What makes a man choose to be a Catholic priest? The cynical and snide these days might bring up an unhealthy interest in other people’s children. And yet, historically, the calling to the cloth has often been a noble one, as likely an impulse driven by spiritual yearning and zeal for social justice as mere careerism or a flight from normative sexuality. The Catholic Church, which faces a crisis ... (read more)
Miles Pattenden is Senior Research Fellow in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at ACU. He specialises in the history of the Catholic Church and his books include Pius IV and the Fall of the Carafa (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Electing the Pope in Early Modern Italy, 1450-1700 (Oxford University Press, 2017).
ABR Arts • 07 February 2022
Catholicism gets a bad rap when it comes to sex these days. The Church fixates on condoms and abortion. It isn’t always big on homosexuality either. Paul Verhoeven’s ‘historically inspired’ film, on one level, explores the hypocrisies that arise from such callow credos: the religious renounce the flesh but flagrantly eroticise spiritual and interpersonal relationships. Carnal obsessions ab ... (read more)
May 2021, no. 431 • 27 April 2021
To kidnap one pope might be regarded as unfortunate; to kidnap two looks like a pattern of abusive behaviour. Ambrogio A. Caiani tells the story of Napoleon’s second papal hostage-taking: an audacious 1809 plot to whisk Pius VII (1742–1823) from Rome in the dead of night and to break his stubborn resolve through physical isolation and intrusive surveillance. ... (read more)