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September 22 2014

August 29 2012

Le tableau de l'Ecce Homo va-t-il retrouver son apparence d'origine?

ECCE HOMO - "C'est possible." L'équipe de restaurateurs professionnels qui analyse actuellement la peinture du Christ, massacrée par une octogénaire à Borja en Espagne, s'est dite confiante. Selon les experts dépêchés sur place, il est possible de redonner à cette peinture murale son aspect d'origine. Mais les fans et la ville seront-ils d'accord?

Depuis le 21 août dernier, les images de cette peinture du Christ datant du 19e siècle font le tour du monde. Une octogénaire a en effet voulu restaurer l'œuvre sans autorisation et anéanti le travail original de l'artiste. L'Ecce Homo d'Elias Garcia Martinez est désormais connu comme la pire restauration artistique de l'histoire.

ecce homo

Lire aussi:
» La pire restauration de l'histoire?
» L'artiste qui a massacré le Christ de Borja s'explique: "tout le monde me voyait"
» Le Christ de Borja massacré devient... objet de culte !

La restauration serait possible

Depuis la découverte de l'œuvre, deux spécialistes de l'entreprise de restauration Albarium évaluent les dommages. Après avoir enquêté auprès de l'octogénaire qui a retouché l'Ecce Homo pour savoir quels produits ont été utilisés, les restaurateurs ont expliqué être "confiants" et "contents". Selon eux, il serait possible de sauver la peinture d'origine.

Cette semaine, de nouvelles analyses seront faites et les restaurateurs rendront leur rapport.

Une pétition pour sauver la version de l'octogénaire

Mais les fans accepteront-ils de voir disparaître la pire restauration du monde? Depuis deux semaines, les images de l'Ecce Homo font le tour du monde et l'histoire de cette œuvre, inconnue jusqu'alors, a passionné les foules.

Les adorateurs de la toile se mobilisent d'ailleurs pour conserver la version ratée du tableau. Une pétition - recueillant désormais plus de 21.000 signataires - demande au maire de Borja de ne plus y toucher. Pour eux, il est important de conserver cette œuvre qui constitue "une critique subtile des théories créationnistes de l'Église et une interrogation sur l'émergence de nouvelles idoles".

Un filon touristique

Le maire pourrait lui aussi avoir intérêt à conserver l'œuvre telle qu'elle est aujourd'hui. En effet, la mairie de Borja a décidé de déposer la marque "Ecce Homo". Pourquoi? Officiellement, la mairie ne veut pas que le nom soit "mal" utilisé. Mais en déposant ce nom, la municipalité s'assure surtout des retombées économiques.

L'histoire de cette peinture aura fait découvrir cette commune de Saragosse dans le monde entier. Depuis les premiers articles sur le sujet, le 21 août dernier, la ville n'a jamais été aussi visitée. Des milliers de touristes se rendent dans l'église et font la queue pour être photographié à côté de ce nouvel objet de "culte".

Ces curieux pourraient aussi être intéressés par des produits dérivés... D'ailleurs certains entrepreneurs ont devancé la commune: des tshirts existent déjà et une pâtisserie madrilène fait même des crêpes Ecce Homo...

ecce homo crepe

Quel que soit le verdict des restaurateurs, la décision de conserver ou non la peinture reviendra à l'église de Borja.

Reposted fromsigalonfrance sigalonfrance
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August 25 2012

Mal fresco! Botched Ecce Homo restoration woman has 'anxiety attack'

Cecilia Giménez, 81, reportedly ill after media frenzy and talk of legal action over her well-intentioned restoration disaster of the Ecce Homo fresco

An 81-year-old who garnered worldwide media attention after she tried – and spectacularly failed – to restore a painting in her local church may face legal charges.

Cecilia Giménez, the well-intentioned amateur restorer from the Spanish city of Borja, is reportedly in bed after an anxiety attack, with neighbours and relatives suggesting she feels overwhelmed because of the media frenzy over the unintentional damage she caused to the mural.

The damage to the painting in the church of la Misericordia de Borja is reportedly being investigated by experts, with the artist's descendants apparently unhappy that an individual decided to take the restoration job into her own hands. They fear her handiwork may be irreversible.

Giménez told Spanish television that the priest knew about her attempts at restoration to the Ecce Homo painting by Elías García Martínez and that she had done nothing in secret. "The priest knew it and everyone who came into the church could see I was painting," she said.

Although no one seems sure when she embarked on the restoration project, news of the incident first appeared on the blog of the Centre for Borja Studies a fortnight ago.

The centre posted some before-and-after pictures, along with a plaintive message confirming that someone had recently been up to no good with a brush.

"As incredible as it may seem, this is all that remains of the work of an artist whose descendants still live in our city," it said. "We do not know whether this unspeakable deed can de remedied, but there can be no doubt whatsoever that someone should take the necessary action to ensure that such behaviour is not repeated. Whatever the motives were, it must be roundly condemned."

Professional restorers plan to examine the painting to gauge whether restoration is possible.

According to the local paper El Heraldo de Aragón, the city council is reportedly considering legal action against Giménez. Her actions meant the 19th-century painting, which was already in a poor condition, had been "completely destroyed", one councillor, Juan María de Ojeda, said.

Ojeda nonetheless criticised media attention as "disproportionate".

Giménez's efforts have been variously been dubbed "the worst restoration in history", "a botched job", and "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic". © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

August 24 2012

Das T-Shirt der Woche.

(zu bestellen hier:
Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin # facebook


// oAnth: Learn more about the Borja grassroots restauration mouvement (BGRM) - incl. its astonishingly well adapted concept of arts (Herbert Marcuse) in times of austerity cuts, and further ambitions beyond, e.g. concerning the so called "Da Vinci Project", here.
Reposted fromDr-Brot Dr-Brot viam68k m68k

Great art needs a few restoration disasters | Jonathan Jones

Thanks to an inadvertent iconoclast, a second-rate fresco is now a 'masterpiece'. Turn her loose on artists that deserve attention

It's all over the internet, it's trending, tweeting, the funniest art joke of all time. You must know it by now. "Masterpiece of Jesus is destroyed after old lady's attempt to restore damage is a less-than-divine intervention", Worst painting restoration work in history", "Elderly woman destroys 19th century fresco with DIY restoration".

A woman said to be in her 80s in Borjanos in Spain took it upon herself to "restore" a fresco in the Sanctuary of Mercy church there. The original painting is an Ecce Homo by Elias Garcia Martinez and dates from the 19th century. But this triptych of photographs shows how totally it has been ruined. It's hilarious to see how the would-be restorer's efforts resulted in a complete reinvention of the painting as a crude image with a face like a neanderthal man's self-portrait. Oh dear. This pious art lover could have a career in slapstick if she wants, for her comic destruction of a work of art bears comparison with Rowan Atkinson giving Whistler's Mother a badly drawn cartoon face in the film Bean.

How did it happen? What was the well-meaning vandal thinking? Reports differ on the meaning of the middle picture in the before-and-after triptych: was this the result of water damage or the self-appointed artist's early effort to prepare the picture for restoration? Picturing how it happened is even funnier than seeing the contrasting versions themselves. Did she, like the Marx Brothers trimming a moustache in Monkey Business, try to fix one bit and then had to do another bit and then another until the whole thing was gone? Was it like Father Ted in the episode of the much-loved clerical comedy where he attempts to mend a car's bodywork with a hammer?

There is only one problem with this story. It doesn't really matter. Martinez is not a great artist and his painting Ecce Homo is not a "masterpiece". It is a minor painting in the dregs of an academic tradition. When it was painted, a boy called Pablo in another Spanish town was learning to paint in this same exhausted 19th-century style. Soon he would shake off the influence of his father the provincial artist Don Jose Ruiz y Picasso and start to reinvent art.

Google Martinez and you will find many, many references that have appeared in the last 24 hours to the botched restoration – and not much else. A previously obscure artist has become famous overnight because of the amateur restorer's exploit. A forgotten painting is now known around the world as a "masterpiece", because it was wrecked.

Perhaps this offers a new strategy for those who seek to popularise the Old Masters. What if even older, but far greater, paintings were to get the Mr Bean treatment?

After Rowan Atkinson gave a show-stopping Mr Bean performance as a keyboard player upstaging a Simon Rattle-conducted performance of Chariots of Fire in the Olympic opening ceremony, the composer Michael Nyman took exception to orchestral music being mocked in this way. Where did his sense of humour go? Surely he can see that classical music should use this strategy to popularise itself. We need Mr Bean disrupting performances of Monteverdi and Mahler. That will get the kids into the concert halls.

Similarly, the well-meaning restorer of this obscure Spanish painting should be turned loose on a couple of works that actually matter. Many true masterpieces are starved of the global attention this second-rate Ecce Homo has now got. She could be sent to Italy to see what she can do with the frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara. Revered by art historians, these paintings of the months of the year have never quite made it into popular culture. There are 12 paintings, one for every month, so one could be sacrificed for the good of the whole. A hideously repainted face on one of the lesser months might make their creator the 15th-century genius Francesco del Cossa as famous as the 19th century mediocrity Elias Garcia Martinez has now become. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

Amateur art restorer admits to damaging Ecce Homo mural - video

Cecilia Gimenez, an amateur art restorer, damaged a 19th-century painting belonging to a Spanish church, during her attempts to fix it

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

May 28 2012

Spanish artist faces prison over 'how to cook Christ' film

Javier Krahe prosecuted for 'offending religious feelings' after 1978 short film was broadcast on Spanish TV

A leading Spanish artist faces up to a year in prison after being prosecuted for "offending religious feelings" in relation to a short film he made more than 30 years ago that claimed to show "how to cook Jesus Christ".

Javier Krahe, who has been a popular and provocative figure in Spain for nearly half a century, made the film in 1978 but it was only shown on Spanish TV in 2004 as a backdrop to an interview with its creator. The little-known charge – comparable with but not identical to Britain's blasphemy law, remains part of the penal code despite never having been applied before in Spanish legal history.

Krahe's 54-second film uses the tone of a cooking programme, with chefs advised to remove Jesus' nails and separate him from his crucifix, which should be left to one side. Christ's tiny white body – a small figurine is used – is then shown being washed, lightly smothered in butter, placed on a bed of aromatic herbs in a glass tray and popped into an oven. "One gaunt Christ" is apparently enough to feed two, and when the dish is ready (after three days) it miraculously emerges from the oven without assistance.

There have been two previous failed attempts to prosecute Krahe, who is currently on bail for €192,000 (£153,000). The latest prosecution is the result of a court action by the Catholic legal association the Centro Juridico Tomas Moro.

"How do you show that someone's religious feelings have been hurt?" Krahe told El Pais newspaper, adding that he considers the prosecution to be absurd. "I'm accused of a series of things that I haven't done. I don't appear on television cooking Christ, and I haven't ever used these images [in a performance]." His supporters say freedom of speech laws should be changed to allow room for blasphemy.

Krahe is due to appear in Madrid's regional court, where statements from witnesses in the case are due to be heard on Monday. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

November 18 2011

Splitting image: Benetton's banned advert

So the pope-kissing-imam ad was shouted down? The Vatican has been carefully controlling the pope's image for 500 years

You can understand why the Vatican got so angry with Benetton for creating an image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing the grand sheikh of Cairo's al-Azhar mosque. After all, the modern church has such a pristine image to protect – it's not as if it's beset by widespread accusations of clerical abuse or anything like that. A plainly fictional image of the pope kissing a Muslim man was, clearly, the worst thing to tarnish the Vatican's image in recent years. Much more serious than anything revealed about such Catholic institutions as St Benedict's school in London.

Benetton's adverts are actually a homage to a renowned Berlin wall graffiti painting of Communist leaders Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev kissing. Everyone finds it funny to see former leaders of the defunct Soviet bloc snogging, it seems, but when contemporary figures from the western world are similarly mocked the cannoli hit the fan.

Why is the Vatican so displeased, and why did Benetton so readily surrender? The image of the pope is one of the greatest triumphs of marketing in history. A church that is led by a venerable celibate might seem to have an in-built selling-point problem. How can popes, who necessarily take the throne of St Peter as old and often ailing men, be made to seem charismatic and glamorous in a world that values youth and physical vigour?

The papacy tackled this problem five centuries ago by calling in some of the greatest image-makers in world history. Today's advertising gurus have nothing on Raphael and Titian. One of the most influential images of power in the history of the world hangs quietly today in London's National Gallery: Raphael's portrait of Pope Julius II created a new paradigm for papal portraiture by showing age as dignity, inner wisdom and sad knowledge. The power of this portrait was emulated and refined by Titian, then by Velázquez. Popes were reimagined in the Renaissance and baroque eras as men whose age and restraint conferred great natural authority.

Even in Italy, this cultivated image has been mocked in modern times. Federico Fellini staged a clerical fashion show that travestied the Church in his film Roma. But the impression that was crafted by some of the world's greatest artists is still tremendously potent, in Italy and abroad.

Benetton's mistake was to underestimate how profoundly the church has succeeded in sacralising the image of the pope, in spite of every modern menace to its authority. No parliament on earth exerts the fascination of the Vatican as a power complex. The pope's image truly is infallible, and Benetton realised it had crossed an invisible line that has endured every onslaught of the secular world. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

November 11 2011

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Saint Martin of Tours
Nov 11
Uploaded by breski1 on Nov 10, 2007

11th of November - Saint Martin, His Life, Traditions and Custom all over Europe

Saint Martin of Tours
Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint Martin's Day - Wikipedia (EN)
The Traditions and Costums of St. Martin's Day

Reposted bykatholisch katholisch

September 22 2011

Sagrada Família gets final completion date – 2026 or 2028

Barcelona's intricate temple to God to be ready for centenary of architect Antoni Gaudí's death … or thereabouts

Barcelona's emblematic Sagrada Família church finally has a completion date — 2026 or 2028, more than 140 years after it was started.

Joan Rigol, president of the committee charged with finishing the building by Antoni Gaudí, said it should be finished in time for the centenary for the architect's death – or, if not, two years later.

Five huge towers are being added to the eccentric building, which is among Spain's most-visited tourist attractions.

Gaudí died in 1926 after being runover by the city's No 30 tram. He had been living on the Sagrada Familía building site and looked so impoverished that it took several hours for doctors to realise who he was. The tram driver thought he had hit a drunken tramp.

Originally paid for by subscription, the church was always set to take a long time to build. "My client is in no hurry," Gaudí once said, referring to God.

The building was at one stage popularly known as "the cathedral of the poor" and Gaudi himself was known to go begging for contributions – which currently amount to around €500,000 (£440,000) a year.

An influx of tourists, along with modern masonry techniques, has seen work speed up considerably over the past two decades. Some three million fee-paying tourists are expected to visit this year alone, contributing €30m.

With a roof finally in place, Pope Benedict was able to consecrate it as a basilica last year. But a setback came when a man set fire to the basilica's sacristy in April, with repair work still under way.

"The damage is worse than we had thought," said the building's chief architect, Jordi Bonet. Authorities are now considering installing metal detectors at the entrance.

"Our new objective is to complete the six central towers, of which five have already been started," said Rigol.

The sixth tower will measure 170 metres and contain a lift to carry tourists to the top. Rigol added that a high-speed rail tunnel to be built nearby, which has been approved by the courts, may still damage the buildings foundations.

Bonet did not seem so sure about the finish date. "I'm not saying that it is wrong, I hope it is not, but it is not that simple. This is a very complex work and needs a lot of investigation," the architect told the RAC1 radio station. "Everyone has the best will, but I cannot give any assurances." © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

May 02 2011

Elèutheros » Manifesto

// p&c at 2011-05-03 / oAnth



On the basis of official Church documents like Encyclicals [Free Software's surprising sympathy with Catholic doctrine] and CEI directorates [Software Libero, Comunicazione e Missione], we are convinced that there are strong ideal affinities between Christianity, the philosophy of Free Software [The Free Software Definition] and the adoption of Open Formats and Protocols [The Frequently Asked Questions of the Eleutheros Project]. We believe it is evident that the usage of such instruments is much more in line with Catholic Doctrine than fully closed, non Free solutions.

Elèutheros is an association of Catholics whose mission is to serve the Catholic Church through promotion and development of an always increasing harmony between the doctrinal principles mentioned above and the concrete choices made in the Information Technology field at all levels in the ecclesiastical world: from Parishes to Dioceses, from School to Congregations, up to Bishop Conferences and the Vatican itself.


For the reasons mentioned above, Elèutheros intends to:

  • engage in the study of the Scriptures and the Ecclesiastical Teaching, of classical texts and, in general, of Catholic literature, in order to highlight references, ideas and principles which may sustain the ethical values of Free Software and the adoption of Open Formats and Protocols.
  • increase among Catholics the awareness of the importance of Free Software and Open Formats and Protocols, as well as their ethical values.
  • Regardless of which software is adopted, propose that only Open Formats and Protocols are used, by all Catholic Organizations to store or manage any kind of digital data, like for example text, images or music. Only this can guarantee that all digital documents are completely accessible to everybody, including those who cannot afford state of the art computers or the purchase of proprietary software, and above all that such documents remain available forever.
  • propose that, whenever it is possible, Free Software is used instead of proprietary software in all Catholic Organizations.
  • Request that, without exception, teaching of programming and basic Information Technology in all Catholic Schools and Universities is performed using Free Software.
  • Promote, towards all Ecclesiastical Organizations, the creation of directives which require the mandatory adoption, in all Catholic organizations, of the IT solutions proposed by Elèutheros, giving absolute priority to Open Formats.
  • Promote, in all Ecclesiastical Organizations, methods of distribution of all Catholic documents which guarantee the greatest diffusion of the Gospel and of the Church message.


Reposted fromandreame andreame

April 21 2011

Featured photojournalist: Jon Nazca

Jon Nazca photographs Holy Week in the Andalusian city of Malaga, Spain

April 18 2011

Andres Serrano's Piss Christ is the original shock art

Christian protesters who attacked the work have risen to the artist's bait and misunderstood his sincerity

Before sharks swam in formaldehyde, there was Piss Christ. With this work in 1987, Andres Serrano created what is surely the visual manifesto and original prototype of the use of shock in contemporary art.

Other 1980s artists, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Richard Serra, ran into controversy, but Piss Christ is distinguished by its calculated offence and rhetorical nature – the way it sets out to be unmissably outrageous and adopts that offence as part of its meaning.

I mean, it's called Piss Christ and is said to be made using the artist's own urine. It is far more polemical than, say, a Mapplethorpe photograph of sadomasochist rites where the artist portrays what he found beautiful and causes offence almost accidentally. As such, Piss Christ is one of the most influential works of art of the past 30 years, the model for a strategy that has transformed the public impact of art.

Yet the joke on the latest protesters to take Serrano's bait – hey look, Christians, I've urinated on the son of God! – is that Piss Christ works well as a modern work of religious art. I don't know if the curators of the Vatican museum have considered buying a print, but it possesses a richly traditional dimension. The passion of Christ has always been associated with bodily fluids – it is true that artists traditionally stressed blood rather than urine, but they scarcely stinted on the revulsion of Christ's fleshly death.

Piss Christ can be legitimately compared to the horrible sores and green pus on the body of Grunewald's Christ in the Isenheim altarpiece, or painted wooden statues in baroque churches with their lifelike gore and jewelled tears, or Caravaggio's Saint Thomas sticking his finger in Christ's spear wound.

Serrano's crucifix evokes the same kind of popular religiosity Andy Warhol paid homage to in his Last Supper series, another artistic highlight of the 1980s, and just as Warhol was a sincere Catholic, Serrano created a vivid and intense baroque image of the passion. The suffering of Christ is seen through a glass, darkly – or in this case shines through yellow urine, glowing uncannily within the stinking detritus of the body.

There's something in this powerful work of art for everyone. Atheists can savour its insult, Christians can meditate on the victory of the spirit in the humiliation of the flesh. Meanwhile, the easily provoked will never fail to have their anger aroused by a work of art that is spoiling for a fight. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Piss Christ destroyed by protesters

Photograph of crucifix submerged in urine attacked in French gallery after weeks of protests

The controversial work Piss Christ by the New York photographer Andres Serrano has been destroyed at a gallery in France after weeks of protests.

The photograph, which shows a small crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine, outraged the US religious right in 1987, when it was first shown, with Serrano denounced in the Senate by the Republican Jesse Helms. It was later vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a show by the artist in Sweden in 2007.

The work has previously been shown without incident in France, but for the past two weeks Catholic groups have campaigned against it, culminating in hundreds of people marching through Avignon on Saturday in protest.

Just after 11am on Sunday, four people in sunglasses entered the gallery where the exhibition was being held. One took a hammer from his sock and threatened security staff. A guard restrained one man but the remaining members of the group managed to smash an acrylic screen and slash the photograph with what police believe was a screwdriver or ice pick. They then destroyed another photograph, of nuns' hands in prayer.

Piss Christ is part of a series by Serrano showing religious objects submerged in fluid such as blood and milk. It was being shown in an exhibition to mark 10 years of the art dealer Yvon Lambert's personal collection in his 18th-century mansion.

Last week the gallery complained of "extremist harassment" by Christians who wanted the image banned. The archbishop of Vaucluse, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, called the work "odious" and said he wanted "this trash" taken off the gallery walls. Saturday's street protest against the work gained the support of the far-right National Front, which has recently done well in local elections.

Lambert had complained he was being "persecuted" by religious extremists who had sent him tens of thousands of emails. He likened the atmosphere to a return to the middle ages. The gallery stepped up protection, putting Plexiglass in front of Piss Christ and assigning two gallery guards to stand in front of it.

The culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, condemned the vandalism as an attack on the fundamental freedoms of creation and expression. A police complaint has been filed by the gallery and the guards.

The gallery's director, Eric Mézil, says he will keep the exhibition open to the public with the destroyed work on show "so people can see what barbarians can do".

The I Believe in Miracles exhibition opened in December and will run until May. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

January 06 2011

Naked passion of Christ calendar shocks Mallorcan Catholics

Bishop of Mallorca criticises calendar – which shows Catholic youths posing naked – for 'not respecting Christian symbols'

A Catholic youth group has shocked its religious superiors in Mallorca by producing a calendar that features a nude version of the passion of Christ.

The wrath of the bishop of Mallorca has fallen on the Davallament youth group from the Spanish island's town of Sant Joan after they decided to make the stripped-down version of the Easter week story to raise funds.

The calendar features a semi-naked trio of young men raising the cross on which Jesus will be crucified and a Last Supper whose protagonists wear only crotch-hugging underwear. In other shots the protagonists are entirely naked, covering their genitalia with plumed roman helmets (above).

"It is a daring and original idea that emerged because we are young and wanted to do something new," a group member, Antoni Company, told Ultima Hora newspaper.

The bishopric of Mallorca, however, has criticised them for shocking their more traditional elders. "It turns Easter week into something banal," the bishopric said in a stern written admonition. "It does not respect Christian symbols and is insensitive to Catholic feelings."

The calendar marks the 20th anniversary of the Davallament Youth Association, one of whose principal tasks is to act out the passion of Christ in a fully-clothed version every Easter.

"It all came from the need to celebrate our 20th anniversary," said Pep Mas, the group's co-ordinator. "The actors are the same people who take part in the Easter week representation, and the pictures are shot in the same places. I don't think, after all these years, that anyone can doubt our dedication."

The town's mayor, Joan Magro, approves. "The calender is very original," he said. "The pictures are artistic and the models show what they have."

The town's priest, Joan Marti, refused to be drawn. "They are grown up enough to know what they are doing and what it all means," he said. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

August 25 2010

Raphael recalls era of Vatican intrigue

The Catholic church's loan of Renaissance tapestries to coincide with Benedict XVI's visit has the unfortunate consequence of reminding us of the papacy's history

The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain this autumn comes at a time of controversy for the Catholic church. It is therefore fairly obvious why the Vatican is making a flamboyantly generous cultural gesture to mark the occasion. Raphael's cartoons for a set of tapestries to hang in Rome's Sistine Chapel have long been among Britain's great art treasures, and this September the Victoria and Albert Museum will host a one-off exhibition in which the tapestries themselves, lent by Rome, can be compared with the prototypes.

A treat for lovers of high art, this is also a timely allusion to the great artistic inheritance of the Vatican. The message is surely: forget the recent scandals, remember the church-sponsored glories of the high Renaissance. But is that epoch really such a good one to stress if you want to distract from the moral failings of the clergy?

The popes who commissioned Raphael and his contemporaries to rebuild and ornament Rome were among the most scandalous in the entire history of the church. Some of the first art works of Rome's Renaissance were commissioned from Pinturicchio by Pope Alexander VI – born Rodrigo Borgia. The Borgia papacy and the doings of the pope's children (that is, the grown-up ones he'd sired while still a cardinal, as opposed to those conceived when he was actually pope) inspired shock and rage across contemporary society. Modern historians doubt some of the wilder rumours, but even if you discount these you can't quite avoid the problem of a pope having sex and fathering kids. Cesare Borgia, the son Alexander VI fathered with long-term mistress Vannozza dei Cattanei, was even scary enough to be an inspiration for Machiavelli's The Prince.

Nor can even the most devout historian deny that the next great pope, Julius II, though he avoided charges of sexual excess, gave in somewhat to the temptations of Mars. This "warrior pope" loved combat and even led his army into battle. When Michelangelo asked if he wanted to be portrayed with a sword or a book in his hand, he reputedly said: "A sword! I don't read books."

Leo X, who commissioned Raphael's tapestry cartoons in 1515, did read books. Specifically, he loved to read expensive illuminated manuscripts like the one he's enjoying in Raphael's portrait of him. A Medici, he'd grown up with a silver spoon in his mouth and loved all the pleasures of a rich, hedonistic life – apparently saying when he took up office: "I have waited a long time for this, and I mean to enjoy it."

So, the Vatican is of course right to remind us of its central position in the history of western art. But does beauty prove moral worth? Does great religious art have to come from truly religious epochs? Was the Renaissance without sin? Pull the other one. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

May 09 2010

Bischof Dr. Walter Mixa | Zur Annahme des Rücktrittsgesuches durch Papst Benedikt | Wir sind Kirche Deutschland - 20100508

Pressemitteilung, München/Augsburg, 8. Mai 2010

Die KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche nimmt mit Erleichterung zur Kenntnis, dass Papst Benedikt das am 21. April 2010 von Bischof Dr. Walter Mixa eingereichte Rücktrittsgesuch endlich angenommen hat, nachdem gestern auch noch Vorwürfe sexualisierter Gewalt bekannt wurden. Um den durch das lange Taktieren von Bischof Mixa entstandenen Ansehens- und Glaubwürdigkeitsverlust der katholischen Kirche weit über das Bistum hinaus nicht noch zu vergrößern, bleibt es notwendig, alle Vorwürfe umfassend und möglichst schnell aufzuklären. Dabei darf es keinen Bischofs-Bonus geben, auch wenn zunächst von der Unschuldsvermutung auszugehen ist – die das römisch-katholische Kirchenrecht selber allerdings nicht kennt. Die Causa Mixa wie auch andere Rücktritte gerade in letzter Zeit in Irland, Norwegen und Belgien sowie die Causa Groer vor 15 Jahren in Wien werfen die immer drängendere Frage nach den römischen Auswahlverfahren für das Bischofsamt auf. Seit der Causa Groer, die mit ein Anlass für das KirchenVolksBegehren 1995 war, fordert die katholische Reformbewegung Wir sind Kirche eine wirkliche Mitsprache und Mitentscheidung der Ortskirchen bei Bischofsernennungen. Bischof kann nur werden, wer das Vertrauen des Volkes genießt.

Weitere Informationen zum Thema Bischofsbestellungen:


Christian Weisner, Wir sind Kirche-Bundesteam Tel. 08131-260 250 oder mobil 0172-518 40 82 E-Mail: Homepage:

Herbert Tyroller, Wir sind Kirche im Diözese Augsburg Tel: 0821-407766 oder 0160-2377730 E-Mail: Homepage:
Reposted bykatholisch katholisch

April 26 2010


Clay Shirky nennt drei Gründe, warum die Zeitungen Boston Globe beim Aufdecken des Missbrauchsskandals der Katholischen Kirche in Boston kleineren, unabhängigen Netzmedien stets mehrere Schritte voraus war:

  1. Struktur: Die Zeitung konnte es sich erlauben, ein vierköpfiges “Spolight”-Reporterteam monatelang auf die Story anzusetzen.
  2. Zugang: Es gelang ihr, Zugang zu bisher geheimgehaltenen Dokumenten zu bekommen.
  3. Zeitfaktor: Die Kirche in Massachussetts hatte die Probleme bisher einfach ausgesessen, bis ihre Kritiker aufgaben. Dieses Warte-Spiel beherrschte der Globe jedoch ebenso gut.

Die Thesen sind Teil eines längeren Gesprächs (Audio und Transkript) zwischen Shirky und Walter Robinson, der das “Spotlight”-Team beim Boston Globe leitete. Beides bei Nieman Journalism Lab.

Medienlinks zum Wochenstart: Blauflossenthunfisch-Syndrom — CARTA

vergl: transparenz der herstellung ;-)))

April 21 2010

Nach Misshandlungsvorwürfen: Bischof Mixa tritt zurück

Bischof Walter Mixa hat nach Informationen der Augsburger Allgemeinen seinen Rücktritt eingereicht. Er habe an diesem Mittwochabend in einem Brief an Papst Benedikt XVI. seinen Rückzug sowohl vom Amt des Bischofs von Augsburg als auch vom Amt des Militärbischofs der Bundeswehr angeboten. Die Annahme des Rücktrittsgesuchs gilt der Zeitung zufolge in Kirchenkreisen als sicher.
Reposted fromZaphod Zaphod
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