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.

  • August 25th, 2012Good God / Bad Godby Kevin O'Brien

    A regular reader of my blog writes to me, disturbed by what he takes to be a disunity in Scripture.  It seems to him that the God of the Old Testament is judgmental and wrathful, and that the God of the New Testament is merciful and forgiving - they are two Gods, not one.  God the Father bad cop; God the Son good cop.  Worse than that, my reader has the impression that Jesus was "nice" - as if being "nice" is something Jesus ever really was.

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  • August 24th, 2012Jane Austen and the Best of Englandby Joseph Pearce

    Following the lively debate on the Ink Desk that accompanied the criticism of the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics, I thought I’d post something more positive about my native land.

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  • August 24th, 2012Domus Dei; Domus Ecclesiaeby Fr. Simon Henry

    Many priests will recall from their seminary days hearing the Liturgy Prof wax lyrical about the difference between Domus Dei and Domus EcclesiaeDomus Dei is the House of God - churches as they had been built for 1,700 years since the wicked Emperor Constantine corrupted the Church by making it grand and imperial.  You know, all those awful formal buildings in the classical style, the Romanesque, the Gothic, and the Baroque.  In fact, all that most people think of when they think "church".  Now, the Liturgy prof would tell us, we want churches that are Domus Ecclesiae - House of the gathered people.  A worship space that skips over all that terrible history back to the pre-Constantine church when the simple Christian folk met in ordinary domestic homes for prayer and praise and an agapé meal.

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  • August 23rd, 2012Defending the Faith Against the Poison of Anti-Catholic Biasby Joseph Pearce

    Robert Carballo, professor of English and Comparative Literature at Millersville University, who has written for the St. Austin Review and is a regular contributor to the Ignatius Critical Editions, has crossed swords with an anti-Catholic academic for the latter's attack on the Church in an article on The Merchant of Venice published in the journal Humanitas. Robert's vigorous defence of the Faith against what he calls "the poison of anti-Catholic bias" was expressed in the following letter to the editors of Humanitas:

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  • August 23rd, 2012Invisible Sky-Diceby Kevin O'Brien

    I wrote early this morning about an atheist commenter's use of the really cool phrase Invisible Sky-Man.  That's such a poetic phrase, and it really hits the spot.

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  • August 23rd, 2012Orwell Vetoedby Robert Asch

    No B.B.C. statue for George Orwell:

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  • August 23rd, 2012Out of Hot Waterby Fr. Simon Henry

    It's not that unusual to hear about Christians getting into hot water at work in this country for displaying their Faith in some way.  The story below tells of Margaret Forrester who was sacked in 2010 by her National Health Service employers for sharing her views on abortion with other colleagues. Having taken her employers to court, she has now been completely vindicated, as evidenced by the fact that they have settled out of court with undisclosed damages.

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  • August 23rd, 2012My Crude Materialism Trumps Your Invisible Sky-Manby Kevin O'Brien

    A few posts ago, Anonymous left an entertaining comment which he concluded by encouraging me, a former strident atheist, to give up belief in my "invisible sky-man", a delusion that's keeping me from complete happiness (I wondered what was doing that).

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  • August 22nd, 2012Unrealityby Kevin O'Brien

    What is unreality?  It is the greatest threat to our relationship to a God who is Truth.

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  • August 22nd, 2012Television and the Fatalism of Denethorby Joseph Pearce

    In yesterday’s post, “Breakfast with Mr. Gullible”, I stressed the addictive grip that the television culture exerted on Mr. Gullible and his ilk. In an earlier post, “An Evening with Gollum”, I compared the withered humanity of an alcoholic to the character of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. I thought about comparing Mr. Gullible with Denethor, another character from The Lord of the Rings, but thought better of it. Denethor, for all his deadly faults, was a man who wielded power, albeit badly; Mr. Gullible, on the other hand, is utterly powerless except for the vote that he casts in elections. There is, however, a real parallel between the “king” (steward) and the plebeian in their shared addiction to television.

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  • August 21st, 2012Great Catholic Writers - of Today!by Kevin O'Brien

    Bad as things are, and bad as they're going to get, there are at least three great writers out there who are Catholic, reasonable, good writers, and not afraid to speak the truth.  Today people emailed me links to three of the best articles I've read in a long time.

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  • August 21st, 2012Breakfast with Mr. Gullibleby Joseph Pearce

    A few weeks ago I recounted “an evening with Gollum” in which I attempted, apparently in vain, to persuade and motivate an alcoholic friend to pull himself and his life together for his own sake and for that of his child. This reminiscing about past encounters reminded me of a recent encounter with Mr. Gullible.

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  • August 20th, 2012A Sane English Voiceby Joseph Pearce

    I've been travelling for the past several days (hence my absence from the Ink Desk) but have kept a watchful eye on the reaction to my post on the "slimey limeys" who were responsible for the recent Olympics closing ceremony. I'm not sure that any single post in the Ink Desk's commedable history of controversy has matched the number of comments that my post prompted and in some cases provoked. 

    I was particularly gratified to receive a note of support from StAR columnist, John Beaumont, who lives in the north of England. He sent me the comments about the opening ceremony that he had sent a friend. Without further ado, here is John's judgment:

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  • August 16th, 2012Lennon in America with a P.S. from Peter Hitchensby Robert Asch

    I don't wish to take issue with what's been said about the condition of Britain. It can't pain many people more than it pains me.  But remember, this has infected the mainstream everywhere in the West for some time and is being ceaselessly exported and reprocessed. I lived in Toronto on and off in the 70s and 80s. In the 1980s WKRP in Cincinnati, already in sindication, was one of the most popular shows on tv in both the US and Canada. It also enjoyed a considerable critical reputation.

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  • August 15th, 2012Just Imagine.by Dena Hunt

    Joseph’s post lamenting the state of England’s culture, vividly displayed at the Olympics, generated an extraordinary number of comments. Almost all of them were in sympathy; the two or three that objected were comically childish sputterings of indignation.

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  • August 15th, 2012I Wonder Which Policies?by Sophia Mason

    FBI probing shooting of guard at Family Research Council HQ

    "The suspect 'made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,' ..."

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  • August 14th, 2012The Dry and the Livingby Pavel Chichikov

    Recently, looking through my draft file, I came across an article I’d saved, published last April in the Wall Street Journal. It was an encouragement to all those who fear that the Catholic Church might be fading away, because it noted the increase in ordinations in many places in the United States. Here is the article:

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  • August 14th, 2012Good News from Franceby Joseph Pearce

    Although StAR is now published by the St. Augustine's Press, the magazine was founded eleven years ago by Ferdi McDermott of the St. Austin Press in England, which explains how we got our name. Ferdi asked me to edit the new journal and it has been an honour and a labour of love for me to do so ever since.

    Shortly after the launching of StAR, Ferdi founded Chavagnes International College. This wonderful English-speaking Catholic school in the heart of rural France is now celebrating its tenth anniversary. In order to share in the celebration, I'm posting the latest Chavagnes Newsletter. As you will see, the school's alumni are already making their mark in the world.  

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  • August 14th, 2012Not My Regular Massby Dena Hunt

    I missed my regular Mass. Through my own fault, my most grievous fault, I had to attend the Mass with guitars and campsongs. It’s happened before. And I sit there enduring more than participating. I just can’t bring myself to sing an Our Father that sounds more like a tapdance than a prayer.  And I confess (through my own fault, my most grievous fault) that when I have to attend that Mass, I look at the women around me dressed like streetwalkers, grown men in shorts and flip-flops—well, some readers may know what I mean….

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  • August 14th, 2012Preview of the Next Issueby Joseph Pearce

    The next issue of the St. Austin Review is winging its way to the printers.

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