The latest issue of Gloria TV News contains a strange and troubling event from the Church in Vienna. It appears that a rather appalling (and ugly) statue of a recently beatified saint is to go on display in St. Stephens Cathedral. Here is the text from the video:
Today, a sculpture allegedly representing Sr. Restituta Kafka will be unveiled in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Sr. Restituta was arrested and murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War. In June 98 she was declared a blessed by Pope John Paul II. Her new sculpture shows a female face without veil and with big breasts. It will be placed in a side-chapel of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The bust was created by Alfred Hrdlicka, the same artist who caused a worldwide scandal with a painting representing Christ’s Last Supper as a homosexual orgy. The controversial painting was exposed in the diocesan museum of Vienna. Hrdlicka calls himself an atheist and Stalinist.
It is unfortunate enough when modern artists attack the Church and the faith of simple believers, but it is even more troubling when Catholic Church leaders accept and display such “art.” Why has the Cathedral contracted with an artist who has clearly demonstrated contempt for the faith and who apparently has a thirst for scandal? Once the artwork was completed and so clearly vulgar and impious why does the Cathedral display it? Where is the local Archbishop in all this? Why these self-inflicted wounds? Clearly there are many who hate and ridicule our faith and relish in scandalizing the faithful, so why are we paying for this and displaying it? I feel safe in saying this would not happen in the Cathedral of Washington.
There is another item in this news report from Gloria TV on the question of the words of consecration: The Hungarian Bishops’ Conference has decided to implement a longtime wish of the Pope. Beginning with the coming feast of Pentecost the words used in Mass during the consecration of the chalice will be brought in line with the Latin original and with the Gospels. The present wording will thus be changed to say that Christ died “for many” instead of the current “for all.” While it s true that it is the wish of God to save all, it nevertheless reamins true that not all accept his offer of salvation. In a time when many people maintain unbiblical notions that just about every one will be saved, it is important that our prayers refelct the more sober biblical teaching that many in fact are lost (cf Matt 7:14 inter al.) For this reason, and for the important reason that our prayer texts correspond to scriptural texts, the Pope has asked that incorrect translations be fixed. Here in America a new translation is coming forth that reflects the correction.
Here is the video in reference. WARNING: the video contains some vulgar photos displaying the “art” in question. The photos are presented in order for the viewer to understand the story.