(1) During Holy Week, I browsed throught The Sacred Made Real, which accompanied the 2010 [yes; old story] NG exhibition about Spanish art ... especially artefacts used in worship during Holy Week. I found this:
"... the Virgin of Solitude [was] a cult which ... was celebrated in the Mass on Easter Saturday."
Well, perhaps the nitwit who wrote this meant to write "Holy Saturday", because I can see no reason to celebrate our Lady's loneliness after her Son's Resurrection. I remember that in the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham, on the evening of Good Friday there used to be a devotion to Maria Desolata, and on Easter Day, the devotion called Maria Consolata.
But ... hang on ... there certainly wasn't a Mass of our Lady or of anyone else on Holy Saturday, Easter Eve. Wikipedia confirms these rather obvious facts. There are two days in the year when Mass is prohibited, and one of them is Holy Saturday (before the Vigil).
The ignorant nitwit who wrote this tripe was some man called de Ceballos. Judging from the list of his publications, he is a very erudite and academically highly admired ignorant nitwit.
Art historians are rarely well informed about the Catholic Faith; a fine example of this was the book that accompanied the V&A exhibition on The Baroque. Like most of the chattering classes, these men and women despise Christianity so much that they don't even feel an academic obligation to represent accurately the religion they despise.
(2) On Good Friday morning, Cardinal Nichols did an interview on the Home Service Today programme. As ever, he knew how to deal with the Press: he was sure-footed, well-expressed, even elegant. Some woman called Carney was interviewing him.
Vin began by neatly explaining that Catholics don't think about "Going to Church" as much as about "the Mass". Unabashed, the Carney continued to talk about "Going to Church".
Nichols explained that "every day in every Catholic church Mass is celebrated".
I suppose that one should go easy on the Carney, because her programme had been going on for three hours. We're all human. Not surprisingly, her mind had lost its original acuity. It was just two or three minutes before the end of the programme. But ...
She (I presume) looked down again at the list of THINGS TO ASK VN on her clip-board and enquired whether Catholic priests had been saying Mass during the last few days.
Just the teensy weensiest hint of exasperation slipped into His Eminence's voice here; he even allowed himself the words "As I say" before explaining the same stuff all over again to the silly creature, and emphasising "every single day". He was far more gentle with her than she deserved.
[Carney was on the Beeb again just now. She read a poem about the Island of Innisfree and explained to us that, in these hard times, "Nature" could bring us "solace". If the Virus isn't part of 'Nature', what on earth is it part of? How do these weird people define 'Nature'? How does it differ from the topoi and platitudes of modern Anglo-Irish lyric verse?]
As I've written before, our Meejah, when Economics is the subject, get somebody who can at least mug up a bit on Economics to do their interviewing. When it's Sport ...etc.etc. mutatis mutandis. When it comes to "Religion", however, the b*****s don't even bother to put up someone who can be bothered to listen.
[Incidentally ... (a) the Cardinal did categorically quash the myth that the CBCEW had closed the Churches before being required to do so by the Government; and
(b) it is reported that Anglican prelaticals such as the Mullarkey have forbidden clerics from even going alone into their churches when they live adjoining them. Sieg Heil, Satana.]
17 April 2020
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I went to the El Greco exhibition in 2004 at the National Gallery; the chance to see nearly all the great works - The Resurrection; St Martin sharing his cloak; Toledo; The Cleansing of the Temple; El Espolio…. one cannot easily forget the expression of the Roman soldier in El Espolio. As I walked round, an elderly man just in front was saying to his wife ‘He was a limited artist’ (!) No one has been less limited by time and space, El Greco just transcended them in his great paintings. I just think the critics cannot handle the in-your-face Christian message of the pictures.
It seems to me that "official" journalism is mostly obsolete in the age of teh internet.
“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
– Michael Crichton
Yes Father, the illiteracy of the ‘literate’ chattering classes is always annoying, if not comical on occasion. I find ‘going to church’ as grating as ‘taking communion’.
We may visit a church but we ‘go to Mass’. And we receive’ Holy Communion – not ‘take it’ like we ‘take’ cream or sugar in our tea.
Oh well. “I will arise and go now - and go to Innisfree.”
Dear Father, I don't think it's fair to label Martha Kearney as a dimbo. She read Greats at St Anne's and would have been taught by the magnificent Margaret Hubbard.
For those who might also be puzzled by the references to Innisfree, after digging through references to Korean cosmetics I finally realized it references a poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by W.B. Yeats concerning an island off the coast of Ireland where he spent his summers. Unfortunately the English teacher who taught poetry in our high school was more of a fan of Walt Whitman :( so I never got to read much Yeats.
Yes, the materials accompanying religious art displays in museums are always painfully bad. I recall an exhibit at the Met in New York some years back that included an array of old ciboria. They were labeled "cup with lid."
GOR: There's an even greater howler -- to "take Mass", meaning to receive Communion. I've even come across its use by a clergyman (Anglican).
It is good for GOR to have reminded us of Our Lord's words, "Receive and eat." To think that English people were so dim as to speak of "taking communion" long before the 16th-Century "Reformation."
Dear Mr Hibbins, by their fruits...
When the beeb want an economist to comment they frequently, from all the myriad around, choose a convicted criminal who just happens to be part of their set. And on the Sunday prog Catholics are only ever represented by liberal, even dissenting, tabletistas
Dear Father, Press illiteracy extends into the religious newspapers too, with vexing but amusing effect at times. I remember once reading an obituary in the Anglican 'Church Times'. The composer had evidently phoned the text in to the paper, and must have been answered by a little sixteen year old girl who knew nothing of the church. The composer had dictated, 'Fortified with Rites of Holy Church.' This came out as '45 by Rights of Holy Church.' And the paper's editor hadn't even noticed.
I doubt that I would ever have read about the 'Gell-Mann effect' were it not for Michael Crichton: requiescat in pace.
I know a Soledad, and am afraid I never made the connection between the name and the cult of Our Lady.
I wondered how the feast ("in Spanish-speaking countries") made it's way to December 18 but the Spanish language Wikipedia article answered the question. The principal acts of the devotion to Our Lady of Solitude on Good Friday were penitential processions; am guessing that the specification de sangre applied to a good number of the penitents wasn't simply a figure of speech.
I suspect that the ignorance achieved by both individuals here has been achieved with great effort.
Its the same kind of thing when you go to a funeral, and the priest extolls the religious virtue of the deceased, and recalls important parts of the deceased person's life, and goes on to illustrate the modern ritual of baptism, or the current form of the mass. Yet the deceased is over 70 years old. Sometimes, I really want to interrupt and ask if it is really likely that he stood at the altar rail to receive, and if he was in a plaster cast. Or ask why his parents were holding him. Oh, well.
I recall visiting this NG exhibition and being repeatedly surprised by the depth of ignorance in the description cards and the commentary sheets accompanying the exhibit. Despite the excellence of the exhibit items and their display, the descriptions became so annoying that I had to stop reading them to finish. At my age I thought I had become inured to the ignorance of modern art historians about the Catholic context of so many objects in their field. Obviously I was wrong.
If you think that calling Holy Saturday "Easter Saturday" is bad … our local GP practice sent out a text last week advising that, due to Coronavirus, the practice would be open on "Easter Friday". Further investigation, of course, established that this actually meant the Friday before. Have things really got so bad that the term "Good Friday" is unknown to many people?
While I am no fan of the present Managing Director (or whatever other term one wishes to use) of London Diocese, it should be said that London clergy, alone (I think) among the dioceses of the C of E, have throughout this period been allowed to use their churches provided they adjoin the clergy house. And on Easter Sunday, interviewed by Andrew Marr, Justin Welby tacitly admitted that the ferocious order to all clergy not to enter their churches on pain of disciplinary action was ultra vires and was intended as "guidance, not instruction".
The Yeats poem was so much anthologised that the author got fed up with it. It is an early work and most of his best work was much later.
Another version of the Gell-Mann effect from a friend who was a civil servant: if the 0.01 per cent of public affairs of which I have direct personal knowledge is so hopelessly misreported in the media, what does that say about the other 99.99 per cent?
A celebrated French journalist, Robert Serrou, who was a devout Catholic was infuriated to read the following in one of his articles regarding the death of the Cure of Ars. Instead of printing 'epuise par les jeunes (with a circumflex) et par les veilles, il a rendu l'ame' (he died exhausted by fasting and all-night vigils) his newspaper had printed 'epuise par les jeunes (without circumflex) et par les vieilles...' (exhausted by the young people and the old women ....) After having got over the shock he found it amusing. Fasting and vigils were obviously unknown to whoever printed it.
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