20 results
February 28, 2013
E. C. Bentley

G. K. Chesterton dedicated his novel The Man Who Was Thursday to his friend Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875–1956). By fans of detective fiction Bentley is remembered best as the author of Trent’s Last Case (1913), which many consider the first of the modern whodunits. Other people know Bentley because of the poetic form he invented and gave his middle name to, the clerihew.

The clerihew is a four-line poem about (usually) a famous person. The first line contains the...

February 20, 2013

The Inquisition!

The Holy Office!

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith!

Whichever name it has used, this is the arm of the Vatican that oversees the doctrinal integrity of the Faith. It watches, with eagle eyes, the goings on of theologians and other suspects around the world.

Its staff is omnipresent, with sub-offices in every country and in most major dioceses. Its minions send daily reports to headquarters, where countless clerical workers do nothing...

February 19, 2013

A friend of mine—who will remain unnamed—wrote this comment on a Facebook thread:

“Last night on Coast to Coast AM, Richard C. Hoagland, who studies celestial events, said the confluence of the asteroid passing and the meteor explosion in the Eastern side of the Ural Mountains could not have happened in nature. That the meteor in Russia had to be aimed just right by an intelligence (alien or divine?) to have avoided hitting the hundreds of manmade satellites and to come in at...

February 18, 2013

Pitiful, just pitiful.

That was my reaction on watching this five-minute clip from The Colbert Report, in which host Stephen Colbert talks with Garry Wills about his new book, Why Priests? A Failed Tradition. The book was published last week.

Colbert is a Catholic but not, so far as I can tell, a completely orthodox one. Still, he professes...

February 17, 2013

After some years away from him, I’m back on a Ronald Knox jag. I’ve got several shelves of his books—nearly everything he wrote—and a few nights ago compared what I have to the listing of his works in Evelyn Waugh’s biography of him. Of the few titles I didn’t have, I found some at online book dealers, so three are on their way to me.

One book I hadn’t taken down from the shelves in a long while was Essays in Satire, published in 1930. Two of the essays particularly caught my...