Monday, February 2, 2009

The Pope sees Red

Bigot. (2005), Ballpoint pen drawing.
The Vatican's new Policy on China has a colour
by Sandro Magister. Its emblem, is the new cardinal Zen, Bishop of Hong Kong, The colour of my garments he said, " is the blood of the unknown heroes who have suffered for their fidelity to the church". Roma, March 28, 2006, Benedict XVI's first consistory with the cardinals, both old and new, will be remembered for it's vivid red colouring.
The pope strongly emphasized the significance of the cardinal's investments.
He assimilated this red of Jesus' blood poured out on the cross
"The sacrifice of one's life is the distinctive character of cardinals, as attested by their oath and as symbolised by scarlet, the colour of blood. And not only that, Benedict XVI associated the sacrifice of one's life symbolised by the red colouring with martyrs of the church commemorated that day and with the persecuted Christian communities in various countries throughout the world.

How can we forget !!! - the same colour red was ever present during the execution of gays (during the eighteen century); At the time in Holland, the almost religious ceremony, lasted three days.

Gilbert Herdt (editor) in his book entitled, Third Sex Third Gender, gives us a detailed account of these executions (in the 18 century) and insight into the pursuit of a third sex. (see book lists for details or click on the title above).

"Day one began with an almost religious ceremony in which the prosecutor delivered his requisition, following the next day (Day two) by the announcement of the death penalty to those who were to be executed as well as by prayers in the churches. On the final day (Day three) came the apotheosis at the scaffold.
Much of the ceremony that day- such as the guards of honour and the
blood-coloured robes and other paraphernalia the judges wore - was meant to underline the God-given nature of the power and the majesty of the authorities
, who resided over justice in full regalia.
Next to them and to the hangman, the convict (sodomite) was the important actor in the drama.
The drama's success - a victorious justice - depended to a large extent on the skills of the executioner and on how the convict (sodomite) behaved at the scaffold.

Those who accepted their verdicts as rightful punishment for their behaviour,
who showed an appropriate remorse and prayed to God for forgiveness, were the Darling of the Judges
( see ceramic sculpture below) and of the public.

In the days before the execution, church ministers spent much time with the culprit to prepare him for his encounter with God. .... Justice was victorious when the convict played his role, which was to convince the public that justice was done and that the judges had made the right decision.
In the 18 century the most common forms to carry out the death penalty were hanging, garroting, breaking on a wheel and drowning in a barrel of water. However different kinds of executions implied different degrees to which a person was robbed of his honour.

It was thus that a sodomite was presented at the scaffold and that
his punishment became part of a public discourse ( to educate the people); a sodomite was like a woman, he was a coward and he had committed high treason, in short he had betrayed every aspect of an honourable manhood - he had come to represent a third gender; a man who with free will had given up his male status, who has betrayed what his body ordained and thus had lost the prerogative of his sex".
(Herdt, G. 1994; 189)

Muscle-Mary Darling of the Judges (2008), for a symbolic explanation and the iconographic significance of the piece - visit the blog entry, ceramic art, with the title as mentioned above.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great Blog, but how about some new posts