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 29th, 2012Love and Warby Kevin O'Brien

    Joseph Pearce writes about the unity of  love in this perceptive post , which rightly and gently critiques the great C. S. Lewis.  Joseph does so by asserting the essential unity of Love, thereby echoing Pope Benedict, who wrote an entire encyclical on the unity of love, the unity even of Eros and Agape.  And while I've written on the unity of love at length, today I'm going one step further.  Today I'm pointing out that not only is Love, like God, One - with Eros, Agape, Philia, etc. being many aspects or elements of this unity of love ("elements" or "aspects", I'd say, rather than "accidents", as Joseph claims), but I'm going to assert that Love can also be expressed in fighting, even in violence.

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  • August 29th, 2012One of My Books Goes on Pilgrimageby Joseph Pearce

    I've been sent this great photograph from Spain, which I'd like to share. The Spanish gentleman is visiting the grave in Portugal of Roy and Mary Campbell, the great Catholic convert poet and his wife.

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  • August 29th, 2012Jane Austen and Emma Thompson: A Spanish Perspectiveby Joseph Pearce

    My recent post on Jane Austen has formed the basis for an article in today's edition of the Spanish on-line newspsper, Religión en Libertad. Those visitors to the Ink Desk who can speak Spanish might like to check it out.

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  • August 28th, 2012How Many Loves?by Joseph Pearce

    One of the dangers of writing blog-posts is that one tends to shoot from the hip, without too much forethought. It could truly be said that bloggers rush in where scholars fear to tread. This being so, I am aware of a heady and heedless recklessness as I prepare to sound forth on C. S. Lewis’ “Four Loves”, daring to criticize the great man without taking the time and trouble to re-read his seminal work on the subject. I am prompted to do so by the arrival of a new book on my desk entitled The Fifth Love by Michael Karounos.

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  • August 27th, 2012Solzhenitsyn and Pussy Riotby Joseph Pearce

    I've just been interviewed by a journalist who wanted my opinion on what Solzhenitsyn would have made of the recent trial of the members of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot, for their sacrilegious and anti-Christian "performance" in the Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow. Here are her questions, with my replies.

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  • August 26th, 2012Blasphemy against the Holy Spiritby Kevin O'Brien

    Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit - the one unforgivable sin.  What is it?

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  • August 25th, 2012In Praise of the Englishby Dena Hunt

    …language. Kevin recently posted an excerpt from the inimitable Fr. George Rutler, a mini-masterpiece of lucid prose. There is another, ”Anger Management,” on the Crisis page yesterday, a cool drink of water for anyone whose mind may be wandering in the desert. A few bits should illustrate:

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  • 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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What are your thoughts on the subject?