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.

  • February 25th, 2012Sleeping on a Relicby Joseph Pearce

    I arrived at Santiago de Compastela in Galicia, in north-west Spain, yesterday evening, which is of course one of the most ancient and one of the most important shrines of Christendom. I've never been here before and am looking forward to going to Mass at the cathedral and to praying at the shrine of the great St James. I am, however, blessed even more by the wonderful surprise that I received upon my arrival here last night.

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  • February 25th, 2012Usury, Debt, and the Global Economic Crisisby Joseph Pearce

    As regular visitors to this site might be aware, I´m currently in Spain promoting the newly-published Spanish edition of my biography of Roy Campbell. Since my arrival on Wednesday I´ve had a hectic routine of press and television interviews and I´m delighted at the publicity that the new book is getting. This, however, is something to which I´ll return when time permits. At present, my schedule forces me to post in haste. This time I´m posting a very interesting set of statistics about the national debt of the countries of the world. It was sent to me via e-mail and I do not know the original source. Nonetheless, it seems to me that this sort of data is important so that we can see the connection between usury and the debt crisis.

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  • February 24th, 2012Again, this Lentby Dena Hunt

    Lorraine’s post on Lenten practices inspired me to think about the season in a more personal and less communal way. I’d been reading a few other things, in print and online, about the freedom that comes from sacrifice, about the feeling of personal power that comes through self-denial or through discipline, about the liberty that comes from freeing one’s self from the bondage of bad habits. I can almost hear an orchestral Also Sprach Zarathusrta as I read. Glory Hallelujah. It all sounds so grand.

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  • February 23rd, 2012Ave Maria University Fights Backby Joseph Pearce

    I'm delighted to be able to post the following statement from Ave Maria University´s President, Jim Towey. It makes me feel honoured to be a member of the Faculty of such an institution:

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  • February 22nd, 2012A supposedly “Catholic” educationby Fr. Simon Henry

    The Zenit Newsagency reports that after long negotiations the Pontifical University of Peru has still refused to fall into line with some basic requests—like following its own constitutions (which, of course, give the Church its rightful place in its governance). Cardinal Bertone has given the University—after long and patient requests and talks—a deadline of Easter Sunday to mend its ways. Presumably, its Pontifical status can be withdrawn. You can read the Zenit article below and some further background here. It has a history of supporting such things as liberation theology.

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  • February 22nd, 2012Note to Self: Avoid These Lenten Traps!by Lorraine V. Murray

    Since childhood, I’ve been trying to “get Lent right.” As a chubby child who was always on a diet, Lent struck me as another in a long list of no-no’s when it came to the treats I dearly craved.

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  • February 20th, 2012Catholic Courses—New Blog Launchedby Joseph Pearce

    Catholic Courses, with which I am involved as Executive Director, has just launched the "Faculty Lounge", a new blog.

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  • February 20th, 2012Roy Campbell and Chesterton in Spainby Joseph Pearce

    Tomorrow I leave for Spain to promote the new Spanish edition of my biography of Roy Campbell and to give a paper at a Chesterton conference in Madrid. My Spanish publisher has lined up a number of television and newspaper interviews and I'll be meeting with various academic groups who are interested in the Catholic literary revival. I'm particularly excited to be visiting Santiago de Compastela and I look forward to paying homage to the great St. James.

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  • February 16th, 2012The Real Catholic Charitiesby Pavel Chichikov

    One would have gotten the impression that Catholic Charities looked favorably on the President’s recent revision of his rulings concerning religious conscience and health coverage.

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  • February 16th, 2012More Dippingby Joseph Pearce

    Continuing my habit of dipping into books from my own library, I came across this provocative and thought-provoking passage from Unpopular Opinions, a book of essays by Dorothy L. Sayers, published in 1946:

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  • February 15th, 2012Confessing the End of an Affairby Joseph Pearce

    William Fahey, president of Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts, has publicly confessed the end of an affair. I should explain, lest unbecoming rumours are unleashed, that the affair he confesses does not involve a mortal sin.

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  • February 15th, 2012Valentine’s Day: the Sexual Revolutionby Deirdre Littleton

    I would like to share an article I wrote for the Gyrene Gazette, the student newspaper at Ave Maria University, where I am studying as a senior:

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  • February 14th, 2012New Music For Lentby Joseph Pearce

    I've just learned from the Catholic Writers' Guild in the UK that Jeremy de Satge's Penitential Mass for Eight Voices is to be sung at the Oxford Oratory on the Second Sunday of Lent - 4th March 2012 at the 11.00am Solemn Mass

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  • February 14th, 2012Great Lecture Series in Twin Citiesby Joseph Pearce

    Next month, on March 9th to be precise, I'm giving a talk on the Catholic Literary Revival at Saint Agnes' Church in St. Paul, MN. I note, however, that mine is the third in a series of six weekly talks to be held at the church as part of its centenary celebrations. Other speakers include Catholic eminenti, such as Father David Meconi S.J., Charles E. Rice, and Duncan Stroik. I hope that anyone living within striking distance will try to attend one or more of these lectures. The full details are given here:

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  • February 14th, 2012The Ubiquitous Chestertonby Joseph Pearce

    Back in the 1990s I watched a documentary on British television about the huge growth in the number of Elvis impersonaters around the world. There were black Elvises and Asian Elvises and women Elvises. It was all very interesting in a bizarre sort of way. As I watched the documentary in incredulous wonder, the comment that stuck in my mind as the most amusing and mind-boggling was the statistic that, at present rates of growth, every third person in the world would be an Elvis impersonater by 2020. Now that's an intriguing thought ...

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  • February 13th, 2012Why I Love Jesus and South Dakota but Hate Videos about Religionby Kevin O'Brien

    Tonight I am in Wagner, South Dakota, where I enjoyed a fine dinner and conversation with the Doom family.

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  • February 13th, 2012The Big Dipperby Joseph Pearce

    The title which I've ascribed to this post does not indicate a return to the star-gazing that was the subject of one of my posts last week. Perish the thought! My father (God rest his soul) would never forgive me if I succumbed to the usage of the American name for the constellation, known as ursa major, or the great bear, or, if we prefer the vernacular, the plough. No, I am referring to myself as the big dipper, in the sense that I have picked up the habit recently of wandering through my own library and dipping into volumes plucked from the shelves at random. This seems lazier than picking a book from the shelf in order to read it with the attention it deserves. It seems, therefore, that I have picked up a bad habit.

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  • February 13th, 2012Obama’s Policy toward Catholics: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tellby Dena Hunt

    Poor President Clinton was in a bind. He had to live up to his campaign promises to the homosexual crowd, and they were objecting mightily to the exclusion of homosexuals from the military. His solution was the famous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. It was a brilliant compromise, appeasing both sides: homosexuals could be in the military, and the military could continue to exclude homosexuals. If that sounds illogical, it’s because it is. It’s a policy grounded on the conviction that people have no integrity as long as they’re getting their way. It was easy for both the military and the homosexuals to agree to lie to each other with the understanding that neither was to call the other out on their lie. That’s how the compromise worked. Brilliant.

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  • February 12th, 2012A Room with a (Different) Viewby Dena Hunt

    Before I retired (the second time), I made a comment about getting old in the office one day, and a faculty member responded with sympathy of the I-can-relate variety. Maggie (I’ll call her), was in her fifties—a mere child—but she was one of those people on the faculty of every English Department who sees each tiny bit of cultural flotsam as an opportunity to start a study group, assemble an anthology—whatever can be done via publication to garner a grant and/or approbative attention.

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  • February 12th, 2012Past the Breaking Pointby Kevin O'Brien

    I don't know about you, but I complain a lot.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?