Italy

Biden vs. Bork, 1988: Democrats Smear a SCOTUS Nominee

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the May 1988 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. Many people have asked me what it was like to live through the nomination and hearings of my husband, Robert Bork. I usually answer that it was like being besieged in a battle where the reinforcements [...]

Arrivederci, Roma

  Will popular democracy bring down the New World Order? A fair question. For Western peoples are growing increasingly reluctant to accept the sacrifices that the elites are imposing upon them to preserve that New World Order. Political support for TARP, to rescue the financial system after the Lehman Brothers collapse, is being held against [...]

A Victory for Religious Freedom

Religious belief, and Christianity in particular, has found an unlikely ally in the debate over the proper public place of Europe's Christian heritage: the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. In a closely watched decision, the Grand Chamber overruled a 2009 lower court decision, Lautsi v. Italy, and determined that public schools [...]

It’s Time to Get Rid of the Drinking Age

I had my first taste of alcohol on vacation with my parents when I was eight years old. We had just sat down to dinner at a restaurant in Rome, and the waiter came as usual to pour wine for my parents. To my surprise, he didn't pass over my glass. As I looked at [...]

Should you let your kids drink at home?

An article in the Wall Street Journal examines the debate over whether parents should let children drink alcohol at home. Not surprisingly, both parents and experts differ.According to a 2009 survey, 86 percent of American youths have used alcohol by the age of 21. (This number actually seems a little low to me.)  The WSJ [...]

What’s in a name? A lot, according to the pope.

On Sunday, as he baptized 21 infants in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged parents to give their children Christian names. He said this was "an unequivocal sign that the Holy Spirit gives a rebirth to people in the womb of the Church."The Italian media then warned parents about not using names from the [...]

Viva Criminalità, Viva Italia

Strange. I don't feel like a criminal. But Mark Twain, in his newly released Autobiography (published, as he wished, a century after his death), says, "I believe that the trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama, is the most degraded of all trades, and that it has no real value." Well, there goes [...]

On Dark Places

Recently, I encountered an online discussion among Catholic converts and Protestants that strayed into the topic of the St. Joseph house-selling kit. It was meant to be a sort of "gotcha!" moment for Catholics defending the cult of the saints. While I have no intention of going into the arguments concerning this particular practice, I [...]

Eat, Pray, Love & Embracing the Beautiful

The excerpt below is from Elizabeth Gilbert’s "Eat, Pray, Love," which was recently made into a film starring Julia Roberts.  I haven’t read the book, but someone showed me this passage, and I must say I was strongly impressed by it.  I’m sure there are many “religious despisers of beauty,” as I have called them, [...]

Fun with stereotypes

Bulgarian artist Yanko Tsvetkov is getting lots of attention for his "Mapping Stereotypes" project -- various maps of Europe according to different countries' real feelings about their neighbors. Here's Europe according to the U.S.: Seems about right: What else is Ireland good for if not giving us St. Patrick? (Guinness, maybe.) And the further east [...]

The eVatican

As a highly-if-not-quite-exclusively visual person, this story from the University of Villanova really caught my attention: A team from Villanova University has made touring the Sistine Chapel a reality with just the simple click of a mouse. For the last two years, students and faculty from Villanova have been granted rare clearance to photograph some [...]

The Mass, brought to you by Steve Jobs

How would you feel about an iPad on the altar? Thanks to Father Paolo Padrini -- the developer of the iBreviary app for the iPhone, and now an app for the iPad that contains the entire Roman missal -- we may be seeing it sometime soon: Padrini, a consultant with the Vatican's Pontifical Council for [...]

Vatican establishes ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’

This, I think, is a great idea: The Vatican is planning a new initiative to reach out to atheists and agnostics in an attempt to improve the church's relationship with non-believers. Pope Benedict XVI has ordered officials to create a new foundation where atheists will be encouraged to meet and debate with some of the [...]

On this Memorial Day, I find my thoughts turning to memories of my father, Jack W. Hudson. He served during World War II as the captain of a "Liberator," the B-24 heavy bomber.  Here he is with his crew (top right) -- all of whom came back to the US alive. He only told me [...]

My Father, the B-24 Captain, and His Crew

On this Memorial Day, I find my thoughts turning to memories of my father, Jack W. Hudson. He served during World War II as the captain of a "Liberator," the B-24 heavy bomber.  Here he is with his crew (top right) -- all of whom came back to the US alive. He only told me [...]

Paging Major Toht…

A historian at the Italian Montevergine monastery says that Adolf Hitler's interest in religious artifacts apparently extended to the Shroud of Turin: Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler hatched a plot to steal the Shroud of Turin but was thwarted by a handful of plucky Benedictine monks, it was reported today. Hitler dispatched aides to swipe the [...]

Pompeii snack bar reopens for business

Good news for the hungry tourists of Pompeii: Vetutius Placidus' snack bar is reopening after extensive renovations. This being Italy, the work took almost 1900 years. Three hundred specially invited guests are to taste the delights of Roman fast food in the thermopolium (that’s snack bar to you and me) in a special ceremony to [...]

United from Above

   "Religion is divisive," we Christians hear from our secularist critics, and have heard from them since that night of totalitarian cravings called the Enlightenment descended upon Europe from Paris to Prussia. "It needs to be kept in check, relegated to the closet, for the sake of a decent and civil society."   Yet exactly [...]

Cicero, Catiline, and the American Left

One of the unfortunate byproducts of the fact that, for many years now, nobody has studied Latin in school is this: Hardly anybody remembers Cicero and the conspiracy of Catiline. If we could remember this, it would be helpful in thinking about what those on the American Right call "enhanced interrogation" and those on the [...]

A Catholic College Where the Students Sing (in Latin)

Recently I had the chance to speak with Jeffrey J. Karls, president of Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire. Like many people, I had a few misconceptions about the school. After speaking with him and getting the facts, I thought it would be nice to turn our conversation into an informal interview. With so many [...]

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

  Toward the end of the 1880s, Francis Marchese, publisher of the New York Italian newspaper Il Progresso Italo-Americano, wrote about his fellow countrymen in New York: "The Italian colony are exploited economically and morally by other Italians and by Protestants. The Italians are hated, treated like animals, persecuted worse than the Negro."   In [...]

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