Well Christ did take a lickin’ and keep on ticking’
At a party this weekend celebrating New York Design Week, which begins today, the Chilean-born artist plans to hand out 100 “Christian Popsicles” made of “frozen holy wine transformed into the blood of Christ” and featuring a crucifix instead the tongue depressor that typically hosts the frozen treats, he said.
An image of Jesus Christ positioned traditionally on the cross is visible once the ice pop is consumed. As for the frozen wine, Errazuriz said, he concealed it in a cooler and took it into a church, where it was “inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the Eucharist.”
Lets bypass the whole “inadvertently blessed” component for a minute and cover another point. Now why did this self-admitted atheist artist decide that he needed first to attempt this aspect of it anyway? He doesn’t believe in the doctrine of the Eucharist and consecrated wine and unconsecrated wine is all the same to him.
No doubt it is the same reason so many artists attempt blasphemous art for attention. Mocking of belief is one component and to increase making the believer think that consecrated wine was actually used increases the intensity of such mocking. The “daring” artist is so common now and almost always the target is specifically the Catholic faith. Though that is an old trend that started with the shaping of the Crown of Thorns.
Raised in a Catholic household, Errazuriz is now a “practicing atheist,” but he has many friends and family members who are religious, and he respects their beliefs. … His frozen cocktails stand as a symbol, he said, an invitation to “drink the Kool-Aid” that he feels so many religious zealots are stirring up.
Well if this is how he “respects” their beliefs, I wonder what he does when he disrespects something. So in answer to all this “religious zealotry” the answer is art mocking one aspect of belief – yeah that will really make the world better and not stir anything up.
Now as to the “inadvertently blessed” aspect of the story this is so ridiculous and GetReligion rightly lambasts CNN for not challenging this aspect of the story in any way.
Now I am rather skeptical that this artist actually brought a cooler into a Church with enough wine for 100 popsicles. But even if he did there is no scenario where the wine would actually get consecrated. Even if he did go to all the trouble of putting the cooler underneath the altar (with nobody noticing this), consecration is an intentional act – not a piece of magic. It is not as if any wine or bread in the Church gets consecrated if they happen to be in people’s pockets regardless of how close they are to the priest during consecration. What a shock that another ex-Catholic turned atheist doesn’t have even a basic theological understanding. If you are going to go to all the effort to mock something, you might just want to check if you actually succeeded. If you are going for the P.Z. Myers school of art you first actually need something to desecrate. For my part I am glad he was inept about this, though actually getting hold of a volume of consecrated wine would be fairly difficult to pull off.
GetReligion asks the pertinent questions about the reporting.
In other words, this story is a disaster. Did the CNN team grasp the bizarre and ludicrous nature of this claim by the artist? Did anyone stop and think about the practical details of what was said to have happened? If so, why was the story published without some kind of commentary from a liturgical expert, if not a priest or bishop of the church?
As Errazuriz himself states, this was not a joke. Why did CNN treat it as a kind of wink-wink joke?
Update: Jimmy Akin posts on the subject.
According to the late Fr. Nicholas Halligan, OP, in his outstanding book, The Sacraments and Their Celebration (written as a training manual for priests and seminarians):
The material to be consecrated must be definitely intended by the minister, since by intention the formula determines the significance of the material. . . . The bread and wine to be consecrated should be placed on the corporal (or the altar cloth). If there is material to be consecrated or which is consecratable on the altar, but its presence is unknown to the celebrant, by that very fact it is not consecrated, since the intention of the minister must in some sufficient way designate or include the material that is to be consecrated (pp. 68-69, emphasis in original).