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March 16, 2015

It is said that half of all the art in Europe is in Italy, and half of all the art in Italy is in Florence. That may not be arithmetically precise, but it can’t be far from the truth.

When Florentine art is mentioned, everyone thinks of the giant Uffizi Gallery, but there are many other showplaces, among my favorite being the Bargello, which once served as a jail but today houses chiefly sculpture, and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, where the best pieces from the cathedral are kept....

February 5, 2015

At today’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama criticized the Islamic State for its brutal atrocities, which seem to be multiplying beyond our ability to express outrage. For example, earlier this week while America was passionately debating whether the Seahawks should have passed or run on second-and-goal, the Islamic State doused a captured Jordanian pilot...

December 22, 2014

This post is the third in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

Anna Comnena was the thirteen-year-old daughter of Emperor Alexius I when the initial group of Crusaders marched into Constantinople during the First Crusade in the late eleventh century. Later, as a woman in her forties, she wrote the Alexiad, an account of the events of her father’s reign. In describing the arrival of these warriors from the West,...

November 4, 2014

This post is the second in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

Some people find distasteful the idea that the pope exhorted and spiritually incentivized Catholic warriors to fight in the Crusades. They say the Crusades highlight the hypocrisy of Christians, who, on the one hand, profess to follow Jesus, who willingly accepted his Passion and death, and on the other, participated in and supported an armed expedition to the...

October 22, 2014

This post is the first in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

The Crusades are one of the most misunderstood topics in Church history. Movies and TV present as established fact an outdated anti-Catholic narrative about them that stays alive by sheer repetition. Not only do secular critics of the Church use this narrative to attack Catholicism (and religion in general), but many Catholics uwittingly accept it as true.

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