Art & Culture

Several Sundays ago, our parish priest devoted his sermon to the subject of evil, which he argued has reached historic levels in the world today. A couple of weeks later, my local paper, The Laramie Boomerang, printed a front-page story about the forthcoming weeklong series of events preceding Hallowe’en (nowadays “Halloween” or “Holloween”) called “Scaramie,” [...]

Several Sundays ago, our parish priest devoted his sermon to the subject of evil, which he argued has reached historic levels in the world today. A couple of weeks later, my local paper, The Laramie Boomerang, printed a front-page story about the forthcoming weeklong series of events preceding Hallowe’en (nowadays “Halloween” or “Holloween”) called “Scaramie,” [...]

Have you ever dared to go inside one of those Halloween outlets that crop up a month before October 31? Besides high-priced trash, these shops offer an insight into what Dante might have conceived for our times in his Inferno, portraying the horrors and monstrosities that are housed in the heart of our society with [...]

A recent film, All Is True, released this past May and starring Kenneth Branagh as Shakespeare and Ian McKellen as Shakespeare’s patron, the Earl of Southampton, purports to be a depiction of the Bard’s final years in Stratford-upon-Avon following his retirement from the London stage. Making no effort to remain true to the known facts [...]

Editor’s note: in this fascinating interview with Crisis Magazine, the acclaimed novelist Walker Percy discusses the vocations crisis, abortion, Vatican II, popes, and (of course) literature. The interview originally appeared in the July 1989 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. CRISIS: There is tremendous intellectual opposition in the Church to Pope [...]

The canonization of John Henry Newman in Rome on October 13 will be a triumph for the light of life and love amidst the gloom and darkness of the Culture of Death. It will signify the way in which the Church transcends and outlives the evil forces that assail her, whether such assailants are the [...]

In May of this year, the newly elected United Conservative Party government of the province of Alberta directed all accredited colleges and universities in the province to adopt policies protecting freedom of expression on campus. Although each school must compose its own statement upholding free-speech rights within the specific context and institutional culture, the famous [...]

Due to teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s thunderous—and divisive—speech to the United Nations last week, climate change is getting another moment in the sun. It may be tempting to brush off her comments as youthful hyperbole, but Thunberg’s speech does not stand alone. She’s the most prominent figure in a worldwide movement of young people who [...]

After Colin Clive uttered his mad crescendo of “It’s alive!” in the 1931 film Frankenstein, he screamed a line that censorship boards judged as blasphemous. So, a thunderclap was added to obscure him raving, “Now I know what it feels like to be God!” Shocking. What’s even more shocking is that there was such sensitivity [...]

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” — Genesis 1: 27 (RSV) In our time of digital revolution, the imagination is fast becoming obsolete. The company Neuralink is preparing to launch clinical human trials by next year of an implant [...]

Jennifer Lopez calls her new film Hustlers an “empowering, feminist story.” The inference is that the strippers—the film’s protagonists—use the sexualization of their bodies to gain control of their male clients. This has become a common message for women. The entertainment industry no longer portrays women as straightforward sexual objects. Now, leading ladies accentuate their [...]

As the Nazis prepared to invade Poland, they must have thought about the Polish history of sustaining its national spirit through art and literature. When Poland was partitioned in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was poets like Adam Mickiewicz and novelists like Henryk Sienkiewicz who kept Polish culture alive and inspired their downtrodden countrymen. [...]

Several years before his death last spring, the Hungarian-American historian John Lukacs remarked to me, in reference to 21st-century America, that “this is what a proletarian society looks like.” I was reminded of his words at Mass last Sunday as I surveyed the congregation below from the choir loft. A corpulent youth at the back [...]

In the waning days of summer, 1974, a man named Philippe Petit dared to do something beautiful. Petit, a professional funambulist, pulled off an undercover job tantamount to a heist, illegally securing a cable between the nearly completed World Trade Center Towers in New York City. He had walked a wire between the towers of [...]

It’s no secret that virtually all of Hollywood is hostile to Catholicism—to the Church, the Faith, the priesthood, and especially the moral teachings that serious Catholics strive to live by. Really, they do themselves no favors. From Ben Hur to I Confess to Going My Way to The Mission to The Passion of the Christ, [...]

I haven’t done it in years, but, before I was assigned to cantor Sunday Mass every week, I occasionally served as one of our several parish lectors. In those days, a parishioner was entrusted with finding and scheduling lectors. Whether these were given special training or not I don’t recall, though I do remember receiving [...]

“He is truly there in the Eucharist,” says Amelia Shripka. The 8th-grader at Everest Collegiate High School and Academy in Clarkston, Michigan takes delight in the Eucharistic procession that her school holds every year. It’s a “great time to reflect on what Jesus did for us,” she says. But according to a recent report from [...]

It’s all but inevitable on social media that someone will (sooner rather than later) call me an “old white man.” This can be in response to practically any topic. I never write about race, for instance. It’s a boring topic. But a politically incorrect comment on poverty, or global warming, or national defense, or whatever—can [...]

On August 15–17, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held on a 600-acre dairy farm near Bethel, New York. Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of this monumental cultural event that marked an epoch. Woodstock changed America. It helped usher in a period of moral devastation. The event enshrined free love as acceptable in [...]

Two elderly priests I know have offered complementary insights into our current cultural crisis: “Social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering,” and “Those who win the language wars win the culture wars.” Language carefully hones, shapes—or distorts—our culture. And, since language is our medium for comprehension, our use of language directly impacts our ability to [...]

With the continued normalization of vice in modern life, the idea of preserving or recovering innocence seems somewhat irrelevant. For most people, a return to innocence is more likely to bring to mind a new age hit single from the nineties than a serious societal concern. Today, only a few parents (usually of the Mormon [...]

We are an extraordinarily intolerant people. We take pride in our intolerance, though we don’t call it by that name. The tolerant person sees something bad and, for reasons of prudence or clemency, he bears with it. He sees his cousin drinking too much at a party; he ascertains that the cousin will not be [...]

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