Rorate Caeli

The revolution continues

These are three of the "art works" designed to show the "the beauty in the the Word" in the new Ambrosian Evangeliarium (with the Gospels arranged according to the new lectionary adopted by the Archdiocese of Milan in 2008):

Exaltation of the Cross

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The production of the new Evangeliarium was initiated last year by Cardinal Tettamanzi and the Archdiocese of Milan has a new website dedicated to this new Gospel Book and its art (with images even worse than the ones featured above. See, for instance, the illustration for the 'Mass of the Day' of Easter Sunday and the one for the Solemnity of Christ the King).


  1. The 1970s never end for some clergymen!

    Well, this is not a revolution, anymore; this is clearly the Ancien Régime...

  2. When I was in Assisi in the summer of 2006, I saw some pretty ugly modern artwork hung outside in the courtyard adjacent to the Basilica of St. Francis. I wonder if it was intended to be "modern religious art," too?

  3. Wow! Very very very very edifying!
    Congratulations to whoever approved this garbage.

  4. This is indeed garbage.
    The second picture suppsed to be the "Nativity" of the Blessed Virgin Mary looks actually like someone suffering from projectile vomiting,at least to me.

    Sick, absolutely sick art.

    So is the root of all this. The root is Vatican II and the Novus Ordo.

  5. Christ the King looks like a hippie aviator.

  6. Barbara12:20 PM


  7. Bernonensis1:40 PM

    These ... things fail as religious art because they convey no sense of the supernatural dimension of the subjects they purport to represent. They fail simply as art because they they don't adequately represent anything. The Easter piece, for example: what's Paschal about it? To me it says "corkscrew, confetti, Hallmark card" and suggests, if anything, New Year's Eve; yet it could just as easily be the whirlwind of St. Elias or the doodle I made in the paper this morning while working on the sudoku.

    Can we hope that someone in Milan protested that the money spent on this could have gone to the poor, or is that complaint reserved for beautiful things?

  8. Fuck you neo-Catholic Zionists3:07 PM

    Deep down inside, this is a pseudo-traditionalistic, pro-Judaic blog, not a genuinely Catholic one. The root of the Vatican II and Novus Ordo can be found within the Judeo-Masonic order you never dare to criticize openly. For you it is enough if the Mass is in Latin, all other details (read: dogmas) can be rearranged in a subtle, Gnostic/Kabbalistic/modernistic manner. I don't expect you to publish this, as your comment moderation only chooses to show your efforts in good light.

  9. Its not necessarily garbage. I like the song Bridge Over Troubled Water but some things are just inappropriate for the liturgy. These images seem to lack the tradition of our religion and tradition is necessary. Modish Italian graphic design is awesome especially when juxtaposed or plugged into the ancient - it becomes a dialogue. But this is more suitable in a meditative capacity, certainly not the worship of an infinite God. MIKE

  10. Dear "F.U.N.C.Z.",

    May you have a healthy weekend, filled with the love of Almighty God!


  11. For some reason I'm thinking about Jurassic Park.

  12. Revolting. The modernist disease infects all aspects of society. Its easy, cheap, and fast to make modern art. Not to mention it sells at high prices. Traditional art is 'out', takes 8 times as long to make, and people scoff at prices which will make the artists go broke. No one is going to see any really great art again, until there are individuals willing to support it with their pocketbooks.

  13. VirgoPotens4:07 PM

    "The second picture suppsed to be the "Nativity" of the Blessed Virgin Mary looks actually like someone suffering from projectile vomiting,at least to me."

    Ha! That makes two of us. But I really shouldn't be laughing at all.

  14. "...Archdiocese of Milan has a new website dedicated to this new Gospel Book"


    The sun she's white
    Man-moon a fella' frail -
    In the caves of credo
    We await the scale

    To be tipped towards Truth
    Spilling vinegar or wine -
    Vinegar and gall
    Or wine sanguine

    We await his voice
    Beneath eternal Rome -
    To declare Truth not choice
    In our deep catacomb

    Keep all aboard
    As our Captain Peter -
    Upon this Rock
    Don't let us teeter

    Crash all the seas
    Through wind and hail
    Sink new gospel books like -
    Milan's fairy-tale

    The sun she's white
    Man-moon a frail fella' -
    But Truth stays the course
    Towards Maria Stella!

  15. Dear "F.U.N.C.Z.",

    Why don't you tell how you REALLY feel about us.

  16. Barbara4:38 PM


    Help! You are REALLY cross, aren't you? Can't be very nice living with all that anger and spite. And you most certainly do not know this blog.

    Prayers for you.


  17. Gratias4:58 PM

    Cardinal Tettamanzi is no Saint Ambrose.

    It is amazing that our Catholic Church has survived its leaders. In the present day the most important action is to preserve our ancient Mass, in Latin. Since we are a small remnant, each person that participates in the TLM is very valuable. Rorate Caeli is a wonderful apostolate.

  18. Bernonensis5:31 PM

    Oy vey! So, how did that schmuck see through our act?

    (Bernie Ensowitz)

  19. Hmmm, with that horrid drawing blaspheming Our Lady, and the delightful comment from F.U.N.C.Z., it appears we have TWO examples of projectile vomiting under the same blog entry!

    Perhaps the "artist" was attempting to depict the Blessed Virgin's opinion of the "art" selected for the new Evangeliarium?

  20. GQRep6:49 PM

    I think New Catholic better clean up/ check their posts on this column.

    Check #8 at 15:07.

    First time I ever read that junk on a Catholic post.

    Sorry to be the watchdog, but that's not cool.

  21. Of course we saw "F.U.N.C.Z."'s comment! It is just delightful and charitable: to be the object of this kind of comment is almost a badge of honor.


  22. GQRep7:11 PM

    "Since we are a small remnant, each person that participates in the TLM is very valuable. Rorate Caeli is a wonderful apostolate."

    I'm presently on a break from my job, then I'm off to Brazil for 1 month work, but I wanted to say that in Latin America, and I think in France too, there ARE remnant communities of Roman Catholics not affiliated to the Vatican, or to the SSPX that DO keep the Catholic traditions and the Tridentine Latin Mass alive in small remnant towns and villages in the mountains. No one but Catholics are permitted in the towns. They have their own priests (more than you'd think), convents of nuns (mostly cloistered), and friaries. There's a Carthusian monastery in France not affiliated to the established Carthusian Order which has more monks (28) than most of the approved houses! They have a tiny 2nd foundation in Brazil with 5 monks.

    There's also a "Catholic" cult in Mexico of afew towns where the Tridentine Latin Mass is the only Mass , but they have also adopted a custom which I think all Catholic Churches and monasteries should practice. They have printed on extremely thin pieces of cloth (like the texture of a piece of tissue, but being cloth), the Ave Maria, the Creed, the Pater Noster, Catholic hymns, and traditional prayers. They string them across the hills, next to shrines, along the road, etc. They are beautiful blowing in the wind.
    I asked one of the priests why they do this (I've never seen it before except in Tibetan Buddhism where they print their mantras on cloth and let them be blown by the wind till they disappear).
    The priest said they do it to have Ave Maria's and Hail Holy Queen carried by the wind.
    It's an interesting concept, and worth copying as a Catholic tradition even these people are Sedevacantists.

    But the point is even if they are not in communion with Rome, there are, in addition to the SSPX (which gets all the publicity), other groups-some not so small- which ARE remnant Catholic communities keeping our Faith alive.
    They deserve our thanks, if not our approval.

  23. But, presumably they have the approbation of the Holy See while many traditional priests including the SSPX do not. I find this situation incomprehensible.

  24. All those graphics need to complete the effect is to include a sketch of the new JPII statue in Rome!

  25. While I do have some reservations about Mel Gibson's "The Passion" (too much shock violence, where the same effect could be rendered with more discretion, taking a note from the Gospel accounts, which do not dwell on the violence), I remember thinking when the film came out:

    A Novus Ordo culture could never produce such a powerful film.

  26. Someone must have taken LSD's.

  27. "But, presumably they have the approbation of the Holy See while many traditional priests including the SSPX do not. I find this situation incomprehensible."

    No, they're not sanctioned by Rome. They're small Catholic groups which I guess we would call or label as "sedevacantists".
    Nearly all are in Mexico and Brazil, but also in France. There was one small community in the USA once, but they disbanded when their "bishop" died.

    Peculiar thing about these villages in Mexico in the hill regions is that several of the villages have their own Bishop...a real Bishop (even though sedevacantist). He was consecrated by a Mexican Archbishop who participated in Vatican II, hated what came from it, and allowed himself to be used by several Mexican traditionalist groups that wanted their own Bishop. Now there are afew of them...all sedevacantist. There are now 5-6 in the USA also.

    But no, none of these villages and the priests, faithful, or nuns (and I visited a cloister of about 30 nuns in 1 village -Poor Clares of some kind but wore purple habits instead of brown)are in union with Rome. These tiny outposts are going it alone.
    Some are very small groups (3-4 small villages, a monastery here and there and about 1,500 faithful), to a handful of larger establishements of as many as 10-15 towns and villages all totally Traditional Catholic with their own Bishop, but very hostile to Vatican II priests, bishops, and the Pope. They consider them all traitors to the faith.

    I understood their point, even though it's misguided.
    They're alittle to the right of Bishop Richard Williamson of the SSPX, if that helps describe their collective attitude.
    Keeping the Catholic traditions is admirable, but some of the other things I saw (walking on their broken glass as penance during Good Friday), is too extreme.
    Pray for them, because alot of what they believe in is 100% Catholic and very good. Their unique traditions are totally cool.
    But they would never sit down and talk to a Vatican II Bishop, or meet in Rome with the Pope. And that's too unyielding for me.

  28. Really, so they are saying I should dig out the purple crushed velvet pantsuit I had as a child?
    The persistence of those presenting "art" that is intentionally not inspiring.

  29. This era in history will go down as one of the biggest frauds the artword has pulled on people of these times. Everyone is an artist in these forms of expression. It is simply asking a potential customer what they see, usually agreeing with their superior intellect to have seen "it" and rendering them a genius. Then they pay ridiculous sums of money for there confirmed genius on canvas as well as in sculpture. And the artist laughs all the way to the back. I think the real test of an artist would be to take Michael Angelo and the like, give them a brush, and ask them to duplicate modern art of today. Then invert the process, give a brush to the modernist painter/sculpter and ask them to create the Sistine Chapel. The artist that can do both is the winner.

  30. The others I would rather never have seen, but I'll speak up in defence of the illustration for the Christ the King. I'm dubious about it's appropriateness for liturgical use, but under the title of "Christ the King" it has a pretty transparent representation of Christ as leader, bringing us into His Kingdom. The style is itself pleasant to the eye, and there is the representation of Christ with his crown of thorns, a good choice for the feast.

  31. GQRep, why is it a good thing that there are a load of "Catholic" groups actively hostile to and out of communion with the See of Rome?

    This isn't a hopeful sign at all!

  32. Tradfly1:14 PM

    Art has gone throught various "eras" e.g., Deco, Eames, Panton.
    This is called "Laugh-In era", otherwise known as "Art Nullo".

    NB, the funcz post should be tossed in the bitbucket, kids do read this blog and though his comment is mildly amusing, the moniker is not.

  33. Tradfly, you are right about the offense - but we did not find it at all amusing. We think this worrying comment serves a purpose and it must be kept there for that reason, even its very presence humiliates and offends us and others.

    Jack, your condescending tone is always unwelcome, which explains why so many of your comments are rejected.

  34. The time has come (long overdue, really...) for the Church to educate Her members in the appreciation of authentic Catholic art, especially art that serves liturgy. The task will be arduous - a bit like weaning an addict off heroin. We've suffered too long from an agenda of relativism and revisionism imposed by those in our ranks who are art-blind.

    One can see in the examples of art and architecture which attempts to pass as Catholic art a confirmation of the spirit of the world entering into our sanctuaries, a philosophy that is bereft of hope and which excludes a sense of awe and belief in the glory of God. What Sir Kenneth Clarke once said in reference to the skyscrapers of the last century could be said about our sterile boxes and recreation centre parish structures - "These buildings were not built to the glory of God, but to the glory of Mammon." Catholic sanctuaries mimic the nihilism and iconoclasm of the present age.

    The first thing to be done is to stop employing "artists" who do not work within a hermeneutic of continuity with tradition. Every rebirth in art and music and architecture is the result of a re-immersion in history, an embrace of the fundamentals of design and a translation of orthodox theology into stone and glass. Not everyone is blessed with such skill, and it's time we speak that truth and stop being nicey nice in order to avoid offending "artists" and those who stubbornly cling to a diet of junk food. The Church, and the world for that matter, needs genuine artists possessing great skill, which means we need skilled artists who are faithful and theologically informed Catholics. We need to dig deep into our pockets and support the best artists among us.

  35. Jack O'Malley, the reference was to "Jack" only, not to you.

  36. Jack O'Malley10:27 PM

    New Catholic,

    OK - thanks. But why was my comment deleted? It had appeared and then vanished!

    All the best. Serva fidem!

  37. No idea. We are a team of moderators, and there are a number of reasons for a comment to be moderated or deleted - or, in one specific case in this thread, to be kept, even if it should be deleted.


  38. Whats wrong with the Christ the King image????

    You dont think a cool, older brotherlike, che guevera sort of figure is the best representation for Christ the King?


    (I kid, of course.)

  39. Jack O'Malley2:03 AM

    No problem. It was probably nothing but a sophomoric remark anyway. ;-)

    Agite vos omnes quod agitis. You are a fortress of the Faith on the internet. Ad Fidem restaurandam!

  40. Hawkins3:06 AM

    Is it just me or the "Christ the King" looks like two men holding hands with each other.

  41. In my opinion, I think a [bleep] would be more appropriate on this blog for the "F" in FUNCZ's handle, since the comment certainly speaks for itself. I'm tired of the age-old-game of using words for shock value. I feel like I'm back in Middle School again.

    Garbage In ----- Garbage Out

  42. The "art" at the link depicting Jesus brought to mind Anne Roche Muggeridge's wry response to a Catholic Crucifix she saw in a Church in Canada; "He dived for our sins."

  43. I am not Spartacus said...

    "The "art" at the link depicting Jesus brought to mind Anne Roche Muggeridge's wry response to a Catholic Crucifix she saw in a Church in Canada; "He dived for our sins."

    Oh, that is so good!!


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!