Catholic monks are supposed to be humble, doing good in private, shunning publicity. Surely this is true for those we barely know about like Fr. Joe Meier in Bangkok, caring for unwanted and HIV infected children for over 30 years while battling the powers that be. And if we find out about people like him, the news comes indirectly, not from the source, such as “look at me and all the great things I am doing”. And of course humble folk are not running after prizes, honorariums, knighthoods, etc.
In an anti-Christian dominated world media, we also don’t hear about the Christian Martyrs that in the past 100 years or so have totalled around 25 million, half of the total of about 46 million over 2 millennia. It is also estimated on the average 300 die for Christ every day due to persecution and abuse.
Proportionately in a suffering world, conscientious people give where time, effort and money are most needed. At the end of September, natural disasters had been literally tearing apart so much of Southeast Asia. But all the above evaporate like they don’t exist or at least have equal importance to the publicized recent activities of the Magnificat School and its founder, composer, peacemaker, pianist, fundraiser, (one of the greatest living) organists, researcher and arranger of Middle Eastern music, Armando Pierucci (the evidence for the former based mainly on self-declaration, articles written and disseminated by him). So it is supposed to be newsworthy when HE takes a break from all that.*
As for charitable activities, I would like to propose a classification of merit in descending order in order to inject a little commonsense into the discussion.
1. Those who do good and suffer in silence.
These are the hundreds of millions we will never know about from all religions, people just plodding along, sacrificing themselves, their work, effort, love for their children, for others, who would never think of asking for credit for what they do (and wouldn’t get it anyway).
2. Those who go out of their comfort zone to serve others.
These can be soldiers in the military sacrificing themselves to protect those on the homefront. Medics, teachers, religious, etc., can be included who forsake a comfortable living to serve others and do it in private without fanfare. Albert Schweitzer comes to mind. Probably there are tens of millions we will never know about.
3. Those whose paid work involves service to others in some manner.
Usually doctors, nurses and teachers don’t tabulate everytime they perform acts of compassion, nor ask for, not even expect recognition. But many lives have been changed or at least helped by acts of kindness from such people.
4. Those whose contribution to society is miniscule, yet want recognition every step of the way.
5. Those whose contribution to society is actually negative but succeed in building up a false compassionate public image.
Previously mentioned here as an example, Bruno Bettleheim, promoted himself on tenuous credentials and eventually built them up so much in the public eye that when children complained about abuse in his institutions, parents would not believe their own kids.
One can postulate a theorem that the amount of self-generated publicity is in inverse proportion to being deserved.
How does a person merit peace prizes, “Knighthood of the Italian Republic”, constant outlandish publicity that the Church never thought to put the brakes on, when the number of possible candidates for making peace with, only a handful of Jews and Moslems over the past 15 years is simply laughable? **
But more than that, it really smells of rotten fish when not ONLY the peace monk gets the gravy for just about everything the school is involved with. He is practically the ONLY ONE who composes, performs and gets widespread photo ops, publicity and prizes in HIS music school apart from the nameless bambini featured everywhere, not “young artists”. It sure sounds like a vehicle for HIM in every way.
The giant shadow of the Glorious Leader looms over all, and like Stalin, Lord help anyone who attempts to be better or more known. They brag about the “successes” but WHERE are the students, fine singers and up and coming pianists? There should be more than a few in 15 years if the student body has been at least 180-200 from their own publicity in 2003. In actuality there are none to brag about.
The recent tour of the Magnificat Choir featured HIS arrangements and HIS compositions. First of all, Oriental music should NOT be harmonized. And if this is done, should be tread very carefully by a person firmly grounded in both traditions, not just slopping amateurish harmonies and claiming they are “enrichment”. Regarding musical composition per se, this is not a purely subjective area as there is still musical grammar in tonal music, that when violated sound pretty awful.
Let’s put it this way. Brahms probably burned more of his own music than he published. If an amateur thinks that any scribble of his is gold, particularly an unstable person sure of backup from his parent organization, then the road to glory is opened up. Quite a few of these publicity seekers appear on America’s Got Talent or “So You Think You Can Dance” and get their much deserved reality check–the red buzzer.
But those who stand to benefit from the glory and money of the Church will not say that the Emperor’s clothes are patently ridiculous.
I want to repeat my interest in exposing this ongoing circus is that the Church does NOT have the right to behave this way when there are much more pressing issues, a multitude of suffering, even martyrdom, that they should be concerned with first.
Instead from the horse’s mouth, the Custody site, is another piece of garbage, self-praise about the little miracle of 100 students morphing into 200 and of course a plea for more money.***
Apparently things were not too different 500 years ago. Still there remains the need to point out egregious flaws if there is no inner self-correction within the system.
“They are deluded by their own sensitive self-love, or by their desire for lordship and prelacy, and they correct not the faults they should correct in others, because the same or greater ones are their own… And, moreover, if they do see they do not correct, but allow themselves to be bound over with flattering words and with many presents.“
Saint Catherine, Dialogues
*http://www.vivereancona.it/index.php?page=articolo&articolo_id=215107 il frate francescano ora è nelle Marche nel convento dei frati di Santa Caterina di Fabriano per un meritato riposo.
una meravigliosa utopia (!!!!!!!)
“…Nel clima generale di tensione della Terra Santa, l’Istituto Magnificat nasce nel 1995 con l’idea di costituire un luogo di educazione al rispetto reciproco ed alla pacifica convivenza, nell’imparare l’arte della musica, tra allievi e professori di diverse origini sociali e confessionali: cristiani di varie confessioni, ebrei, musulmani.…La scuola costituisce di per sé un piccolo miracolo, poiché le iniziative di Pace e di convivenza sono molto difficili da portare avanti in una terra il cui clima generale incita alla divisione. La scuola ospita oramai oltre 200 giovani allievi e circa 18 professori, con un successo crescente. Véronique Nebel
Right, 200 students must be the absolute minimum and a fuzzy uncertain proportion of them non-Christian, to try to convince the public to contribute money in their aggressive publicity campaigns for the place. Otherwise it seems ridiculous to state the exact number, around 100 or even less, and admit that only 4-5% are non-Christian, or nominally so. And just because there are a few Jews and Moslems in the environment doesn’t follow that one is making peace there. It could very well be the opposite, judging by the scant moral accountibility displayed.
And I don’t think I ever saw a picture of Albert Schweitzer, let alone Fr. Joe Meier.
More recent BS from the Custody’s website:
“The Custody’s commitment anticipates also the construction of a new centre for the Magnificat…After Fr. Armando Pierucci’s greeting, Dr. Simona Pinton spoke about the new horizons that have opened up with incentives from the European Union.”
The EU indeed should be concerned about a nasty little music school with only around 100 students, 4-5% of which including the staff are non-Christian. The sleight of hand is how the Custody continously obscures the fact that it’s for THEIR OWN property they are exploiting the fiction of making peace with a miniscule number of candidates to attract donors.
This is really cheap and indecent, not to mention all the stuffed shirts strutting around like peacocks praising and congratulating one another on the basis of virtually nothing. But anyway this is the “peace” racket, the greatest fraud on earth, selling null coexistence for hard cash. One can make lucrative careers sucking up to the peace mongers—the fastest road to world-wide recognition and smug self-importance.
The so-called “human rights” confidence trickery fits in very well with the Church history of marketing indulgences. They sell the public non-existent “peace” to the public to rachet up funds for themselves. They display the non-existent suffering of 200 children in a damp basement for the Italians to shell out money to rescue them–so incredibly low and disgusting. If their sob stories were true, the Custody could have taken the students out at any time over the past 15 years and not used them as hostages. Pimping for money–and THEY have a right to preach to others?
“You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Abraham Lincoln
And God Himself is not mocked either when unscrupulous clergy have the nerve to invoke Scripture, God, St. Francis or Jesus to bless untruths:
Galati 6:7-10 Non vi ingannate; non ci si può beffare di Dio; perché quello che l’uomo avrà seminato, quello pure mieterà.