May 21, 2019

Tolkien (2019) Directed by Dome Karukoski Written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford Rated PG-13 (for some sequences of war violence) Tolkien is a beautiful film. I wrote back in February that I had some misgivings, based on its trailer. But I said I would keep an open mind until I saw it. I have now seen it, and while it’s flawed in some ways, it succeeds wonderfully in telling the story of the young J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) and the… Read more

April 30, 2019

I published the below post last May. I am republishing it because Tuesday, April 30 we had our third mass shooting in four days. Saturday, a man killed one and injured three in a shooting in a San Diego, California, synagogue. A day later, a gunman killed one and injured seven when he fired into a cookout in Baltimore, Maryland. And Tuesday, a gunman injured two and injured four in in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ve written about gun violence and… Read more

April 18, 2019

One of the great joys of editing Gilbert! for fourteen years was editing James V. Schall S.J. Fr. Schall, 91, died Wednesday. May he rest in peace. Fr. Schall wrote the “Schall on Chesterton” column for Gilbert! since its founding in 1997. Before that, he contributed the same column to the Midwest Chesterton News. He also wrote for numerous other publications, all while teaching at Georgetown University. After his retirement from Georgetown in 2012, he continued to write for Gilbert!, always… Read more

April 15, 2019

Jesus’ words, from Matthew 24:35, were what first passed through my mind when I saw striking pictures of the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral, miraculously preserved after Paris firefighters had mostly doused the blaze that tore through it Monday afternoon and evening. It was a deeply moving conclusion to a terrible day. I was home for lunch when suddenly my Facebook news feed blew up with stories of the tragedy: Notre Dame was engulfed in flames. We turned on the… Read more

April 11, 2019

Season 8 of Game of Thrones premiers Sunday. The anticipation is enough to make any fan explode. The usual Puritan malcontents denounce it as porn, showing that they know even less about porn than they do about Game of Thrones (and if you’re such a good Catholic, how is it you claim to know so much about porn?). I don’t care how good of a Catholic you think you are, if you don’t love a good story as much as… Read more

March 25, 2019

Today, we celebrate two events, one fictional and one real. The fictional event is the destruction of a Ring and the downfall of an evil power. The real event is the Annunciation of our long-promised Redeemer. The two are linked. “Noon?” said Sam, trying to calculate. “Noon of what day?” “The fourteenth of the New Year,” said Gandalf. “Or, if you like, the eighth day of April in the Shire reckoning. But in Gondor the New Year will always now… Read more

March 18, 2019

Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign for president started as a snowball. It is quickly becoming an avalanche. Mr. Trump, feeling the pressure, is lashing out at his political opponents more frequently, including, last week, hinting that police and the military—and some outfit called Bikers for Trump—would make things “very bad, very bad” for his political opponents; would “do things that are very nasty.” Then Sunday morning—two days after a white nationalist who murdered fifty Muslims in New Zealand… Read more

March 5, 2019

Lent is a dreary time. From Ash Wednesday to the Triduum, we count the days and endure our mortifications, fasts, and other obligations—or stress over failing to live up to them. But amidst the gloom are a few bright spots. Two solemnities fall during Lent, St. Joseph’s Day on March 19 and the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25. On those days the Gloria is said at Mass, even though it is not said at any other time during Lent…. Read more

March 5, 2019

I woke up Sunday morning to the below comment on Facebook, in response to the screenshot that accompanies this article, which I had posted on my wall: I laugh at this because you think AOC is logical about saving the planet but you still don’t defend the life of unborn babies and mock people who even try to defend them. So her and you together are bigger hypocrites than Hitler defending Jews. You could defend actual life on Earth but… Read more

March 1, 2019

Updated to add additional information I did not know existed when I published this – spd The Catholic Church is wild about credentials. For instance, you cannot call yourself a theologian without a licentiate or doctorate in theology from an approved university. You would be silly to listen to anyone pontificate on canon law who did not have a canon law degree. You cannot even call your nonprofit “Catholic” without permission from the local bishop. I know because when my… Read more

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