“The ‘ART’ of Accompaniment”?
“Hello. You are my project and I am your artist.”
You are the “medium” of my art — much as paint is to some artists and
clay to others — and I will fashion you into something of my liking.
Is that okay with you? You will admire my finesse and I’ve had lots
of practice. Did I tell you that I went to school for this? No kidding;
I got a BA in Art with a specialty in “accompaniment.” Never heard of
it? It’s new. Very fashionable in Rome. I will follow you around and
teach you some things to make you appear to be Catholic and okay
with God; kinda smooth out the rough edges of the “sin”-thing so that
you will be comfortable with it now and appear to do what other Catholics do who
— unlike you — are not in a state of Mortal Sin.
Of course they are sinners, too, but
at the moment they are not sinning by living in adultery
as you now are in your second (or is this your third?) “marriage”. No big deal. Like Francis
said, who are we to judge anyway? What is more, the pope has recently
concluded that we cannot really be sure about sin in any event
because of what he calls the “Internal Forum” — your conscience really.
It may be telling you that something is not a sin
for you — even if the 10 Commandments say it is before God
and for everyone else, unless, of course, their “internal
Forum” tells them it’s okay for them, too. Got it?
“In life, shades of gray predominate”,
Francis told us, so nothing is clear and there is no need to beat yourself
up for something that may, in fact, be “good” and “wholesome” and “positive”
according to Francis— despite appearances and connotations to the contrary.
Clear on that? The thing is, I’ve got to accompany you and show you
that what you may think is wrong really isn’t any more, especially
if it’s making you uncomfortable or feel guilty.
as an ARTIST of ACCOMPANIMENT, in order to have the “stuff”
of my art to work with, you will have to tell me some, well, deeply
private things, possibly salacious things, but hey, that’s art. I am
NOT a voyeur. I am an
As one Dominican journal gushes,
“Pope Francis describes
the bedside manner needed in the art of accompaniment as “steady
and reassuring, reflecting our closeness,” and as having a “compassionate
gaze” (EG, 169). Some refer to this bedside manner, practiced
within welcoming and loving communities” 1
With a Sigh …
Conservative Catholics do not understand this. They are
into the manly work of evangelization and conversion; not accompaniment,
compassionate gazes, and certainly not “this art of accompaniment
us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other.”
They simply do not anticipate that they, like Moses, will have to veil
their faces because they will radiate the lumen gloriae of the
adulterous and the sacrilegious subsequent to “accompanying” them …
after, of course, removing their sandals before these
demigods in accordance with non-existent canons of the Art of Accompaniment
that we can find in no college curriculum (see Exodus 3.5 which Francis
invokes and 34.33-35 that we invoke).
The … shall we say, delicate … language of “art”
leaves them — that is to say, conservative and traditional Catholics — understandably
uncomfortable, especially in the wake of the last 30 years of pervasive
pederasty in the Church. And who, we wonder, will teach us
to learn to make “compassionate gazes” and how will we be graded
on our performance? Will such “gazes” be accompanied with a sigh? Is
that also in Performance 101?
If they hope
to gain any traction in the “modern”
Church they need to be slick like us, saying things no one really grasps
and using ambiguous words which have no substance.
Kasper are “Artists” to be sure … Conservatives just don’t have the
“stuff” to be artists. Too few theta waves. Indeed, does the Church
need more “Artists” as Francis insists? :
“The Church will have to initiate everyone—priests,
religious and laity—into this ‘art of accompaniment’
which teaches us to remove our sandals before the
sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3:5).” (Apostolic
Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, 169)
For every Catholic an Artist
has an abundance of “Ministries” (EXTRAORDINARY Eucharistic Ministers,
Music Ministers, Youth Ministers, Hospitality Ministers, Community Service
Ministers — Shawl-Making, Greeting, Lectors, Prayer, Charismatic
séance Ministers, — virtually
every activity at church anoints one a Minister).
And now a
superabundance of “Artists”? Will we all be organized
by a new Bureau of Ministry?
according to Francis, each of us will have to be “initiated”,
not into a Sacrament, but into an Art. We will practice art,
and therefore be — practitioners! Not necessarily of the Dark
Arts, but of the Gray Arts!
an “Artist” and a Practitioner of the Art? (yet another new, but universal
No More Sheep ...
Is this our
new vocation? If we are all Practitioners chasing the lost, who are
the remaining sheep? Are they not Practitioners, too?
Did you just
think “circular”? Did you just visualize a dog chasing its own tail?
needs more sanctity — and sanity — not artists. More priests and fewer ministers.
More Catholics and fewer Practitioners. Especially of the
Dark Gray Arts.
enim regnum Dei intra vos est!”
(Saint Luke 17.21)
Boston Catholic Journal
24 March 2017