae of the argument go a bit beyond this…

Silly season on the Catholic internet turns up on time

It’s been a strange month for online Catholic news. July 1 saw Pope Francis informing Cardinal Gerhard Müller that he would not be renewing his tenure as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church’s doctrinal watchdog. Readers may recall his public disagreement with Irish child protection advocate Marie Collins in…

Test Acts and modern politics

The dust hasn’t yet settled from the UK general election, and debate across Britain is febrile over the wisdom and propriety of Theresa May’s Conservatives placing themselves in debt to the DUP. Astonishingly and – one might think –  irresponsibly, the controversy is but rarely over whether Britain’s governing party should be beholden to the…

Nuncio’s transfer causes conjecture and intrigue

‘Ireland’s Outcast’ was the headline on the front page of last week’s Catholic Herald, prominently and admirably flagged across social media ahead of publication as is usual. Below the headline was a picture of Ireland’s then outgoing papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, and the tagline: ‘The nation’s respected nuncio has been sent to Albania. Jon…