Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Heraldic question

This evening I took a look at heraldist Fr. Guy Selvester’s blog Exarandorum, which shows examples of heraldry in the coats of arms of bishops, parishes, and dioceses.

To start with, the posts tagged with the label “Bad Heraldry” are particularly educational for an uninstructed person such as myself, and some are a bit amusing.  They remind me of the classic site “Web Pages That Suck”, which helped readers learn good design by looking at examples of bad design.


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Lots of blame for the Pope, but no praise

Where are the praises? Where are the bouquets?

The other day we heard from people who blew their stack over the Pope Francis spoken-word-with-pop-music recording made by some record producer.

One Catholic writer reacted on Facebook with one word: “Sick.” A non-Catholic musician heard a Latin Gregorian chant text sung over some drab rock music, and wrote to me to call it “satanic”, and to say that it put a stop to his interest in joining the Church. Other people insisted that this horrible thing


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Does this express the Faith well?

Since it’s August 13, devotions are being held today at Fatima: the rosary, a procession, and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Here’s a little glimpse:

Fatima monstrance 1

Yes, that is the monstrance in which the Most Holy is presented for the adoration of the faithful. Isn’t it kind of distracting?

Fatima monstance 2


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The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Margaret Cabaniss, at, joins Vanity Fair‘s Paul Cullum in sniffing at the work of decorative painter Thomas Kinkade.
On the one hand, I have to admit his stuff is not great art. It’s dreamy, nostalgic, sentimental, formulaic, and escapist. So what? It’s decorative. On that score, at least it’s better than a painting made of elephant droppings.
I’m not a fan of his works by any means, but it bothers me to see good writers fall into the snobbery attached to most criticism


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I’m a Catholic nitwit

It appears that Philip Pullman thinks I’m a Catholic nitwit.
Here is the response I just emailed to the Times On-line:

I pity poor Philip Pullman
The man spends years of his life objecting to Christianity, and now he apparently objects to Christians objecting to his objections. Mr. Pullman even resorts to stereotyping and name-calling when responding to critics like myself. Ironically, his are the same tactics employed by the evil magesterium in his novels.
I would believe such behaviour unbecoming of an award-winning


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What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak
Eric Johnson
John Schultz

This blog follows the Welborn/Vere Protocol: e-mails from readers may be published and discussed.