By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 18, 2005
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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