Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Whitehouse said 'jump!' , Georgetown said 'how high?'

'IHS 'visible
'IHS' covered up for Mr. President

The U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech at the Catholic Georgetown University, this week. The White House required that the initials 'IHS', symbolising the name of Jesus, and visible on a pediment on the stage where the President would be speaking, be covered up for the duration of the President's visit, along with other signage and symbols of Georgetown University.
Run by the Jesuits, Georgetown University is among the most prestigious Catholic institutions for higher education in the U.S.

“In coordinating the logistical arrangements for yesterday’s event, Georgetown honored the White House staff’s request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage,” Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications at Georgetown, told
The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they’ve done for other policy speeches,” she added. “Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn’t high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.”

Is this a kind of metaphor for what can happen when Catholics go after the wrong targets?
Or, to put it another way, when my non-Catholic friend comes to tea, am I to put away my Bible and religious books; am I to hide our statues, crucifixes and rosary beads?
And what kind of friend would want me to?

Thanks to Fr. Z

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