Culture Wars

A few days ago, I visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), the temple of culture I once adored in my pre-Catholic years. I gravitated naturally to revisit the Medieval collection to renew my acquaintance with the religious art closest to my own tradition. The gallery and its collection were gone!

I cannot imagine an art historical justification for this removal. It is also striking that the much larger Hindu and Buddhist collections are still intact. So, I revert to an attitude that some might deem “paranoid” — explicitly Christian art is no longer acceptable in this particular progressive American art museum. The lonely Mexican painting of the Virgin of Guadelupe does not qualify as an exception, since its title is only in Spanish and there is no interpretive card that reveals it is a representation of the Virgin Mary. It seems that our culture is evolving from post-Christian to anti-Christian!

Perhaps there is some value in the ecumenical messages of the current Pope. But the spiritual founder of his lineage, St. Ignatius of Loyola, was very clear about the great cosmic war between the army of Christ and the army of Satan, which was essentially grounded in the words of Jesus and St. Paul. It appears that the Director of the VMFA has not yet resigned from his commission in his army of choice.

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