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February 18, 2013

My last post declaring that women were not suited to military combat because it is contrary to their nature provoked a surprising number of responses questioning the distinctions between men and women made manifest in the natural law. Many of the responses were based on anecdotes, a method of argumentation that has its merits but also has its limits.  That being acknowledged, permit me to indulge in...

February 18, 2013

I love reading conversion stories. I've read so many of them that I sometimes don't remember exactly what a convert said about his journey, only that he entered the Church. That's the case with a story I remember reading years ago, probably in an anthology of conversion stories. I don't remember a lot of the details, only an extraordinary tale of answered prayer.

This convert had attended a famous Protestant seminary in the U.S., one which had been seeing a surprising number of its...

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...

February 16, 2013

As the clock strikes 8 p.m. on February 28, 2013, Rome time, the Chair of Peter will no longer be occupied by a successor of Peter. The sedecavantist movement may say, "Like we've been saying all along." 

Many unanswered questions linger, such as what will Benedict XVI's proper title will be. (The leading theory is that he'll continue to be called Your Holiness in the way...