Extra Virgin, get it?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 15, 2005

The Jesuit publication America puffs itself as "the magazine for thinking Catholics." Accordingly, while the thinkers at my local library trot off with America to read the essays on metaphysics and exegesis, I always remain stuck in the corner with a box of Crayola washable crayons and my Rembert Weakland Coloring Book. Very sad. It's with a sense of wistful admiration, then, that I note Jody Bottum's report on some of recent advances in the beaux arts discovered by America's thinking Catholics. He says the December 5th issue carries an advertisement that

shows a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, eight and a half inches high, wrapped in a condom.

At least I think what the ad describes delicately as "a delicate veil of latex" is a condom. It covers the statue from head to foot, with a little reservoir knob on top, all forming a "unique contemporary religious art work for sale," which "Chelsea College of Art London Sculptural Artist Steve Rosenthal" has named "Extra Virgin." It can be yours for "$300 (plus shipping from UK)." America is "published by Jesuits of the United States," as it says on the magazine's masthead, and the issue appeared just in time for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Don't you wish your parish had an original Rosenthal in the transept? The Feast of the Nativity, if you catch my drift, is just around the corner.

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  • Posted by: Gene Church - Dec. 17, 2005 9:28 AM ET USA

    Thank you Deacon for your clarification as to the Blessed Mother's status. For those Catholics that do not understand, more religious education is in order.

  • Posted by: Deacon Bart - Dec. 16, 2005 3:33 PM ET USA

    Diamantina, If Jesus was conceived by any method other than that in the Gospels we are idolaters for then Jesus is not the promised Son of God. Mary's virginity until after Jesus' birth is a given for a Christian. The evidence from John 19:27 is that Mary had no other children else she would not be placed in John's care. This was the tradition of the early church fathers (2nd century and following) as well.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 16, 2005 11:52 AM ET USA

    Did you all think that being a Christian was not without its trials?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 16, 2005 12:58 AM ET USA

    Consistent with the affective immaturity that believes the purpose of "art" is to shock.

  • Posted by: Sir William - Dec. 15, 2005 9:47 PM ET USA

    If we must insist on calling this sort of puerile drivel 'art' let us call it as it is: Not beaux art but faux art.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2005 9:28 PM ET USA

    The "Virgin in a Condom" was exhibited in Wellington (New Zealand) in 1998. It raised a furore but the organisers of the exhibition ignored all protests. <>

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2005 9:04 PM ET USA

    It is not even an original piece... we (New Zealand) had a "Virgin in a condom" displayed at the Museum for weeks about 5 years ago. It caused huge public debate, it was then and is now hugely heartbreaking and just horrible.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Dec. 15, 2005 8:47 PM ET USA

    Ignacio, You are probably right regarding the psychology of this behavior and the testing of boundaries looking for "that line" as it is established by more mature "father figures." BUT, in the case of such as this, I wouldn't be surprised if a bolt of lightning is sent directly from Our Father heaven as a corrective measure. The thinking man would stand clear of the editors and staff of this mag. sickos.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2005 6:15 PM ET USA

    When will the Holy See address the corruption in the Society of Jesus especially in the U.S. They have basically escaped close scrutiny. Pope John Paul never really addressed this and Pope Paul VI quashed the only attempt at the reform of this once-great order. It's time for papal action because many of the Pope's troops are consorting with the enemy. There perhaps has to be a separate investigation of the Jesuit's gay problem and Jesuit gay apologists.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2005 6:08 PM ET USA

    Convert1994, Protestants & non-Christians who think that Mary gave birth to Joseph's children after Jesus' birth don't imply that Mary was a "common street tramp", but an ordinary (albeit very holy) wife & mother of a large Jewish family. Some suspect Jesus was conceived in an act of rape by a Roman soldier, but that wouldn't have been Mary's fault—even if (God forbid) it were true. Rape survivors must *never* be perceived by others as quasi-prostitutes. Rapists are brutes—not lovers.

  • Posted by: Deacon Bart - Dec. 15, 2005 5:49 PM ET USA

    A Jewish friend told me we Christians don't understand how to deal with Mary. He went on to explain that Jewish boys are really,really,really zealous for their moms. If we really think Jesus is God then we'd know better than to bad mouth a Jewish lad's mom unless we wanted to experience some retribution of "biblical proportions". I suspect he was right-time will tell.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2005 3:12 PM ET USA

    "From henceforth all nations will call me blessed," said Our Blessed Mother (Luke 1:48) How can people disrespect the Mother of God like this? How can her memory of perfect love and obeisance be discredited? It is bad enough that Protestants treat Mary like a common street tramp in saying she was not ever-Virgin. For those of you who collect beaux arts this one can go next to the "Piss Christ" on your shelf.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Dec. 15, 2005 2:58 PM ET USA

    It seems that they are like the kid in class that acts up and trys to do things just to test the teacher. I think that is the psychology of this behavior. They will continue to act up until the teacher throws them out of class or as in the old days brings out "the board of education" equipped with a carved handle and perforated with holes for less wind resistance.