France

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The Providence College Mob Comes for Anthony Esolen

Those who doubt that orthodox Christians risk persecution should consider the case of Anthony Esolen. A prominent scholar of Renaissance literature, Esolen authored a widely used translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He writes books and essays incessantly, contributing to Magnificat, Crisis magazine, and other publications and online outlets that take seriously Christianity and human excellence. [...]

Tolerating Terror

The slaying of Father Jacques Hamel at the altar of the church of Saint Etienne-de Rouvray in Normandy should be the envy of every priest: to die at Mass, the holiest hour of the world. The president of France was heartfelt in his mourning, but Monsieur Hollande was also historically remiss when he said: “To [...]

French Politicians Deny Reality in Wake of Nice Terror

In war, the inability or refusal to recognize the enemy’s intentions and capabilities has disastrous consequences. America experienced this on December 7, 1941. But as 9/11 and subsequent events have demonstrated, it is a lesson soon forgotten and often reviewed in sorrow and bitterness. Sadly, there is little reason to think that the leaders of [...]

On Seeing Omaha Beach

General Mark W. Clark, whose Fifth Army led the capture of Rome in June of 1944, was the last of the fighting World War II field commanders to die (at age 87 in 1984). He never doubted the importance of the role America played in the liberation of Europe.  Nor the idealism that moved so [...]

The Paris Horror: Real and Explicable

There is a film clip of Charles Trenet singing the song he wrote, “La Romance de Paris” in Jean Boyer’s film of the same name, with smiling people gathered round as the accordionist accompanies the swaggering “fou chanteur” with his broad grin and popping eyes. It is charmingly nostalgic until you realize that it is [...]

Controlling Thought in French Schools and Beyond

France as a whole—if we can speak that way of a high culture whose chief unity consists in a shared distaste for consensus—has behaved irrationally only in those historic moments when called upon to defend reason. When a true Frenchman has lost an argument on the basis of its merit, his last recourse and gravest [...]

From Charles Martel to Charlie Hebdo

On three different occasions, my wife and I chaperoned student tours to Paris. Looking over my journals now, post-Charlie Hebdo, I notice that on each of these trips there was occasion to record uneasy incidents with Arabs who seemed determined to disrupt the fabled joie de vivre of Parisian life. Truth to tell, the Parisians [...]

René de La Tour du Pin & the Renewal of the Social Order

In their headlong rush to tear down the infrastructure of privilege and exalt equality and liberty, the French Revolutionaries ripped apart the social fabric which had developed in France over the centuries. In the wake of their orgy of destruction, intermediate social bodies were weakened or abolished, amongst which were the corporations or guilds. In [...]

Suicide at Notre Dame a Warning to the West

The mainstream American right has remained almost entirely silent about the recent suicide of the French historian, Dominique Venner. The reasons for this, I do not know—perhaps it is a squeamishness about the symbolism of his final act, or a lack of understanding of it. Perhaps it is a refusal to see what the people [...]

The French Defy Socialists over Gay Marriage

Many should be aware of the massacres and massive human rights violations visited upon the Catholic Church during the French Revolution, especially in the Vendée, but there is another more recent period in French history in which the Church was violently oppressed that has received far less attention. Historian Jean Sévillia’s Quand les catholiques étaient [...]

Léon Harmel: Pioneer of the Just Wage

You could call the nineteenth century stupid, but hardly dull. At its birth, it was the stage for Napoleon’s antics and for the heroism of the captains of wooden ships; at its death, the old Europe itself was giving way before the hard, cold era of aluminum, centralized planning, and the IRS. Sure, it was [...]

Eat the Rich Now, Starve Later

There is one group that is not protected from hate-speech: the rich. For the rich it is permissible, and in some circles de rigueur, to speak disparagingly or hatefully. This, I imagine, is because it is widely supposed that if you hate the rich you must love the poor, and love of the poor, at [...]

Will France Take a New Strategic Direction Under Hollande?

New political leaders do not invent new national strategies. Rather, they adapt enduring national strategies to the moment. On Tuesday, Francois Hollande was inaugurated as France's president, and soon after taking the oath of office, he visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. At this moment, the talks are expected to be about austerity and [...]

St. Jean de Brébeuf

Why, there is Echon come back again . . . my nephew, my brother, my cousin, you have finally come back to us!” Thus with the warmth typical of their people did the Huron Indians greet their beloved father, Jean de Brébeuf. In the Huron tongue Echon meant “the strong one” or “the one who [...]

Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the Apostle of Santa Fe

The man chosen by Blessed Pius IX to restore the Faith to the troubled American Southwest was the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who died on the 13th of February in the year of Grace 1888.

A Son of Saint Louis

Samuel de Champlain vindicates the ideal of the Christian explorer who brings the light of faith and the benefits of civilization to the heathen savage.

Death of a Bad Dude

In the 1980s, I was an unrefined adolescent from blue-collar Butler, Pennsylvania. I knew nothing and cared nothing about politics. I had no idea if I was a conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, or much of anything else. But I knew one thing: Moammar Kaddafi was a bad dude. This was expressed in a [...]

Finding St. Joseph

Imagine a world where no Christian is named for St. Joseph, where no church or religious organization bears his name. Picture St. Joseph absent from the Mass, the Breviary, the Church calendar, and the Litany of Saints. No shrines, no special devotions, no hymns, no solo images, no popular customs, no festive foods pay homage [...]

Secularism’s Victory through Osmosis

The German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) began his education as a Lutheran seminarian during the cultural ferment that we now refer to as the French Enlightenment. Later, as a philosophy professor at Jena, in a chapter in his 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit on "the struggle of the Enlightenment with Superstition," he offered a [...]

Economics and Human Action

When it comes to economics, there is a serious comprehension deficit among Catholics. In order to understand this subject, we must first distinguish between the actions of human beings and the way those actions are perceived by those who study them. The value of any economic theory lies in how well it captures actual human [...]

The Constant Threat of the Miraculous

For the modern informed Catholic, the miraculous and the holy do not necessarily go hand in hand. Among many of the devout, confusion often exists as to whether miracles are real, whether they are from God or from somewhere else, and whether questionable people are profiting from them. In our time, places like Medjugorje have [...]

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