Showing posts with label Cultural Figures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cultural Figures. Show all posts

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Schönborn: the Cross Should Make the World Fairer

Viennese Cardinal in "Today" -column: If the cross in the courtroom, classroom and hospitals is not for change, it is merely an ineffective piece of culture

Vienna ( According to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Cross has important functions in public space. "The cross should change something, make the world more equitable, otherwise it is an ineffective piece of culture," the Viennese Archbishop said in his Friday column of the free newspaper "Heute" in the current cross-debate. The symbol of Christians should not be seen as a "jewel in a cultural museum," but rather as a reminder.

In the courtroom, according to Schönborn, "it should remind the judges that God expects them to be righteous and not partisan," and that "the poor and defenseless are to be treated just as well as the rich and powerful." In the school, the cross calls to mind "that children are not bullied, that teachers should support the weak." In the hospitals, the cross shows "that the suffering man has his dignity, even if he is destitute."

The Cardinal has been at a distance from the current cross-debate, which was triggered by the discussion about head coverings and burkas. Some would call for "ideological neutrality" in public space and wanted to "ban or even ban anything that recalls a religion." Others have described the cross - but not the Burka - as part of the culture. "This discussion is a dead end," says Schönborn.
Trans: Tancred

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jack Kerouac was Catholic

"I believe in order, tenderness and piety. "

Edit: there's so much about celebrated literary figures confirming our religious feelings.  Many people find so much consolation in actors, punters, gangsters and so on who've changed their ways and admitted they were wrong.

One such figure is Jack Kerouac.  Bad Catholic, who especially likes to report on these sorts of stories about "cool" cultural icons, performed a fairly succinct and detailed summary of Kerouac's emotional and literary attachment to Catholicism. It was especially plain in how he named the beatnik movement as related to "beatific".

There's a great deal to poetic figures and part of their vocation to see and appreciate things with a wonder and conviction which is the polarity and polarization which makes their poetic work a religious experience.

An article in Culture Wars reads:

It may be hoped that Catholicism did more than keep Jack sane. He wrote his editor about "the result of praying to St. Mary to intercede for me to make me stop being a maniacal drunkard." Kerouac continued, "Ever since I instituted the little prayer, I've not been lushing. So far, every prayer addressed to the Holy Mother has been answered."28 He resumed his boyhood habit of praying to St. Thérèse and "the little lamby Jesus", and his diaries are filled with prayers (some for humility) and sketches of the crucified Christ. He never formally returned to the Church and the sacraments, but in the last decade of his life he often slipped into neighborhood churches to light a candle and pray. 
In 1969, the last year of his life, Jack and Gabrielle, and Jack's third wife, Stella, lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a retirement town, and Jack seemed retired, spending most of his time indoors, drinking Johnny Walker Red and reading National Review, the Bible, Pascal, and Voltaire. He was watching television the morning of October 20, eating tuna fish out of the can, sipping whiskey, and scribbling a note. There was a pain in his stomach. He made it to the bathroom in time to vomit a waterfall of blood. His liver, long cirrhotic, had finally hemorrhaged. The blood filled Jack's chest and welled up into his throat. 
He was rushed to St. Anthony's hospital. He remained unconscious while doctors operated on him and pumped thirty pints of blood into his body. He died an alcoholic's death, drowning in his own blood, at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. His body was taken back home for a high mass at St. Jean Baptiste Cathedral in Lowell, where Jack had served as an altar boy. The body in the coffin wore a sports coat and bow tie. The right hand held a rosary.

What is also of note, was his interview with William F. Buckley on the PBS show, Firing Line not long before he died, where he described his understanding, against the press and popular description, which was really more of a statement of Faith, "I believe in oder, tenderness and piety".  Indeed,  he was eager to attack the Communists like Ferlengetti and Ginsberg, from whom he disassociated himself from several times in the interview. Despite being terribly drunk, he has moments of clarity and makes one of the most sartlingly accurate description of the false prophets...

  Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.