Highlights from the week online

Saving history from ISIS and the weather

An American Benedictine monk is working to preserve ancient Christian and Muslim manuscripts, threatened by wars, theft, weather, and now by ISIS. Matteo Fagotto tells the story of Fr Columba Stewart at theatlantic.com.

“As ISIS militants have destroyed countless artefacts, Stewart has attempted to counter them by working with Christian and Muslim communities in hotspots such as Iraq and Syria. He has trained local teams to photograph centuries-old books with the help of the non-profit organisation he directs … So far, it has managed to photograph more than 140,000 complete manuscripts, for a total of more than 50,000,000 handwritten pages,” Fagotto claims.

How I discovered the world is Catholic

John Clark, at setonmagazine.com, described a secret while preparing a geography study guide: the whole world is Catholic.

“From the deepest underground catacombs in Rome to the tallest basilica in Africa’s Ivory Coast, from the Dura-Europos Church in Syria built circa 235 to the churches under construction circa today, from the ISIS-ransacked altar in Qaraqosh, Iraq, to the magnificent Gothic altar in St Mary’s Basilica in Kraków, Poland, the world bears an unmistakable Catholic imprint,” Clark wrote.

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