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Holy Smoke

Holy Smoke

The most important and controversial topics in world religion, thoroughly dissected by a range of high profile guests. Presented by Damian Thompson.

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Latest Episodes

  • brexit britain
    December 18, 2020

    Should devout Christians be scared of a Joe Biden presidency?

    The next president of the United States is, we are told, a devout Catholic who scrupulously attends Sunday Mass. This is in sharp contrast to the current president, who has never been more than an occasional churchgoer with, to put it politely, ill-defined religious views. So why are many Christians worried that a Joe Biden […]

  • Beethoven’s spirituality: a conversation with Sir James MacMillan

    It’s the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. In this episode of Holy Smoke, Damian Thompson is joined by his fellow composer Sir James MacMillan to discuss a side of Beethoven that the postmodern artistic establishment prefers to ignore: his unwavering faith in God and the surprisingly strict morality that arose from […]

  • December 23, 2020

    Goodbye to Catholic Ireland

    Rarely has a religious culture collapsed more rapidly than that of Catholic Ireland, which just 30 years ago seemed indestructible. Incredibly, it looks as if the Irish Church will have ordained more bishops than priests in 2020. It goes without saying that the Irish abuse crisis has hugely accelerated the process of secularisation in what […]

  • January 29, 2021

    How the Vatican tried to suppress criticism of the new President

    Cardinal Blase Cupich, the ambitious left-wing archbishop of Chicago, must have imagined that Joe Biden’s inauguration last week would be a moment to savor. He and a small number of his liberal colleagues, known as ‘the Biden bishops’, have been working tremendously hard to make sure that, once their candidate was elected, any mention of […]

  • February 20, 2021

    Can the United States be transported back to Christendom?

    This week’s Holy Smoke examines the fragmentation of American Catholicism following the election of pro-choice Catholic Joe Biden. It focuses on the strangest current of thought among the many conservative Catholics calling for an urgent change of approach in order to confront what promises to be an authoritarian liberal administration. It’s called integralism, a label […]

  • May 13, 2021

    The legal harassment of today’s Christians is the last legacy of the Soviet Union

    Today’s Holy Smoke podcast is about the increasingly brutal bullying and silencing of people — especially Christians — who hold the ‘wrong’ opinions on controversial topics. A culture of censorship is becoming ever more deeply embedded in public institutions not just in Britain but also throughout Europe. In London last month we witnessed the nasty […]

  • May 28, 2021

    How Biden’s cardinals are trying to shut down free discussion

    America’s Catholic bishops are furiously divided among themselves this week, after a liberal faction led by the Biden loyalists Cardinals Cupich of Chicago and Wilton Gregory of Washington tried to stop them discussing the question of whether the radically pro-choice president of the United States should be allowed to receive Holy Communion. The US conference […]

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Damian Thompson

Damian Thompson is an associate editor of The Spectator

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