Maureen Mullarkey

Faustina's Diary & Editors' Handiwork

Pius XII was against Faustina’s apparitions before he was for them. He first distanced the Church from them by placing her writings on the Index of Forbidden Books (Index Liborum Prohibitorum). Notwithstanding, he  blessed an image of the Divine Mercy in Rome in 1956. The Holy Office [not yet renamed Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] under John XXIII, suppressed the writings twice, the second time in 1959. The stay against Faustina’s diary and devotion to the image of Divine Mercy lasted until 1978, the year Karol Wojtyla was elected to the papacy. Continue Reading
Notes on the Faustina Phenomenon

After hearing my confession, a gentle, elderly priest granted absolution and, for my penance, imposed the chaplet of Divine Mercy. I cringed. Oh, please, not that! Like the bargaining murderer in Alfred Hitchock’s I Confess, I negotiated the penance. I blurted out something about revulsion for the self-regarding jumble of Faustina’s supernatural stenography. I wanted nothing to do with the cult of Faustina and her preposterous painting commission. Please, Father, give me a different penance. A mild man, he obliged. He rescinded the chaplet and sent me to the rosary instead. Continue Reading
Francis, a Dhimmi on the Chair of Peter

Francis is on his way to Egypt, prompting George Neumayr to write: “The most liberal pope ever, of course, sees no irony in shilling for the most illiberal religion on Earth.” With that quotation, Robert Bové alerted me this morning—in what he termed “a mourning quote”—to Neumayr’s latest column in The American Spectator. Neumayr has a keen eye and an ear for cant—two qualities unwelcome among fainthearts and papal sycophants. He does not write for academics nor for readers who like to be addressed as if they were academics themselves. Continue Reading
P.T. Barnum & Vatican Productions

P.T. Barnum gave us Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale. The Vatican has given us the Pope of Peace, headed for Egypt later this month. And the Pope of Hearts will perform at Fatima in May. The show is on the road. How much longer before we have The Singing Pope? Light opera will do. With Laudato Sí in mind, a libretto in the spirit of the “Major-General’s Song” in The Pirates of Penzance would suit: “I am the very model of a modern Major-General, / I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral.”   Amoris Laetitia presents more subtle complications but lines from HMS Pinafore might point the way: “Let the air with joy be laden, / Rend with songs the air above, / For the union of a maiden / With the man who owns her love.” The librettist will have to add something about the proprietary lover’s previous wife, the abandoned Buttercup. Continue Reading
Paglia & the Art of Transgression

The oddities of Archbishop Paglia’s 2007 commissioned mural stirred interest in other works by Ricardo Cinalli, the Argentinian artist who painted it. Why him? Of the ten artists who auditioned for the project, what recommended Cinalli above the others? Presumably all applicants were adept at the human figure, all capable of managing the demands of a large-scale wall painting. What was the distinguishing feature of the winning artist’s portfolio? Go ahead, take a guess:   Ricardo Cinalli. El Plato (1997-98). The bulk of Cinalli’s output—prior to and close to the time of the commission—exhibits a will to startle, an inner necessity to stick a thumb in the eye of Mr. Continue Reading