Metropolitan Gay-la Edition! (Your Catholic Week in Review)

Your Catholic Week in Review (Metropolitan Gay-la Edition!)

Michael Hichborn – 5/12/18

Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Pontifical Academy for Culture didn’t see anything outrageous or blasphemous about this:

…or this:

…or this (extra bonus if you can spot Jenna Bush Hager in the background):
I want to set aside for a moment the observations about “cultural appropriation” and so forth — or the quite obvious distinction that if these fashionable types had paraded themselves dressed as Prophet Mohammed or as Ashkenazim, there would be charges of anti-Semitism in the latter and most likely violence with the former.Sure we can draw obvious observations that anti-Catholicism seems to remain the most enduring and acceptable social prejudice.  What is shocking in this instance is that — once again — we find ourselves a flock without a shepherd, as New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan brushed off the entire episode as nothing much to see:

“I did not find the spirit of the evening to be offensive or blasphemous at all,” the cardinal told Crux of the event where a Victoria’s Secret model dressed as a sexy cardinal alongside dozens of other celebrities in sultry Catholic-themed outfits.

Other celebrity costumes at the Met Gala included a sexualized Blessed Virgin Mary, Rihanna dressed as a pope, and “flesh-flashing” outfits adorned with Christian symbols, as Piers Morgan put it.

…wait, Piers Morgan?!

Yes — that Piers Morgan, who not only took up the obvious points about what would happen if other faiths had been blasphemed in such a manner, but took the argument one step further:

Apparently – staggeringly – the Vatican gave permission for the Gala to be ‘Catholic-themed’ because it has already provided a variety of clothes and other items for an accompanying exhibition at the Met.

To which my response is: what the hell was the Vatican thinking?

A lot of the imagery was highly sexualised, which you might think not just inappropriate for a religious theme but also incredibly offensive to the many victims of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Victoria’s Secret model Stella Maxwell thought it fun to have images of the Virgin Mary all over her strapless dress.

Ruby Rose wore a red tunic showing off her vulgar tattoos and a cross.

Want a litany of the damned?

  • Katy Perry — who just recently gave a Vatican-sponsored talk on transcendental meditation in Rome despite clear warnings from theologians about the danger this practice invites to souls — came as a naughty angel;
  • Kim Kardashian had a cross emblazoned on her hip;
  • Ariana Grande came dressed as Michaelangelo’s Last Judgement;
  • Jennifer Lopez came dressed as a jewel-encrusted cross;
  • Madonna not only came dressed as a nun, but performed “Like A Prayer” to the attendees;
  • Sarah Jessica Parker came with an entire Nativity scene on her head.

Yes — on her head.

Ostensibly, the entire event showcasing items of Catholic art over the centuries should have had the careful oversight of the Pontifical Academy for Culture.

Yet as the folks at One Peter Five have already indicated, it did:

It is Cardinal Ravasi – and surely with him Pope Francis himself – who made the decision to open the Church’s treasures to the world of fashion, and even then hand them over to the world and the mockers of Catholic things. As with so many tenets of our beloved faith, we now can see what some of the sordid consequences are of such an act.

We should not be very surprised, however, that Ravasi would so closely work with an exhibition which had been heavily funded by the fashion company Versace, whose founder is an LGBT icon. In 2013, Ravasi – who has been an advocate for Vatican dialogue with Freemasonry – caused a stir when he tweeted a quote from musician, Lou Reed, who had been known for his bisexuality. He also publicly praised another LGBT icon, Davie Bowie.

Edward Pentin over at National Catholic Register (the good NCR) has more about the initial resistance from the Vatican to participate in this event… a facade that mysteriously seemed to crack with just a few phone calls to the right people:

The exhibition curator, Andrew Bolton, a Catholic himself, also made several attempts, Wintour said, including enlisting the support of the Vatican Museums and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household (although reliable sources say this is not true and that Archbishop Gänswein merely told them he did not have the competence to offer the help they needed). Eventually, the Vatican granted them permission to borrow the exhibits.

The Jesuit magazine America played a role in persuading the Vatican to take part, arranging meetings between Archbishop Paul Tighe, secretary at the Pontifical Council for Culture, and people in charge at the Met when Archbishop Tighe happened to be visiting New York last October.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, had also already given it his backing. The support and engagement of the local Church was said to have been crucial in giving the Pontifical Council confidence to go forward with its collaboration. Jesuit Father James Martin, America’s editor-at-large and consulter to the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, is also understood to have played a role and, along with Cardinal Dolan, attended Monday’s event.

It is one thing entirely when the wolves attack the flock.  It is something else altogether when the shepherds whose duty is to defend the flock invites the wolves into our very midst.

The Church and her beauty survived 2,000 years without the likes of Madonna or Katy Perry.  Why Cardinal Dolan and the Jesuits over at America Magazine felt it needed this sort of polish deserves more than an explanation.  Rather, a bold determination that it should never happen again would be most welcome indeed.

…and yet it takes more than just an explanation.  This is precisely why Our Lady asked for the First Five Saturdays of Reparation.  There is nothing left for us to do but to make reparations on behalf of the ongoing sacrileges of those pastors who continue to chase the fashionable and ignore the faithful.  In this way, the laity can respond to the call to holiness — supplying supernatural grace where the senses of our shepherds seem to repeatedly fail.

Some other headlines you may have missed:

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