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St Peter’s Magic Lantern Show

The words from the Benedicite could have been used as a theme:

O all ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Heavens, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Waters that be above the Firmament, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Sun and Moon, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Stars of Heaven, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Winds of God, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Fire and Heat, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Dews and Frosts, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Frost and Cold, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Ice and Snow, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Nights and Days, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Light and Darkness, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Lightnings and Clouds, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O let the Earth bless the Lord : yea, let it praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Mountains and Hills, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Green Things upon the Earth, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Wells, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Seas and Floods, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Whales, and all that move in the Waters, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Fowls of the Air, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Children of Men, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.

They could have jumped on the Franciscan bandwagon and used St Francis and his poetry as a theme to give structure.

Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which You give Your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

kaliThen, I’m told they actually projected the Image of Kali–the Hindu demon goddess of destruction onto the facade of St Peter’s.

Really? I think that needs to be confirmed. If it really happened, how dumb is that? It wasn’t ecumenical. It wasn’t good for Catholics. Heck, it wasn’t even good for Hindus. I mean, she’s not really the most attractive poster girl for their religion now is she?

If they wanted to show the destructive effect of climate change, they could have used verses from the prophets in the Old Testament to express God’s displeasure at greed, waste, abuse of the poor and so forth.

There’s plenty in the Catholic tradition which would have been orthodox, fully Catholic and it could have been a great opportunity for evangelization and connecting the ecological concerns with sharing the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic faith.

That’s my criticism: not so much that it was so bad in itself, (although the Kali thing is pretty awful) but that it was a missed opportunity.

It was also pretty dumb from a public relations point of view. Pope Francis is increasingly a target of conservative Catholics, and this stunt hasn’t helped. His critics might remember this as his “World Gathering of Religions at Assisi” moment.

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