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February 2, 2013

On this day in 1904 Pope St. Pius X issued an encyclical on the Immaculate Conception. The issuance was in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma by Bl. Pius IX on December 8, 1854. The new encyclical was called Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum.

A century ago, most Catholics were less educated than they are today. Indeed, a good proportion of them were illiterate, and most of the rest, even in a country such as the U.S., could not hope to go beyond high...

February 1, 2013

This is the third and, for now, last post that mentions episodes from the life of Paul Claudel.

During World War I Claudel was stationed in Rome, Italy being an ally of France and Britain. One day he dined with Hilaire Belloc (seen in the photo flanked by his friends George Bernard Shaw and G. K. Chesterton) in an osteria on the Via Nomentana. The eatery was called Pozzo di San Patrizio (Well of St. Patrick).

Belloc spoke words of praise about a talented young author. Claudel...

January 30, 2013

When I first read it, years ago, I thought that Louis Chaigne's biography of Paul Claudel was the best-written biography I had ever come across. The book appeared in 1961, six years after Claudel's death at the age of 86.

Paul Claudel: The Man and the Mystic covers the three men who were Claudel: the diplomat, the poet and playwright, and the Catholic. Chaigne writes lovingly and insightfully of the man who was his friend for thirty years. By the end of the book, I felt...

January 29, 2013

This blogoccupying the left column of our redesigned main pagefeatures posts by members of the Catholic Answers staff. Aside from Yours Truly they are:

Apologists: Jimmy Akin, Michelle Arnold, Jim Blackburn, Matt Fradd, Peggy Frye, Trent Horn, Hector Molina, Tim Staples

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January 29, 2013

What is the proper Catholic apologetic against using women in combat?

That was the question I posed to Catholic Answers' leadership last week when we met off campus for two days for our annual planning retreat. At the start of one day's session I brought up the Pentagon's decision to incorporate women in nearly all phrases of combat. All of us at the table were opposed to that, but, I asked, what is the right way to argue about the issue?

I pointed to arguments that may...