Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Highlight clips from the Catholic Culture Podcast

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

Samuel Hazo reads his poem "The Servitude" [5:19] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poem "The Servitude", from his collection The Next Time We Saw Paris. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Leo XIII's special love for German Catholics [9:20] (04/20/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 103—Pope Leo XIII’s NYC Hotel.

Reconstructing the Anglo-Saxon harp [17:04] (02/21/2021)
Benjamin Bagby explains and demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon harp, reconstructed based on an instrument found in a ship burial, which he uses when he performs the medieval epic Beowulf. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby.

Life forms evolved to more perfect imitation of the Trinity [12:21] (02/09/2021)
Catholic geneticist Daniel Toma describes how increasingly advanced forms of life, in their manner of sex differentiation and procreation, come to closer approximations of community and imitations of the Holy Trinity. Then he relates this to the Eastern Christian notion that all beauty in creation is infused from the glory of Christ's Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

How to reconstruct a medieval epic [5:55] (02/21/2021)
Benjamin Bagby is famous for his performances of the medieval epic Beowulf, which he chants in Old English while accompanying himself on a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon harp. He has put decades of study into reconstructing what an Anglo-Saxon bard might have sounded like. But how is that possible? Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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..

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.

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.