Catholic World News

Archbishop stung by criticism of spider-on-cathedral show

August 02, 2017

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa has expressed regret that some Catholics were offended to see pictures of a giant robotic spider on the roof of the city’s cathedral.

The spider was controlled by a street-theater company, performing in Ottawa last week. The archbishop said that the archdiocese allowed access to the cathedral’s roof simply to cooperate with city officials who were organizing the performances. He observed that the city regularly cooperates with the archdiocese in planning for liturgical celebrations at the cathedral, and he wanted to continue the “good neighbors” pattern.

Archbishop Prendergast acknowledged that he knew some Catholics might object, but said he was surprised by the extent of the negative reaction. He insisted that there was nothing disrespectful intended by the show, and “nothing demeaning was intended in the spider being near the church.” The archbishop conceded that “we had not sufficiently understood that others would see this event so differently.”


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  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Aug. 03, 2017 6:38 PM ET USA

    Aquinas describes sacrilege as the words below. I wonder if the Abp does not understand sacrilege, or if he thinks a giant spider on his cathedral is not irreverent. ..a thing assumes a divine character through being deputed to the divine worship, and thus a certain reverence is due to it, which reverence is referred to God. Therefore whatever pertains to irreverence for sacred things is an injury to God, and comes under the head of sacrilege.

  • Posted by: Rose of Lima - Aug. 03, 2017 1:29 PM ET USA

    Really, Archbishop?