Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

“Modus Ars, Modus Orendi… Lex Orendi, Lex Crendendi”… “The Manner of Art Determines the Manner of Prayer… The Rule of Prayer Stipulates the Rule of Belief”

Editor’s Foreword:

I’ve been researching mosaics for one of my art sites… some of what I saw in the course of my exploration were some of the most vile “penny dreadful” works that I’ve ever seen. Let me illustrate it for you, but, first, let’s look at some legit iconography

BMD

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Christ Enthroned as Heavenly King

Unknown Artist

undated

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Washington DC USA

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This is Class A Top Shelf Iconography… beautiful art promotes heartfelt prayer which leads to sound belief… this IS Christ enthroned in judgement.

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Pentecost

Mary Reardon

Post-Vatican II

Cathedral Basilica of St Louis

St Louis MO USA

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This is post-Second Vatican Council Grade Z daubing pretending to be art. It wouldn’t be so bad in a tatty modernistic building… it’d be “in place” and in sync with its surroundings (it’d be just as bad… it just wouldn’t be in such obvious conflict with its setting). It’s out of its element here, especially with the mosaics surrounding it, which are in traditional style… the clash of styles is just TOO MUCH.

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Christ Enthroned as Heavenly King

Unknown Artist

undated

Cathedral Basilica of St Louis

St Louis MO USA

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Compare the above “icon” with this earlier image in the narthex. You wouldn’t know that it was a symbol of the same religion! One breathes the air of Christian antiquity… the other looks as though some bored suburban housewife ran it up in her hubby’s garage. It looks like something slapped on a banner at the Antioch Baptist Church or the Fire Baptised Dipped Thrice in the Spirit Pentecostal Chapel and Auto Body Shop (or, sadly enough, in any RC parish still run by a VII liturgical experimenter… there’s still a few of ‘em left, I’m told). Now, look at the image below (you can do it… hold your nose… see, I told ya so…)… what a contrast!

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Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Christ

Unknown Artist

undated

Cathedral Basilica of St Louis

St Louis MO USA

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The Reardon Pentecost “icon” was tacky and uninspired… but this one’s downright BAD… no, it’s ugly, pointless, and SHITTY. What’s worse, it doesn’t go at all with the images on the lintel of the apse, which are in the style of Santa Maria Assunta in Torcello (that is pre-10th century New Roman). Late-20th century minimalism doesn’t “marry” well with Constantinopolitan New Roman exuberance and floridity. If this isn’t proof that Vatican II warped perspirin’ minds, nothing’ll turn the trick, I’m afraid. Of course, all the pseudo-intellectuals in the so-called “liturgical movement” were floating their awful fancies in the ‘50s… unfortunately, VII gave many of them the opportunity to (literally) vandalise and deface many a church with hideous dreck such as this. “Rabboni”… don’t you just hear the Jerusalem Bible coming at you… “Yahweh” and all that, dontcha know…

I’m pointing no fingers… some of our people were just as bad. Schmemann was just as repulsive (look at the horrid “peek-a-boo” iconostas at SVS… you’ll know what I mean). Tom Hopko went to Fordham at the height of the so-called Risorgimento, and all the pseudo-intellectuals are still defensive about it (“He wasn’t affected by that”)… don’t argue with them… it’s pointless, as they change their minds weekly, and wipe their memories clean of last week’s adamantly-held position. It’s like trying to get one’s hands on smoke… you can’t do it. Spare yourself… let them burble on… but don’t let them bamboozle good souls. Shut them up in their ivory towers, well away from real life… that’s the ticket. Let them write books and monographs that no one reads… it keeps them out of trouble. A correspondent wrote me:

In fact, some of our arch-modernist clergy said that a “Pan-Orthodox Council” was “inevitable”, because “the Roman Catholics and Anglicans had already made reforms in the ‘60s”. Therefore, Orthodox should do the same and make similar modernist reforms, draining the Church of all spiritual content… the modernists wanted to impose their authoritarianism. Fifty years after the modernism of the Second Vatican Council and the wholesale secularisation adopted by Anglicanism and other Protestant denominations, were they right? In reality, this view simply reflected a quaint myth, which one still hears, that the Church is just a backward and exotic version of Roman Catholicism, which is just a old-fashioned and odd form of Protestantism, which,  in turn, is just a archaic and weird variety of triumphant Western liberal secularism. What conceit! In reality, that’s wrong, not only because liberal secularism has utterly failed, but also because although the Church is in the world, it isn’t of the world, because the Church doesn’t become like the world, but the world becomes like the Church, because the Church isn’t our plaything… it’s of God.  

Now, that’s something that I wish that I’d written…

The Church isn’t our plaything… it’s of God.

THAT’S the truth, kids… that’s why we shouldn’t bring crappy offerings to God… He didn’t stint on us, did He? That’s why to lie “for the good of the Church” is one of the vilest and most noisome flowers of evil… ponder that. You don’t bring Untruth to the Maker of Truth… what does that tell us about the True God of such people (ye cannot worship both God and Mammon…)? Scary meditation, isn’t it?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Albany NY

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