Art Can Distort Church Figures
Patrick Giddy, Cape Town – I’m sure it is true, as Bishop Edward Risi points out in your front-page report “English in the Mass not likely to change soon” (September 20), that Archbishop Denis Hurley was in favour of one standard English text for the Mass.
But I wonder why this argument was not mentioned when the South African bishops moved on their own to introduce a new translation of the text, in contrast to other English-speaking countries. Was it because the pope had suggested it? And if the pope now suggests that each country can introduce its own appropriate translation, why not follow what the new pope suggests?
How historical figures can be distorted was brought home to me while I was visiting the Prado Museum in Madrid earlier this year.
In a large-scale canvas (commissioned by fellow Dominican Torquemada, head of the Spanish Inquisition) we have Torquemada next to St Dominic “testing” the truth of books by flinging them into the fire and seeing which ones miraculously remain unharmed.
Yes, St Dominic was concerned with truth (his motto: Veritas), but this is a cynical distortion of his method, which famously was through discussion and conversation, not supernatural authority.
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