Thursday, January 07, 2010

Out Goes The Means Of A Catholic Sacrament...
In goes the pagan gods

Yet another reason to suspend the Jesuits. Yet another reason to shut down the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Yet another reason to disband the USCCB (the silence from them is deafening.)

There's some of the article from The California Catholic Daily; (Emphasis mine)
Church or museum?
USF’s St. Ignatius Church has replaced confessionals to make room for art gallery

On November 3, 2008, the online newsletter of the Jesuit California province announced the opening of an art gallery in the eastern alcove of St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco.

Said the newsletter, “St. Ignatius Church, a Jesuit parish in San Francisco, celebrated the opening of its new Manresa Gallery on September 18. Formed by four interior alcoves, which previously housed confessional boxes, the gallery is a permanent testament to St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Composition of Place… In keeping with Ignatius’ understanding that his Constitutions or governing rules for Jesuits would include old principles and new ones, the gallery’s philosophy is to include both traditional religious works and contemporary art in a series of changing exhibitions. Commissioned pieces will enhance the dialogue that take places on a larger scale within the ritual space of the church. Manresa Gallery is open on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. and by appointment.” The article was written by James R. Blaettler, S.J., Associate Pastor of St. Ignatius.

A few weeks ago, I decided to go to St. Ignatius to take a look for myself. While the museum was closed, I was able to look through the windows to get a glimpse of what’s inside. It was a surprising experience to find an art gallery inside a Catholic Church. It became even stranger when the art displayed was not Christian, but pagan.

The current exhibition is “The Arts of Java and Bali: Objects of Belief, Ritual and Performance.” One of the pieces in the show is an hermaphroditic wooden figurine, with female breasts and a male erection. Another is a hairy demonic figure with a women’s face protruding from its mouth. Another is a brightly colored, scaled, demonic figure.

If a Catholic (or a pagan for that matter) ignores for a moment the impropriety of introducing pagan ritual objects into a Catholic church and instead considers that the church has removed its confessionals, which were an integral part of the original plan of the church both architecturally and sacramentally, and replaced them with an art gallery, the experience becomes stranger still.
"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into The Church" --
The Blessed Mother. Akita, Japan, 1973.

9 Comments:

Blogger Cam said...

Wow. I wonder where my husband will go to confession when the school term restarts (for grad school students this month). While we've come to recognize how incredibly naive we were when he decided on USF for his MA Theology degree, I continue to be surprised by what those who make these decisions at USF are capable of. We'll be much, much more careful when he goes on to his next school (we're praying God's plans for him include the Angelicum)....

USF is a constant disappointment. And that's certainly not going to change while Father Privett is directing the school.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Old Bob said...

That "art" looks like the work of someone who was drunk or stoned or both. And yes, I'm Eurocentric.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Hoog said...

These pieces of art look demonic to me, especially the last one (I mean the face in the mouth of an animal/demon). Definitively ironic since these replaced a place where poor souls can be saved from the demonic.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

Maybe USF should be shut down too . . . i.e., after your husband earns his Master's degree!

4:24 PM  
Blogger Volpius Leonius said...

And yet no one destroys them because we are all afraid of going to jail.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Unbelievable. Yet not unique: this kind of crap also goes on in Europe.

Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J., the "Trench Priest" of World War I who dreamed of being a Jesuit martyr (and became one at Ypres in 1917) could surely never have imagined how his Order would deteriorate in less than a century after his death.

8:18 PM  
Blogger JLS said...

The late Rev Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and hermit, described the various east Asian carvings of devils that he ran into while heading to his last flareup in south asia or some place in that region ... maybe it was India or Thailand. Anyway, his description reveals pretty much what any level headed person can see right off, that they are crafted to intimidate. Merton didn't quite understand this and was being drawn into deeper investigations of these demonic symbols. Shortly after his trist with these hideous things he was electrocuted to death, in such a way that one wonders how he could have missed the obvious accident waiting to happen. I have wondered if his level of intimidation by the demonic symbols was such that he kind of kept his eyes closed to the reality around him.

Likewise demonic faces carved in stone can be seen in many central American ancient artwork. Those people didn't seem to see the problem with cutting hearts of out living maidens by the thousands per day.

Well, let's see what happens at this parish after a spell (yes, pun intended).

12:04 AM  
Blogger Al said...

Given some of the other recent goings on there, this doesn't surprize me 1 little bit. This is the same USF that gave an honorary degree to pro-women's ordination, pro-same sex marriage Irish President Mary McAleese on Thursday 11 December 2008 & had a student insurance policy that paid for abortions. & also covers it in their employees policy as well.

2:59 AM  
Blogger Kathreja said...

My experiance of the Jesuits while in Rome was very positive, so perhaps reform not suspend.

8:23 PM  

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