Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • November 26th, 2012The Future of Citizenshipby Pavel Chichikov

    The other day I read a story on the BBC web site about a student in Texas who has refused to carry a radio tag that tracked her movements.  The details are here:

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  • November 26th, 2012The Church and Societyby Joseph Pearce

    I've long admired Anthony Esolen as a Catholic scholar of the first order. He has published essays in several of the Ignatius Critical Editions, of which I am series editor (www.ignatiuscriticaleditions.com), and his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy is a tour de force. In more recent months, however, largely due to his excellent articles in Crisis Magazine, he has emerged as an irrepressible and witty commentator on contemporary politics and culture from a Catholic perspective. His essay in today's Crisis Magazine displays his wit and wisdom to great effect:


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  • November 26th, 2012Shakespeare, Thomas More, and Henry VIIIby Joseph Pearce

    As mentioned earlier on this site, I was honoured to be asked to write the introduction to the first Spanish edition of the play, Sir Thomas More, which was authored by Shakespeare in collaboration with several other contemporary playwrights. Querying some of the assertions that I made in that introduction, a Spanish correspondence wrote to ask "why Shakespeare was so cautious about censorship in this play, whereas he openly signed the perhaps even more pro-Catholic Henry VIII". Here's my response.

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  • November 26th, 2012Faith, Freedom, Sin and Slaveryby Joseph Pearce

    I began the editorial to the latest issue of StAR, which is on the theme of "Faith and Freedom", with the quote from Edmund Burke that "liberty itself must be limited in order to be possessed". This epigram prompted Colin Jory, whose excellent satirical poem lampooning scientism also graces the latest issue, to send another gem from Burke's epigrammatic arsenal, connecting sin to slavery:

    "It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."

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  • November 26th, 2012Gustav Klimt and the Kiss of Faithby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from someone enquiring about the beautiful cover art of the latest issue of StAR. Here's my response.

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  • November 26th, 2012The Rich Man Explained - By George!by Kevin O'Brien

    Tonight Credo of the Catholic Laity (with the help of my friend and Theater of the Word chaplain Fr. Brian Harrison) brought in a fascinating speaker, Professor Robert P. George of Princeton, who gave a detailed talk on the challenges facing Catholics, Evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox, and other serious Christians - as well as devout Jews and Muslims - challenges brought about by the Obama administration's HHS Mandate.

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  • November 26th, 2012Surprised by the Joy of Realityby Kevin O'Brien

    The voice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words, "Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven."  There is always something they insist on keeping even at the price of misery.  There is always something they prefer to joy - that is, to reality.

    Thus speaks George MacDonald to the narrator in C. S. Lewis' novel The Great Divorce.

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  • November 24th, 2012In Good Companyby Dena Hunt

    Back in June, 2011, I wrote “Rights vs. Rites” in these pages as a response to the celebrated mockery of a sacrament committed in New York on the previous day when that state legislature legalized homosexual “marriage.” I suggested that marriage ceremonies performed by religious clerics should have no binding legal authority.

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  • November 24th, 2012Winning the Battle and Losing the Warby Kevin O'Brien

    Yesterday we saw the movie Lincoln, which is very good.

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  • November 22nd, 2012Newman A-Zby Joseph Pearce

    A couple of months ago, I announced that my good friend, Louis Markos, had launched the A to Z of C. S. Lewis on his website (http://www.civitate.org/markos/). Inspired by his example, I'm launching the A to Z of Blessed John Henry Newman on this site.

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  • November 22nd, 2012Giving Thanksby Joseph Pearce

    My prolonged absence from the Ink Desk has been due to an intensive travel schedule, which has seen me on the road more often than I've been at home over the past few months. It is, therefore, with a great sense of pleasurable relief that I find myself at my desk in my home office with the sound of the children downstairs as a cacophanous backdrop to my musings.

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  • November 22nd, 2012I’m Too Big to Fail! You’re Too Small to Matter!by Kevin O'Brien

    We've just seen one of the best documentaries ever, Brooklyn Castle , the story of a middle school in Brooklyn, its incredible chess team, and the amazing poor kids and their families that populate the story.

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  • November 22nd, 2012Using Catholic Teaching to Attack the Catholic Churchby Kevin O'Brien

    "The Church is filled with sinners and hypocrites and so can safely be ignored." - Typical Anti-Catholic Statement.

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  • November 21st, 2012Rot! - an Analysisby Kevin O'Brien

    We have finally realized it. We have turned the corner.  We have jumped the shark.  We have crossed the Rubicon.  We have passed the point of no return. And we have finally realized it.

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  • November 19th, 2012Mayberry R.I.P.by Kevin O'Brien

    Here is an article by Anthony Esolen (who's as good as Peter Kreeft, IMHO, and whose translation and notes for Dante's Inferno are perhaps the best you'll find), and it starts with the question, "Why don't boys and girls hold hands any more?"  Be advised that reading it might kind of break your heart.

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  • November 13th, 2012Survival of the Witlessby Kevin O'Brien

    Talk to a typical Materialist-Atheist today and the dialogue will go like this:

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  • November 13th, 2012From Awe to Awfulby Kevin O'Brien

    My friend, Ink, the world's most Catholic architect, writes in a combox here...

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  • November 12th, 2012Pearce and Pacwaby Joseph Pearce

    I leave on Wednesday morning to film a new Tolkien Special for EWTN. Filming will take place on location on Thursday and in the studio on Friday, with further filming on Saturday if necessary. On this Wednesday evening I'm appearing on EWTN Live with Father Mitch Pacwa.

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  • November 12th, 2012Tolkien & Catholicismby Joseph Pearce

    I returned home from the C. S. Lewis Retreat in Texas to find a box waiting for me, which had been delivered to me by my publisher, Saint Benedict Press. Opening it, I was delighted to discover that it contained copies of my latest book, Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit. Written and published to coincide with the imminent release of the first of Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien's classic children's tale, I hope that Bilbo's Journey will repeat the success of my earlier book, Tolkien: Many & Myth, in making the Catholic dimension of Tolkien's work more widely known.

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  • November 12th, 2012Glorious Marriage or Great Divorce?by Joseph Pearce

    I've just returned from a three day retreat in rural Texas organized by the C. S. Lewis Foundation. It was a true joy to be at a well attended conference at which committed Christians from across the denominational spectrum united in their love for Christ and His indomitable servant, C. S. Lewis. The theme of the conference was Lewis's great fantasy work, The Great Divorce. I was the plenary speaker and gave two talks on the theme of "Glorious Marriage or Great Divorce", highlighting the ultimate choice we all face to serve either ourselves or God and our neighbour and the eternal consequences attached to the choice. I also gave a talk entitled "Wedding Gift or Divorce Settlement", examining the role of the Christian writer in the modern world in the light of the discussion of art in The Great Divorce. Later I led a discussion group on this topic.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?