Elizabeth Scalia

Elizabeth Scalia is the popular writer and blogger known as "The Anchoress." She writes a weekly column for First Things and is the managing editor for the Catholic Portal at Patheos.

recent articles

A Tsunami Cannot Be Drawn in Pastels: On Dignity and Suffering

When I was a little girl, our family knew a Frenchwoman. I don’t recall her name, but I remember her vividly. She seemed to me very glamorous and mysterious, forever wearing a too-bright shade of lipstick, smelling of a heavy overlay of carnation and a dim underlay of what I now recognize as vodka. She … Read more

Standing on the Mound: The Virtues of Baseball

Don’t tell me about the world. Not today. It’s springtime and they’re knocking baseballs around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball. — Pete Hamill I once knew a woman who, when preparing the first fruit salad of summer, would lop … Read more

‘Greater Than’ Is Pretty Great

Greater Than You Think: A Theologian Answers the Atheists about God Rev. Thomas D. Williams, L.C., FaithWords, 192 pages, $13.99 In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence. — Sir Isaac Newton It would seem improbable that a Christian might, in a scant 192 pages, bring sound … Read more

The Crucible of Ted Kennedy

  This week brought the unhappy news that Massachusetts senator Edward Moore Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant tumor. The growth is located in the parietal lobe, that portion of the brain responsible for some sensory perceptions — taste, touch, movement — and for both the reception and expression of speech, and for math … Read more

Wrong Target? A Different Look at the Cardinal and the Mayor

When popular columnist Robert Novak observed some Catholic politicians receiving Communion at two stadium Masses celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, he took a bishop and a cardinal to task over it in the pages of the Washington Post. It’s not necessarily a bad thing for laity to raise a respectful eyebrow at clerics whom they … Read more

The Students and the Pope

  Particularly in springtime, the campus of The Catholic University of America is arguably one of the prettiest in the country. But in anticipation of a visit from Pope Benedict XVI, the school — which is America’s only pontifical university, supported by the bishops and the pope — did freshen itself up, installing a new … Read more

The Sins and the Fathers

The Sacrament of Penance is making a comeback as young people flock to confession. But repentance may not always look the way you expect. The confessor is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant. The minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of Christ. He should have a … Read more

On the Cusp of Something Great

Elizabeth Scalia, raised between Rites, welcomes back the Old Latin Mass, and wonders if its return might help improve the New. A magnificently voiced organ and the clear treble of the girl’s choir combined to sound like angels from on high. The billowing incense seemed to charge the church interior with holiness and mystery, and … Read more

A Pro-Choice President Can End Abortion

There is a train of thought that careens down the tracks of a shaky syllogism, and it picks up speed every four years in the United States. Like the Little Engine that Could, it chugs along and says, “I am pro-life and were I president, I would end abortion. Therefore if I vote for a … Read more

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