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Archives for April 2013
Mother Church, in her wisdom, knew that the feast day of the Dominican Third Order’s patroness, St Catherine of Siena, on April 29, would leave you hungry for yet more examples of Dominican sanctity. Wherefore today we celebrate the memorial of the Dominican priest Michele Ghisleieri, who acceded to the Throne of Peter in 1566; reigned as Pius V until his death in 1572; and was canonized in 1712.
Here are three fitting tributes to this holy Pope:
Second, from G.K. Chesterton, who needs no introduction here – A few mentions of St Pius V as ‘the pope’ in the poem ‘Lepanto’, since the eponymous battle took place during Pius V’s papacy. (See also: Our Lady of the Rosary.)
A member of the Dominican order, Pius V worked hard to improve the position of the papacy. Internally, he cut expenditures and externally, he increased the power and effectiveness of the Inquistion and expanded the use of the Index of Forbidden Books. Heresy virtually disappeared from Italy and, for his efforts, he was canonized 150 years later.
‘Heresy virtually disappeared from Italy’! What a thrill this phrase must send through every Christian heart! (As for me, I am skeptical of the claim — but I want to believe!)
Our Friend Duffy has a terrific post up at Patheos today in response to Pope Francis’ recent comments on the healing power of shame.
There were no particularly Christian reasons to feel shame at that time in my upbringing. We slept in on most Sunday mornings of my early childhood, and no one had inferred to me in any way that sex was bad. But looking through the magazines was something Marcy and I definitely did under cover of darkness, regardless of how boldly they had been left in our path. We both knew that there was something inherently wrong with two little girls looking at grown-up naked women.
Read the whole thing.
Meanwhile, American Life League attempted to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times and the Washington Post that displays images used by Planned Parenthood in public school sex education courses. The ad was rejected because the images were considered “too graphic” for the newspapers’ readership.
I can understand the newspapers’ reasoning, honestly – I assume they would say the same about an image of the human reproductive system from, say, a ninth grade biology textbook. Right? I’m a little confused about this detail from the story:
Likewise, the New York Times offered to run the ad only if ALL would agree to blur the pictures. Its staff suggested that they could run a disclaimer saying, “Image too shocking for the New York Times audience. To see actual image and for more information, please visit: http://www.all.org/pdf/PP_HookingKids.pdf.“
That actually seems like a good compromise – I’m unclear as to who suggested it; the NYT or ALL? As a parent, I’m not crazy about the idea of a newspaper that my child might read including these graphic images in a full-page advertisement.
Because the images themselves are so explicit – I don’t understand how something like this even gets designed. I don’t understand how you have a staff meeting to look over the mockups, share feedback around the table, decide to go with the image of the young girl bent double with a mirror, exposing her genitals to the viewer so that they can be properly labeled. That’s the one. That’s what we want to send to the printers, distribute to the students, talk about with the kids, emphasizing there’s nothing to be embarrassed about and we just want you to be comfortable with your bodies so we can all be sex-positive. And let’s couple that with the image of the young boy masturbating.
Aren’t you ashamed?
Today is the memorial of St Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor, patroness of the Dominican Laity.
The key-note to Catherine’s teaching is that man, whether in the cloister or in the world, must ever abide in the cell of self-knowledge, which is the stable in which the traveller through time to eternity must be born again.
Don’t call me a ho/ ‘Cuz what I got you can’t afford/I ain’t movin’ on your money/And your braggin’s got me bored/You gotta chain me to your heart/Before you tie me to the bed/If you’re looking for a bitch/Better get a dog instead
The gifted and industrious artist Daniel Mitsui, a great favorite here at Korrektiv, has released the text (and illustrations) of a lecture he delivered earlier this month. The subject: Catholic religious art, and Mitsui’s approach to it as student and draftsman. This presentation is thought-provoking, edifying, and a pleasure to read. Here’s a taste, from near the conclusion:
You have undoubtedly seen [medieval ‘drolleries’] in the margins of illuminated manuscripts: frolicking monkeys, marauding woodwoses, flirting peasants, anthropomorphized pigs playing bagpipes, funny monsters composed of various parts of men, birds, beasts and reptiles[…]. This grotesque, romantic, comical element is not limited to manuscript margins; it is found in almost every medium of medieval sacred art. […]
This same element can be encountered in the worship of the medieval Church: a Festival of the Donkey honored the beast that bore the Blessed Virgin on the Flight into Egypt; during the Mass, certain responses were brayed rather than chanted. […] Medieval sculptors and engineers introduced automation and puppetry into the church […]. [An] example is the Boxley Rood of Grace, a crucifix whose Christ moved his arms and eyes and mouth by means of wires operated by a hidden puppeteer. For all that the Middle Ages can truly be described as a time of liturgical solemnity, monastic discipline, personal piety, scholastic disputation, crusading zeal and fleshly mortification, the faithful of those ages never lost their sense of humor or their spirit of romance.
I tend to keep the company of other traditional Catholics, and their reactions when hearing about these practices diverge; some think they are wonderful. Others are horrified, and see in them only a precedent for current liturgical abuse and artistic gimmickry. To my mind, they are very different.
To learn why Mitsui thinks they are different — and to help yourself to much more food for thought — click here for the lecture.
[Lecture link via Mr Mitsui’s April 2013 newsletter, which is packed with art, including a commission for the American College of Surgeons; a preview of a forthcoming set of Stations of the Cross; and the Ecce Quam Bonum that illustrates this post.]
[For Korrektiv‘s previous coverage of medieval drolleries, click here.]