Above is a photograph of the sanctuary at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in the Diocese of Steubenville, OH where Holy Mass was celebrated for attendees of last month’s Catholic Identity Conference.
As an aside, we had planned on celebrating Mass as St. Joseph the Worker parish in Weirton, WV – the town where the conference was actually held – but in mid-August, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston informed the organizers of the event that we were not allowed to use any of the churches in the diocese.
When pressed for an explanation, the Vicar General said that it had nothing to do with our plans to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, but rather with the fact that the speakers at the conference are “too extreme.”
Specifically, he cited the following as supporting evidence:
– John Vennari wrote that he wouldn’t let Francis teach his children religion classes.
Of course he wouldn’t, he wants them to follow Jesus Christ; not that figment of Jorge’s imagination known as the “God of Surprises.”
– Michael Matt referred to the upcoming synod as the Synod of Doom.
Even now, before the dust has settled in Rome, does anyone doubt that he was entirely correct?
– Louie Verrecchio called Francis a modernist.
This is actually borderline hilarious when you consider that this is coming from a guy who probably calls John Paul II a “saint.”
In any case, take a good look at the photo of St. Peter’s above and tell me what you find most horrifying?
Many, I suspect, and for good reason, will point to that abominable painting depicting Jesus, John Paul the Great Ecumenist, and St. Peter floating on cotton balls.
It really is disturbing on a number of levels. For one, and this is especially noticeable (and aesthetically off-putting) when one is actually there to view it in person, each of the figures (Jesus and Peter in particular) has a disproportionately large head. Maybe the artist felt the need to compensate for the height of the apse. Who knows?
Secondly, is the mural’s lack of symmetry as St. Peter is shown holding the “Keys to the Kingdom,” but poor John Paul II is depicted empty-handed. I mean, would it kill the artist to circle back to give him a Qur’an, a menorah, or a Mason’s compass for crying out loud?
Most irritating of all, of course, is the fact that the Polish pope is even there, and get this, while I had trouble obtaining the exact date when the mural was installed, to my surprise, I was just informed by someone in the parish office that it dates back to the early days of his pontificate!
Wow! That’s impressive! I mean, these people were Santo Subito! way before Santo Subito! was cool!
All of this having been said, the thing that I find most horrifying about St. Peter’s Steubenville as shown in the photo above (which, aforementioned blemish notwithstanding, is a very beautiful church overall), is without a doubt the Novus Ordo dinner table sitting smack dab in the middle of the sanctuary (where it remained as the Traditional Mass was celebrated on the High Altar).
By the way, don’t let the so-called “Benedictine arrangement” (an act of either cowardice, or lunacy, or both on the part of the Abdicator, if ever there was one) fool you into thinking that it’s sacred and belongs anywhere near there.
Thankfully, the Novus Ordo table at St. Alphonsus in Baltimore where I typically assist at Holy Mass is on wheels and can easily be rolled away (but unfortunately can also be rolled back in).
This brings me to the meat of this post; the theology of the altar, something about which I must admit I know far too little.
That, however, is going to change as soon as I have a chance to dig into a book entitled, The Liturgical Altar (Geoffrey Webb, Romanitas Press).
I learned about this book from the publisher and founder of Romanitas Press, Louis Tofari, an expert on the Traditional Latin Mass that I’ve gotten to know over the past several years.
Mr. Tofari possesses a wealth of knowledge on the Mass. He specializes in forming altar servers and assisting clergy with the ceremonies of the Traditional Roman Rite; including Masters of Ceremonies for Pontifical High Mass. He also does consulting in the area of church architecture; e.g., the proper design of a church, the layout of a sanctuary, the form of the altar, etc.
I suspect that some of you have already read The Liturgical Altar (in which case I’d be thrilled to hear your thoughts on it), but here’s a brief excerpt for those who haven’t had a chance to do so. (You can get a copy by clicking on the image of the book above.)
But in the form and furnishing of the altar the Church’s directions are all-embracing and exact, although the greatest freedom is allowed the designer in purely architectural design and ornament. The reason for these meticulous directions is to be found in the supreme importance which the Church attaches to the altar in her liturgy. Not only does she consider it the central focus of the whole liturgy, the raison de’être of the building in which it stands; not only does she indicate that the church exists for the altar, rather than the altar for the church; not only does she look upon it as the sacrificial stone, upon which Christ, our Priest and Victim, offers Himself daily in His Eucharistic Sacrifice, which is the central act of her liturgy; but she has proclaimed again and again that in her mind the altar represents her Lord Himself. He is Altar, Victim and Priest; and the reverence for the altar, expressed in the restraint and dignity of its design, symbolizes the reverence due to Christ Himself.
Once I’ve finished reading this book, I may post an in-depth review of sorts. In the meantime, I think most readers here will find a visit to the Romanitas Press site worth their while. In addition to books and other materials, it has articles that are a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about the Traditional Latin Mass; something that is, quite literally, a lifelong effort.
Louie: Thank you one more time. I’m just an old geezer out here trying to keep his head on straight during all of this confusion. God love you and bless you.
Make your lives intensely Eucharistic.
St John Paul II
Is it just me or does JPII look like a bad photoshop?
Louie writes of “the Novus Ordo dinner table sitting smack dab in the middle of the sanctuary”.
In this context it is perhaps worth repeating the following words of the Pope (in this case, Pius XII):
“[O]ne would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform“ (Mediator Dei, #62).
It is ugly. It reminds me in some ways of the Christ in the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC. I and my children think that mosaic looks like Zeus. But this is worse as it is more cartoonish. Outside of its poor aesthetics what I noticed first was John Paul II is looking outward rather than at Christ. I found that striking. Could it be because I am reading into it? Perhaps.
BTW We have a beautiful altar at our Church and that is probably because it is very old. There is a N.O. table that is wheeled in and out for other Masses, and as odd as I think it looks when I have the misfortune to see it “in”, I am at least grateful it wheels out. The other parish we attend occasionally holds the TLM on the table itself. It makes the N.O. ever present when we’d like to pretend it doesn’t exist.
Louie, I’m frankly more distressed that you good gentlemen were not allowed to speak in the original diocese than I am about that tacky mural. What an outrage! When we have the odious Dominican Father Radcliffe (and recent Bergoglio pet) with his theory of “Sodomy is Eucharistic” being spewed in diocese upon diocese from coast to coast on his lecture circuit, it’s hard not to be demoralised. Lord Have Mercy!
That mural is ghastly. JPII actually looks microcephalic and very wooden. Is Steubenville awakening from some kind of slumber? Educate me.
Are they standing on rose petals? Maybe those things are cotton balls after all. I’m willing to bet that mural was painted in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on JPII. You know that there are already churches with murals of St. Francis the Great already in place. I don’t know where they are, but they have to be out there somewhere.
Louie should have called the pope “gay” instead of “modernist”. I bet the response from the vicar would have been way less negative.
I saw statues of Francis in a Catholic Supply Shop in St. Louis. It struck me as odd that there existed statues of a living pope. They had a variety of sizes, including life size, which I suspect to be meant for a Church setting.
What an unattractive mural. Minus the golden auras, the images of Jesus and St. Peter suggest to me the art typical of Communist/Socialist propaganda.
Ever Mindful, if JP2 truly believed in the Eucharist, he would have prohibited Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers, Papal Mega Masses and World Youth Day, where the horrible abuses against the Real Presence of Our Lord are rampant. Words don’t impress me—Action does! Tell me what he did—not what he said!!!!
You nailed it laudamus te. I was trying to think of ‘where oh, where have I seen this disturbing kind of art before’ and like I said you nailed it. Communist/Socialist propaganda art.
West Virginia bishop: Late Senator Byrd is now ‘experiencing Perfect Joy’
Bishop Michael Bransfield Under Investigation After Fondling Complaint From ’70s Reopened During the trial, a 48-year-old Philadelphia man testified that the Rev. Stanley Gana raped him at Bransfield’s beach house in Brigantine, N.J. Bransfield acknowledged letting Gana, a seminary friend, use the house, but Bransfield said he was not there at the time. The witness said he once saw Bransfield at Gana’s mountain house with a car full of boys. Gana referred to the youngsters as Bransfield’s “fair-haired boys” and said Bransfield was having sex with one of them, the witness testified.
God Bless all of you – guess you have to be a teen age boy or a kukluxklanner, pro-abort w/mega bucks stolen from the (poor) taxpayer to get ‘bishop’ Bransfield’s perverse blessin’.
It is a creepy mural. Like a horror movie, there is a perversion of the trinity. Instead of the three persons of the Holy Trinity in one traditional symbol or another, we have three men, with two men being touched by the human figure of Jesus. Jesus touching the shoulders of both Peter and JPII appears to be the founder of two churches, which, being a perversion in itself, also contradicts the economy of the Trinity especially that of the ‘Filioque’, in which the union of two persons, Father and Son, brings forth the one Person of the Holy Spirit. Here again we have an inverted trinity with the One person of Christ bringing forth two persons of JPII and Peter instead of the union of the Father and Son breathing forth the Holy Spirit.
There is also a remote reference to Donatello’s School of Athens with Peter’s hands pointing to the ground (more like his crotch with an inverted triangle of his hands and fingers) like Aristotle/Da Vinci and JPII raising a fingers to the air like Plato/Michelangelo. The inverted pyramid of Peter strikes me as a masonic symbol, as does both JPII’s left arm on his heart/chest and the his one finger pointing up. (Or is JPII calling a strike?) It’s all diabolically masonic.
The painting serves as such a prime example of bad art that one could be tempted to say, “It’s so bad, it’s good!” It fits in well with the concept of diabolical disorientation.
I can see what they say of me [calumny, criticism and persecution]. I can only comment that it is a reminder of the patrimony left us by Christ. This is the pay the world accords us.
We do well to recall the words of Isaiah, ‘Your strength is in silence and hope.’ Blessed be you, my God. Give your holy blessing to all who persecute and calumniate me. Give them, Lord, prosperity—spiritual, corporal, temporal, eternal.
And to me give humility, gentleness, patience, and conformity to your holy Will, that I may suffer in silence and love the pain, persecution, and calumny that you permit to descend upon me.
St Anthony Mary Claret
When you see a condemned man on his way to the gallows, it moves you to pity. If you could do something to free him, you would do it.
Well, brothers and sisters, when I see a person in mortal sin, I see someone drawing nearer with every step to the gallows of hell. And seeing him in this unhappy state, I happen to know the way to free him: that he be converted to God, ask God’s pardon, and make a good confession. Woe will befall me if he does not.’
Maybe you will say that a sinner is not interested in hell, or does not even believe in it. All the worse. Do you think that this will stop him from being damned?
Indeed no; rather it is an even clearer sign of his fatal condemnation, as the Gospel says: “He who does not believe will be condemned.”
St Anthony Claret (1807-1870)
Bad art, bad theology. They seem to go together.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Look at Peter depicted. He is not holding the keys. He is hiding them.
Sometimes I will hear or read of those outside the Church criticizing it. In particular I recall someone commenting about hymns that were written to to honor a Pope when he came to the US. It was disturbing. The article mentions statues of a living “Pope” being sold, and this mural being painted during JPII reign. It seemed to me at the time the critics were correct, and Catholics had developed a cult-like fascination for personalities, as if Christ wasn’t enough for them. It bothered me then, and still does because these critics were correct. Honor to whom honor is due, but worship belongs to God alone. The only redeeming quality about that mural was at least they didn’t put a halo on JPII, but I am sure they will rectify that pretty soon.
Peace and blessings to the Catholic brethren,
Michael Francis Poulin
Correction- Statues of living “popes” were mentioned by the commenter ermylaw on the article, not in Louie’s article
Or trying to keep them out of JPII’s hands?
Woke up this morning still thinking about this wretched mural….(thanks a lot, Louie).
It’s strikes me as a horribly gay perversion of the family. The two adults with the over inflated heads are the parents of the same gender, and the microcephalic head of the individual is a child. A horrible perversion and distortion of the Holy Family.
Dated this 24th day October, 2015, on the last day of the Synod on the Family.
Yes, it is devoid of the Supernatural. It is a political propaganda piece and blasphemous and especially sacrilegious in the Holy of Holies.
It makes me want to join Isis, declare Jihad against the modern church and exercise the heresy of iconoclasm.
Statues of those who are not saints or pictures in the very sanctuary above the tabernacle where God ought to be depicted – is diabolic.
It is the heretics and apostates posing as Catholic pope, bishops, priests, religious and lay leaders that have been warring, very successfully, against God and His Holy Church.
To bad he did not follow his own quote and not give COMMUNION in the hand and to pro abortion politicians like the mayor of Rome at that time.
Why isn’t JP2 looking up at Our Lord like Peter? Is he too ashamed to gaze into Our Lord’s eyes? Is he looking down hoping that someone in his man-centered “church” could come to his defense? Perhaps, there is more truth in this mural than first meets the eye.
No, I don’t think that’s the reason. It seems to me the JP2 figure is what we often see the baby Jesus doing in paintings of the Madonna, that is looking at and blessing the viewer of the painting.
Again, this is a perversion of the Holy Family. Compare the shoulders of the image of Jesus and Peter. While Peter’s shoulders are grotesquely broad, therefore male to an absurd degree, Jesus’s shoulders are not broad at all, indicating an effeminacy about him. There is also a deliberate misplacement of the gender roles: Peter, the male, is below, looking up and subservient to the image of the female (who is clearly not our Blessed Lady), who is above. In fact, this image of a effeminate Jesus reminds me of Pier Paolo Pasonlini’s image of him in his film, The Gospel of St. Matthew, — Pasolini was both communist and homosexual — or worst still that Austrian transvestite singer Wurst.
The mural is sick, sacrilegious and a desecration of our Lord; not only must it be removed from the Altar, but it must be entirely destroyed.
Reason, calm, cool and collected, dictates that this sacrilegious image must simply be destroyed.
On the threshold of the Third Millennium, my hope for all of you who are artists is that you will have an especially intense experience of creative inspiration. May the beauty which you pass on to generations still to come be such that it will stir them to wonder! Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.
From this wonder there can come that enthusiasm of which Norwid spoke in the poem to which I referred earlier. People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us. Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path. In this sense it has been said with profound insight that “beauty will save the world”.(25)
Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savour life and to dream of the future. That is why the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God which a lover of beauty like Saint Augustine could express in incomparable terms: “Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you!”.(26)
Artists of the world, may your many different paths all lead to that infinite Ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy.
May you be guided and inspired by the mystery of the Risen Christ, whom the Church in these days contemplates with joy.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always: she is the “tota pulchra” portrayed by countless artists, whom Dante contemplates among the splendours of Paradise as “beauty that was joy in the eyes of all the other saints”.(27)
“From chaos there rises the world of the spirit”. These words of Adam Mickiewicz, written at a time of great hardship for his Polish homeland,(28) prompt my hope for you: may your art help to affirm that true beauty which, as a glimmer of the Spirit of God, will transfigure matter, opening the human soul to the sense of the eternal.
With my heartfelt good wishes!
From the Vatican, 4 April 1999, Easter Sunday.
St John Paul II
EM – are you a Eucharistic minister ?
First impression I get from this passage: this is VII gobbledygook.
This is how I feel too. I’m frankly sick to death of John Paul The Great. Poor man, even his good words are being dragged through the mud of Francis and his gang. Horrible!
Imagine having to look at that horror when adoring Our Lord at the Elevation?
Yes, and this is pure Modernism:
Quote: “Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path. In this sense it has been said with profound insight that “beauty will save the world”. Close Quote
When ‘humanity’ loses its way it is God who lifts it up, not humanity itself. Picky? You bet. This is very subtle but important – man being put in the centre of everything – this is the New Church.
Considering the crap that passes for art now, and since 1999 when John Paul said the above quote, you can be sure no one listening knew/knows what beauty is.
No, l am not
I love the Lord because He has heard my voice and my supplications.
As we look back on past years, they are full of memories of great sorrows and great joys also. If I were asked to give the sum of the years in a sentence I would write this: I love the Lord because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Never, never did He not hear. Never was He far away.
Here is a quote FOR JP2:
“I am the Lord, Thy God. Thou shalt not have any gods before Me.”
The First Commandment
What you are seeing is what I am seeing also. If anyone cares to look up the transvestite Wurst on line one will not help but be shocked at the uncanny similarity Wurl has in appearence to the modern drawings anattempting to depict our Lord and his Sacred Heart and the famous Polish Divine mercy picture. You are right on about the over masculine sexualization of Saint Peter with his cartoon type exagerated shoulders and his John Travolta disco ‘show the chest’ sexualization. And the image that is suppose to represent our Lord gives me the creeps with his effeimnate soft touch hands on the shoulders of John Paul and Peter.
I couldn’t agree with you more on the diabolicalness of the subliminal suggestion of the trinity and the Holy Family.
This image has to be torched.
Sorry I meant to say Wurst not Wurl.
Peter’s pose almost looks like yoga.
Don’t know who Amy Carmichael is but if she loves The Lord because He has heard her voice and her supplications, her faith is shallow.
Deep faith loves The Lord when there is no answer to prayer or supplication, or even if the answer is NO.
This kind of platitude is just the same as the blather we hear from the Modernist camp: it sounds nice, warm and fuzzy until you unpack it.
Just googled Any Carmichael. She was a Protestant. Not worth quoting in my humble opinion. Nice lady? No doubt. Source of sound spirituality? No.
A COMPARISON BETWEEN AMY CARMICHAEL(PROTESTANT MISSIONARY TO CHINA), AND THOMAS A KEMPIS( IMITATION OF CHRIST)
Many crowd the Saviour’s Kingdom,
Few receive His Cross,
Many seek His consolation,
Few will suffer loss
For the dear sake of the Master,
Counting all but dross.
Many sit at Jesus’ table,
Few will fast with Him
When the sorrow-cup of anguish
Trembles to the brim.
Few watch with Him in the garden
Who have sung the hymn.
Many will confess His wisdom.
Few embrace his shame,
Many, should He smile upon them,
Will His praise proclaim;
Then, if for a while He leave them,
They desert his Name.
But the souls who love Him truly
In woe or in sweet bliss,
These will count their truest heart’s blood
Not their own, but His;
Saviour, Thou Who thus hast loved me,
Give me love like this.
JESUS has always many who love His heavenly kingdom, but few who bear His cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who care for trial. He finds many to share His table, but few to take part in His fasting.
All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him. Many follow Him to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the chalice of His passion. Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the Cross. Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him as long as they receive some comfort from Him.
But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection. Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation.
Thomas a Kempis
“——FOR———JPII.” I know, seriously.
Happy Feast Day, Mr. Louie Verrecchio!
On this feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King, may Our Lord and King reward you and your family with many graces for the great honor and glory you have given to Him in all of your work and for advancing the cause of the Social Reign of Christ the King.
“On the threshold of the Third Millennium…”
What was it with JP2 and the millennium change? Dude was infatuated by it.
I think it is Divine Providence that the Sunday after the close of Synod is the marvelous Feast of Christ the King. Surely, this must bring great comfort to all of us who feel abandoned during these very dark times. Rejoice–Christ is King!!
Jorge is a blessing to those who are on the fence as to whether or not he is a pope. He wont sway those few of us who know the truth and he cant possibly harm those who already dont care about the truth……he is SO bad that he will soon sway the good fence sitters.
Which ‘eucharist’ would your satanic ‘saint’ be speaking of, EM? The Blood of Christ was as cola to this abomination.
Yep, and perhaps those jugs at ‘mass’ might have tweeked his conscience. Or a satan incense on a altar consecrated to the Blood of Christ, might have, but neither did.
Where are the earthly gallows for the heresiarchs? Where the calumny for the presider over the universal perversion of parishes and children who gave themselves to Wojtyla’s satanic counterfeit?
I’ve read Mr Tofari’s articles. He has a knowledge of liturgical matter that is rare. So why lend it to those who despise the Blood of Christ?
As for the mural…it has happened – a little antichrist above the main altar of his counterfeit church with his counterfeit christ.
Wojtyla: “In those same words is the new truth, indeed, the ultimate and definitive truth about man – the son of the living God —”You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”…”In reality, the name for that deep amazement at man’s worth and dignity is the Gospel, that is to say: the Good News. It is also called Christianity. This amazement determines the Church’s mission in the world and, perhaps even more so, “in the modern world”. This amazement, which is also a conviction and a certitude-at its deepest root it is the certainty of faith, but in a hidden and mysterious way it vivifies every aspect of authentic humanism-is closely connected with Christ. It also fixes Christ’s place-so to speak, his particular right of citizenship-in the history of man and mankind.”
Heresiarch, pretender to the Throne, perverter of Catholic thought and practice and mocker of the Most Holy Trinity, at your nearest Novus Ordo.
Wojtyla or Bergoglio, or Montini (Roncalli being the foundation of the Novus Ordo house of sand and Ratzinger being it’s ‘no more gaps’), a bloke with horns and cloven feet could do a booty dance for an Advocate article, but so long as he was wearing a Novus Ordo elected kippah…
Here is the link to the Sacred heart of Jesus and the drag queen Conchita Wurst that went viral
And here is anther link to this perverted phenomena.
Maybe it’s a Catholic insanity in me, but that Sacred Heart can be put in the same clause as the satan made-over wretched soul otherwise mentioned is a sign of the times. Lord have mercy on the satanically delusions ‘drag quenn’, and all those who “having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”
Anastasia…which is worse? a deluded media minced ‘drag queen’ or Wojtyla who abominated Catholic altars, morals and doctrines and is lauded by Novus Ordites as ‘saint’ and ‘vicar of Christ’? Who deserves more Catholic sorrow and anger? Both deserve no adoration.
The one who caused the most damage and reached the most souls in its damage is the worst in MHO. My guess is that all the bad decisions made by John Paul reached and affected more souls because of his public position and visability in the world than the number of souls that were reached through the visability and following of this sick Wurst character. Therefore I can only conclude that John Paul incited the most damage.
Like you said neither of them deserve adoration.
Ain’t it wretched. I have a suspicion that, without the Roncalli & Sons counterfeit, the ‘conchita’ sorrow, may never have manifested.
“What! In my lifetime! I admire your imprudence. The Church to
canonize her Saints waits till they are dead, and long dead. Humanity
should be in no greater haste to canonize her heroes, for so long as a man
breathes, no one can aver that his heroism will not belie itself.”
–PopePius IX, answering a number of his contemporaries, who wanted to call him
“Great” similar to his most inimitable predecessors Leo and Gregory;
despite being touched by their sincerity and admiration, he, nevertheless,
refused the honor with this mild rebuke