Thursday, August 11, 2005

An Altar in every room

altar Something that can be found in every house of a Roman Catholic in the Philippines. In some homes each room actually has an altar. And even in some houses in the toilet you will at least a picture of Virgin Mary. Why would people place them there I have no idea. Oh well, to each his own. We Catholics have often been criticized of idolatry by having altars and images. I was taught that these images were similar to pictures, something to remind us of our love ones. Though it stills baffles me why would you place a picture of your loved one in the loo!


Blogger blackshama said...

Two things, the house owner probably considers the icon as just a piece of art, or the house owner would like the sanctify all aspects of domestic life, toilet included. The CCC catechism doesn't have prohibitions against putting holy images in the loo. It only commands Catholics to show proper reverence to holy images.

Protestants and other Bible based non-Catholics totally miss the point about icons. Icons are not the object of veneration or worship but the medium of veneration or worship. Icons are prayers in visual form. The Protestants extend to the Bible in book form a greater reverence than most Catholics would extend to icons. Are they idolatorous? I think not. The Bible is prayer in printed word form. Catholics and Orthodox have a diverse mode of expressing prayer. They worship with their whole bodies, especially in front of the Holy Sacrament. And the Holy Sacrament is not a piece of bread anymore. It has become the perfect Prayer, Christ Himself

8/12/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger juned said...


Two points or so.

I can imagine putting a decorative tile or even a nice lanscape painting in the loo. Would you put a Mona Lisa in the loo or a picture of your mother?

To each his own. As Catholics though I think it is important to treat these objects as you would a portrait or painting, something to reflect on. A means and not the end. The original purpose of art in churches was to inspire not to be treated as holy objects.

8/15/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Sidney said...

In the picture I can recognize non-Catholic symbols (lions).

8/15/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger juned said...

Yes. These are the guardian lions you often find in front of houses. I figure if the San Agustin church has lions in front of it gate why cannot I put two in my altar. And a goat, and a butterfly :)

8/15/2005 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger blackshama said...

Icons in the Latin Church at the Renaissance became more of art objects than holy objects. But when images were first used in the Greek Church, icons were treated as holy objects.

So it would be an outrage for Orthodox christians to treat their icons as antiques to be sold, as priests of some colonial Catholic churches in the Philippines have done.

8/16/2005 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger juned said...

I remember a story about how Boris Yeltsin used money from the World Bank to buy-back the icons sold by the communists. It generated a great deal of controversy.
While I respect other people's belief. For me a picture is a picture or an art piece is an art piece, sentimental value aside. Now what is disturbing is not if some priests sold statues of saint but what was the money ultimately used for.

8/16/2005 05:07:00 PM  

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