|Anybody have a can of spray paint? This is the perfect canvas to write,
"The emperor has no clothes!"
"Whom the gods (Baal, Molech, Gaia, Astarte, Kali, Pachamama, Lucifer) would destroy, they first make mad." (quote source) If the photo above doesn't illustrate madness, I don't know what does.
The....purple sweater....is hanging in the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna for Lent thanks to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. The "artist" is notorious for depicting nudity, including genitalia, and for mocking priests and religious. Isn't that perfect? The cardinal is paying him for this monumental joke -- just like the swindlers in the story of The Emperor's New Clothes! How much did the patsies in the pew pay for the purple plague to descend on their cathedral?
When I first saw this picture it reminded me of Lent at my former parish, St. Louis in Alexandria. We had a pastor for awhile in the 1980s, Fr. Vincent Keane, who later left the priesthood to marry a neighbor I used to carpool with.
Every liturgical season we had to have some new innovation. In Advent we couldn't have a traditional Advent wreath; we had the four Advent pillars. Lent always featured a theme that was lamentably laughable. Once it was the cracked pot. But the one I remember the most was the torn garment. Someone constructed a HUGE T-shaped men's valet. (You know -- those wooden things with a place to hang clothes.) I came into the church one morning to see the torn green tunic hanging from the T-shape about 15 feet high and right next to the tabernacle.
Omigosh! It was as ridiculous as the picture above. I thought the Jolly Green Giant had joined the parish, and was afraid we'd see him running around in his birthday suit since someone had "torn" his clothes off. But perhaps he just had a gender identity crisis and moved to Austria where he now identifies as a woman who loaned her purple sweater to the cardinal!
Taste was definitely not Fr. Keane's strong suit, either liturgically or personally. He wore butterfly vestments for First Communion and regularly ditched his clerics for dockers and sports shirts. He let the church and other parish buildings go to pot on his watch. Every time it rained there were buckets all over the church because the roof leaked. I shook my head a lot during his tenure even when I served on the parish council as the token conservative.
At one meeting everybody was trashing Cardinal Ratzinger, including Fr. Keane. I listened for a few minutes and then piped up quietly, "Gee, I kind of like Cardinal Ratzinger." Total silence.....then somebody changed the subject.
Really, I thought we were beyond this kind of insanity until I saw the monstrosity above.
But no, the goofiness has just moved up several levels from pastors to bishops to cardinals, dare I say to the pope himself?
Cardinal Schönborn of Austria is clearly insane and needs to be committed for his own good and the good of his flock. But he's certainly not alone. Remember the homoerotic mural Archbishop Paglia put in his cathedral? It's alarming when you think these men, and others like them, are friends and advisors to Francis and even serve in important Vatican roles.
Obviously, insanity rules in some places. Just check out the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference. Ai yi yi! Another spectacle just ended.
But really, folks, this should encourage you. The devil is now blatantly illustrating that his plan is to change the true, the good, and the beautiful to the false, the evil, and the ugly. But the more he is unmasked the more people will recognize his grotesque face and will flee. We need to do everything we can to make sure they don't flee from the Church, but embrace orthodoxy. Let them see in us the joy and hope that draws them to Christ the King.
And please pray for Vince and. Cheryl. When I had cancer in 1986, Cheryl was very kind to me. It made the shock and sorrow I felt when I heard about the scandal very personal.