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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Prostitutes and Liturgy

So, some people are getting all worked up about the Met Gala Catholic theme. Seems a lot of Hollywood types dressed up in Catholic liturgical garb and pranced around in it as if it were Halloween.

I will ignore the easy gasp of "cultural appropriation!" and stab a bit deeper.

Consider the Catholics who habitually host a seder meal during Holy Week. Do you honestly think that puts an indulgent smile on the face of any orthodox Jew? Why aren't Catholics equally outraged at Anglicans? The Anglicans have, for centuries, been doing the same thing Hollywood just did. Anglicans dress up in Catholic liturgical garments, pretend to have a valid Mass, put women in liturgical garb and call them bishops, Anglicans essentially ape Catholic sacraments and liturgy. For centuries, we Catholics have let the Anglicans slide, so it's hard to see why we should get worked up about Hollywood. After all, it isn't like Hollywood is holding a fake Mass or attempting to ordain women. As travesties go, this is pretty tame.

Besides, lots of people dress up like the Kardashians, get their hair done like Jacqueline Kennedy, or make themselves up to look like Taylor Swift. They do this because they like something about those people. Even the black-face minstrel shows were an homage to the musical talent in the American black community.  Heck, Barack Obama was essentially eight entire years of a white guy in black face playing to a minstrel show crowd, and nobody even noticed.

America does this kind of thing all the time. Sure, this time Catholics were the meme. Next week, it will be blacks or Indians or Jews. That's just how our elite rolls. They say they hate population X, they say population X is not relevant, it's old-fashioned, it's out of step, it's archaic, yada. Then they spend part of their lives trying to be X.

Reminds me of the prostitute who boarded a ship filled with men on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. She seduced every man on board, got to the holy city, saw a vision of Mary, converted, became a desert hermit and eventually a saint, Saint Mary of Egypt. True story.

And if she had been forbidden to board that ship filled with Catholic pilgrims, she might never have converted. Things don't always work out the way you think.

So, let 'em dress up.
But go long on tickets to a cave in the wilderness.
God has plans.

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