Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Highlight clips from the Catholic Culture Podcast
and Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast

These engaging and informative clips on our YouTube channel, taken from longer episodes, provide a wonderful introduction to Catholic Culture’s podcasting program:

Highlights: Authority in marriage, anti-libertarianism, the scapular and more [1:14:03] (11/23/2021)
This episode contains clips of highlights from episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on authority and submission as gift in Christian marriage, on the problems with libertarianism, on the brown scapular, and on English Catholic composer William Byrd.

Highlights: Garrigou-Lagrange, Dana Gioia, Tolkien’s metaphysics, and more [1:30:20] (08/18/2021)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on the great theologian Garrigou-Lagrange, abortion colonialism in Africa, Tolkien's metaphysics, and interviews with Catholic poet Dana Gioia and sacred music composer Paul Jernberg.

Without fatherhood, motherhood lacks proper boundaries [8:53] (07/29/2021)
In Kieslowski's film Dekalog: Seven, a grandmother and a mother battle for custody of a child while the father and grandfather stand by, doing nothing to stop things from spiraling out of control. One possible reading of the film is that motherhood requires fatherhood to set its proper boundaries so that it does not turn in on itself and become a devouring thing. But the film, inspired by the seventh commandment "Thou shalt not steal", is also about a young woman having her motherhood "stolen" from her, raising the question: in what other ways does society rob women of motherhood? Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Theft of Motherhood—Dekalog: Seven (1988).

Highlights: How men can help the angry feminist in their lives, and more [1:04:38] (06/14/2021)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on how men can respond to feminism, a new translation of the Gospel of Mark, moral blindness and abortion, and the sculptor whose bust of Pope Benedict XVI received an award from that very Pope.

Discerning when cinema becomes pornographic [14:47] (05/07/2021)
When does depiction of sexuality in a movie become pornographic? Does the director's intent (artistic vs. salacious) matter? Conventional wisdom would say so, yet the Catechism does not mention intent in its definition of pornography, which it says "consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties". It seems, then, that certain things may never be displayed, even for an artistic or moralizing purpose. On the other hand, the Catechism's definition does not exhaust all the varieties of sexual immorality found in media, because it would not include mere nudity in a film, even if the nudity were clearly intended to provoke lust. Dekalog: Six, included on the Vatican's 1995 list of important films, includes scenes that, though not entirely explicit, call for discernment from a Catholic viewer. It is clear that, whether strictly pornographic or not, certain aspects of the film cross the moral line, and also clear that the Vatican did not intend to endorse these depictions in including the Dekalog series as a whole on its list. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode A Short Film About Love—Dekalog: Six (1988).

Highlights: Feminism and ideology; intuition, temperance and art; Great Books; Tolkien’s visual art [57:20] (04/27/2021)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on feminism and ideology, Maritain's philosophy of poetry; the arts, contemplation and virtue; studying the Great Books online; and Tolkien's visual art.

Good priests suffer from the sins of evil ones [3:06] (04/23/2021)
While discussing a scene from the 2014 film Calvary, Fr. James Searby recounts something similar that happened to him when he was a seminarian. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Crucifixion of a Parish Priest: Calvary (2014).

What the movie Calvary gets right about priesthood [13:11] (04/23/2021)
Fr. James Searby talks about the portrayal of the priesthood in the movie Calvary, and his experience showing it to students in a film class at a secular university. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Crucifixion of a Parish Priest: Calvary (2014).

Where The Chosen falls short in reverence [10:05] (03/26/2021)
A very moving scene in season 1 of The Chosen depicts Nicodemus's secret nighttime meeting with Jesus. However, the scene has a significant flaw which may reflect, for whatever reason, a certain discomfort with solemnity. Any dramatic portrayal of Jesus will necessarily be an incomplete reflection of a perfect, Divine Personality, but in one respect this scene crosses the line into error. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Chosen, an Education in Meditation.

Jonathan Roumie's Childlike Performance as Jesus [5:43] (03/26/2021)
Actor James Majewski and Br. Joshua Vargas praise Jonathan Roumie's performance as Jesus in season 1 of The Chosen. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Chosen, an Education in Meditation.

Samuel Hazo reads his poem "Once" [1:08] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poem "Once", from his collection The Next Time We Saw Paris. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Andrei Rublev: the whole of a life in a fragment [10:39] (03/16/2021)
The film Andrei Rublev, about Russia's greatest icon painter, consists of narrative fragments whose unity only becomes clear at the end of the film. In this, the film reflects life itself, whose full meaning does not reveal itself except in its consummation. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Sanctification of an Icon Painter: Andrei Rublev (1966).

Tarkovsky: a cinema not Soviet but Russian [9:08] (03/16/2021)
Discussing one of the great masterpieces of spiritual cinema, Andrei Rublev, filmmaker Nathan Douglas takes a moment to place its director, Andrei Tarkovsky, in the overall context of Russian cinematic history. One major contribution of Russian cinema was "montage theory", the idea that films create meaning not by spelling everything out but by juxtaposing images in such a way that the viewer generates the meaning of the film in his own mind. This technique was often connected with the spread of Soviet ideology, but Tarkovsky went deeper further back in history to discover something about the Russian spirit, telling the story of Russia's greatest icon painter in a series of seemingly disconnected vignettes whose unity only becomes clear at the conclusion of the film. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Sanctification of an Icon Painter: Andrei Rublev (1966).

Great art transcends the corruption of its patrons [8:43] (03/16/2021)
The film Andrei Rublev shows that art and artists can transcend the impure motives of their patrons, because the true commissioner of the work is God. History bears this out too, as in the Renaissance, when many of the Church's great treasures of sacred art were commissioned by very worldly popes, who may have been as interested in bolstering their own worldly reputation as in giving glory to God. The film also depicts the artist's struggle against his own impurity, especially in the forms of vanity and envy. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Sanctification of an Icon Painter: Andrei Rublev (1966).

Expose your kids to art above their level [2:45] (02/17/2021)
As a child, James was bored and baffled by the movies he saw his father watching. Yet he knew that there must be something in them that his father could see and he could not. Thus began his fascination with the art of cinema. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Wild Courtesy: Dersu Uzala (1975).

Liturgical structure in the hierarchy of living things [8:37] (02/09/2021)
"The more interior something is, the more it is alive." Geneticist Daniel Toma joins modern science to Aquinas, Dionysius and the Church Fathers, showing the relationship between the hierarchy of living things and the liturgical structure of being. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

Fulton Sheen's "law of assimilation" in the hierarchy of being [5:48] (02/09/2021)
In his writings on the philosophy of science, Abp. Fulton Sheen described what he called the "law of assimilation", inspired by a passage in Aquinas's Summa Contra Gentiles. Life is higher according to its ability to assimilate other beings into its own without destroying them—Plants break down everything they assimilate. Animals can sense things without breaking them down physically, but do not perceive the whole form, only sensory patterns. Human beings can assimilate a whole form by conforming their mind to it. Angels comprehend things starting with their universal form, not with particular instantiations of that form. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

Evolution aims for intelligence, not just survival [11:24] (02/09/2021)
It is often said that the fossil record shows that evolution aims toward survival as its highest value. Catholic geneticist Daniel Toma contends that this interpretation is a matter of philosophy, and that it is an equally valid interpretation to see the fossil record as directed toward the higher end of intelligence. One can also see it leading toward the development of greater interiority, greater individuality, and greater community. These are material developments, but they seem to stretch toward the spiritual in ways that are not fulfilled until God intervenes in creating the ensouled human being. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

Hillbilly Thomists: Death, apocalypse and bluegrass [6:11] (02/01/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 96—Hillbilly Thomists—Joseph Hagan, O.P..

How the Hillbilly Thomists' life of prayer informs their recording process [5:01] (02/01/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 96—Hillbilly Thomists—Joseph Hagan, O.P..

Dominican on his vocation: "I would blame Mary and the Rosary" [5:43] (02/01/2021)
Fr. Joseph Hagan, drummer for the Hillbilly Thomists, says his vocation as a Dominican friar was partially inspired by the Rosary. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 96—Hillbilly Thomists—Joseph Hagan, O.P..

Fear of hell and fear of the Lord w/ Ralph Martin [8:14] (01/25/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 95—Fighting Pervasive Religious Indifferentism—Ralph Martin.

Why overanalyzing moral culpability is counterproductive [10:29] (01/25/2021)
Ralph Martin critiques the current focus on analyzing subjective culpability at the expense of preaching the moral truths of the Gospel. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 95—Fighting Pervasive Religious Indifferentism—Ralph Martin.

Balthasar, von Speyr and hell w/ Ralph Martin [11:31] (01/25/2021)
Ralph Martin discusses Hans Urs von Balthasar's controversial thesis on the population of hell. Balthasar said that modern man was incapable of believing in a God who would send people to hell. Did this belief lead him to muddy the waters of Scripture and tradition as part of a misguided apologetic? Balthasar insisted that his thought could not be separated from the mystical testimony of Adrienne von Speyr. There are some reasons to believe that there was a serious lack of discernment in their relationship, a lack of oversight which could have allowed deceptions to enter in. One of Balthasar's less admirable qualities was his habitual denigration of saints who did not fit with his intellectual tendencies (Augustine, Josemaria Escriva, the author of the Imitation of Christ), and there is a parallel with Speyr's claimed ability to mystically enter into and critique the prayer lives of great saints like Thomas Aquinas. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 95—Fighting Pervasive Religious Indifferentism—Ralph Martin.

Using film to teach the value of human life [8:30] (01/17/2021)
Kieslowski’s film Dekalog: Five, or A Short Film About Killing, is inspired by the Fifth Commandment. Film scholar Maria Elena de Las Carreras uses it to make her secular students reflect on the value of human life. Her writing on Kieslowski's work was "read with great interest" by Pope St. John Paul II. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode A Short Film About KillingDekalog: Five (1988).

Cinema in communist Poland vs. the cinema of the free market [10:28] (01/17/2021)
Filmmakers in Soviet Poland had to be very creative to get their message through the Communist censors. Problems of censorship aside, the historical record forces us to recognize begrudgingly that state funding for cinema in this period removed the artists' concern for profit and made room for some great art dealing with serious issues in a non-sensationalistic way - even on public television! - that is seldom seen in the United States. But it was not only the economic circumstances, but the great suffering of the Polish people, that made their cinema markedly different from the products of Hollywood. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode A Short Film About KillingDekalog: Five (1988).

Spiritual similarities between Marxism and postmodernism [9:31] (12/22/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

The deliberate incoherence of queer theory [9:01] (12/22/2020)
Within postmodernism, the word "queer" does not necessarily refer to sexuality. It is a verb, whereby to queer something means to break down categories and destroy the tyranny of normality in any given area. Queer theory does not posit, for example, that gays and lesbians should be accepted as normal within mainstream society, but rather that the very concept of normality is oppressive and needs to be continually subverted. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Principles and themes of the postmodernist left [13:42] (12/22/2020)
Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay have written Cynical Theories, a very helpful primer on the development of modern activism from 1960s postmodernist philosophy. They note how the various activist "studies" make use of a consistent set of postmodernist principles and themes. Postmodern principles: 1. Radical skepticism about the ability to know anything, cultural constructivism 2. Society is formed of systems of power and hierarchies which decide what and how things can be known Postmodern themes: The blurring of boundaries, the power of language, cultural relativism, loss of the individual and the universal Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Transgenderism vs. transracialism: why the double standard? [10:20] (12/22/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Postmodernism is the academics’ class ideology [5:48] (12/22/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Polyphony as "scholastic gloss" on chant [6:59] (12/11/2020)
The composers of Renaissance polyphony often used Gregorian chant as the deep structure of their works. In some cases, the polyphony functions analogously to a scholastic commentary or gloss on a Scripture text. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

Walls of sound: renaissance vs. baroque polyphony [4:37] (12/11/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

Tallis's romp through the medieval modes [21:17] (12/11/2020)
Among Thomas Tallis's most appealing music is his set of modal settings for English psalm translations by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker. (As it happens, Parker's ordination was the specific case studied by Rome to determine the validity of Anglican orders.) These pieces provide a good opportunity to ask scholar Kerry McCarthy about the medieval modes and the ethos associated with each one. Parker's commentary on the latter is particularly interesting. After the discussion of the modes, you will hear the whole set of psalm tones performed by Chapelle Du Roi (used with permission). Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

The lost world of plainsong, interrupted by the Reformation [9:55] (12/11/2020)
Kerry McCarthy describes the thriving tradition of plainsong in medieval English choral schools, which was violently disrupted by the Reformation. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

Echoes of Biblical Apocalypse in the sci-fi classic Metropolis [16:05] (12/09/2020)
The 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis, by lapsed Catholic director Fritz Lang, is chock-full of Biblical imagery and allusions, particularly related to the Apocalypse. Particularly prominent are references to Moloch, the Whore of Babylon, and Mary. The movie is also prophetic of evils in society today, such as the porn epidemic, transgenderism’s mockery of womanhood, increasingly transparent Satanism in popular culture, and more. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Machine-Whore of Babylon: Metropolis (1927).

Why realistic acting isn’t always best [9:13] (12/09/2020)
Realistic or naturalistic acting is the norm in today’s movies, but non-realistic acting, such as that found in silent movies, can express things inaccessible to realism. The 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis is a great example, using the grotesquely striking techniques of German expressionism to convey, among other things, the dehumanizing aspects of industrial labor. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Machine-Whore of Babylon: Metropolis (1927).

The poet's vocation: to spiritualize matter [9:26] (12/02/2020)
Translator Jonathan Geltner discusses a major theme of Paul Claudel's Five Great Odes, which is the poet's role as the voice of the cosmos. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 92—Claudel’s Cosmic Vision—Jonathan Geltner.

Hear Paul Claudel's poetry in English and French [7:15] (12/02/2020)
An excerpt from one of Catholic poet Paul Claudel's Five Great Odes, read by translator Jonathan Geltner. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 92—Claudel’s Cosmic Vision—Jonathan Geltner.

Documentary film and privacy under the Soviet police state [4:19] (12/01/2020)
The great Polish filmmaker Kryzstof Kieslowski started his career making documentaries, but switched to making feature films to avoid violating the privacy of real people (especially because he was living under a totalitarian regime). But the privacy of actors can be abused as well. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Abdication of Fatherhood—Dekalog: Four (1988).

Groundbreaking animation in Disney’s Fantasia w/ Tim Reckart [7:00] (11/21/2020)
Catholic animator Tim Reckart explains some of the ingenious animated effects, enchanting even today, used in Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Fantasia (1940) w/ animator Tim Reckart.

Social hierarchy in Disney’s Fantasia w/ Tim Reckart [11:05] (11/21/2020)
Walt Disney didn’t animate his own movies after a certain point, but they continued to be Walt Disney movies. Likewise, a conductor doesn’t play a note, but he still gets the credit for the orchestra’s performance. Catholic animator Tim Reckart thinks this concern for social hierarchy pervades the 1940 Disney film Fantasia, which was produced around the time of a major animators’ strike and offers a series of analogues to the Disney studio organization, beginning with the conductor and proceeding to dancing mushrooms and an army of magically animated brooms. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Fantasia (1940) w/ animator Tim Reckart.

Why bother animating a movie? w/ Tim Reckart [5:29] (11/21/2020)
Catholic animator Tim Reckart discusses a common question in the world of animation: why animate something at all rather than film live action? In discussing a segment from Disney's Fantasia (1940), he comes to the conclusion that certain kinds of spectacle—such as dance sequences and fight scenes—tend to be less interesting when animated because we are aware that no real physical feats are being performed. Some additional magic is necessary to make something worth animating. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Fantasia (1940) w/ animator Tim Reckart.

How St. Anthony beat the Devil [11:57] (11/13/2020)
The Desert Father St. Anthony was attacked by Satan in just about every way you can imagine—by the sorts of temptations and discouragements most of us have experienced, then escalating to visual illusions and painful physical attacks by demons resembling wild beasts. Yet he defeated the Evil One soundly every time. His weapon was very simple: absolute, undisturbed confidence in the power of God. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Why artists loved to paint St. Anthony's demonic encounters w/ Elizabeth Lev [7:32] (11/13/2020)
Art historian Elizabeth Lev explains the historical importance of St. Anthony of the Desert and why he became so popular in religious art, especially in outlandish scenes portraying his conflicts with demons in animal form. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Bosch's Triptych of the Temptation of St. Anthony w/ Elizabeth Lev [19:47] (11/13/2020)
Art historian Elizabeth Lev discusses Hieronymus Bosch's most famous depiction of the Temptation of St. Anthony. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Sympathy for the devil in modern depictions of the Temptation of St. Anthony [15:17] (11/13/2020)
Art historian Elizabeth Lev discusses two modern paintings of the Temptation of St. Anthony, one by Max Ernst and another by Salvador Dali. In many older depictions we see Anthony totally at peace despite the demonic chaos around him. Ernst's painting is more typical of the modern approach, where we are really uncertain who is going to win in the conflict between saint and demons, and furthermore, we are uncertain whose side the painter is on. But Dali, despite his surrealist approach, gives us something markedly more traditional and Catholic in spirit. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Pope Leo XIII: Absolute free speech is bad, actually [11:33] (10/30/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.

Leo XIII: States must profess the true religion [8:09] (10/30/2020)
A discussion of the religious obligations of the State, with Thomas Pink. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.

Two Coercive Powers: Church and State w/ Thomas Pink [5:34] (10/30/2020)
Discussion of the coercive authority of both Church and State. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.

Leo XIII, Vatican II and Religious Liberty—Continuity or Contradiction? [19:14] (10/30/2020)
Prof. Thomas Pink discusses the relationship between Vatican II’s declaration on religious liberty (Dignitatis Humanae) and the prior teachings of Pope Leo XIII and other popes on the relationship between Church and State. Are they actually or only seemingly contradictory? The decree manages to be consistent with prior teaching by confining itself to statements about the civil order—that is, the authority that the State, in itself, possesses over religion, which is nil. In this way, Dignitatis Humanae is ironically a Leonine document insofar as its treatment of the civil order is drawn from his distinction between the two powers. At the same time, however, it dodges the whole question of legitimate religious coercion (of heretics, etc.) by the State not of its own authority but when acting as agent of the Church. This is how the progressive party at the Council influenced the document—not by getting it to contradict past teachings, but by preventing it from specifically enumerating those teachings. As a result, even most conservative Catholics today are either unaware of or uncomfortable with the traditional teachings on Church and State. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.

Materialism Freezes in the Face of Evil [11:06] (10/29/2020)
James Majewski discusses the appeal of horror and its cathartic function, but also its dangers and the potential of images to damage and traumatize the viewer. In particular, there must be a due gravity and sobriety in cinematic treatments of the occult. James mentions the films of Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar) as negative examples. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Reverence and the Occult: Nosferatu (1922/1979).

The Functions and Dangers of Horror [12:37] (10/29/2020)
James Majewski discusses the appeal of horror and its cathartic function, but also its dangers and the potential of images to damage and traumatize the viewer. In particular, there must be a due gravity and sobriety in cinematic treatments of the occult. James mentions the films of Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar) as negative examples. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Reverence and the Occult: Nosferatu (1922/1979).

What was the agape meal and why did it disappear? w/ Mike Aquilina [5:02] (10/22/2020)
Mike Aquilina explains two early Christian religious practices involving food, both of which disappeared in the early centuries of the Church: the agape meal and the refrigerium. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 89—Mary and the Blues—Mike Aquilina.

Early belief in Mary’s Assumption w/ Mike Aquilina [7:41] (10/22/2020)
A look at how the first Christians regarded the Assumption of the Blessed VIrgin. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 89—Mary and the Blues—Mike Aquilina.

Early pagan and Jewish attacks on Mary w/ Mike Aquilina [4:56] (10/22/2020)
An examination of how the pagans and Jews attacked the mother of Christ from the first. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 89—Mary and the Blues—Mike Aquilina.

The miracle of Western self-criticism w/ Robert Royal [8:49] (10/10/2020)
Robert Royal discusses how even as some Spaniards in far-flung lands mistreated native populations, the Spanish crown was condemning the enslavement of natives and Spanish thinkers were developing the ideas of universal human rights and international law. It is strange to condemn Western civilization as a whole based on some Westerners having violated standards of universal human rights that would not exist but for the West. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 88—On Columbus—Robert Royal.

Uncomfortable Jokes and Endless Euphemisms w/ Jeremy McLellan [14:23] (10/05/2020)
Catholic comedian Jeremy McLellan recounts the funniest joke he ever heard, which was told by a guy with Down’s Syndrome. Then, reflecting on his experience working with people with mental disabilities, he suggests that one reason for the endlessly changing euphemisms for disabilities is not so much a desire to be inclusive, but discomfort with the very existence of disability and the disabled. So long as disabled people are not included in mainstream society, but segregated and shunted off, we will attempt to put a band-aid on the problem by coming up new, ever-more-sensitive terms for THEM. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 87—The Jester Is Not The King—Jeremy McLellan.

Comedy Humbles the Proud w/ Jeremy McLellan [9:51] (10/05/2020)
Catholic comedian Jeremy McLellan discusses the social role of comedy in taking people outside their comfort zone and humbling the proud, but also the limits of comedy. Comedians are often contrarians without a positive vision of reality to replace what they’re critiquing, and the result can be nihilistic (even if, at times, pleasantly anti-woke). Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 87—The Jester Is Not The King—Jeremy McLellan.

Marx's Family Life —Why Philosophers' Moral Lives Matter w/ Paul Kengor [14:51] (09/29/2020)
Paul Kengor, author of The Devil and Karl Marx, details Karl Marx's wretched family life, his willful refusal to support his wife and children and his hypocritical selfishness about money. Then he and Thomas discuss the relevance of the personal lives of philosophers in evaluating their thought, arguing that the modern separation of moral and intellectual life is fraudulent. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 86—Karl Marx, “Monster of Ten Thousand Devils”—Paul Kengor.

Was Karl Marx a Satanist? w/ Paul Kengor [13:12] (09/29/2020)
Paul Kengor, author of The Devil and Karl Marx, goes over some of the evidence (in biographies published by mainstream and academic presses) that Marx may have been a Satanist, including his valorization of the demonic in his own writings, his obsession with the Faustian bargain, his friends and family's description of him as a demonic figure, and more. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 86—Karl Marx, “Monster of Ten Thousand Devils”—Paul Kengor.

Podcast Highlights: The abuse crisis, acedia and more [1:03:37] (08/12/2020)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: from one of the most popular episodes ever, on acedia, the forgotten capital sin; Fr. Roger Langry on how the laity must respond to the abuse crisis; an interview with one of the writers of a film about mass abortion murderer Kermit Gosnell; and a piece of music by a capella group VOCES8.

Highlights: Music and morals, Tolkien and more [1:13:16] (04/20/2020)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on music and morals with Basil Cole, O.P.; on being a priest and actor with George Drance, S.J.; a civics lesson for Catholics with Bob Marshall; and clips from two interviews with Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor.

Podcast Highlights: Native saints, Operation Rescue and more [1:29:41] (03/16/2020)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes from the Catholic Culture Podcast, on the topics of Native American saints, the pro-life civil disobedience movement, and Mary; plus clips from interviews with a Catholic actor, a musician, and CatholicCulture.org founder Jeff Mirus.