• December 21st, 2014On the Duty of a Monarchby Brendan D. King

    Many years ago, my father asked my grandfather, Scottish immigrant Laurence Joseph King, about the abdication of the Duke of Windsor. My dad was then a teenager with Marxist ideas and considered it ridiculous that an abdication was insisted upon by the British Government. To Dad's shock, Grandpa Larry responded, "He could not be King because he would not do his duty." It took many years for my Dad to realize the wisdom of his father's words.

    I must say that I agree with my grandfather. It is very dangerous when the Crown rests upon the wrong head and my grandfather's words apply, not only to the Duke of Windsor, but to many other Royals from many nations and centuries. Queen Elizabeth I of England, Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria-Hungary, and the last Shah of Iran definitely bear this out.

    Blessed Emperor Karl once said that, as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, he certainly had rights, but that those rights were tempered by his duty. This duty is, in my opinion, best expressed in the words the current Queen of England spoke in her first address to the nation, "The whole of my life, whether it be long or short, shall be dedicated to your service." The last word is best left to the Marquis de Custine.

    During the 1830's, the Marquis, a French Catholic Royalist, paid a visit to Tsarist Russia which he believed could save Europe from the lingering  ideas of the French Revolution. The Marquis left Russia deeply disillusioned by how the Tsar governed the State, the Orthodox Church, and the people by personal decree and backed up by police state tactics. 

    The Marquis wrote that nations which prize "fidelity to insane masters" are neglecting their duty. Monarchy is only venerable, he says, when it governs justly. He concluded, "When Kings forget the conditions under which man is permitted to rule over his fellow men, the citizens have to look to God, their Eternal Governor, Who absolves them from their oath of fidelity to their temporal master."

  • December 21st, 2014The Radical Catholic: An Interview with Cardinal Burkeby Kevin Kennelly

    What to make of Cardinal Burke's steady opposition.....I do not think that too strong a word to use.....to the vector of Catholic belief and/or action being set by Francis? The good cardinal refers to having grown up in " a very beautiful time in the Church." If those days were beautiful than the present time is not ....one must conclude. One respondent writing about the interview says "Why aren't there hundreds of bishops in the church like Cardinal Burke? Why?" Not a bad question.


  • December 19th, 2014God or Mammon? Preview of the Next Issue of the St. Austin Reviewby Joseph Pearce

    The January/February issue of the St. Austin Review is now winging its way to the printer.

      The theme of the next issue is “God or Mammon? Choosing Christ in a World in Crisis”.

      Highlights:   Thomas Storck considers “The Church’s Judgment on Capitalism and Socialism”.

      John Medaille examines “Distributism and the Polity of Political Economy”.

      R. McKay Stangler connects “Agrarianism and Christendom”.

      Edward Lawrence tackles the problem of “Serving God in Mammon’s World”.

      Donald DeMarco poses the question, “How do we know which side we are on?”

      Kevin O’Brien insists that “Choosing Christ Means Choosing the Cross”.

      Ken Clark admires The Transfiguration by Raphael.

      James Bemis praises the movie, Tree of Wooden Clogs.

      Fr. Dwight Longenecker contrasts “Distorted Desires and the Weight of Glory”.

      Fr. Benedict Kiely laments the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and asks “Why a Silence?”

      Susan Treacy reveals “The Transfer of Grace” in Poulenc’s Dialogues de Carmélites.

      John Beaumont pays tribute to Fr. Oliver Vassall-Phillips, “A Great but Neglected Catholic Apologist”.

      Joshua Schulz reviews A Catechism for Business.

      Matthew P. Akers reviews Liberty, the God the Failed.

      Brian McCall reviews The Wound and the Blessing: Economics, Relationships and Happiness.

      Deborah Savage reviews Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars.

      Carl R. Hasler reviews Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society.

      New Poetry by Timothy Lusch and Leah Acosta

      Remember: Wise Men Follow the StAR! Subscribe now at www.staustinreview.com/star/subscribe

  • December 18th, 2014Tolkien on EWTNby Joseph Pearce

    The latest Tolkien special that I have written and presented for EWTN was aired this week. For those who missed it, or those who would like to see it again, it is now available on DVD: 


  • December 18th, 2014Elves, Hobbits, Men and DVDsby Kevin O'Brien

    There are two projects I've done with EWTN that, in my opinion, are the best things the Network has done, from a production and creative point of view.  The first is our Father Brown movie, The Honor of Israel Gow.  And the second is the show I mentioned the other day, Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings": Elves, Hobbits and Men.

    It turns out the latter is available on DVD from the religious catalog - for only ten bucks!  Well worth the price.  You can order it here.

    We also just found out that Season Seven of The Apostle of Common Sense, another series I appear on, is also now available.  Only $25 for 13 episodes on 4 discs.

    These would make great Christmas gifts!

    Filming The Honor of Israel Gow in Hanceville, Alabama.  That's me as Father Brown.



  • December 18th, 2014Man, Religion & Tribalismby Joseph Pearce

    My latest piece for the Imaginative Conservative looks at the crucial difference between religion and tribalism. It begins in the Ukraine, proceeds to Northern Ireland and ends in the trenches of World War One. Read on:


  • December 18th, 2014The Catholicism of Middle-Earthby Joseph Pearce

    Earlier this month I gave a talk on "The Catholicism of Middle-Earth" for the Faith and Reason Institute at Gonzaga University. This was filmed and is of excellent quality. As such, I'm supplying the link to the talk for those who might be interested:  http://youtu.be/tgxHDCIU1Hw

  • December 17th, 2014Five Books Every Catholic Should Readby Joseph Pearce

    My personal selection of the five indispensable books that every Catholic should read has just been published by Pete Socks on the Catholic Book Blogger. Check it out: 


  • December 17th, 2014Sorcha Ni Ghuairim, A Voice from Across a Thousand Yearsby Brendan D. King

    Sorcha Ni Ghuairim (1911-1976), a native of the Connemara Peninsula of Western Ireland, is probably one of the greatest Irish Gaelic vocalists ever recorded. Hers was a voice that seems to echo across a thousand years. After decades of fighting for the preservation of the Gaelic language and its musical tradition, Sorcha decided in the 1950s, that she had failed. She moved to London and remained a virtual recluse until her death in 1976.

    But her belief as proved premature. Sorcha's surviving recordings have played and continue to play a major role in Irish traditional music. Among the modern vocalists who have cited Sorcha Ni Ghuarim as a major influence is Roisin Elsafty, a fellow native of the Connemara.

    This 1955 recording is of her singing "The Blackthorn Bush", a Gaelic love song from Ireland. One of Sorcha's last recordings before leaving for London, it never ceases to give me goosebumps.

    Sorcha once summarized the song as follows, "A young man used to visit a fair in a certain place and he met a young girl there and they fell in love. Then, the fairs were discontinued and they did not see each other again until the night of his wedding feast. She came to the wedding feast dressed as a Traveller woman. She put the ring he had given her in the glass when he was giving her a drink. At this point he recognized her and they composed the song between them"


  • December 17th, 2014A Nod To Distributismby Kevin Kennelly

    Does Small Is Beautiful still work? Luke Johnson believes so ....and probably anyone who has had to interact with a "call center" or a government office (can you say Health Care) this Advent season does also. Modern life has become madness. Mr. Johnson ,in a recent issue of the Financial Times , suspects there is a better way and that such way  happily should appeal to capitalist  and socialist alike ..... and most everyone in between.


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