September 05, 2002

Hie thee to the Middle
Read an interesting post on the Particulae blog about the L.A. Cathedral controversy. I think part of the problem is that modernity has made all art political, and thus we are all (understandably) hyper-sensitive to "what are they really trying to say with this?".

We all know what was going on when the tabernacle was moved off-center, sometimes even out of the church proper - it was a move to de-emphasize popular piety and Eucharistic adoration. The thinking went that piety didn't often translate to holiness or good deeds or (especially) social justice concerns.

Balance is necessary. What did Hawthorne write? Something like, "humans say 'yea and nay' but God's way is in the middle". I butchered the quote but you get the idea. So we look at the L.A. cathedral with jaundiced eyes ("Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me") because we had been had before - we know that art makes political and theological statements and we long for a brave orthodoxy.

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