Introducing the Not So Christian Column

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Every week, as I travel the wilds of contemporary life in search of stories, I come across a tale or two that, while super interesting, I’ve ultimately put aside because it’s just not not so Christian.

When I say “not so Christian” I don’t mean UNChristian stories. Nor am I referring to the vast ocean of stories that other people see as a key Christian issue that seem so Not Important for me.

I’m talking about stories that kind of have a “Christian” angle, but are not really related to great things that are happening in the Christian world, or that Christians are doing, or even that Christians really care about. Christian-theme stories, if you will. The media equivalent of Bon Jovi’s lyrics live on a prayer. Know what I mean?

Anyway, rather than leaving such a total quality on the editing room floor of my research process, I thought maybe I’d put them together in a weekly column, to throw in the trash once in a while on a Friday afternoon when you might need some light reading, and I might need light writing.

Here we go again.

It’s a “Catholic aesthetic” in weddings these days, apparently.

This week, reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker made headlines when they styled their Portefino wedding with a “Catholic aesthetic.” Kardashian wore a bridal romper with a Virgin Mary veil that matched her new hubby’s tattoo, both by designers Dolce and Gabbana. Barker, who really is a Catholic, wore a tuxedo.

Kourtney converted to the Armenian Apostolic Church in 2019, but that didn’t stop outrage that the couple’s style choices were sacrilegious.

“A little weird that Kourtney’s wedding looks like this Catholic ‘aesthetic’ like the Virgin Mary on her wedding dress and veil??” a person would have written.

A second added: “I really feel like Travis and Kourtney [sic] marriage mocks the Catholic religion? They don’t symbolize religious people at all, it just looks like mockery. I’m not Catholic, but that just doesn’t suit me.

“I’m just going to say it bluntly. Kourtney Kardashian’s use of the Blessed Mother in her outfit(s) during her wedding weekend was extremely offensive to me as a Catholic…I have every right to feel offended by this,” they wrote. on Twitter.

It’s unclear exactly how Catholic the service was, but it Eternity The writer recognizes future LA pastor Chad Veach, and he’s definitely not Catholic.

As exciting as it all was, the event’s pasta course was the real controversy. Can you imagine a pile of steaming Italian pasta? Think again.

“The portion size of pasta at Kourtney Kardashian’s wedding is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen,” one Twitter user tweeted.

Beer brothers get caught up in a hipster craft beer contest

America lost its only Trappist brewery due to beer market competition in other non-Christian food news. That’s right, if you’ve been planning on going for a Trappist beer anytime soon, you’re out of blessings as the first and only certified Trappist brewery in the United States has announced its closure, citing a lack of financial viability. .

A monk at work in the laboratory of the Spencer brewery.  Image: Spencer

A monk at work in the laboratory of the Spencer brewery. Image: Spencer Brewery Spencer Brewery

“After more than a year of consultation and reflection, the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey have come to the sad conclusion that brewing is not a viable industry for us and that it is time to close the Spencer Brewery,” Spencer Brewery announced on Facebook. May 14.

“We would like to thank all of our customers for their support and encouragement over the years,” the brewery added. “Our beer will be available at our usual points of sale while supplies last. Please keep us in your prayers.

The brewery was launched in 2014 to help provide a new source of income for monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, who lead a life of contemplative prayer.

“All of our activities that we do are to support our prayer lives,” said Spencer Brewery director Fr. William Dingwall. The Boston Globe.

Its website reports that the brewery’s peak production was 4,500 barrels, or about 60,000 cases of beer. Its beers were distributed domestically and in eight countries.

Dingwell said they have been considering closing the brewery for a few years now. He said he thought the beer market was “starting to change dramatically” and the Abbey Brewery was facing more competition from other craft brewers.

Given that the monks were unwilling to open a tavern – a profitable endeavor for many brewers – due to such things not pairing well with contemplative prayer, presumably – the decision to close was easy for the monks.

“The beer was a particularly interesting and engaging activity, but we’re not here for the beer,” Dingwell said.

There’s no place like ho – a plastic bag stuffed in a shoebox, lost for years in the theater department

Getting back to not-so-Christian entertainment news, there’s a fight going on at the Catholic University of America (that’s your tenuous connection, folks) over who owns the iconic gingham dress. blue worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale from Kansas in The Wizard of Oz.

The dress was scheduled to go up for auction on May 24, but on May 23 a federal judge barred America University from selling the 1939 film costume until its rightful owner could be determined.

Here is the context you need:

The dress was discovered in a shoebox, in a plastic bag, placed on top of a faculty mailbox in the theater department during a pre-renovation cleaning last year.

Matt Ripa, lecturer and operations coordinator in the drama department, found it. He believes he was placed there when a retired professor from the drama department discovered him during a pandemic clean-up and triage. A note taped to the bag read, “Found this in my office.”

(Side note: This has happened once before during pre-reno cleanups at the Catholic University. In 2010, Bishop David M. O’Connell, then president of the university, found a REMBRANDT engraving in a toilet closet in his residence.)

Ripa immediately knew what it was. The dress had long been said to be still in college, but he’d spent years searching for it in the theater’s archives and storage closets before finally giving up.

The university worked with the Smithsonian to verify its authenticity. Yes, it really was the actual dress.

A actual dresses, to be more precise. The treasure in a shoebox was one of four blue and white pinafore dresses designed for the film and one of only two existing dresses with the original white blouse. This is believed to have been worn in the scene where Dorothy faces the Wicked Witch in her castle.

The other known version of the blue and white dress was auctioned for $480,000 in 2012 and then resold for $1.6 million in 2015. In 2014, the Loose Lion costume worn by Bert Lahr sold sold for over $3 million.

Father Hartke shows off the iconic costume in a photograph for The Tower college newspaper.

Preliminary appraisals of the dress put its value at between $800,000 and $1.2 million by an international auction house holding a “Bonhams Classic Hollywood: Film and Television” sale in Los Angeles.

And in April this year (2022), the Catholic University announced its intention to auction the dress.

“We love the dress, but it has never been displayed or shared in the past 50 years and we hope it will be now,” said Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, dean of the school of music, drama. and art. Funds raised would establish a new film program and a professorship.

Weeks later, 81-year-old Barbara Ann Hartke filed a lawsuit claiming she was the rightful owner of the dress, not the university.

Barbara is the niece of Dominican father Gilbert Hartke, a playwright and director who founded the university’s theater department in 1937.

Father Hartke was an interesting man. He was involved in Washington theater efforts and civil rights advocacy and was friends with US presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. Hartke was even one of two priests called to stay with President John F. Kennedy’s body at the White House before his funeral.

Both parties agree that Hartke was given the dress in 1973 by actress Mercedes McCambridge, an artist-in-residence at the university that year. He even made the university newspaper, Tower.

But Barbara Hartke claims McCambridge gave the dress “specifically and publicly” to her uncle, not the university, as a thank you for “his guidance and support” during his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.

Barbara claims it was a personal gift to her uncle – although its whereabouts are unknown since his death in 1986.

She says the university “has no ownership of the dress because … there is no documentation to show that the deceased ever formally or informally donated the dress to the Catholic University,” and that makes therefore part of his estate. And, as her uncle’s closest living relative, the dress therefore belongs to her.

In their filing against the lawsuit, lawyers for the Catholic University said the robe could not be considered part of the priest’s estate because he had made a priestly vow ‘never to accept gifts in a personal capacity’ . They say they have “overwhelming evidence” and are eager to present it in their case.

Maria Mazzenga, curator of the university’s American Catholic History Collections, was not surprised that a famous actress had gifted such a valuable costume to the priest. She said the priest had a flair for the unique and had a silk jacket from India, a 6ft long aviator scarf and a Russian fur hat.

“People gave him clothes because they knew he would like it,” she said. Catholic News Service.

I wonder what the theatrical father Gilbert Hartke would have thought of Kourtney K’s “Catholic aesthetic” nuptials?

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