It recently became known that the Vatican covered up for sex-abuser and Jesuit priest, Marko Rupnik. Apparently he was excommunicated in 2019 for serious abuse of the sacrament of Confession – absolving a woman with whom he had fornicated. This unfortunate woman was only one of at least nine with whom he undertook such relations, but it was all swept under the rug by the Jesuit-controlled CDF.
Our interest in this man is not so much for his despicable violations of his vow of chastity, but for his disturbing artwork. Rupnik is the man behind a couple of the Vatican’s very strange logos and also had a hand in the disturbing basilica at San Giovanni Rotondo – the newer version of St Pio’s pilgrimage site.
The logo for the Jubilee Year of Mercy: “Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ.”
Or maybe this is a tribute to the Gnostic “third-eye” opening after ritual sodomy.
Rupnik’s logo for the 2022 World Meeting of Families, “This mystery is great”, says he. Well, it certainly is a mystery how an excommunicated priest came to design the official logo.
Interesting to see the third-eye symbolism recurring here; this time it is Our Lady and Jesus who share the third eye.
Some more of Rupnik’s talent can be seen in the Redemptoris Mater chapel in the Vatican. John Paul II had the chapel renamed in 1987 then refurbished in 1996. It was meant to be a tribute to his ecumaniacal obsession of uniting the Eastern and Western churches, but the artwork, mosaics completed in the style of Eastern iconography, appears to have an underlying anti-Christ theme to it.
One of the four walls was worked by Alexander Kornoukhov, a Russian Orthodox artist – this seems to be the wall directly behind the (rather bizarre) altar. Rupnik completed the other three walls, which show predominantly scenes from Scripture.
The Knights of Columbus loved the end result so much that in 2005, they paid for this panoramic online version to be set up so that interested parties could make a virtual pilgrimage. The images below are screenshots taken from that site. For a psychedelic taste of Rupnik’s work, you may wish to visit (or to avoid) the Aletti centre website.
It’s hard to know exactly what this depiction of the Annunciation is meant to represent. The scroll probably means that Our Lady was prophesied in the Old Testament, but by placing Her figure in such a way that She appears to be on the scroll itself reduces Her to a mere myth.
St Peter unlocks the door to his pawn-shop? Note the yin-yang style decoration of the circles.
Perhaps the strangest of the images is this one of Christ with his “as above, so below” gesture. Behind him, JPII looks on approvingly.
Interesting Masonic-style grip between Christ and the male figure to our left.
NOTE: This article was updated on Feb 21, 2022, to include the link to this video from Rome Reports.In the video, you can see the architect explaining that the rough stone altar represents ‘giving oneself to the earth.”
When we see a church like the newly-completed San Giacomo Apostolo in Ferrara, Italy, our second question is usually, “Why?” (Our first question might be along the lines of, “Is this for real??”)
Designed by a secular architectural firm who tried to create something that “didn’t look like a church”, the building does have most of the essentials of a church – even though they are rather dark, distorted versions. There is an altar, baptistry, Blessed Sacrament chapel, nave, spartan Stations of the Cross, and multiple crosses, although none appear to hold a corpus.
The design is the result of a competition run by the Italian Bishops Conference, who needed a new church for the city of Ferrara. The exterior is meant to echo the finale of the local hot-air-balloon festival, in which the balloons slowly deflate. I suspect that this does not represent the hopes and dreams of the Fathers fading away after the Council, but it would make an apt metaphor.
In the words of the architect, one enters the church through a grove which seems innocent enough until one realises that groves are often associated with paganism and with the occult. They are even mentioned in the Bible in connection with the worship of false gods. Of course, this may be simply a turn of phrase, as the poplars surrounding the site were obviously planted long before this church was built. But it is an odd choice of words, seeing as the trees are lining the perimeter, rather than being grouped together, as the word “grove” suggests.
Above the altar is an oculus, (Latin for eye; in architectural terms this refers to any eye-shaped feature, such as a hole at the centre of a dome); these are quite often found in churches. This particular one is decidedly creepy, though, surrounded by cold concrete and interwoven timbers, punctuated by the immense, rough cross, and crowning the almost windowless church. The overall effect is less than inviting, and the lack of windows is, well ….. somewhat Masonic.
To the left, you can see the way both crosses almost intersect, with another cross mounted at an angle on the far wall; the clashing, intersecting crosses found in Paul VI’s Masonic-inspired portrait come to mind – more on that here.
The cross that adorns the wall behind the sanctuary is not a Christian one: the radiating arms of the cross are of the same length, suggesting a Rosicrucian cross. Rosicrucianism is an occult movement, linked
with Freemasonry and which contains elements of Kaballah, Alchemy, Christian Mysticism and Hermeticism. Jewels surround this cross: these have no apparent Christian reference, but the architect thought they might remind the faithful of angels. At least that’s what she told the media.
The jewels, stone crosses and bizarre black statuary are the work of the occult-artist, Enzo Cucchi, who was invited by the architects to collaborate with them. The designers describe Cucchi’s black statues, which represent scenes from the Old and New Testaments, as resembling “oozing basalt.”
Enzo Cucci is part of an art movement known as transversalism, and was included in an art exhibition entitled S*** and Die. (Caution – there’s some mild nudity if you click on the link.) The whole thing gets even worse: a documentary film made about that exhibit was called “Seance.”
The baptismal font (right) in this unappealing chamber sits atop what looks like a bidet. Decorum prevents me from drawing a parallel with the art show mentioned above.
The stone font is actually an authentic liturgical antique: it came from an abandoned church in Bergamo. Bergamo, for the historically-minded, is the birthplace of John XXIII and was once the bishopric of the (rather evil) Cardinal Radini-Tadeschi.
Back to the occultist, Cucchi: here’s what one biographer had to say about him:
“Cucchi is the painter as seer, demon and saint, possessor and possessed, he is at once the creator and subject of his tale. He is the painter as mad visionary, participant in and witness to the nether world from which one can emerge after a ritual of fire and purification, to the realm of the sublime.”
Description of Cucchi by a devoted fan and art critic.
The painter as demon? Hardly the kind of man one would want working on a church. Unless, of course, one wanted a church reminiscent of an occult-themed safe-room.
The Archbishop of Ferrara, Gian Carlo Perega, is an interesting character. He is by no means a traditionalist, as you would expect after seeing this strange building, but he recently – and post Traditiones Custodes – set up TLM personal parish. Perhaps this was to appease, if not to protect, the rather large traditionalist base in his Archdiocese. Perego is, however, better known as a progressive who promotes the plight of migrants.
I know the sedevacantists like to have fun with churches like this one: I suppose they see it as a vindication of their position. To me, it is just sad. Sad for the people who worship there and don’t know any better. Sad for the priest who doesn’t understand his vocation. Sad for the bishop who thinks being edgy will make him popular. And very sad for the liturgical designer who thinks there are no eternal consequences for making occult motifs an integral part of a Catholic church.
Christ Cathedral in Orange County, California, is another example of a modern church with Masonic overtones. The anti-Catholic theme begins outside with this contemporary take on a Masonic obelisk ….
… and continues all the way to the sanctuary and altar. The altar itself is square, unlike the rectangular design of traditional Catholic altars. It is topped by a strange crucifix with crescent-moon shapes attached to the four ends of the cross. Crescent moons are a common symbol in witchcraft and the occult.
Theologian and philosopher, Peter Kwasniewski, gives this description of the sanctuary and offers an example of Freemasonic architecture for comparison:
“The location of the altar in the center of the room, the placement and type of presiders’ chairs, the dark torches on the ground punctuating the corners, the square mensa, and the all-seeing eye below the altar table at once bring us to a blood-curdling full stop. Can it be by accident that the altar at Christ Cathedral is a carbon copy of the altar of Freemasonry? Do we have a “reasonable hope” for denial? Even a cursory look at a Masonic altar makes the visual and symbolic link inescapable.
If one ignores the superior craftsmanship and style of the following Masonic temple, one can see the exact parallel in the disposition of the chairs — the tall chair in the center flanked by lower seating on either side — and then the square altar with the freestanding candles. (There is of course a fourth candle in the church, for it would have looked too strange to retain the asymmetry of three.)
One liturgical ‘expert’ who contributed to the Christ Cathedral was Brother William Woeger. Brother Woeger designed the “Crux Gemmata” – the crucifix – as well as the candlesticks, reliquary and other features. Jesus’ crown of thorns and the altar’s reliquary are studded with strange crystals, reminiscent of those used by New Agers. Below is another design by Brother Woeger, which again shows Masonic influence. Note the checked floor, another square altar, surrounded by large candlesticks and the rows of pews which face each other.
I might return to Brother Woeger in a future article.