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The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus explores Catholic arts & culture with a variety of notable guests. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of

Musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus explores Catholic arts & culture with a variety of notable guests. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of


United States


Musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus explores Catholic arts & culture with a variety of notable guests. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of




Highlights: How men can help the angry feminist in their lives, and more

This episode features clips from episodes 34-37 of the Catholic Culture Podcast, including some personal stories from Thomas. Links The Memoirs of St. Peter w/ Michael Pakaluk Moral Blindness and Abortion w/ Abby Johnson Bridges to Hell or Heaven: “Toxic Femininity” and the Spirit of Anti-Mary w/ Carrie...


107 - Prayer as a Political Problem w/ Brandon McGinley

This is a discussion of an interesting little book from 1967 that has re-entered the discourse, Prayer as a Political Problem by Jean Danielou, SJ, recently reprinted by Cluny Media. In this book which seems confoundingly ahead of its time, before its time, and (irksomely) of its time, Danielou insists that prayer forms a constitutive part of the temporal common good. Governments, therefore, have a responsibility to create conditions making it easy for the common people to conduct a...


106 - Abortion-Derived Vaccines: Conscience Over Legalism - Michael Pakaluk, Jay Richards

Catholic circles, especially online, have seen significant division and anger over the COVID-19 vaccines. The majority position is essentially “The Church says taking the vaccine is OK”—“Rome has spoken”—while a loud minority insists that no circumstances can ever justify using vaccines derived from aborted fetal cell lines. Neither side accurately represents the Church’s guidance on the matter, especially her most authoritative statement, Dignitas Personae (2008), which says that only...


105 - Confronting an Unprecedented Church Scandal - Phil Lawler

Observing both Church history and the events of our lifetime, we can no longer be surprised at the existence of corrupt and abusive priests and bishops. Priestly sexual abuse, for example, was a problem the Church had to fight during the Middle Ages. The scandal of 2020 and beyond, however, finds no equal precedent in Church history. That bishops throughout the world would choose, of their own volition and without even the excuse of persecution, to deny participation in Mass to the laity...


104 - John's Gospel, Mary's Voice - Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk joins the show to discuss his new translation and commentary on St. John's gospel, making the case that this loftiest of gospels echoes the voice of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the evangelist's adopted mother) in subtle but profound ways. Watch discussion on YouTube: Links Mary's Voice in the Gospel According to John Episode 34 on Michael Pakaluk's translation of...


Highlights: Feminism and ideology; intuition, temperance and art; Great Books; Tolkien's visual art

This episode features highlight clips from episodes 26-30 of the Catholic Culture Podcast. Links Online Great Books opens a new enrollment period approximately once a month. Get in there using discount code “catholicculture” for 25% off your first three months! Or use this referral link: Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth exhibition book 29 - Catholic...


103 - Pope Leo XIII's NYC Hotel

Did you know there's a hotel in NYC named after Pope Leo XIII? The Leo House was founded in the 1880s as a boarding house for German Catholic immigrants, at the behest of the Holy Father, and is still operating today as a Catholic hotel providing charitable hospitality at a discount. In this episode you'll learn from the Leo House's chairman and president, Michael Coneys, about the hotel's fascinating history. The story involves Pope Leo's special care for the Catholic Church in Germany as...


102 - Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie - James Matthew Wilson

Poet-philosopher James Matthew Wilson returns to the show to read poems from his new collection, The Strangeness of the Good, including his "Quarantine Notebook" series, and to discuss the decay and renewal of Catholic intellectual life. Topics discussed include: The present narrowing of Catholic intellectual life in conservative/traditional circles His ideal approach to reciting poetry What needs to be done to build on the work in Catholic aesthetics done by figures like Maritain,...


101 - The Non-Reactionary Tolkien - Holly Ordway

J.R.R. Tolkien is commonly perceived as a reactionary who totally rejected the modern world, and whose literary influences began and ended with the Middle Ages. Holly Ordway's new book, Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages, debunks that view of Tolkien's life and work. Ordway begins with an invaluable critique of the sources of this misconception, especially the official biography written by Humphrey Carpenter, who admitted his own bias and desire to portray Tolkien...


100 - The Singular - Samuel Hazo

We celebrate our 100th episode with the return of a favorite Catholic Culture Podcast guest, former Pennsylvania Poet Laureate Samuel Hazo. At 92, Sam is still writing books, most recently a new collection of poems and a novel, published by Wiseblood Books. In this episode Sam reads and discusses poems from his new collection, The Next Time We Saw Paris, a recurring theme of which is how each experience in time passes away, yet in passing away it becomes a singular whole which remains...


Episode 0 - The Nightingale - Mark Christopher Brandt

To celebrate the approach of Episode 100 of the Catholic Culture Podcast, here is the interview that started it all. Originally published on August 4, 2017, this interview turned out so well that we decided to launch a whole series of interviews on Catholic arts and culture. The podcast launched several months later, on May 1, 2018. Catholic composer and pianist Mark Christopher Brandt joined Thomas Mirus to discuss his classical album and suite The Nightingale, inspired by Hans Christian...


99 - Ashes and Elitists - Gail Finke

This Ash Wednesday, following a note from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, many American parishes did not distribute ashes in the customary way of smudging a cross on the forehead and saying one of two possible formulas to each recipient. Instead, as an ostensible anti-COVID precaution, they sprinkled ashes on the top of the head and said the formula once to the whole congregation. Today’s guest, Gail Finke, wrote a thought-provoking article, not so much on the...


98 - An Anglo-Saxon Bard - Benjamin Bagby

Famous for his chanted performances of Beowulf in the original Old English, Benjamin Bagby is the closest thing you'll find today to an Anglo-Saxon bard. Bagby joins the show to describe how he reconstructed Beowulf as a sung tale, giving a demonstration of his Anglo-Saxon harp which is modeled on harps found in burial sites from over a millennium ago. He also discusses the recordings of the complete works of St. Hildegard of Bingen made by his ensemble, Sequentia. All music and video by...


97 - The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science - Daniel Toma

Watch on YouTube: Catholic geneticist Daniel Toma is the author of Vestige of Eden, Image of Eternity: Common Experience, the Hierarchy of Being, and Modern Science. He joins the podcast to discuss what natural science, including the fossil record, can teach us about the hierarchy of being and the liturgical structure of all creation, with deified man as rational head of the physical cosmos bringing all material creation into union with God. Links Daniel Toma,...


96 - Hillbilly Thomists - Joseph Hagan, O.P.

Watch on YouTube: The Hillbilly Thomists, a bluegrass group entirely composed of Dominican friars, have just released their second album, Living for the Other Side. Percussionist Fr. Joseph Hagan, who happens to be a priest at Thomas's parish, joins the show to talk about the new album, the connections between bluegrass and the Apocalypse, and music as an expression of the Dominican mission of preaching. All songs used with...


95 - Fighting Pervasive Religious Indifferentism - Ralph Martin

Watch on YouTube: Today’s Catholic culture is marked by a profound and settled religious indifferentism. Among many Catholics, to say what the Church has always taught—that Jesus Christ is the one way to salvation—is considered offensive, or at best, rash. In certain countries, the bishops’ conferences have practically made a policy against seeking converts from other religions (or lack thereof). Catholics, ruled by fear of human respect and compromised by their...


94 - Understanding Postmodern "Social Justice" - Darel Paul

Watch on YouTube: The alarmists were right: ideas that were only a few years ago complacently dismissed as the perennial agitation of a few campus loonies are now pervasive in the corporate world, mass media and pop culture. Critical race theory, transgender ideology, the obsessive search for oppressive power relations in every aspect of life and every feature of language, the demand for all to be activists, shutting down of dissenting speech as violence:...


93 - An Introduction to Thomas Tallis - Kerry McCarthy

All music by Thomas Tallis used with permission of the artists and labels listed below. Watch on YouTube: As a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) composed sacred music for four successive English monarchs, starting with Henry VIII and ending with Elizabeth. Those were turbulent times in England, especially for a church musician. Those were turbulent times in England, especially for a church musician. Like his colleague (and probable...


92 - Claudel's Cosmic Vision - Jonathan Geltner

Watch on YouTube: In his Five Great Odes, the great French Catholic poet Paul Claudel (1868-1955) offers a cosmic vision in which man, in his contemplative and poetic capacity, stands as mediator between God and all creation. Man, in the image of God and even more in the headship of Christ, names all creatures, unites them in his heart, speaks for them and offers them back to God as unified whole of which man himself is a part: "I extend my hands to left and to...


91 - The Temptation of St. Anthony - Elizabeth Lev

Watch this episode on YouTube: The trials of St. Anthony the Great (251-356 AD), as described in St. Athanasius's Life and the medieval Golden Legend, have been a favorite subject of Western artists since the Middle Ages. Anthony, a desert monk, was frequently assaulted by Satan, who when he could not win by normal temptations, sent his demons in the form of wild beasts, beautiful women, soldiers and even monks to torment and distract the Desert Father. Artists...