Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The John Paul II Cultural Center

An article in the Detroit Free Press about the JPII Cultural Center discusses the fact that the Archiocese of Detroit has loaned $40 million to the debt ridden center. Catholic World News with its as usual excellent commentary can be read here.

The first I had heard of the Center was that an exhibit of the Kennedy's and American Catholicism was being held. This was years ago. I guess I wrote it off when I heard that. It held such artifacts as Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding dress.

In going to the official website of the Cultural Center- several themes emerge. One being the importance of the Jewish influence on John Paul II. Rabbi Abie I. Ingber is one of the experts who gives interviews on the life of JPII. He is the director of the Hillel Jewish Center and instrumental in the exhibit "A Blessing to one another: Catholicism and Judaism". An upcoming lecture series will feature the controversial Cardinal Walter Kasper and Rabbi Eugene Borowsky discusing "God and Revelation: Theological Dimensions of Catholic and Jewish Dialogue".

Another former exhibit was titled: God's Women: Nuns in America. The description shows a picture of three dolls dressed as nuns and included in the collection will be over 50 dolls dressed in habits. Apparently it was difficult to find photographs of actual Catholic nuns in America wearing habits.

Then there was "Faith of Our Fathers and Mothers: The Role of Faith in the Greatest Generation". In spite of the awkward title and the politically correct inclusion of mothers this seems to have been a worthwhile exhibit. It focused on WWII artifacts and promises to include a discussion of Chaplains of all denominations. To show how important this was see this direct quote:

Chaplaincy: the invaluable branch of the military and religious life in all denominations is highlighted through compelling artifacts and photographs of chaplains, of all denominations, in action.

Reminds me of the Daughters of St. Paul and their icons of saints of all denominations including but not limited to Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Some interesting artwork can be seen here featured at the Center. Reminds me a bit of Dr. Seuss. Here is the promo for an upcoming exhibit. The picture shown here looks awfully like Jesus' wedding picture to me. I would be happy to be wrong.

The Chapel is probably the heart of the Center and the picture seen here speaks volumes.

Maybe if the directors of the Center decided to substitute Catholicism for Liberalism, people would actually come to visit and patrons would be happy to donate to support the project.


Tradcatholic said...

I don't know why you are likening Fr.Tupa's 'paintings' to Dr. Seuss. His 'art' depicting the Castle San Angelo toppling and the Church of St. Francis about to fall down is a magnificent grasp of the real situation in the new church connected as it is with JPII.

Now, the 'chapel', or rather the nondenominational quiet space for all to worship the god of their choice, does, as you say, speak for itself. Is that bright thing in the wall per chance a tabernacle???

What real Catholic worth his salt would contribute one cotton-pickin' red cent to this place??

(I wonder how such a magnificent relic as JFK's wife's wedding dress landed there??? What did JPII have to do with that??)

Thomas Shawn said...

I think the architect who designed the aedifice also designs car washes.

It looks more like a temple to modernism, more a suitable place for screening Brokeback Mountain, than for contemplating the life of a long-reigning Pontiff. What an insult to the Pope's memory!

Ugly as Sin!

Madeline said...

The Mission statement of the JPII Cultural Center:

"The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center exists to bring the wisdom and faith experience of the Catholic Church, as developed through centuries of ecclesial life and thought guided by the Holy Spirit and as articulated by the Church's teaching office, especially by the Popes, to the human search for meaning and purpose in life, righteousness, justice and peace in the world of the twenty-first century with its varied religious, ethnic and cultural communities."

The Mission Statement of Jesus Christ:

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...

I don't really see what one has to do with the other... do you? Maybe that's why it's such a turn-off.

Thomas Shawn said...

The Fr Tupa paintings look like a Wal-mart version of Picasso.

The Jesus and his family photo leaves me with the feeling .... well if the place were burning down I wouldn't poor my beer on it.

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