Christ Crucified – Velázquez

George Dunlap, Good Friday, April 19, 2019

I am starting a post on Christian classical art; in beauty we have hope in Christ. I trust you will enjoy some of my selections and the history of the paintings and artists. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Easter.

The Spanish Golden Age stands as one of the richest and most bountiful eras in history for art, and amongst all of the artists who contributed to it, Diego Velazquez will surely rank as being amongst the most prominent.

Born in 1599, Velázquez was one of the court artists of King Philip IV and crafted a wide range of masterpieces throughout his career. Many of his paintings were portraits of sixteenth-century Spanish nobility, and thanks to him, we have an array of brilliant snapshots into what courtly life of this era looked like. To glance at one of Diego Velazquez’s paintings is to be transported into a bygone age.

Not all of Velazquez’s paintings depicted contemporary scenes. Like most Western artists of his era, Velazquez had plenty of experience in portraying religious subjects. A number of his canvases depicted scenes of beatification, attempts to portray the divine in all of its sumptuousness.

With “Christ Crucified“, however, Velazquez took the opposite approach. The painting is pared-down and understated. There is no background, merely a dark area with a few token shadows to help emphasise the central figure. The cross itself is plain and unadorned, the delicate details – such as the grain in the wood – serving only to emphasise the everyday nature of its materials.

Christ himself is similarly unadorned. Velazquez makes no attempt to portray the agonises of Christ’s passion, and simply shows the Messiah’s head bowed. His hair runs, like blood, down his face.

The only hint of the divine about this largely unclothed figure is the halo – and even that is relatively modest, a subtle cream-coloured glow. We are asked to look upon this figure – to behold the man – and contemplate his very physicality – his flesh, his hair, the thorns of his crown, the cloth of his coverings, the iron of his nails. The image is composed with geometric evenness and neatness, an understated structure which provides a startling contrast with the significance of the subject matter.

MMOS TOLEDO 2019 ANNUAL GATHERING – FISHERS OF MEN NORTHWEST OHIO

By: George Dunlap, April 14, 2019

I had the pleasure to attend the annual Toledo MMOS 2019 this year. It was a wonderful gathering of men-in-faith, coming together in Jesus Christ to share the truth and unit in our Lord. I enjoyed all the speakers they were full of energy and personal stories of sacrifice. Bishop Thomas gave a great talk on “Calm His Courage” (see link below) a wonderful topic for men-of-faith during this coming Holy Week.

MMOS NORTHWEST OHIO – FISHERS OF MEN 2019 GATHERING

A short clip of
Most Reverend Daniel Thomas, Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo Homily
“CLAIM HIS COURAGE”

I do look forward to next years MMOS 2019 in Toledo. Wishing all a Blessed Easter.

Full text of Benedict XVI: ‘The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse’

In a previously unpublished essay, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI addresses the sex abuse scandal, its context, and the Church’s response to it.

April 10, 2019 Catholic News Agency

On February 21 to 24, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church; a crisis experienced throughout the world after shocking revelations of clerical abuse perpetrated against minors.

The extent and gravity of the reported incidents has deeply distressed priests as well as laity, and has caused more than a few to call into question the very Faith of the Church. It was necessary to send out a strong message, and seek out a new beginning, so to make the Church again truly credible as a light among peoples and as a force in service against the powers of destruction.

Since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis, and during the run-up to it, I had to ask myself – even though, as emeritus, I am no longer directly responsible – what I could contribute to a new beginning.

Thus, after the meeting of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences was announced, I compiled some notes by which I might contribute one or two remarks to assist in this difficult hour.

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UNPLANNED: An Inside Look at the Hit Film with Doug Johnson

Unplanned is a new hit movie about former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson’s journey to the pro-life cause. Gritty and heart-wrenching this film has defied expectations to land in the top 4 at the box office, even though it is showing at a fraction of the theaters of bigger budget movies.

Recently, I sat down with Doug Johnson, husband to Abby Johnson, as he gave us an inside look at the story behind the film, Johnson family life, the powerful prayers behind the film’s production, and more. We were interrupted several times by Doug and Abby’s adorable children—the Johnsons’ are truly living a culture of life!

Wetwork: a Review of “Unplanned”

Brad Miner Monday, April 1, 2019

My anti-abortion views solidified in 1976 when I bought a copy of Esquire magazine. There was something in it by or about George Plimpton that I wanted to read, but thumbing through the pages I came to an article titled “What I Saw at the Abortion” by Richard Selzer, M.D.

I’d been a Catholic for about three years and knew what I was supposed to believe about abortion. I’d recently read Humane vitae for the first time and been deeply impressed by its clarity: “all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, [is] to be absolutely excluded.” But it was when I read Dr. Selzer’s article that my view was forever set.

What knocked me for a loop was Selzer’s reference to a “flick,” a resistance, the fetus defending itself against its murder. Read it for yourself (The Human Life Review has reprinted it here), but here’s the good doctor’s conclusion:

I am not trying to argue. I am only saying I’ve seen. The flick. Whatever else may be said in abortion’s defense, the vision of that other defense will not vanish from my eyes. What I saw I saw as that: a defense, a motion from, an effort away. And it has happened that you cannot reason with me now. For what can language do against the truth of what I saw?

So, it seemed to me before I watched the new movie, Unplanned, that the defining scene would have to be just such a moment, one in which Abby Johnson (played by Ashley Bratcher) witnessed the abortion that changed her life. (The film is based on her book of the same title.)

UNPLANNED THE TRAILER

That moment is set up nicely in an earlier scene in which Abby, the youngest clinic director at Planned Parenthood, banally counsels a young woman not to worry: “The one thing that all experts agree on is that, at this stage, the fetus can’t feel anything.”

But then she witnesses a “procedure” during which she sees (via ultrasound) the child “twisting and fighting for its life” against the abortionist’s cannula, which causes her to look anew at her participation in the 22,000 abortions that happened during her tenure. This begs the question of how one could ever not have known what the hell was going on, but that’s life, I guess. We must suppress what we believe we must not accept.

As the Psalmist says (34: 14-15), “Keep your tongue from evil, your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” And that’s what Abby Johnson did, a change of heart and mind, however, made more difficult for her because she’d had two abortions herself.

The scenes in which Ashley Bratcher acts through Abby Johnson’s descent into abject misery and ascent into pro-life glory are very fine indeed.

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Archbishop Chaput’s Address at the Pontifical College Josephinum–Facing the Future with Hope and Joy

FACING THE FUTURE WITH HOPE AND JOY
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Pontifical College Josephinum, 3.27.19

I’m glad to be here tonight for two reasons. First, I admire – greatly admire — the Josephinum and the men it produces. The Church needs you because we urgently need more good priests, men of prudence and charity, but also of spine and courage, who understand the changing terrain of our times. In my life, the priesthood has been a deep source of joy and purpose, the gift of knowing with certainty why God made me. But it’s not a life for the weak or the lukewarm. Especially now.

George Dunlap meeting Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, March 27, 2019, Pontifical College Josephinum.
Annual Pio Cardinal Laghi Chair Lecture. “Facing the Future with Confidence and Joy”

My second reason is this. Cardinal Pio Laghi was a mentor and friend who showed great kindness to me as a young bishop. When you’re a baby bishop, everything is new and a bit intimidating. Cardinal Laghi’s encouragement made a great difference in my life and ministry. He gave me my first zucchetto, pectoral cross, and mitre. I’ve never forgotten the debt I owe him. Delivering these remarks in his name is not just a pleasure, the pleasure of being with you, but also an honor. So let’s begin.

I chose tonight’s theme because it sounds better than “facing the future with confusion and anxiety,” and anger for that matter, because I’m tempted to feel all three of those things a couple of times a week. There are days when everyone in the Church seems angry. Laypeople and priests are angry with their bishops for the abuse scandal, which never seems to end. Bishops are angry with priests for their bad example. And many bishops are also frustrated – to put it gently — with Rome for its unwillingness to acknowledge the real nature and scope of the abuse problem. Clerical privilege is not the problem. Clericalism may be a factor in the sexual abuse of minors, but no parent I know – and I hear from a lot of them – sees that as the main issue. Not naming the real problem for what it is, a pattern of predatory homosexuality and a failure to weed that out from Church life, is an act of self-delusion.

the speech continues….read more

Yes, Let’s ‘Expose’ Catholic Schools

Yes, Let’s ‘Expose’ Catholic Schools

Patrick Reilly / February 4, 2019Commentary

Faithful Catholic education is under attack. And since we just celebrated Catholic Schools Week, it’s a great time to launch a counter-offensive that goes beyond clichéd cheerleading for lukewarm schools.

Consider what has occurred over just the last few weeks: First, leftist activists pilloried Second Lady Karen Pence for volunteering at an evangelical Christian school—one that upholds the same standards for teachers that Catholic schools should embrace, when they are courageous enough to insist on the moral formation of their students and the consistent witness of every teacher.

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Archbishop Chaput to College Students: Following God’s Will Is Answer to Dark Times

Archbishop Charles Chaput

Archbishop Charles Chaput (Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

Nation |  Mar. 21, 2019

Archbishop Chaput to College Students: Following God’s Will Is Answer to Dark Times ‘There’s some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for,’ he told them, quoting The Lord of the Rings. Catholic News Agency BISMARCK, N.D. — There’s a scene in the middle of The Lord of the Rings, a fantasy series written by Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien, where the quest to destroy an evil, all-powerful ring seems to be utterly hopeless. Darkness and danger have surrounded and hounded Frodo, the little hobbit ultimately given the mission to destroy the ring, ever since he set foot out of the Shire, the idyllic and safe home he left behind for this quest.

This was the scene Archbishop Charles Chaput set for students at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, as he spoke to them about their vocations and the purpose of their lives Wednesday evening.

In a moment of despair, Archbishop Chaput noted, Frodo turns to his most faithful friend, Samwise Gamgee, a hobbit who has refused to leave Frodo’s side, and asks him whether it’s even worth continuing with the seemingly impossible mission.

Sam says yes, “because there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

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Archbishop Chaput to speak at Josephinum

Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap, the archbishop of Philadelphia, will present the 2019 Pio Cardinal Laghi Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 in the Jessing Center at the Pontifical College Josephinum, 7625 N. High St. His topic will be “Facing the Future With Confidence and Joy.”

Archbishop Chaput, 74, has been a member of the Capuchin Franciscan order since 1965 and a priest since 1970. He became bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1988, and archbishop of Denver in 1997 and was installed as archbishop of Philadelphia in 2011.

As a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Archbishop Chaput was the second Native American to be ordained a bishop in the United States and the first Native American archbishop.

He is a co-founder of the national Catholic Association of Latino Leaders and helped in the founding of ENDOW, a leadership initiative of Catholic women. He also was instrumental in creating the Denver-based Augustine Institute, an independent, lay-run graduate school for forming lay Catholic leaders.

In February 2014, he was appointed to the Pontifical Council for the Laity by Pope Francis. In 2015, he hosted the World Meeting of Families and the visit of the pope to Philadelphia. He participated in the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome and has served the Holy See on several occasions. He also has been a member of several committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Pio Cardinal Laghi Chair was inaugurated at the Josephinum in 1992. At the time, Cardinal Laghi was prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. American cardinals and presidents of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops promoted the funding of the chair in recognition of Cardinal Laghi’s dedicated service to the Catholic Church in the United States.