Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Waiting for Peter the Roman

It seems the holidays are about to be upon us again, Halloween is stalking us as we speak, but I am at my wits end today, one of those days when as an artist, everything that you think, see, taste and love/hate is the art that you are creating-
I am haunted, I am distracted, I can only momentarily think about the beautiful day, the smell of fall in the air and the beautiful sound of children playing in the neighborhood.

I am in "art purgatory". There are two canvases drying. I can barely wait for the paint to dry. I have art that has to get out of my head and flow through my hands onto the canvas. I want to kick in a stained glass window with my Doc Martins because the oil colors are mixing over and over in my head- alizarin crimson semi opaque mixed with a thalo blue transparent- Payne's grey semi transparent and sap green opaque etc. etc.- I may faint. I feel as though I am Cthulhu descending from the the heavens, a fireball streaking through the atmosphere- you had better hide in the bathtub. grab kitty.
But right now lets chat about something besides art- maybe religion- as your precious Le Cornichon grows weary of politics this beautiful day.

If I had had the ear of Pope Benedict XVI on the first evening of his Papacy, I would have whispered, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely. Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering. And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them." And even if I were in danger of being skewered by the Swiss Guard, I would be sure that at least he would hear me say; "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should harm one hair on the heads of these little ones."
Everything I've learned from Jesus, Socrates and Buddha leads me to not put my faith in the hands of others, especially rigid institutional hierarchies that claim an infallible divine mandate. I am responsible for my own morality and ethical behavior and the only way I know how to shoulder that responsibility is to carry it myself. When one tries to busy themselves with other people's responsibilities it becomes very easy to drop one's own burden or to slough it off on someone else. This is not to say that I am not involved in other's lives or the world at large, but I try not to enter other people's lives without invitation. I am happy to help someone carry their load, but they have to ask and I have learned to be mindful of how I help, lest I only end up making their burden heavier.
Pope Benedict XVI should know the burden the Catholic Church carries better than anyone on Earth, considering his former station. Shuffling criminals that prey on children from parish to parish is only the most obviously foul of the sins men like Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger strove to hide for decades. Blind adherence to the doctrines of medievalists over conscience and common sense only makes burdens heavier, but if one looks closely at those medievalist doctrines, one sees that they glorified the burden, not those who bore it. The suffering is the point, which was most recently beautifully illustrated by Mel Gibson's 'Passion of the Christ', which focused in great detail on the torture and murder of Jesus. Many critics have pointed out that the film lacked any attention paid to the teachings or ministry of Jesus Christ, but once one understands the medievalist doctrines that inspired Gibson it becomes clear that this was the point as well.
This is why talk of women priests or an end to mandatory celibacy is not even up for discussion, or even why the spread of AIDS is preferable to advocating condom use; it is better for the world to suffer than for rules made by the dead to be broken. That these rules were made for a world that has not existed for centuries and are utterly irrelevant today is of no importance for the Church believes itself divine and infallible. That the celibacy of priests was instituted to prevent the Church from becoming an aristocracy should be a point to reckon with when considering the problem of the sexual abuse of children by the clergy, but those who believe themselves infallible are notoriously irrational.
But back to art- that didn't take long did it?
One of the reoccurring themes in the series of paintings I am working on are based on the prophesies regarding the Popes, Especially the "Final Pope" Petrus Romanus, the Witch-Pope that will show the world the Catholic church in a new light and bring about the end of times as we know them
According to the Prophesy of St Malachy, the motto of Pope John Paul II was De labore Solis, or 'Labor of the Sun', or even 'Eclipse of the Sun'. It has been repeatedly noted by the Church that Pope John Paul II was born during a solar eclipse, and that there was a solar eclipse while he was interred in his tomb. St Malachy predicted that the motto of the succeeding Pope would be Gloria olivæ and this has long been interpreted to mean that this Pope would hail from the Benedictine order. In retrospect, his choice of name was predictable. That the document attributed to St Malachy on the official Catholic site has already been altered in reference to the final Pope predicted by St Malachy was not as obviously predictable, but unsurprising in retrospect. This is the motto of the 268th Pope that St Malachy predicted would follow Gloria olivæ:
Petrus Romanus
In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis.
Peter the Roman
In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.
I don't have a screenshot of what exactly had changed, but I am certain that the name and number of Petrus Romanus have been removed but the text of his motto remains. There are many interesting questions both theological and philosophical, not to mention psychological regarding why some diligent Catholic webmaster would alter a bit of HTML so as to suggest that St Malachy had not actually meant that Petrus Romanus would succeed Pope Benedict XVI even as he was inserting the text pointing out how uncanny St Malachy had been regarding Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. This is not the essay that will ask those questions. This is the essay where I fantasize about what I would say to Pope Benedict XVI if I had the chance.

I can't know the heart of Pope Benedict XVI, but I know the actions of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He argued the laws of the Church were immutable and unchangeable and for this reason Catholics risked excommunication for trying to talk about an end to medieval rules on celibacy and prohibitions on women serving as true clergy during the same time pedophiles were being sheltered within the church. He interfered with American Presidential politics in a way far more profound than the most paranoid anti-Catholic of JFK's time would have ever predicted by telling Catholic Bishops to refuse communion to Catholic John Kerry. I don't know exactly what to expect from Pope Benedict XVI, but hope never dies. I put very little stock in prophecies and predictions, but what this guy said seems to make a lot of sense:
He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It's going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It's going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time? Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. -Luke 12:54-59
That's funny. He even had a solution for 'activist judges' that didn't involve violent threats or quoting Stalin. Do these 'Culture of Life' people even read the Bible?


Walking Dead!
The Scandinavians are renowned for their creation of potent, hard-hitting cocktails.

This drink has been named the Walking Dead as once drunk, you're drunk. Ha.
In my travels your dainty Cornichon has found this brew most popular in the clubbing scene of major Scandinavian cities.

2 oz Smirnoff® vodka
2 oz Johnnie Walker® Scotch whiskey
2 oz Jim Beam® bourbon whisker
2 oz Bailey's® Irish cream
2 oz Midori® melon liqueur
2 oz premium lager
2 oz Jagermeister herbal liqueur
2 oz absinthe herbal liqueur
2 oz Wild Turkey® bourbon whiskey

Mix all ingredients into a large container - eg. Vase, a large chapeau, diving boot or a huge "Hang in there baby!" coffee mug. Once all mixed together, drink as fast as possible.

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