“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.
Of course 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,”
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.
Francis and 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
The Church already 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?
After all, 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!
Every Catholic an “Artist” and a Practitioner of the Art? (yet another
new, but universal Ministry!)
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?
The Church needs more sanctity — and sanity — not artists. More priests
and fewer ministers. More Catholics and fewer Practitioners. Especially
of the Dark Gray Arts.
“Ecce enim regnum Dei intra vos est!” (Saint Luke 17.21)
Boston Catholic Journal
24 March 2017
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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