“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
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
which teaches 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,
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
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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