Ad in America, Dec 5th, 2005, page 36
If Ignatius Loyola still governed the Jesuits, roughly 20 minutes after the advertisement (above) for the condom-covered Madonna had appeared in America Magazine, abject and unequivocal apologies would have been expressed to the faithful, to the Holy See, and to the Virgin herself, and in the place of America's editorial offices there'd be a large smoking crater on 56th Street.
To state the obvious: the Society of Jesus is under new management. That new management, in choosing to offer Mr. "Steve on a mission" Rosenthal's Extra Virgin to the public, clearly knew whom it wanted to please, and almost certainly succeeded in doing so. If you happen not to be among this number, and wish to make that fact known, you might express your thoughts to the editor of America:
106 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019
and to the provincial superior of the New York Province:
New York Province of the Society of Jesus
39 E. 83rd Street
New York, New York 10028
Of course, they'll laugh and toss your protest into the wastebasket (if they didn't think condom-coating a phallus-sized statuette of the Blessed Virgin was an amusing tease of your piety, they wouldn't hold the jobs they now do), but they can be counted on to send a "thank you for your concern" form letter in reply -- the patronize-the-peasantry macro is already installed on their mail-merge menu. However, if you feel like putting a few other secretaries to work, you can expand your art appreciation mailing list to include the new kid on the block:
His Excellency Pietro Sambi
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
And, while you're at it, you might cc the folks at headquarters as well:
His Excellency Franc Rodé, C.M.
Prefect, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life
Piazza Pio XII, 3
00193 Vatican City
Feel free to download the jpeg above and send it along. It'll make their day.
* * *
And why stop there? Does your pastor put America in the literature rack at the back of the church? If so, ask him whether he is comfortable acting as a conduit for Rosenthal's work. He might want to reconsider his bulk subcription to the magazine-- just as (should he ignore you) you might want to reconsider the size of your weekly contribution. Even if your pastor doesn't offer America, it's probably safe to say that the magazine is available at other parishes nearby. Your bishop, too, might take an interest in this matter. He might even set diocesan policy regarding the magazines most appropriate for sale in parishes, and most suitable for the leisure reading of the diocesan clergy.
* * *
In the autobiography of Ignatius Loyola, the story is told of the saint's falling into conversation with a Muslim one day in 1522, while journeying to Montserrat in Spain. Both men were riding mules, and they fell to talking about the virginity of Mary, which the moor believed was intact until the birth of Jesus, but not afterwards. Ignatius took this comparatively mild impiety as an insult to the Blessed Mother, and decided to kill the moor. The murder was averted when the road forked and the mules took different paths, which Ignatius accepted as an omen. Ironically, had Ignatius Loyola held the same regard for the Virgin Mary as that displayed by his successors at America, it's the moor whose Marian piety would have been outraged by the "delicate veil of latex," and who would have slain Ignatius on the spot. And your Uncle Di, much as he deplores violence, would have bought that moor a beer.
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Posted by: SentimentalGent -
Dec. 20, 2005 9:01 AM ET USA
Even if the ad was run as a "mistake," which I also don't buy, why would they return the money to the "artist?" I realize it may be considered tainted money, but in returning the cash, they not only printed blasphemy, they did it for FREE. The least they could have done is donate that ad money to a Catholic charity or the National Shrine in Washington in reparation for their sin.
Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Dec. 20, 2005 6:48 AM ET USA
The few good Jesuits should petition the Holy Father to suppress their order. They should then commit themselves to a life of poverty, penance and prayer as an act of reparation for this single outrage.
Posted by: Dean -
Dec. 19, 2005 3:49 PM ET USA
Seems this statue is also available from catholicdc.org. Who are they and whay are they promotiong this sickness? Dcn LL
Posted by: -
Dec. 19, 2005 10:27 AM ET USA
Does the new Apostolic Nuncio to the United States have an email address? The rest are on their way. Utter blasphemy.
Posted by: Lucius -
Dec. 19, 2005 10:04 AM ET USA
America is taking the position that when they realized what the ad was for they returned the check that the "artist" paid for the ad space. America said running that ad was an accident, and had they noticed what it was for, they would not have done so. It would of course be helpful to know who's in charge of ads at America? I would think if you accept an ad you would see the photo that is part of the ad. Right now I am not buying their response. I don't think running the ad was any accident.
Posted by: Convert1994 -
Dec. 19, 2005 9:17 AM ET USA
No, my pastor does not put America or even NCR in the racks in the back of the church. Our of courtesy he does put the Catholic Telegraph out as it is our archdiocesan newspaper. Outside of Archbishop Pilarczyk's excellent column -- He is really a learned man and an excellent writer! -- the Telegraph is right up there with America with respect to theology and ideology.
Posted by: -
Dec. 19, 2005 8:14 AM ET USA
I believe this blasphemy is not just an editorial lapse. Father Editor knows that the world is watching America, and that this will be reported to the Holy See. Father Editor wants to provoke a confrontation that will result in a schism, perhaps??? Surely the Holy See will not let this go unpunished.
Posted by: Meg Q -
Dec. 18, 2005 10:57 PM ET USA
Anyone remember what the last really, really good - or important - article to appear in America was, anyway? An old-school Jesuit missionary I was honored to know (may he rest in peace) told me back in '94, "That's such a rag." This from a man who said Mass in Latin for Carmelite nuns and thought National Review was getting a touch liberalish but still read Commonweal because "good things turn up in there from time to time". (Though I believe he quit that subscription before his death, too.)
Posted by: Oliver Plunkett -
Dec. 18, 2005 6:04 PM ET USA
Signed, sealed and delivered.
Posted by: -
Dec. 18, 2005 3:51 PM ET USA
This caper by the Jesuit whoevers at America has two obvious aspects: firstly, it's a "schoolboy prank" of the sort that we saw and loved taking place at that seminary in Austria. A "we're here, we're queer" wink to the brethren. Secondly, as an act that is certain to wound Pope Benedict's heart, I think it's clearly payback for the firing of Fr. Reese. As such, it would have been worthy of the Clinton White House.
Posted by: -
Dec. 18, 2005 2:45 PM ET USA
Father Editor's name is: Drew Christiansen, S.J., Editor in Chief
Posted by: -
Dec. 18, 2005 1:56 PM ET USA
Diogenes, I certainly did write to those email addresses which you provided; thank you for letting people know about this so that we could have a chance to say something on behalf of Our Lady. Deum exacerbaverunt in finem.
Posted by: frjimc -
Dec. 18, 2005 1:13 PM ET USA
Is it the color of my monitor, or is the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing, instead of her traditional blue, a "hot pink" or "tart red" colored garment, under her "delicate veil of latex"?
Posted by: -
Dec. 18, 2005 1:06 PM ET USA
Did you ever think that you're responding just they way they want you to respond? Someone is hoping to create some business for himself by attracting attention with a very clever marketing scheme. Shame on the losers at America Magazine for selling out principle for 30 pieces of silver. It's nice to know who the enemy is...hopefully all of the Faithful who subscribe to that fishwrap will open their eyes and cancel their subscriptions.