Collected here are articles and reviews that have appeared in print, as well as a presentation of my books. There are a few interviews and some sound material, notably my reading of the Gospels in Greek, a project that remains work in progress.

Conversation with Stig Fossum

25 May 2024 Rikspodden
Det bekymrer meg at våre moderne europeiske språk blir stadig ordfattigere, at offentlig diskurs blir mer begrenset og henfaller til floskler. Jo mindre jeg er i stand til å trekke skillelinjer mellom begreper, jo mer er jeg utsatt for forenklende generaliseringer, fordommer og ren skjær tåpelighet. Continue reading

Conversation with Johannes Wieczorek

16 May 2024
Discourse about renewal in the Church can sometimes regrettably seem like a battlefield with opposing fronts - there is no shortage of big guns with heaps of ammunition. It is important, then, to listen out for the still small voice, to look out for modest but fruitful initiatives sprouting in unlikely terrain, like wildflowers. Continue reading

Conversation with Magne Vik Ravndal

9 May 2024
It is phenomenal, this message - Get ready to live! The older I get, the more I am convinced that many people expereince a kind of arrested potential for life; they know they have it in them to exist with a higher degree of intensity than they actually do; and it can be frustrating to find that this ability is not realised. Continue reading

Conversation with Sarah de Nordwall

23 April 2024 Radio Maria England
The pedagogy of chastity presupposes frank recognition of who I am and where I am.  Continue reading

Conversation with Anna Leonardi

10 April 2024 Tracce
If I conceive of myself as the sun in a universe of extinct stars, I will always remain the sole subject of a relationship. Sure, I may realise that others exist, but I do not see them as meaningful. Continue reading

Conversation with Malina Abrahamsson

5 April 2024 Dagen
A conversation about the working out of vocation, the nature of obedience, and embodied credibility. Continue reading

Conversation with Kristine Dingstad

18 March 2024
On 15 March the Norwegian Bible Society launched its first edition of the Bible published with the 'Catholic Canon'.  Continue reading

Conversation with Thomas V. Mirus

23 February 2024
A conversation about the language of music, the meaning of chastity, the redirection of eros, the potential of human nature - and many other things. Continue reading

Conversation with Luke Coppen

14 February 2024 The Pillar
To stand one’s ground is to have the courage to keep getting up, to resist the temptation to think, ‘Oh, since I have fallen already, I may as well just wallow in the mud for a bit.’ Climacus says, ‘Don’t dawdle’ - that’s good advice. Continue reading

Conversation with Daniel Capó

10 February 2024 Ecclesia
The way to chaste integrity passes through honest confrontation with the incoherences and passions we carry. The model could be transferred to the body politic, where one tends to project these things onto others, shunning catharsis and — if you admit the term — conversion. Continue reading

A New World

19 January 2024 The Catholic Herald
Hesitation is ancient and nocturnal, the antidote to youth renewed ‘like the eagle’s’ through Paschal waters, to life in ascent. Continue reading

Credo Column

15 January 2024 The Times
We often forfeit, it seems to me, a view of human beings broad enough to appreciate what complexity may be contained, given time, within a person’s equilibrated destiny, unfolding through inevitable struggles, supported by friendship, to creative maturity.  Continue reading

Conversation with Piotr Bednarski

10 January 2024 EWTN Polska
A conversation touching on many topics under the general heading 'transmission of faith in beauty, truth and freedom'. How can an effective mission be configured today? Continue reading


24 December 2023 ABC
What was manifest in Bethlehem, such is the Christian claim, is more than the singular grace of a specific destiny. The ‘sign’ reveals a renaissance of humanity, called to relinquish chimeras of self-sufficiency, to abjure the lie that man must be to man a wolf, to pursue peace — pertinent prospects for us who ascertain worldwide the erosion of notions of the common good. Continue reading

On Fiducia Supplicans

21 December 2023
In the Gospel, we find Christ receiving all mercifully. But his mercy was always salted with truth. Continue reading

Papal Preface

14 December 2023
In times hostile to faith, how does one calculate risk? How does one know when caution is called for, when intransigence? Continue reading

Mission2030 – a Letter

4 December 2023
I invite you to consider the time leading up to 2030 as a time for mission: by virtue of our baptism we are all sent out as witnesses to the grace we have received. We wish to communicate that grace through prayer and liturgy, through a culture of vocation, through catechesis, and through charitable work. Continue reading

Chastity: Review of Reviews

24 November 2023
To publish a book is to launch it on a course of its own. The author looks on with wonder as it travels to unexpected places. Continue reading

Conversation with Jason Evert

16 November 2023
A thread that runs throughout the project is the motto, 'Lust is boring' - with the implication that the opposite is actually interesting. The hypothesis is borne out by the available material, whose hallmarks are fearlessness, intelligence, and, yes, joyfulness. Continue reading

Conversation with José Luis Restán

12 November 2023 Encuentro Madrid
What is friendship, and how can we cultivate it? How do we deal with polarisation in the Church and in society? Continue reading

Conversation with Pablo Cervera

10 November 2023 Religión en Libertad
It can be enjoyable to be an anarchist – at least for a while, and as long as the anarchy of others doesn’t interfere with mine. Continue reading

Chastity: Reconciliation of the Senses

12 October 2023
The Church refuses to either absolutise or materialise eros and, in consequence, sexuality. That is, here and now, a counter-cultural position to assume, but the here and now will pass, the Christian vision of human nature endures. Continue reading

Conversation with Charlotta Smeds

5 October 2023 Vatican News
A conversation about freedom, fashions, maturing, the fear of death, the longing for beauty - and hieroglyphs. Continue reading

Teach Yourself Egyptian

5 October 2023 The Tablet
On 27 May Cardinal Hollerich, ever unafraid to say the unexpected, said that if we try to speak to people of our time about chastity we are likely to seem to be ‘speaking Egyptian to them’. I had just sent my London publisher a manuscript entitled 'Chastity', so had I in effect written a manual of Egyptian? Continue reading

Conversation with Luke Coppen

3 October 2023 The Pillar
When theologians and clergy speak of sexual morality and chastity, one sometimes gets the impression that they have never themselves inhabited, for any length of time, a human body. Continue reading

Outdated Virtue?

29 September 2023 Roman Nights
What is really required is a pedagogy of chaste living. Having forgotten what the word actually stands for, we've reduced chastity to an unobtainable ideal, almost a caricature: the image of a virgin in a white dress in a tower - a reality beyond reach! Continue reading

Episcopal Vicar for Synodality

19 September 2023
The chief task of an Episcopal Vicar for Synodality is thus to help the bishop ensure that everything that happens in the Prelature, in administration and pastoral care, is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and his Gospel, our source of new life. Continue reading

Conversation with Andreas Masvie

13 September 2023 Minerva
"By all means, there is no lack of polemic in more or less engaged Catholic circles, but much that is presented as in tune with modern tendencies and needs is in fact discreetly perfumed by mothballs." A conversation about tradition and innovation, sense and senselessness. Continue reading

Book Review

12 September 2023
'Bishops of the Lutheran Church of Norway are often criticised for meddling in politics, so one asks oneself: is the Catholic bishop also, now, trying to become more political?'. Continue reading

Arrival of Priests of the Sacred Heart

3 September 2023
‘Great things take time’, Cardinal Newman liked to say. Continue reading

Letter to the Prelature of Tromsø

2 September 2023
As you know, the Holy See has appointed me Apostolic Administrator of the Prelature of Tromsø. I am faced with a logistic challenge: the combined surface area of the prelatures of Trondheim and Tromsø exceeds that of Great Britain! Continue reading

Conversation with Fr Mitch Pacwa SJ

31 August 2023 EWTN
It does make you think when you realise how quickly a cultural memory, a religious memory is lost... Continue reading

Conversation with Tore Hjalmar Sævik

26 August 2023 Dagen
The peculiarly Christian contribution to the construction of a polis is to see it as a community marked, not only by a horizontal dimension, but by a vertical axis pointing heavenward. We're made for more than merely pragmatic and productive collaboration. Continue reading

Reign of Force?

23 June 2023 Dag og Tid/La Tercera
‘It is rare’, wrote Simone Weil in 1940, ‘to see misfortune fairly portrayed’. Confronted with the apparent ultimatum of force, we tend to ‘treat the unfortunate person as though catastrophe were his natural vocation’. Continue reading

Conversation with Charlotta Smeds

14 May 2023 Vatican News
What does the Gospel mean in the midst of war? How can our faith help us make sense of violence - and of our obligations when faced with it? Continue reading

Conversation with the Archbishop of Braga

29 April 2023
Have the people of our time lost the sense of the sublime? How, in this day and age, can one credibly bear Christian witness? Continue reading

Enabling Prospect

17 April 2023 La Tercera
The good news of the body’s significance and of the realisable, death-defying scope for human wholeness was entrusted to a ragged dozen people in a collective state of post-traumatic stress, not especially brilliant humanly speaking, but shorn by stark humiliation of presumption, so freed to proclaim a message that surpassed them. Continue reading

Conversation with Hannah Brockhaus

5 April 2023 CNA
The notion of the deposit of faith is very deep in the Christian understanding of transmission. It’s an extremely helpful reminder of what a bishop’s task is, namely to keep this deposit, which is vast and expansive, and introduce people to the richness contained in it. Continue reading

Conversation with Luke Coppen

1 April 2023 The Pillar
Easter proclaims that what we think of as defining our lives — transience, death, any number of wounds — is not, in fact, final; that there is a balm in Gilead healing us now and effectively obliterating all that seems to sabotage joy. We find ourselves stepping into a wholly new dimension of being, if we’ve the guts for it, and the love. Continue reading

Letter on Human Sexuality

25 March 2023 Pastoral Letter NBK
It is curious: our intensely body-conscious society in fact takes the body lightly, refusing to see it as significant of identity, supposing that the only selfhood of consequence is the one produced by subjective self-perception, as we construct ourselves in our own image.  Continue reading

Conversation with Luca Fiore

11 March 2023 Tracce 03.2023
A conversation held during the New York Encounter touching on the state of the Church, Kafka, Ildefonso Schuster, the signs of the times, gratitude, and the call to holiness.   Continue reading

Conversation with Kim Samuel

6 March 2023
Connectedness is, in my way of thinking, not necessarily positive - one can be connected to a leash, a chain, or a mobile gadget. Belonging on the other hand is dynamic, in movement, an indicator of shared purpose. Continue reading

Conversation with Luke Coppen

21 February 2023 The Pillar
Easter is the assurance that all the things that condition our lives negatively — sin, disease, enmity, hatred, warfare, mortality — all those things have been overcome, and can still be overcome, insofar as we conduct our lives in Christ and let ourselves be formed by Christian hope.  Continue reading

Conversation with Archbishop Pierre

19 February 2023 New York Encounter
What does it feel like to be created in the image of God? How do we experience it? Continue reading

Tributes to Benedict XVI

6 January 2023
He, born on Holy Saturday, had once for all anchored his life in the power of Jesus's passion, death, and resurrection. Anyone who has seen him celebrate the sacred mysteries knows how really present this power was for him. Continue reading

Conversation with Luke Coppen

20 December 2022
What is the Incarnation? What difference did it make? Continue reading

Pastoral Letter Advent 2022

11 December 2022
At Mass we take part in Christ’s saving sacrifice; we witness the influx of eternity in time; we touch the foundation of the daring prayer the priest prays on our behalf when, in the chalice, he mixes water with wine: ‘May we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.’ Continue reading

Conversation with Siri Wahl-Olsen

26 November 2022 St Olav kirkeblad
Be an anarchist this Advent! Don't give in to shopping hysteria. Continue reading

Conversation with Solène Tadié

1 November 2022 National Catholic Register
To be a member of the Church is to be a member of Christ. It is also to be a member of a community - we need to make that explicit. Continue reading

Conversation with Petter Stocke-Nicolaisen

31 October 2022 St. Olav 03/2022
One way in which we can contribute constructively to online debate is by making it more reflective and thoughtful. Anyone who constantly shoots from the hip risks misfiring fatally. Continue reading

Conversation with Per Åsmund Reymert

12 October 2022 Vårt Land
The law proposal isn't just about a specific ethical matter; it concerns the relationship between state and citizens. Continue reading

On Conversion Therapy – Again

8 October 2022
The law proposal comes across as a wrestling match with a shadow. Notwithstanding its repeated use of words such as 'protect', 'help, and 'support', it appears peculiarly technocratic and inhuman. Continue reading

A Letter to the OCSO

5 September 2022
‘Anthropocentrism kills the Church and its life’. These are hard words, but words we need to hear, for we live in a self-centred world. Continue reading

Conversation with Luke Coppen

27 August 2022 The Pillar
A conversation about music, tradition, fatigue, the contemplative life, the building of community, well-balanced beer, and the time to say 'Enough'. Continue reading

A Conversation about Edith Stein

15 August 2022 Dagen
In her correspondence we encounter Edith Stein as a spiritual mother profoundly open to the experiences and needs of those whom she carried in her prayers. To be a mother or a father is precisely about enabling the growth and maturing of others. Continue reading

Preface to Perrin

11 July 2022
The challenge of owning oneself as oneself, of making peace, not just with humanity in general, but with oneself as a human specimen, is the first major combat a novice encounters. Anyone who has essayed it knows it can be fierce. Continue reading

Conversation with Martin Rothweiler

23 June 2022 EWTN
A conversation about Catholicism in Norway, about the key role of families in the life of the Church, and about the sense of a Christian call. Continue reading

Conversation with Marilynne Robinson

22 May 2022 The Tablet
'I am struck by the emphasis you place on compassion – and I mean that in the literal sense of being involved in the pathos of another life, of being entangled in other lives, of each man not being an island, but a stitch in a delicate embroidery – an embroidery that will be ­forever imperfect if a single stitch is extracted'. Continue reading

Conversation with Linda Therese Utstøl

13 April 2022
Christian conversion will gradually take us to a point at which we can say, 'It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me'. At that point our own ego will no longer strike us as overwhelmingly interesting. Continue reading

Conversation with Heidi Marie Lindekleiv

6 April 2022 Vårt Land
A conversation about the website CoramFratribus, the importance of reading good literature, the helpfulness and limitations of social media, and the Church's insistence: 'Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place' (Lumen Gentium, 25). In Norwegian only. Continue reading

Conversation with Mario Binasco

5 April 2022 Centro Culturale di Milano
What will help me to be freed from my past in such a way that I can live prospectively, moving forward, while at the same time being reconciled with the past? What is the impact of beauty on our lives, and how can I know my deepest desire? Continue reading

Conversation with John Sjögren

18 March 2022 Signumpodden
A conversation with John Sjögren held at Bjärka Säby on 18 February, during the course of a symposium on monastic spirituality. We touch on matters of life and death, the vocation of the monk, the provocative nature of Christianity, the tears of God - and the music of Mahler. Continue reading

Statement on Ukraine

11 March 2022 Bishops' Conference of the Nordic Countries
We have been saddened by recent statements from certain quarters of the Russian Church, which present this war of flagrant aggression as a combat for Christian values. To speak in such terms is to engage in mere rhetoric, to hold moral values hostage to a political agenda. Continue reading

Letter to the German Bishops’ Conference

10 March 2022 Bishops' Conference of the Nordic Countries
It has ever been the case that true reforms in the Church have set out from Catholic teaching founded on divine Revelation and authentic Tradition, to defend it, expound it, and translate it credibly into lived life — not from capitulation to the Zeitgeist. How fickle the Zeigeist is, is something we verify on a daily basis. Continue reading

Pastoral Letter for Lent 2022

6 March 2022
For too long we have lived as if prosperity, peace, and good order were necessary consequences of an irresistible evolution - this is not the case. We are fragile beings living in a fragile world, a world in need of salvation. Continue reading

A Conversation with Heidi Marie Lindekleiv

5 March 2022 Vårt Land
The older I get, the more I see the importance of reading things over again. The books that really nurture us are books we ourselves should nurture. Continue reading

No to Covid Passes

3 March 2022
The government's proposal does not only regard pragmatic action in emergencies of public health. It regards the disproportionate intervention of state power in the lives of citizens. Continue reading

Preface to Marie Noël

15 February 2022 Hanging on in There: An Essay in Meaning
Rarely has literature been at the same time so embodied and so sublime. One thinks of that essential line from the Letter to the Ephesians - ‘anything exposed to the light becomes light’. Continue reading

Conversation with Sarah Coakley

5 February 2022 Church House Book Launch
A conversation with Professor Sarah Coakley about my book 'Entering the Twofold Mystery', touching on a number of key themes. Continue reading

Twofold Mystery

4 February 2022 The Tablet
After decades of determined inculturation, the time has come to exculturate ourselves somewhat, to be realigned round faith’s vertical axis, to recover our sense of the timeless, to seek God’s will in listening silence, to let our lives be refashioned by grace — why, to be converted.   Continue reading

Preface to Girtanner

19 January 2022 Maïti Girtanner: Resistenza e perdono
In a secular world, forgiveness seems absurd. Detached from the narrative that gives forgiveness meaning and allows it to inform shared experience, we revert to pre-Mosaic categories, that is, to the logic of Lamech - ‘If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold. Continue reading

Preface to Merikakis Leiva

12 January 2022 Fire of Mercy
In a time when much academic writing is rushed, polished off quickly to meet the requirements of research assessments, it is good to encounter a text of patient gestation, in which words are weighed and in which, above all, the Word who is the object, not only of enquiry but of desire, is heard.  Continue reading

On Abuse – Again

6 January 2022
This book lists symptoms of unhealth in the manner of the Desert Fathers, who chartered the vagaries of corrupted passions and showed where, unchecked, they lead. The result is a phenomenology of abuse: a sobering, terrifying, helpful account. Continue reading

Eternally Pulsating Hope

1 January 2022 Hellig Jul
What is beautiful does not force itself upon us. It is incompatible with violence (an essay written in Norwegian). Continue reading

Conversation with Morten Marius Larsen

24 December 2021 Vårt Land
On Christmas Day the papers' first page ought to carry a sensational announcement in massive, bold typescript: 'God has become man!' Continue reading

Conversation with Bishop Olav Fykse Tveit

24 December 2021 Adresseavisen
What matters is to be where you are right now, to be as faithful as possible, doing what you have to do as credibly as possible. Then you find that the invisible things can bear fruit in an ample sphere whereas the visible things turn out to be a bit banal. Continue reading

A Conversation with Daniel Capó Laisfeldt

15 November 2021 The Objective
To a large extent, public discourse is a shouting match, even within the Church, wouldn’t you say? I believe, then, in listening out for whispered words from without and from within, for I desire to notice them, whether I find myself alone or in company. Continue reading

Conversación con María Martínez López

4 November 2021 Alfa y Omega
A conversation about Norwegian Catholicism, tradition and continuity, the signs of the times, perseverance in faith, true freedom and fresh fish from the Fjord. Continue reading


18 October 2021 Litteraturhuset, Oslo
Ours is a time of navel-gazing, based on the assumption that the the world revolves around us. It is a Copernican revolution of sorts, but not an especially luminous one. Continue reading

Synodality: Pastoral Letter

17 October 2021
Our faith cannot be reduced to a model for a perfect society of justice and peace, to a catalogue of cogent answers to life’s hard questions: our faith is about life transformed in Christ, redeemed from the reign of sin, whose wages is death, life illumined by the hope of resurrection. Continue reading

Facing the ‘death of god’

16 October 2021 Verdibørsen P2
A conversation with Eivor Oftestad and Aase Cathrine Myrtveit about how Nietzsche's intuition regarding the 'death of god' is seeping into Western consciousness, about the abuse crisis, about human dignity, and about the courage to be seen as ridiculous. Continue reading

On Conversion Therapy

13 October 2021
A human being reaches maturity by finding a proper place, subjectively, among objective norms; sometimes perhaps by assuming positions that go against the grain of norms. But the cancellation of norms will not resolve the experience of a conflict of identity. Continue reading

Conversación con Daniel Capó

9 October 2021 The Objective
Si pudiéramos tan sólo darnos cuenta de la libertad de que disponemos para elegir cuál es nuestra visión del mundo. Si fuéramos conscientes de que nadie tiene por qué ser el prisionero de una determinada cosmovisión o mentalidad, ni siquiera de nuestro propio pasado, por muy traumático y difícil que haya sido: Cultivar la memoria del bien constituye una especie de ascesis, un ejercicio imprescindible. Continue reading

Intervju med

5 October 2021
Erik Varden har fortsatt en opplevelse av at Norge er både hjemland og utland, og akkurat det, sier han, er ikke så dumt når man har ansvar for noe så multikulturelt som katolske menigheter i Norge. Det har også noe med det å være kristen å gjøre: Vårt hjemland er i Himmelen. Continue reading

To Call a Spade a Spade

2 October 2021 St Olav 03/2021
Trofasthet koster. Det finnes ingen snarvei til menneskelig og kristen modenhet, om vi er gifte eller enslige, prester, legfolk, munker eller nonner. Continue reading

The Gospel of Mark in Greek

19 August 2021
Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ Υἱοῦ Θεοῦ. Continue reading

The Gospels in Greek: Introduction

18 August 2021
Some might ask: Doesn’t a bishop have better things to do than to record the Gospels in Greek? I would answer, without a moment’s hesitation: No! Continue reading

Entering the Twofold Mystery

29 July 2021
Let us entrust ourselves to God’s freeing possession. Let us run the risk of freedom. Continue reading

Williams, Looking East in Winter

23 June 2021
In a memorable image, Diadochos speaks of baptismal grace as the divine artist’s monochrome sketch: it is for us in conscious collaboration with the Spirit to fill in the colours. And ‘when the full range of colours is added to the outline, the painter captures the likeness of the subject, even down to the smile’. Continue reading

Påsketro i pesttid

21 May 2021
Det offentlige er visst ikke i stand til, nå, å gjenkjenne gudstjeneste som noe kategorisk særegent, en form for adferd som fortjener særskilte tiltak, særskilt kreativitet. Vi har tapt en dimensjon av tilværelsen: Det transcendente er strøket fra offisielt ordforråd. Continue reading

Den fattiges visdom

13 May 2021 Pilgrim 28:2
Det frykteligste ord som er blitt ytret mot vår tid, er dette: Vi har mistet naiviteten. Continue reading


4 April 2021 The Tablet
Language ordinarily labours to define opposites, not to at-one them. Only poetry, which graces speech with the polyvalence of music, stands a chance. Continue reading

Ovsiannikov, Journey to Freedom

6 March 2021 The Tablet
We like to assume that what stands between us and freedom is an accident of sorts; that we were at some point, be it at the moment of our birth, gloriously free, but that something then happened which curtailed our liberty. We spend years of our lives, perhaps, on analysts’ couches trying to identify that moment of destiny, wishing to reclaim what we consider ours by nature and by right. Continue reading

Pastoral Letter for Lent

21 February 2021
After several weeks in lockdown, my eight-year old goddaughter in Italy told her mother: ‘Mummy, I no longer recognise myself!’ It was wisely said. Continue reading

Intervista Tracce

2 January 2021 Tracce
Oggi ascoltare il soffio è divenuto difficile, perché ci sono tante impressioni, e si impongono quasi con violenza. Per questo serve avere dei sensi abbastanza affinati: ci vuole apertura; uno spazio di ascolto profondo, di attesa. Continue reading

Intervju i KulturPlot

17 December 2020 KulturPlot
Å komme noen vei i det åndelige liv handler om å ha mot til å ta av seg lag etter lag av den rustningen vi bygger mellom oss og andre, og det andre, for å bli radikalt tilgjengelig og tilstedeværende som den du faktisk er. Hele den monastiske modning går ut på å bli den du er på dypet. Continue reading

Intervju i Fast Grunn

8 December 2020 Fast Grunn
Den sorte og hvite munkekutten til biskopen stikker seg ut i bybildet, klosterdrakt og en hvit ulljakke og sandaler med sorte strømper. Ja, det er sånn det er: Det har kommet en ny munk til den gamle klosterbyen Nidaros. Continue reading

Intervju med Oj! Trøndersk mat og drikke

4 December 2020
Det som er morsomt med den formen for håndverksbrygg er jo at prosessene får lov til å ta tid. At det ikke er noe som er påskyndet, at det ikke er noe kjemiske tilskudd og at ingrediensene er latterlig enkle: alt du trenger er vann, malt, humle, gjær og litt sukker. Continue reading

Sr Marie-Ange in memoriam

31 October 2020 The Tablet
‘There are two Ways, one of Life and one of Death, and there is a great difference between the two Ways.’ They may run in parallel for a while, but sooner or later they diverge. Continue reading

Intervju i Adresseavisen

3 October 2020 Adresseavisen
Hva gjør du om du overhodet ikke drømmer om å bli katolsk biskop, men Paven velger deg? Hva om du endelig hadde funnet din retning i livet, et kall som fylte tomrommet du hadde båret i deg helt siden barndommen? Continue reading

Intervju i Vårt Land

2 October 2020 Vårt Land
Vi har glemt dette kollektive å tenke nåden rett og slett som oksygenet vi puster i, som noe ømt og trøstende. Vi tenker oss ofte troslivet som et regnskap hvor nåden er en matematisk kalkulerbar faktor; men det er kanskje ikke helt sånn det er. Continue reading

Intervju i Dagen

2 October 2020 Dagen
For 20-30 år siden kunne man oppleve at individer og institusjoner var i opposisjon mot det kristne. Man opplevde dette som en maktinstans, noe knugende totalitaristisk. Continue reading

The Joy of God

10 October 2019
Possessed of a sharp, analytical mind, Sr Mary David also had a keen sense of poetry. She was always one to go deeper, to probe further, to extend the horizon, dissatisfied with anything that was less han whole - and mindful that the wholeness she sought will tend to exceed what words on their own can express. Continue reading

Thomas Merton, Fjellet med de syv trinn

8 September 2019
At mange, ennå idag, møter Merton som en åndsfrende, er i stor grad fordi han så troverdig beskrev sine dykk ned i mørket og det han der fant: mangfoldet, fascinasjonen, også frykten. Sommetider bragte han et enkelt funn—en korall, en sjøstjerne—opp i lyset og åpenbarte dets skjønnhet. Continue reading

Deification in Christ

17 April 2019 The Tablet
Panayiotis Nellas has been described by his friend Kallistos Ware as ‘somewhat stout, with a moustache and wavy hair; by character vivacious, warm and friendly; a generous man, eager to commend and encourage others, a good listener.’ It is fitting that one who inspires such humane accolades should have left a work subtitled, The Nature of the Human Person. Continue reading

Om barbari og mildhet

1 November 2018 St Olav
I dagens tilstand av kirkelige kriser på så mange plan, i en samtid hvor barbariet overhodet ikke synes fjernt, minner munken Ranulfs ettermæle oss om grunnleggende ting. Skal evangeliet vinne frem, ja simpelthen komme til orde, må vi som forfekter det først og fremst få bukt med det utemmede i oss selv. Continue reading

The Shattering of Loneliness

15 September 2018
Ancient monks often prefaced their writings by saying: 'May what I have written be of use to you.' That is my wish also. Continue reading

Interview in The Tablet

15 September 2018 The Tablet
What is the sign that one is stuck? A loss of joy. Continue reading

New Monasticism

10 September 2018 Church Times
To call something (an institution, an initiative) ’monastic’ when it is not, is to take away from the possibly genuine newness of what is coming into being while eroding the specificity of a definite charism. What is called for, I’d suggest, is a relationship of complementarity based on conversation and friendship. Continue reading

Den olsoknorske fordring: Om Olavsarv i avkristningstid

29 July 2018 Segl 2018
Snorre gir oss et levende portrett av Olav i eksil når han forteller hvordan kongen satt til bords en søndag og spikket på en trestikke, så oppslukt av tanker at han hverken enset tiden eller selskapet, uvàr at han brøt helgedagsfreden. Var hans tid forbi, eller var hans time kommet? Continue reading

Kledd i miskunn: Et østkirkelig perspektiv på synd og frelse

7 October 2016 Segl 2017
Adam er en far som har fordervet sine barn; hans hustru Eva, hvis navn betyr “Liv”, er likeledes en dødsføderske. Hvorfor skulle vi tilkjenne vi oss dem, et slikt røverpar, som vårt kjødelige opphav? Continue reading

Lipsey, Make Peace Before the Sun Goes Down

4 February 2016 The Merton Journal
Even the mere dabbler in Mertoniana will have formed a picture of Dom James Fox, abbot of Gethsemani from 1948 to 1967. It is unlikely to be flattering. Continue reading

Lang, Signs of the Holy One

23 November 2015 The Brompton Oratory
Popular liturgical debate does not always impress by high metaphysical intent. To speak with Teresa, one sometimes feels closer to the poultry yard than to the silent flight of eagles. Continue reading

The Sense of Laughter

14 September 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
Laughter may turn out to be the natural voice of goodness and unselfconscious happiness. It is laughter of this kind we meet in Andreas Reiner’s remarkable portraits. Continue reading

Henri Le Saux: Moine de Kergonan

8 June 2015 Collectanea Cisterciensia
How can a monastic community, conservative by temperament and conviction, integrate the exceptional charism and call of individuals within it? How far can the fabric of community identity stretch without tearing? Continue reading

Gertrud von Helfta, Botschaft von Gottes Güte

3 June 2015 Collectanea Cisterciensia
Women of exceptional intelligence and spiritual gifts lived side by side here during Gertrud’s lifetime. We are shown how the environment moulded and refined the young nun as a scholar and writer, but also as ‘a most sensitive human being, open to all that is beautiful and good’. Continue reading

Porion, Lettres et écrits spirituels

15 April 2015 Collectanea Cisterciensia
Having spent several months with this book, reading a letter or two a day, I put it down with a sense of bereavement. Dom Porion is a wonderful correspondent: gracious, concise, engaged. Continue reading

Moses, Divine Discontent

21 March 2015 The Tablet
Thomas Merton was born on 31 January 1915. This volume is one of many brought out to celebrate him during his centenary year. Continue reading

Cristiana Piccardo, Living Wisdom

11 November 2014
Today, in the wake of the so-called death of ideologies (ideologies that have always tried to answer the human heart's quest for happiness), we do not merely find ourselves facing a dearth of more or less convincing answers, or even the utopia of an answer; the questions themselves have ceased. And the loss of questions seems infinitely graver than the loss of answers. Continue reading

Elisabeth Paule Labat, The Song That I Am

27 April 2014
The symphony of the saints will be marked by neither tragedy nor pathos, yet all that is truly great in tragedy and pathos will resonate within it, bathed in perfect place, like an immense surge that rises from the bottom of the sea yet spreads upon the surface in gentle ripples. Continue reading

Collectio Exemplorum Cisterciensis

22 February 2014 Collectanea Cisterciensia
The peccadillos of the higher clergy, including Cistercian abbots, are straightforwardly recounted if they serve the upbuilding of the readers. Continue reading

Så inderlig vel

1 May 2013 St Olav Tidsskrift
Fra å si, "Det er allikevel ingenting jeg kan gjøre", til å si, "Det angår allikevel ikke meg", er avstanden kort. Og med ett ligger likegyldigheten og lurer. Continue reading

Dall’Oglio, La sete di Ismaele

13 April 2013 Collectanea Cisterciensia
La tendance à relativiser la spécificité du christianisme sous prétexte de l’universalité du Christ fait de ces essais une articulation réductrice du patrimoine chrétien moyen-oriental. Il y manque une saine réflexion sur l’altérité. Continue reading

Om Katolisisme

5 November 2012 Radio Vaticana
Nå i det siste har jeg lest en viktig bok. Den er skrevet av Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, professor ved universitetet Dresden og en kvinne av dyp kultur med bred kompetanse. Continue reading

Cum Davide versari: The Psalter as Acquired Self-Expression

11 June 2012 Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, Roma
'It seems to me', says Athanasius, 'that [the words of the Psalms] are like a mirror to the one who prays them, letting him contemplate himself and the movements of his soul in them'. The occasional violence of the Psalter, so disconcerting to the uninitiated, here reveals its true, most profound significance: the transgressor no less than the keeper of the Law recognises himself in this book, 'for the Psalms contain the deeds of both'. Continue reading

Ondskap og djevler

7 May 2012 Radio Vaticana
At rettssaken mot Anders Behring Breivik stiller Norge overfor et nasjonalt trauma, er noe vi hver dag sanner. Det er alment godtatt at saken berører grunnleggende spørsmål innen både strafferett og psykiatri. Continue reading

Lux in arcana

23 April 2012 Radio Vaticana
Lux in arcana er tittelen på en storstilet utstilling som nå pågår i Romas Capitolmuseum. Den latinske overskriften lyder enda mer mystisk når man ser undertittelen, Pavens hemmelige arkiv åpenbarer seg. Continue reading

Klosterliv som eksperimentell ekklesiologi

4 April 2012 Segl 2012
Vårt fellesskapsliv må preges av ”custodia unitatis”, en vaktsomhet som realiseres nå vi ikke bare ber for helheten, men er rede til å bære den. Munken innser gjennom tid og erfaring at denne form for bæring, forening og forsoning er hans kall og, ved løftene, hans plikt. Continue reading

Parfymert Pave

2 April 2012 Radio Vaticana
Selv i en sekularisert verden, skal avisene gjerne ha noen religiøse assosiasjoner i spaltene sånn oppunder Påske. Heldig var det derfor at Pave Benedikt XVI nylig kunne komme i fokus da budskapet ble forkynt oppad og nedad Europa: Den fem-og-åtti-år-gamle pontifex får snart sin helt personlige parfyme! Continue reading

Retningslinjer for et lidenskapelig liv: om kristen askese

6 March 2012 St Dominikus Kloster, Oslo
Det fascinerer meg at klosterlitteraturen, for å referere til ”synd”, gjerne bruker ordet πλημμέλημα, med den opprinnelige betydning ”å bomme på notene”, ”å synge falskt”. Vårt egentlige vesen er en liflig musikk for Herren. Continue reading

Wislawa Szymborska

6 February 2012 Radio Vaticana
For en snau uke side, onsdag 1. Februar, døde den store polske dikterinnen Wisława Szymborska, åttini år gammel. Continue reading


30 January 2012 Radio Vaticana
Norske media er for tiden ofte svært opptatt av at folk skal be om unnskyldning. I og for seg er det vel og bra. Continue reading

Kristen enhet

16 January 2012 Radio Vaticana
Om et par dager, 18. Januar, begynner den årlige bønneoktaven for kristen enhet. Continue reading


12 December 2011 Radio Vaticana
Er det noe vi i våre dager er lite flinke til, noe vi i stor grad har mistet dreisen på, er det å vente. Vår verden er umiddelbarhetens verden. Continue reading

Å bygge en fremtid

5 December 2011 Radio Vaticana
Italiensk politikk har i det siste vært et stormfullt foretagende. Verdenspressen har spekulert høylytt og skråsikkert om årsakene bak tumultene. Continue reading

Ad te levavi

28 November 2011 Radio Vaticana
Inntil ganske nylig var det ikke uvanlig å referere til søndagene i Kirkeåret med en slags kode. Hvis vi leser oppbyggelseslitteratur eller katolsk-inspirerte bøker fra tidlig 1900-tall, kan det hende vi slumper borti henvisninger til Quasimodo-søndag, for eksempel, eller Lætare-søndag. Continue reading

Filippino Lippi

21 November 2011 Radio Vaticana
Omkring to hundre og femti år etter Kristi fødsel oppstod det i Egypt en radikal kristen bevegelse. Anno 2011 gir uttrykket oss gåsehud, idet vi forbinder radikal religiøsitet, dessverre ikke ubegrunnet, med flammer, bomber og geværer. Continue reading


14 November 2011 Radio Vaticana
Vi lever i en sky av svirrende døgnfluer. Enorme mengder informasjon kringkastes ustanselig gjennom alle media. Continue reading


7 November 2011 Radio Vaticana
For få uker siden utga Parisforleggeren Fayard en bok med tittelen Leur Regard perce nos ombres, “Våre skygger gjennombores av deres blikk”. Boken gjengir en samtale i brevfrom mellom to nære venner, som ved første øyekast kan se ut til å ha lite til felles. Continue reading

Habemus Papam

24 October 2011 Radio Vaticana
For få dager siden var det Norgespremière på Nanni Morettis film Habemus Papam. Moretti, forholdsvis ukjent i Nord-Europa, er en frontfigur i italiensk film. Continue reading

Løst Esel

23 October 2011 Radio Vaticana
Hva var opphavet til kristent klosterliv? Det er et spørsmål hvorom de lærde strides. Continue reading


17 October 2011 Radio Vaticana
Årets Nobelprisvinner i litteratur, Tomas Tranströmer, innledet for et halvt århundre siden samlingen 17 Dikter med et ”Preludium” som begynner slik: Uppvaknandet er ett fallskärmshopp från drömmen. Fri från den kvävande virveln sjunker resenären mot morgonens gröna zon. Continue reading

Gamle stier?

2 August 2011
Følelsen av høre hjemme i Kirken er kun blitt sterkere med årene. Som i ethvert hjem, hender det at jeg har lyst til å ommøblere: her og der kunne det være fristende å pusse støv; iblant tenker jeg at det kunne gjøre seg med ny belysning; men denslags er for småplukk å regne. Continue reading

Redeeming Freedom

15 June 2011
Bérulle's norms for judgement and action in the public domain, his politics of servitude, disregarded the gap between 'sacred' and 'secular' which changing political and religious circumstances were imposing on the European consciousness. His political legacy can only be understood as a function of his theological convictions. Continue reading

On Breathing Differently

1 July 2010 Mount Saint Bernard Abbey
Every week the Catholic press writes (The Herald with glee, The Tablet with alarm) about current efforts to recapture ‘tradition’, especially on the part of Catholics born after 1965. What does this tell us? Continue reading

Arven fra Byzans

8 June 2010 St Olav Tidsskrift
Når det gjelder gjengs norsk holdning til klassiske studier, kan man ha inntrykk av at Alexander Kiellands fordømmende blikk stirrer like inn i vår folkesjel. Vi plages av tanken på Fru Gottwalds Lille Marius, som resiterte sin deklinasjonstabell like inn i døden etter et så altfor kort liv ødelagt av brutalt pådrevet og helt unyttig lærdom. Continue reading

Bertoniere, The Monks of Spencer

8 October 2009 Cîteaux - Commentarii cistercienses
The nature of Benedictine ‘stabilitas’ as fidelity to a faith-reality embodied in a human group, not to an edifice, is examined from various angles throughout the book. Continue reading

‘Put Nothing Before the Work of God’ (RB 48): Why Not?

1 January 2009 Cistercian Studies Quarterly 44:1 (2009)
To Queen Michol peering from her window, the extravagance of the monastic office - the time it claims from profitable work, the space it occupies in our Rule, its songs and ritual - can seem preposterous. But she was destined to die without progeny. Continue reading

Towards the Authentic: Reflections on Music, Truth, and Desire

16 June 2006 The Downside Review 438 (January 2007)
Sacred music, like sacred texts and sacred rites, is a truth-bearer in worship. Mediocrity and compromise should no more be tolerated in this domain than in any other. Continue reading

The Demonic Gaze: American Beauty

2 May 2001 St John's College, Cambridge
The ‘demonic’ gaze usurps a divine perspective in presuming to appropriate for its own good pleasure things and beings created to be themselves. Seeking possession rather than communion, the ‘demonic’ grabber upsets a divinely instituted balance; like the king of Babylon, he will sooner or later see the writing on the wall. Continue reading

Paulina Mariadotter: An Age of the Life of Love

14 January 2001 Priests and People
Surrounded by a self-destructive culture terrified of death, western Christians must face essentials: Do they believe in Christ’s resurrection? If the answer is yes, who knows what might happen. Continue reading