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*Image: The Tribute Money by Bernardo Strozzi, c. 1630-35 [Museum of Fine Arts Budapest]

By David Warren, The Catholic Thing, May 5, 2023

David Warren is a former editor of the Idler magazine and columnist in Canadian newspapers. He has extensive experience in the Near and Far East. His blog, Essays in Idleness, is now to be found at:


I would not call myself a “good Catholic,” and if Pope Francis were to look into my case, he would find many flaws. I  guess this because I’ve heard what he has to say about similar people. Nor am I sure of my judgment about him. He has spoken many novelties, and given many “surprises.” Yet for all I know, there is within him the most unchallengeable faith, though it may outwardly appear as heterodoxy.

But here is the biggest surprise. Orthodoxy and tradition are themselves sustained by habits of the spirit that we can’t understand. We judge a man’s beliefs unfairly, when we imagine that he is just like us. …

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