Rothko Disturbed Sr Wendy's Fidelity to the Magisterium

The art that turned Sr Wendy?
It can now be exclusively revealed that it was this Rothko piece that finally seduced Sr Wendy Beckett from being a perfectly sound and orthodox believing nun into becoming a public champion for a 'changing Church' in which all previous statements on artificial contraception made by successive Popes would be renounced, upon a date yet to be announced by the contemplative sister.

However, don't blame Sr Wendy Beckett. 

Blame Mark Rothko.

The beloved nun, who lives apart from her community in a caravan, is said - following her assertion that the Church 'will change' on artificial contraception - to be on the run from a fierce Catholic online community and is thought to have anchored down in Cambersands, where she is taking refuge from a publicity storm that the humble sister could never have predicted, having publicly contradicted the Church's teaching on condoms live on the BBC.

A BBC journalist and lifelong friend said, "I don't know what's happened to Sr Wendy. She just took one look at this Mark Rothko piece that I bought her and she hasn't been the same since. She used to love icons and beautiful Christian art but there's something about Rothko. It seems to make people embrace mediocrity and reject piety and respect for the holy. It happened to another friend of mine who was also a sincere adherent to the teachings of the Catholic Church. They look at Rothko and then soon enough they don't believe in anything."

Beckett: Got "naffed off" with Catholic art due to lack of "imagination"
Sr Wendy Beckett, who rose to public prominence for her gentle, humble persona on BBC art documentaries and morning TV shows has been explaining Christian art to a largely disinterested set of atheistic viewers in the United Kingdom for years.

But her recent comments, on BBC's Desert Island Discs, led to a sense of shock and dismay among the Catholic community, because the religious sister has for years been a voice of sincere passion and simplicity, especially in explaining the motifs and messages in religious art.

Catholic concerns were raised when this picture (below) appeared of Sister Wendy in a modern art gallery which suggested that she has 'branched out' of Catholic art in order to appreciate the glories of modern works. After developing a specialist interest in Mark Rothko, Sister Wendy extended her expertise to other works of modern art.

Sr Wendy: Was this another moment when modern art disturbed her?

Another key turning point in Sr Wendy's appreciation for modern thought, culture and criticism of the moral teachings of the Catholic Church is said to have occurred years ago, when the contemplative saw, for the first time, Tracy Emin's bed in the Tate, at which point the humble sister is said to have uttered the words, "How can this be wrong? Is this not love?" Friends believe this was a key moment in the devout sister's questioning of Humanae Vitae which, hitherto, she had upheld and defended at every opportunity as constituting 'a full, profound and breathtaking expression of the beauty of God's plan for man and woman'.

Emin's bed: 'How can this love be wrong?'

Sr Wendy, who has a tendency, out of pure simplicity of heart and with a keenness always to see the good in others and in the art World, is also said to have remarked upon of a recent work of art that depicted President Obama as another incarnation of Jesus Christ. A model of self-sacrificial, divine love, the US President is currently devising new ways to persecute the Catholic Church, to subject it and its teaching authority to the power of the State, to force its institutions and all Catholic businesses to provide insurance that will cover artificial contraception and to fine and tax it to Kingdom come and back again, in order to render it silent on moral issues. On the art work (below) decried by most Catholic commentators as 'outrageous blasphemy', Sr Wendy remarked, "I love the convergence of the delightful different hues of blue. It reminds me of Our Lady. The blue and yellow in the middle reminds me of St Peter and the Petrine Authority. The red tie amply demonstrates the love that flowed from the side of Jesus. It's very inspiring. A moving visual account of our redemption for updated for modern times."

On 'Truth', by Michael D'Antuono: "Delightful blue hues..."
Another lifelong friend of Sr Wendy also stuck the knife in, saying, "You see now what spiritual dangers are opened up to those who choose the straight and narrow road of the contemplative path and you see what St John of the Cross and St Therese of Avila warned us about and experienced. It looks like Sr Wendy has walked into the modern art section of the Interior Castle, a room of which St Therese of Avila said:

"When you get to this room, surrounded by modern fancies, ensure you have a fire extinguisher with you, for the passing temptations of this room delight the senses, the eyes, but emanating from this chamber is the fire of Hell itself! Do not be deceived! Trust in God who vouchsafes your soul and who says, 'My grace shall suffice for thee.'"

St Therese in Ecstasy: But she warned us of the devil's 'modern' deceptions
"In the Dark Night of the Soul, this department of the soul is tempted by the devil's suggestions to think 'beyond the Cross', especially at times when the aridity of the spiritual desert fatigues the soul, until the Cross all but disappears."

At this time of weakness, the one given over to the contemplative life is drawn to despair and to doubt the Lord, the soul shaken, as it is, by temptation and tribulation. Does the soul reject the passing glamour of the temptations or indulge it?"

"The grave temptation is to indulge it and to allow Pride to devour it. It is sad that Sr Wendy has made this moment of doubt in all that the Lord has revealed to the Church so public. I shall be talking to her spiritual director about this, mark my words. Pray for her and have the humility to see that obsessive Catholic bloggers suffer similar temptations and trials in spirit."

'An interesting distraction' ~ 'Woman's Hour'
It is said of Sr Wendy that while she does not own a television - barely owning anything indeed in her makeshift and humble abode, as she imitates the poverty of the Lord and His Sts Francis and Clare - the contemplative nun does own a radio and tunes in after Terce to 'Woman's Hour'.

She recently described the feminist and culturally Marxist propaganda programme as an 'interesting distraction from prayer' and is believed to have started becoming an avid listener at some point between the late 1990s - mid 2000s.

Sr Wendy Beckett's spiritual director - appointed to her by Lord Chris Patten in 1998 - Ed Stourton of the BBC, was unavailable for comment. It is thought that the public row and controversy could see Sr Wendy lose her role as the BBC's religious art correspondent and it is said that in the event of being forced to sever her ties with the BBC, the sister devoted to holy simplicity and poverty will be seeking a controversial payout of £2.5 million - a sum that Sir George Entwistle described as, 'Peanuts, when you consider how long she's been involved with the BBC'.

More news on the whereabouts of the renegade sister will be released as information comes in but for more thoughts on Sr Wendy, see Eccles and Bosco.

Comments

Am I the only person to have have had doubts, for many years, about the woman's sanity not to mention sanctity?
Physiocrat said…
There is a a bit of Rothko off-cut fixed to the object that is meant to be a cross in the 1970s Catholic church at Uppsala, run by some German Jesuits.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seadipper/8222418688/
http://physiocrat.blogspot.com/2012/11/st-lars-catholic-church-uppsala.html
Genty said…
The moment I got a gurgling phone call from an acquaintance, I knew I should (shall) have to give it a go on iPlayer at some point.

Two other things I knew:

That my acquaintance has so embraced the "spirit" of V2 that we might be in a different Church.

That this was unlikely to end well.
Dorotheus said…
You say, 'It is sad that Sr Wendy has made this moment of doubt in all that the Lord has revealed to the Church so public.' All? Is that not absurd exaggeration? What worries me is not Sr. Wendy, but the nature of blogs like this and the comments they mostly attract, which always show such a mean-minded absence of any Christian charity. Why are people who consider themselves so holy and orthodox so unloving? Surely that in itself shows they can know nothing of God?
Patricius said…
What is happening on this blog and on others is not people showing a "mean-minded absence of... Christian charity" but a real expression of frustration and disappointment that YET ANOTHER celebrity Catholic has expressed- in a very public forum- not only tacit support for opinions contrary to the teaching of the Church but a positive reluctance to back the Church's teaching.
Dorotheus said…
Patricius, your use of the contemptuous term celebrity Catholic for Sr. Wendy more or less proves my point. If you are frustrated and disappointed that not at all Catholics agree with what you call "the teaching of the Church" (by which you mean the opinions of the Pope), well they are just as much as the Church as you and he are. We should expect disagreement about the things of God who is mystery and learn to live with it. Unity need not mean regimented uniformity.
The Bones said…
Dorotheus

You appear unfamiliar with the 'teaching of the Church'.

Here is a link that may help you.

It is called The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

A great read, especially for Catholics who proclaim to profess the Faith.
Genty said…
Well, I listened to the broadcast and my reaction was that it was a missed opportunity to evangelise ever so gently. It was as much what she didn't say as what she did say.
Sr. Wendy appears to have completely misundersood, and therefore misrepresented, the Pope's comments on the use of condoms. I got the impression she didn't want to upset anyone.
I suppose one can be intelligent and ingenuous; but a tad self-absorbed, perhaps?
pelerin said…
Is it possible that Sister Wendy's replies have been drastically edited to fit into the programme and this has resulted in what seem to be her very surprising comments?

An hour long interview with someone can result in being edited down to just five minutes being broadcast - this has happened to people I know and can seemingly change the direction of an interview.

I sincerely hope that that is what happened here and until we hear more I will give her the benefit of the doubt.