Thursday, July 9, 2009

Officious Christianity

This anonymous fresco from a private home in Rome shows a cardinal reading from the Bible to a penitent academic in the gardens of the Palazzo Borghese.  It was painted sometime between 1620 to 1630.  Galileo's trial may have been taking place, and its outcome uncertain, when this was painted.

I think this is the vision dancing in the heads of many aspiring prince-bishops these days, complete with the attractive young page holding the parasol.

In every respect, this is a vision of Christianity which I reject. It has brought too much hardship and sorrow to so many.

Apparently another bishop, +Gene Robinson, shares my anxieties.