Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bad taste writ large

Great comment from Susan Peterson in Amy Welborn's comment box regarding this thread: A Polish Dominican monk has asked the Rome clinic that treated John Paul II to give him recordings of the late pope's heartbeat, which he hopes to play to ardent Catholics at Christmas midnight mass.

Susan says:
I cite again the immortal comment of Gerard Manley Hopkins,"One is always finding bad taste in the accessories of Catholicism."
Boy, ain't that the truth! Darwin and I spent our honeymoon at a B&B run by a Jewish couple who'd nevertheless gotten into buying old Catholic memorabilia on eBay. They had some really odd stuff -- merry-go-round mysteries of the rosary, images of Jesus with eyes that moved, saccharine holy cards, strange devotional objects, many pictures of a limp, effeminate Jesus with a beatific smile nailed to the cross. Many may long for the lost beauties of pre-Vatican II Catholicism, but it's also good to remember that the intention of paring down is to clear away the dead wood. I'd love to see a return to more beautiful architecture in our churches. But I'd gladly do without more pictures of the Sacred Heart of the type that Darwin's grandmother used to have hanging in her living room. Gives me the willies just thinking about it.


Fred said...


Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Mrs D,
The Merry-Go-Round Rosary and such, were minimal. Pre-V2 Catholicicsm is much more than grand architecture.

Before V2, the pope never had to call the worlds bishops together because most Catholics didn't even believe in the Real Presence.

When we collectivly became the "New and Improved V2 Approved Catholic Church", yeah... the Merry-Go-Round Rosaries went by the wayside, and so did much of the very essence of what it was to be a Catholic

Darwin said...

Non Sum,

Don't get Mrs wrong, we're both huge devotees of traditional Catholic art. The vast majority of the good art ever produced in the West has been produced for the glory of God and the Catholic Church.

But except for architecture (which could always fall back on being imitative) and literature (which really picked up in the first half of the 20th century) the 19th and early 20th centuries were pretty lousy periods for Church art, IMHO.

Goodness knows I'd prefer a moving-eyed Sacred Heart to a liturgical ribbon dance, but I'd much rather the glories of Medieval or Baroque liturgical art to either one!

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Mrs D,
My sincere apologies!! My mistake entirely.

I bow to you devotion to Holy Mother Church and to your Catholic womanhood.

mrsdarwin said...

No prob. Sorry not to respond until now, but I confess I didn't see your comment until now. Chalk it up to two toddlers...

Anyway, I concur with everything Darwin said!