Benedetta Carlini

Lesbianism (!) at the Convent

Mother Superior Benedetta Carlini, a visionary nun of Renaissance Italy, was accused of heresy and “female sodomy.”
Nuns and cows

How Frontier Nuns Challenged Gender Norms

Scholars Carol K. Coburn and Martha Smith write that nuns were an important part of westward expansion—and in Colorado, nuns quickly learned how to use their gender to their advantage.
Pope Sixtus V abortion ban

What a 16th-Century Abortion Ban Revealed

In 1588, Pope Sixtus V issued a papal bull officially classifying abortion, regardless of the stage of fetal development, as homicide.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

How Anti-Catholicism Created an American Saint

Elizabeth Ann Seton is known today as the first American Roman Catholic saint. her road to canonization was no easy path.
Young Pope

Why The Young Pope Matters

Has anything like the events depicted in The Young Pope ever happened before? The answer, you may be surprised to learn, is yes.
Edith Stein

Edith Stein, the Jewish Woman Who Became a Catholic Saint

In 1998, Pope John Paul II made one of his most contentious canonizations, elevating a Jewish woman named Edith Stein to the status of saint.
Pope Francis Sistine Chapel

How Pope Francis Will Redefine Art at the Vatican

Inaugurated in 2013, Pope Francis has been full of surprises and has redefined the papacy, including the ways in which he considers the power of art.
Pregnant woman portrait

When C-Sections Were Performed to Save Dead Babies’ Souls

In 1804, Charles IV, King of Spain, issued a legal admonition telling officials not to bury any pregnant woman without giving her a C-section first.
Roswell NM mural

Roswell, Sacred Shrine of UFO Enthusiasts

Seventy years ago, something happened in Roswell, New Mexico, that put the place on the map and embedded it into the culture. What was it?
Marshall McLuhan

The Mystical Side of Marshall McLuhan

Communication theorists don't usually merit international celebrity, with one giant exception: Canadian professor and author Marshall McLuhan.