A Church Deep in Love, by Anthony Esolen

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*Image: Dante and Virgil in the Second Circle in Hell by Joseph Anton Koch, 1823 [Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Art Collection at the Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark]. On the lower left, Francesca, in blue and red, and Paolo float towards Virgil and Dante on the right.

By Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing, April 29, 2023

Anthony Esolen is a lecturer, translator, and writer. Among his books are Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World, and most recently The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a professor and writer in residence at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts, in Warner, New Hampshire. Be sure to visit his new website, Word and Song.


Pope Francis recently said, in one of his disquieting comments that sound contemptuous for the Church he is charged to love, that her teachings on sex are “still in diapers.”  My mind turns to Christian poets who have written about the love of man and woman, and the moral dangers that beset it, from the troubadours and the Arthurian romancers of the twelfth century, to such modern Catholic authors as Mauriac, Claudel, Greene, Waugh, Böll, Percy, and Francis’ own predecessor, John Paul II.

Let’s take a look at one of these “infants.” …