A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

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"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.




Thursday, April 5, 2012

Catholic modernism

Chesterton on Catholic modernists (written, incidentally, thirteen years before he entered the church himself):

Why is Modernism so shallow and so stale? Why is it that Mr. Dell cannot become a new-fashioned Catholic without immediately becoming an old-fashioned Protestant? Why cannot he argue with the Pope without playing to the No-Popery gallery? Let him by all means be a Modernist Catholic; it is no affair of mine. But why should he use those very thoughtless and threadbare arguments which he must have seen through even to become a Catholic at all? For instance, he says that a man becoming a Catholic "leaves his responsibility on the threshold," and is converted to be saved "the trouble of thinking." Why, quite so, and the Mass is a Mummery, and the Pope is the Beast in Revelations, and Papists can swear anything for the good of the Church, and Home Rule is Rome Rule, and Maria Monk has been walled up for chastity, and Dr. Clifford has saved England from Bloody Mary, and there is a Jesuit in the cupboard and a Dominican under the bed, and please to remember the fifth of November.

Unless Modernism has some strange and softening influence on the brain, Mr. Dell must know better. He must know whether men like Newman and Brunetiere left off thinking when they joined the Roman Church. Moreover, because he is a man of lucid and active mind, he must know that the whole phrase about being saved the trouble of thinking is a boyish fallacy. Euclid does not save geometricians the trouble of thinking when he insists on absolute definitions and unalterable axioms. On the contrary, he gives them the great trouble of thinking logically. The dogma of the Church limits thought about as much as the dogma of the solar system limits physical science. It is not an arrest of thought, but a fertile basis and constant provocation of thought. But, of course, Mr. Dell really knows this as well as I do. He has merely fallen back (in that mixture of fatigue and hurry in which all fads are made) upon some journalistic phrases. He cannot really think that men join the most fighting army upon earth merely to find rest. It is on a par with the old Protestant fiction that monks decided to be ascetic because they wanted to be luxurious. I should keep out of a monastery from exactly the same motives that prevent me from going into the mountains to shoot bears. I am not active enough for a monastery.'

-quoted in New Zealand Tablet, September 23, 1909

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