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.

  • June 29th, 2012Sheen the Venerableby Joseph Pearce

    Pope Benedict XVI has officially declared Archbishop Fulton Sheen to be "Venerable", moving him a step closer to possible eventual canonization. Here's the news story:

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  • June 28th, 2012What Disaster?by Dena Hunt

    Reaction to the Supreme Court ruling upholding Obama’s health care law is just as loud and swift as everybody predicted. On one extreme Republican end, lots of apocalyptic hallucinations are popping up; on the other extreme Democratic end, we see the messianic hallucinations of 2008 re-awakened.

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  • June 28th, 2012Defending Religious Freedomby Paul Adams

    Now that any hope has been dashed that the Supreme Court would sink the HHS mandate that employers cover abortifacient drugs, sterilization, and contraception, along with the rest of Obamacare, the fight for religious freedom assumes even more urgency.  The "contraception mandate" is facing legal challenges of its own, but past SCOTUS rulings on the First Amendment do not inspire confidence.

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  • June 28th, 2012Sackcloth and Ashesby Sophia Mason

    So we can put the champagne back in the cupboards.  The Individual Mandate is a tax, says Chief Justice John Roberts (though Justice Kennedy apparently disagrees).

    I feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland.  That new kind of Wonderland, in the movie version I wouldn't watch if you paid me to, with The Depp in fright makeup.

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  • June 28th, 2012Water Itself Is Baptised!by Joseph Pearce

    I've just finished reading Abigail's beautiful and moving meditation on the ocean and its analogous connection to love. In the midst of the depths to which she plunges, she mentions Legolas' love for the sea, and this reminded me of Tolkien's own love for the Sea, expressed in Ainulindalë, the Creation myth in The Silmarillion:

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  • June 28th, 2012Making Homosexuality Compulsoryby Joseph Pearce

    Many years ago I remember my father telling me a joke. It was quite funny then but not so funny these days. If I remember, the joke went something like this: A man arrives at the American Embassy in London requesting permission to immigrate to the United States. The man at the Embassy asks him why he wants to leave England. Well, says the man, I was a little concerned when homosexual practice was legalized because it legitimized sodomy as an acceptable practice. Now we are being told that homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality. I'd like to get out of here before they make it compulsory!

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  • June 27th, 2012“How Do You Feel About the Ocean?”by Abigail C. Reimel

    “How do you feel about the ocean?” a friend of mine asked me abruptly while traveling home in the car.  After giving a somewhat vague response, I was asked to elaborate.  I then spoke of my love for the ocean, made a Tolkien reference, and ended by saying that I’ve grown up around it my whole life, so it means a great deal to me.

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  • June 27th, 2012Under Heavy Fire, Blankenhorn Abandons Shipby Paul Adams

    One of the positive aspects of David Blankenhorn’s reversal on same-sex marriage is the commentary it has elicited from defenders of marriage like Michael Cook of the dignitarian website MercatorNet and Maggie Gallagher, former chair of the National Organization for Marriage and co-author of an outstanding summary of the research on marriage, The Case for Marriage (2000).

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  • June 27th, 2012St. John Southworth: Martyred Under Cromwellby Joseph Pearce

    When we think of the English Martyrs we rightly think of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, whose feast day was celebrated last Friday. We probably think also of the tyrannical reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I as the time of persecution in which the Martyrs were put to death. In point of fact, however, Catholic priests continued to be put to death for a further eighty years after Elizabeth's death. One of these later Martyrs was St. John Southworth, who was hanged, drawn and quartered during the Puritan dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell.

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  • June 27th, 2012World Premiere of New Chesterton Feature Filmby Joseph Pearce

    I'm sure that visitors to the Ink Desk will be interested to learn of this press release from the American Chesterton Society:

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  • June 26th, 2012Words on a Swordby Joseph Pearce

    Last week, after a grueling marathon that lasted several months, I finally finished reading Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour. I read the chunky single volume edition in which Waugh had threaded together the three separate novels of his Trilogy into a single narrative. I have to confess that this eventual success in finishing the novel was something of a relief following two previous aborted efforts.

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  • June 25th, 2012Liberty versus the Libertinesby Joseph Pearce

    Anthony Esolen has an essay in today's Crisis Magazine about the abandonment of liberty by libertines. Check it out.

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  • June 23rd, 2012Liturgy—and Strong Opinions About Itby Dena Hunt

    I started to respond to Joseph’s second post on this topic when I realized that a brief comment would probably be misinterpreted; more explanation would be required to avoid that. I’ve read Sophia’s posts on the topic, not so much because I share her strong feelings as because it’s just hard to resist good writing. I don’t, in fact, have strong feelings on this subject in either direction. There are reasons for that

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  • June 22nd, 2012Another Gianna Mollaby Joseph Pearce

    I leave for Virginia shortly but wanted to post this beautiful and true story of Chiara Corbella, described at her funeral Mass yesterday as "another Gianna Molla". This wonderful young woman refused cancer treatment to protect her unborn baby. I was blessed to be at the canonization of St. Gianna Molla and know what a powerful witness she is for the power of life in this culture of death in which we're living. Now we have another powerful witness in this beautiful young woman.

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  • June 21st, 2012The Great Divorce and the Greater Marriageby Kevin O'Brien

    In both C. S. Lewis' novel, and in reality, "The Great Divorce" is between Heaven and Hell, not between Heaven and Earth.

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  • June 21st, 2012Join Me in Virginiaby Joseph Pearce

    I'm guessing that this will be my last post to the Ink Desk until Monday because I'm leaving tomorrow morning for the Immaculate Heart of Mary National Homeschool and Parent Conference at the Fredericksburg Expo Center in Virginia.

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  • June 21st, 2012From Atheism Via Science Fiction to Christby Joseph Pearce

    José Luis Orella in Spain has sent me this excellent account by the science fiction novelist, John C. Wright, of his conversion to Catholicism from a background of militant atheism. It offers a truly powerful witness.

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  • June 21st, 2012The Early Church and the Full Grown Treeby Joseph Pearce

    In a response to my "liturgical ramblings", James Morris commented that the priest is in persona Christi at Mass and that he was sure that Our Lord faced the apostles during the Last Supper, hence the justification for the priest being versus populum during the liturgy. My response is to stress that the Mass is first and foremost a re-presentation of Our Lord's self-sacrifice on Calvary, and only in a secondary sense is it a re-enactment of the Last Supper.

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  • June 20th, 2012Still More on Shakespeare’s Religionby Dena Hunt

    The interest in Shakespeare and his connection to Catholicism apparently widens and deepens.

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  • June 20th, 2012Liturgical Ramblingsby Joseph Pearce

    I enjoy the lively and healthy debate that is often generated on this site, not merely amongst those who add comments to the posts but also amongst our regular bloggers. In recent months we have crossed friendly swords on issues as diverse as love, sex, film, art, Shakespeare, and the liturgy. With regard to the last of these, I'd like to cross a friendly sword with our regular blogger, Sophia, who posted something a few weeks ago, arguing for the superiority of the Novus Ordo over the Old Rite.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?