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.

  • May 24th, 2012Green Eggs and the Health Care Scamby Joseph Pearce

    I've been forwarded an amusing pastiche of Dr. Seuss on the subject of Obama, the HHS mandate, and other recent manifestations of "progressivist" nonsense. I hope it brings a smile:

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  • May 24th, 2012The Goodness and Truth of Beautyby Joseph Pearce

    Those in the NYC area might want to attend this event:

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  • May 24th, 2012Faith and Freedomby Joseph Pearce

    Here's an excellent article by Mary Ann Glendon on the US Bishops' resistance to the Obama administration's attack on religious freedom:

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  • May 21st, 2012Waugh and Pearceby Joseph Pearce

    For the second time today, I'm apologizing for an act of self-indulgence. This time it's the faux pas implied by coupling my name with the great Evelyn Waugh. Unkind people might suggest that such a juxtaposition is the joining of the sublime to the ridiculous! My only excuse is the inability to resist an inviting pun when it crosses my path. In any event, I was amused to read in the new issue of Evelyn Waugh Studies that my Foreword to A Bitter Trial: Evelyn Waugh and John Carmel Cardinal Heenan on the Liturgical Changes warrants a health warning to liberal Catholics. Needless to say, I consider the criticism to be a compliment. Here's the review.

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  • May 21st, 2012Blue Heavenby Joseph Pearce

    I feel that an apology is due for this somewhat self-indulgent post but I'm going to blame Kevin O'Brien for encouraging me in my sin! I'm sure that Kevin, as a man with more than a modicum of sanctity, will forgive me.

    Last year, Kevin posted a long piece in effusive celebration of the St. Louis Cardinals winning the world series. Although, like Kevin, I indulge a passion for sports, in my case soccer, I try to keep this secular aspect of my life in the background, mindful of the danger of what the Romans called panem et circenses (bread and circuses), a metaphor for worldly distractions, such as material objects and entertainment, which keep us from contemplating more important things and that hamper our ability to live a life of virtue. I readily accept that my passion for Chelsea Football Club, which has been a part of my life since I was about seven years old, is sometimes a distraction from more important things. This was the case on Saturday when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the Final of the European Champions League, thereby winning the most prestigious club competition in the world and making the Blues of Chelsea the champions of Europe. 

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  • May 19th, 2012My Train Hit a Deer Monday Morningby Sophia Mason

    Monday was something of an adventure.  It started out with my dad and I standing on the platform waiting for our daily train; and the train was late.  Ten or fifteen minutes after the whistle should have blown, we heard it blowing … from the wrong direction.  The whistle coming from the wrong direction was soon succeeded by a train coming from the wrong direction; said train backed into our station, where it proceeded to unload all 694,217 of its passengers.  It seems that the train had hit a deer, and sustained injuries which, if not actually incompatible with locomotion, were at least threatening to the riders to be locomoted in the locomotive.

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  • May 18th, 2012Broken Chinaby Joseph Pearce

    Following my recent post about the demographic crisis in Japan (land of the setting sun), I was intrigued to see this piece in today's "Crisis" about a similar crisis looming for China in the wake of its hideous one-child policy. The culture of death is dying ...

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  • May 18th, 2012Dining with Dante - Almost!by Joseph Pearce

    Yesterday I drove across the border into North Carolina to have lunch with the hugely gifted Anthony Esolen, who had flown to Charlotte to record three series of lectures for Catholic Courses (www.catholiccourses.com). As Executive Director of Catholic Courses, I am hugely honoured that we have managed to attract some of the finest Catholic academics to teach our courses. Certainly, having Anthony Esolen teaching three courses on Dante's Divine Comedy is a hugely impressive feather in our cap. For those who don't know, Esolen is the translator of the widely-respected Random House edition of Dante's classic.

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  • May 18th, 2012The Sixteenth Century Lives On … and On …by Dena Hunt

    Fr. Robert Barron, just returned from a trip to the UK, reports http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh9AiESvImM&feature=uploademail on the longevity of the persecution of Catholics in the UK. It’s still not over.

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  • May 18th, 2012For Polyglots Onlyby Joseph Pearce

    I've been forwarded a link to an illustrated report of my recent visit to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. I'm afraid that it's in Spanish so will not be accessible to many.

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  • May 17th, 2012His Peace She Gives Usby Kevin O'Brien

    Dawn Eden is a friend of mine and one of the most intelligent women I've ever met.  She shares with me a love for G. K. Chesterton and an adult conversion that brought her from much suffering and sin into a life of grace.  So we have some things in common, and I admire her greatly.

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  • May 16th, 2012As the Globe Turnsby Kevin O'Brien

    Chesterton Academy in Minneapolis recently produced my play As the Globe Turns, a comedy about a traveling troupe of Shakespearian actors. 

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  • May 16th, 2012A Pat on Our Backsby Joseph Pearce

    I'm not sure that it's fully decorous to publish notes from StAR subscribers that praise the quality of the journal, nor am I sure that it's decorous to publish notes that praise my own work as series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions. This being so I am rather bashful as I post Harry Colin's recent e-mail to the Ink Desk. I have his permission to do so, and I have the excuse that both StAR and the ICEs warrant praise! I hope, therefore, that I will be forgiven the sheer chutzpah of the post:

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  • May 16th, 2012Saying the Blackby Sophia Mason

    Having written what I wrote last week, I should admit that I don't positively dislike the Tridentine Mass—I just prefer the Novus Ordo.

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  • May 15th, 2012San Isidroby Tom Kallene

    Today, May 15th, Madrid celebrates its patron saint, San Isidro. As an adopted "madrileño," it’s a big day for me. Not only because this town and this country has a deep significance for me as a Pilgrim. It is also because I find this saint so personal, and his low-key sainthood so attractive—in a similar way to Saint Joseph. San Isidro left no great works, sayings, or monuments behind. He was a humble farm worker all his life. 

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  • May 15th, 2012The Catholic Underground?by Joseph Pearce

    Colin Jory in Australia has sent me this grimly amusing poster. It advertises the London Underground system, or the tube as Londoners call it, and is displayed prominently in many tube stations throughout the nation's capital city. It is darkly humorous and points an accusing finger at the dastardly king. One wonders whether a secret Catholic is involved in designing the advertising campaigns on London's tube, engaging in a little surreptitious historical revisionism.

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  • May 15th, 2012Finnis Shakespeare Interviewby Paul Adams

     

    I was surprised and pleased to see an interview with John Finnis, a leading natural law theorist, emeritus professor of law at University College, Oxford (where I first encountered him in my student days there) and now professor of law at Notre Dame.  The interview was conducted at University of Notre Dame Australia, in Sydney.

    What surprised me was that the interview was about Shakespeare, Identity, and Religion.

     

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  • May 14th, 2012Will We Defend All of Marriage - or Part of It?by Kevin O'Brien

    Nearly fifteen years ago, when I was Episcopalian, a leader of our local "Journey of Faith" program described to the group how she had made some sort of knitting or crochet or tapestry thing for a friend of hers when the friend had gotten married many years prior.  It was some sort of heart with the names of the couple - let's say Ted & Alice - sewn or crocheted or knitted in (I don't know how this stuff works), all framed and gift wrapped.

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  • May 14th, 2012Food for Thoughtby Joseph Pearce

    Yesterday afternoon my wife suggested that we go out to get a pizza, a suggestion which was unusual and at the same time welcome. I like pizza but we are not fast food junkies and we seldom indulge in the modern mania for eating on the run. Susannah normally cooks the family meal and we make a point of eating and praying together in the evening. It was Sunday, however, and Susannah decided that this particular Sabbath would be a day of rest from cooking. I relished the prospect of indulging myself with a good pizza and Susannah suggested that we drive to a family-owned pizza restaurant, which had won awards for the quality of its food. We’d eaten there before and my mouth was watering at the memory and the prospect.

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  • May 12th, 2012The Inclusiveness of Manby Joseph Pearce

    The indefatigable Louis Markos of Houston Baptist University has been conducting a crusade against the butchering of the bible in the name of feminist-driven "inclusive language". In a reply to an e-mail from Dr. Markos, to which I was privy, the incomparable Anthony Esolen of Providence College waxed lucid and lyrical in defence of man and mankind. Having requested and received his permission to post his thoughts on the StAR Ink Desk, here's the text of Dr. Esolen's e-mail:

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What are your thoughts on the subject?