Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The Roman Catholic Church

How very presumptuous of this small, generally ignorant Protestant to attempt a post on the sprawling mass that is the Roman Catholic Church. So, I shan't. But I do want to draw your attention to one of the many crises, potential scandals, bubbling arguments and frankly bizarre episodes in its local and corporate life and insider commentary on that.

In other words, take a look at this mess.

The Rape of the Soul - a documentary made by a devout Catholic claiming to expose hidden, embedded images of a highly dubious nature in lots of (Catholic) religious art, old and new.

When I've finished watching it, I may comment further on its contents.

The release and promotion of the film has apparently caused some people to lose their jobs in the Archdiocese of Toronto. It seems to have exposed the tensions between traditionalists and conciliarists (those who think Vatican II was and was not a good idea, to put it crudely) which can be seen between the lines and sometimes in the lines of this discussion thread.

Remarkably, some people in this discussion thread who believe that the film is basically rubbish claim that it must be a fundamentalist [read, "Protestants we don't like"] plot to discredit the church. Having heard him and read his own contributions to a favourable review and interview, I seriously doubt whether Michael A. Calace (producer, writer, director...) is a Protestant!

Following up a few leads on this film has opened my eyes to yet more of the diversity that exists among professing Christians, has reminded me that in the eyes of the conservatives in the 'historic' churches [for want of a better term] I am probably not going to heaven (a funny feeling for a pretty conservative, exclusivist, evangelical Protestant, let me tell you), and made me think again about art and what it has to do with anything.

If you have a spare couple of hours, the film is... probably not worth watching, if I'm honest. Although it has undoubted qualities (as well as some poor structuring, lots of rambling, tacky music, leaps of logic, and worse), taught me a few things and has sparked off interesting thoughts, it is questionable as to whether evangelicals need to be exposed to discussions of possible obscen1ty in art that is not part of their tradition or worship.