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realclearworld

Finally, church art that puts communism in its proper place

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A meditation:

Think of Cardinal Ortega and his Cuban Catholic Church.  Focus on his servile acts of cooperation with the Castro dynasty. Focus on his active promotion of that murderous regime.

Do this for about five minutes.

Then, imagine the day when a church in Cuba can include a mural depicting the Castro brothers, Cardinal Ortega, and other communist monsters in hell.

That will be the day.  Let's hope some of us live to see it.

Montenegrans who suffered under the communist dictator Tito don't have to imagine any such triumph of poetic justice.  A church in Montenegro -- formerly a province of Yugoslavia-- has revived an ancient Christian tradition by placing its former dictator Tito in hell, along with Marx and Engels.

Christian theology does not allow for anyone to definitively proclaim  that any individual has gone to hell, since its ultimate message is forgiveness. Theoretically, anyone can be forgiven by God if they repent at the moment of death, even the worst tyrants or heretics.  (Only some minor sects have denied this teaching throughout the centuries).

Nonetheless, Christian theology also proclaims that sin is addictive, and that the more deeply one is mired in sin and depravity, the less likely it is that one will ever be able to repent, especially at the last minute.

So, basically, what the Christian tradition teaches  is that inveterate sinners have as much a chance of repenting at the last minute as you and I have of winning the Super Ball and Mega Millions lotteries simultaneously every single week, or as a heroin addict has of suddenly overcoming that addiction cold turkey.

This teaching allows Christian artists some poetic license when it comes to depicting historical figures in hell.  One of the greatest masterpieces of Western literature, Dante's Divine Comedy, depicts specific individuals in hell, including some popes.

Now, in Montenegro, an anonymous artist has followed in Dante's footsteps and provided some Cuban artist in the future with great paradigm to follow.

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From the ever-restrained , ever "balanced" BBC:

Montenegro church depicts Tito, Marx and Engels in hell

A church in Montenegro has sparked controversy by displaying a fresco depicting Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito in the fires of hell with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

The newly built Church of Resurrection in the capital Podgorica has already drawn criticism for its lavish design.

Critics now say the church should not be interfering in politics.

Works by philosophers Marx and Engels were required reading when Montenegro was part of communist Yugoslavia.

One church leader, named only as Dragan, told the Agence France-Presse news agency that Marx, Engels and Tito "personify communist evil in the Balkans" and the artist should be "allowed the freedom to see things as he wishes".

However, he added: "He cannot judge, in the name of the Church, who belongs in hell or heaven."

Continue reading HERE.

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