Showing posts with label Commonweal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commonweal. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sun is Setting on Modernist Abbey

Looking more like the inside of a masonic lodge or the set of a dystopic  zombie movie, the term modernist is more than a convention, it's an accurate theological appellation as well when it comes to describing the vandalism of these Cassinese "monks".  Keen observers of the Catholic Faith will note that modernism is a heresy condemned by the sainted Pope Pius X and quickly come to the conclusion that the connection between the artistic term and the theological one is more than coincidental.  In fact, Collegeville's modernist Abbey is conceived around Liturgical approaches condemned until the seventies, despite being conceived and built even before the Vatican Council met in 1961.

The Abbey does not allow for easy identification of the Blessed Sacrament, and has virtually absented any distinction between the sanctuary and the nave.  It is a thoroughly revolutionary structure which has subtracted almost all distinctively Catholic dimensions, including beauty.

A Profane House

Amid the almost universal acclaim for the admittedly modernist design of the Abbey church at a decaying American monastery, there is a moment of truth where authors describe the architectural design conceived by Jewish architect, Marcel Breuer, as modernist.

There are no professional criticisms for this attempt to render a church in any professional architectural digest, paper or publication.   The silence is a reminder of the unpopulated if unpopular, courts, surrounded by brutal Courbousier tenements like out of a novel by Anthony Burgess .  You will find no detailed criticisms of it anywhere, in fact, at least nothing direct.   Perhaps nothing direct is necessary, for like the designs of Courboursier and Gropius, they seem to repel the people they were intended to house.  .

Despite the current almost uncritical praise for the design, at least the critics were honest enough to describe it accurately as modernist.

As the contemporary silence upon the dubious achievement of the modernist church endures, an increasing silence grows around the Abbey church as the monks it was intended to serve decay and wither away without much hope of replacement.  The church itself was conceived even before the Pastoral Council and its subsequent ravages as if a landscape was prepared for national emulation to poison the well of devotion which once inspired truly great works of art and lives spent in piety and gravitas.

If there are no direct criticisms of the Abbey, there are others less direct, but just as devastating when we turn across the Atlantic to the fashionable Hamsted neighborhood where the literary Catholic, Evelyn Waugh was inspired   as much as he was amused by Hungarian modernist architects of Jewish extraction from the Bauhaus school.

Marcel Breuer was a designer of Ikea-like furniture for a UK based company called Isokon in the 30s.  He even lived in hideous modernist flats of the same name, designed by the company in posh Hamsted not too far from Evelyn Waugh whose satirical portrait, Otto Silenius, must have been a composite of Breuer himself and his mentor, Gropius, and other sinister architects in 'Handful of Dust'.

Isokon was also the name of some ugly flats which was the nest of Doctor Deutsch, a Central European Communist, who recruited the Cambridge  5.
Isokon Flats from the 30s

It's not just the literary world which offers criticisms of Breuer's handful of concrete and dust, but it's nature herself an the hierarchy of the Church.  The first Mass said at the Abbey church, and the building itself was not without controversy.  Indeed, if one of the late monks can be believed, a former Olympic wrestler who abandoned his dreams of gold medals to become a priest, said that a crack opened up during the first Mass and that "I was afraid of what was going to come up out of that crack."  As one Bishop Brady of Sioux Falls once prophetically remarked, " will not get by with the building of that church you are planning.”   [cf. Commonweal, The Monks and the Modernism]

Truth be told, like the company founded by Gropius and Brueuer, as well as the dilapidated Isokon flats themselves, is defunct and desolate, a fate which will soon be shared by the modernist  St. John's Abbey which seems destined to become as desolate and lifeless as the bottom of the Dead Sea.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

USCCB does not find that there is Intelligent Life at Commonweal

The USCCB is still ignoring the problem. In a usual pattern of deception, they seem bent on ignoring reality and their own canon law. By all appearances, they will most likely continue to ordain homosexuals in large numbers despite the danger they pose to the purity of boy chilren.

A preliminary report commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on the roots of the clergy sex-abuse scandal found no evidence that gay priests were more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the study’s lead authors said yesterday.

First their title dishonestly implies that the USCCB states that "Homosexuality is not linked to sex-abuse, rather it's the other way around. Then another journalist steps in and sights a spurious study with some poorly reasoned arguments.

The full $2 million study by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won’t be completed until the end of 2010. But the authors said their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.

It's still amazing that the USCCB spent all that money to tell us that sodomites and criminality were at the heart of the problem.

UPDATE: Longer analysis by David Gibson over at Politics Daily.

“What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith, a researcher from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which is conducting an independent study of sexual abuse in the priesthood from 1950 up to 2002. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse.” [The Soviet Union made all kinds of "scientific" studies like this]

A second researcher, Karen Terry, also cautioned the bishops against making a correlation between homosexuality in the priesthood and the high incidence of abuse by priests against boys rather than girls — a ratio found to be about 80-20. [It's actually more than that]

“It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior,” [But why?] Terry said. “Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity.” [This is a false distinction and we don't in any case know what Terry means. Based on her special pleading, I doubt that it's very well defined.] Terry said factors such as greater access to boys is one reason for the skewed ratio. [Not really, priests have more freedom, and less accountability than average workers and can go anywhere they want. Fact of the matter is that they don't go after girls because most of them are homosexuals] Smith also raised the analogy of prison populations where homosexual behavior is common even though the prisoners are not necessarily homosexuals, or cultures where men are rigidly segregated from women until adulthood, and homosexual activity is accepted and then ceases after marriage. [Still reaching for an excuse. She's like he guardian of an alcoholic child who refuses to acknowledge reality.]


When asked by a bishop at Tuesday’s meeting whether homosexuality should be a factor in excluding men from the seminary, Smith responded, “If that exclusion were based on the fact that that person would be more probable than any other candidate to abuse, we do not find that at this time.”

Read at ... Commonweal.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Politicizing Prelates and New York

The last few days have gotten us to thinking about politicising prelates and here we have a case of one who uses his mitre and authority to prop up his leftist political causes. Generally abortion isn't negotiable, most of the time, but sometimes (most of the time) you support the DNC talking points and candidates when your Diocese's schools, hospitals or "charitable" organizations or the semnary where conservative candidates get weeded out, need support.

A bishop’s flexibility
November 1, 2009, 5:11 pm Posted by Paul Moses

As chairman of the bishops’ committee that drafted the statement “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has had an important role in interpreting what it actually means. In the heat of the 2008 presidential campaign, he wrote in a letter to The New York Times that the newspaper had erred in a story on Joseph Biden and the Catholic vote in reporting the statement would “explicitly allow Catholics to vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights if they do so for other reasons.”