Holy Cow! Crucified bovine outrages Flemish Catholics.

Holy Cow! Crucified bovine outrages Flemish Catholics. November 26, 2017

A ‘sodomite artist’ named Tom Herck has outraged Catholics by placing a crucified cow in the Saint John the Baptist Church of Kuttekoven, in the Flemish town of Borgloon.
I have no idea whether Herck, pictured above with his provocative artwork, is gay or straight, but check out this headline:

It appears on the Pope Francis The Destroyer blog, which says:
Flemish are no longer interested in “insufferably tedious Masses.”……

The “artist” went through the grueling process of actually nailing the 500 kg corpse of a cow to a cross before covering it with silicone paint: it is the resulting mold that hangs, “crucified” in the center of the church as a sneering mockery of one of the most sacred images of the Catholic faith: that of the crucified God and Saviour of mankind.

In contemporary art, by far the most important part of an opus resides in the “discourse” – or, more appropriately, gibberish – that surrounds it. The installation in Borgloon, Tom Herck is happy to explain, aims to make a stand against modern wastefulness. The cow on the cross, surmounting a basin containing 5,000 litres of milk, is supposed to symbolize industrial breeding and thrown-away food. Visitors are welcomed with beef and cheese appetizers.

The choice of a church supposedly points to wasted architectural space in a time of housing shortage. Herck openly admits he is particularly seeking to attract attention to the “innumerable” churches that remain empty in Flanders on Sundays because, he says, the Flemish are no longer interested in “insufferably tedious Masses.”

No need to sign a petition … I’m sure a few hundred Belgians will pay the price soon enough …

The petition referred to by the blogger is addressed to Bishop Patrick Hoogmartens and says:

We join Catholics in your diocese who are outraged over the display of a ‘crucified cow’ in a consecrated Catholic church.
Please do all that is in your power to protect this most sacred space for the due worship of God, banish this sacrilege, and offer public prayers of reparation.
We pledge to pray for you in your role as shepherd of the Diocese of Hasselt.

And it criticises the local diocese’s lethargy for being “slow to act”.
The local Catholic group Katholiek Forum say the cow is:

A satanic image and a disgusting insult to God and Catholicism.

According to this report, last Sunday, a group of several dozen Catholics came to pray and demonstrate in front of the religious building where occasional Masses are still read, asking for Hoogmartens, to intervene.
The group of faithful Catholics of the not-for-profit association Katholiek Forum who organized the protest on Sunday together with their president, Dries Goethals, mobilised at least one religious and many lay people. They prayed the rosary in front of the old parish church, carrying a banner with the words:

Stop blasphemy and degenerate art: pray for reparation.

Said Goethals:

We are disappointed by Patrick Hoogmartens. He has done nothing against this self-styled work of art because he wants to avoid confrontation. He is terrified by the media. That is why we came to pray here, because Catholicism has been dishonoured

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  • Johan

    Cow nailed to a cross … that’s heresy.
    Man nailed to a cross … that’s sacrosanct.
    I’m sorry but I cannot see the affront. At least the bovine was dead before the carpentry got underway. In the case of jesus the guy was nailed up whilst still alive, well that’s what we are meant to believe. So which is the worst?

  • L.Long

    The main difference between stoopid and religion is that I don’t really understand why people want to think religiously.

  • The Catholic church has much to answer for. Like selling the old church yard, with people buried on it, for redevelopment into condos. The basement excavation removed them, and their remains were used as fill on another site. So do I care about Catholic Church outrage?

  • Johan

    People don’t think religiously … they just switch off their critical faculties and follow the dogma fed to them by the sinister clerics of god. Its an easy life cheaply bought. Anyone who thinks about things must conclude without much effort that there is no evidence whatsoever for god … none at all.

  • Broga

    A concern for the cow and an enthusiasm for God nailing his living son – supposedly.
    I don’t get contemporary art: piles of bricks and unmade beds. I suspect it is a scam.

  • sowa

    Jehovah’s cross stunt was absolutely pointless to begin with so replacing Jesus with a cow would make no real difference. “I’m sure a few hundred Belgians will pay the price soon enough” – I’m sure that would make you happy, eh? Sick fuck.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: I don’t really understand art either, sad to say. Knowledge of art wasn’t necessary to “pass” the Eleven Plus, and in Harold Wilson’s ensuing age of “the white heat of technology” it wasn’t considered to have much use, so we all “took” science, whether we liked it or not. For that reason I used to love Sister Wendy Beckett’s programmes, which I understand are now very popular in the USA, so more readers than one might have imagined may know what I am on about (for once!). Here she is on Botticelli’s Venus (sporting appropriate “wisps of gauze”, as Pete and Dud put it), a copy of which hung in my grandmother’s bedroom in my childhood home (alongside a woman chained to rocks – about to be swallowed up by the sea – which very nearly frightened the life out of me!):
    I also think her views on the Church and homosexuality were very insightful:
    I believe in loyalty. We should respect our church, but never believe that the church has the last word. The church is saying ‘this’, but I believe that sooner or later ‘this’ will change. ‘This’ is not the mind of our Lord. God is all love. It’s a delicate balancing thing. The Church has changed its position over the years, and because the spirit is with the Church, in the end the Church will always get it right. But in the end. The spirit of the Church is the meaning of love, which hasn’t yet, perhaps, been fully understood. (Huffington Post)

  • Broga

    barriejohn : I like the old guys and particularly Canaletto. Michaelangelo was an amazing genius. And Leonardo.
    Many years ago I was in Rome and saw David. I thought that was very special. Someone told me later that I had seen a replica as the original was being eroded by the atmosphere. I don’t know if that is true. Whatever, I still thought that what I was looking at was stunning.
    I also saw the roof of the Sistine Chapel and was amazed.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: I am convinced that the minds of geniuses work differently from those of the rest of us (e.g. composers who can carry several compositions in their head and “work” on them, and chess masters who can play games in their head, and, in some cases, remember every move of every game that they have ever played). It almost defies belief that a mere mortal was responsible for the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, and there are undoubtedly hidden meanings in it. One school of thought claims that by taking an alternative route to the traditional, Biblical one, the ceiling presents a pagan view of history, and that Michelangelo was having a laugh at the Pope’s expense. Other interesting ideas are put forward here, but will we ever know what he was really saying?

  • Broga

    barriejohn. “How does one reconcile such clumsiness by the world’s master of human anatomy and skilled portrayer of light with bungling the image of God above the altar? ”
    Fascinating article. I was completely absorbed in reading it. One thing I do conclude, from my limited lay perspective, is that a towering genius like Michaelangelo did not make a mistake. Interesting also to read about his disgust with the opulence of the Vatican. Plus ca change…… on that one.

  • Cali Ron

    Fascinating article barriejohn.
    Art truly is in the eye of the beholder and is a very hard term to define. What passes for art is not the same for everybody, but if you want to make a living out of art it had better have some appeal or you will be a starving artist. I found many quotes online from famous people about what art is, but my favorite is this one from Pablo Picasso, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Vague, but meaningful, like art.

  • 1859

    Bloody brilliant! This does exactly what art should do and that is challenge worn-out ideas, turn habits of thought up-side-down, make people question what they are doing, think differently, act differently. The artist stands in a lake of milk – the wastage of milk and dairy products in the EU is a disgrace. The crucified cow is symbolic of the cruelty inherent in industrial scale farming. Whether you agree or disagree, for me personally, this exhibit hits exactly the right buttons, making me see something which my comfortable consumerist life is too embarrassed to face – that I too contribute to this cruelty.

  • sailor1031

    I apologise or being Off-Topic but apropos recent discussion here – feel the christian love:
    Between the gun-totin’ moronocracy, the alt-right nutcases, the alt-left antifa & BLM crowd, the third-wave feminists, the congress and the current administration it’s insanity at every turn. Please don’t follow us down this path to madness….

  • Har Davids

    For your information: the word ‘kut’in the word ‘Kuttekoven’ means cunt, weird name for a church.

  • barriejohn

    1859: That may be the source of all the anger. To Christians, man is central to “The Creation” and given “dominion” over it, and other animals are there merely to serve his needs. They don’t want their ideas challenged, or their thought processes turned upside-down!
    Broga: Have you ever watched The Agony and the Ecstasy?
    What a man!

  • Robster

    Why aren’t the Catholic authorities taking this as a menu suggestion for the Sunday Brunch Service? Surely a protein packed option like beef would get those bums back on the pews? How much better than a tasteless, dry Jesus cracker when beef could be a winning option, aged, dried beef, blessed by a bloke in a silly hat, won’t get better than that?

  • Laura Roberts

    @CaliRon: thanks for that. I for one love art museums and, yes, modern art. I am no expert at all, but I love how some pieces force me into a new perspective or challenge my complacency. I’m happy to be fooled, challenged or “offended”. In fact, I find it a reliable way to tap into my own creativity.
    By the same token, personally I can’t stand “safe” art like Thomas Kinkade. Even Mozart’s symphonies are too pedestrian for my taste. To each his own, however. No two people will be inspired by exactly the same sources. This is why I support art of all kinds and schools.

  • barriejohn

    Laura et al: Bower birds are not “artistic”, but humans are. To my untutored mind, when we consciously arrange materials for no utilitarian purpose, that is art. Laying a table mechanically wouldn’t constitute art to my way of thinking, but folding napkins in an original way might. Maybe that’s too simplistic a view. I’m not a fan of “realistic” (and often sentimental) artists like Norman Rockwell, who makes me want to puke, but I love the surrealists, and tromp l’oeil when cleverly done. Obviously that says quite a lot about me, which would be the point, wouldn’t it? And as I have said before, I fell in love with Lowry’s work when I was ‘oop north, yet my father saw nothing in it, and commented that a child could have done it!
    Here’s something that really moves me; I think because it reminds me of walking the lonely, windswept Marlborough Downs in my youth.
    (David Hockney)

  • Brian Jordan

    How much better than a tasteless, dry Jesus cracker when beef could be a winning option, aged, dried beef, blessed by a bloke in a silly hat,
    And the task of pulling off transubstantiation would surely be easier.

  • Broga

    barriejohn: I have seen “The Agony and the Ecstacy” a long time ago. Excellent film. It seems that genius, or great talent, is hard earned. The great artists were true celebrities. The title celebrity today is casually attached to the embarrassingly shallow and mediocre whom tame studio audiences greet with hysteria.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: Like “heroes” (generally footballers), which really gets me going!

  • Gui

    According to these guys, we have an entity that bothers itself so much with people that doesn’t believe in it, lost the faith in it, or offended it or even with what anyone does between four walls, to the point to almost or promptly send punishments in the form of disasters ( natural or human’s driven).
    But the same entity seems bothers not to promptly finnishes a war during almost seven years killing thousands of people, displacing other thousands and subjecting them to all the imaginable sufferings.
    Well, seems the entity have some curious priorities.

  • Broga

    barriejohn: Related to the football “heroes” is the howling gibberish of the commentators who describe goals, which they have just seen, as “unbelievable”. And the distress of the fans who are shattered when “their” team of football millionaires from different countries lose a game.
    I used to play amateur football and retain a residual interest which continues to leach away. I see that there is increasing concern about the possible brain damage from heading the ball. Alan Shearer’s recent programme was very well done. He has a personal interest as he used to head the ball 100 times a day during heading practice.

  • I must admit I sometimes get confused about religious matters, for example a coach load of believers en rout to for instance Lourdes, crashes over a cliff , all die except a very small child. This is said to be a miracle. So I consult my copy of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, page 1331. 1) a marvellous event exceeding the known powers of nature, and therefore supposed to be due to the special intervention of a deity. Some miracle some deity. I refer to such happening as `sods law` , what can go wrong will go wrong, the 12th commandment.