Maureen Mullarkey is a painter who writes on art and culture. Her essays have appeared in various publications, among them: The Nation, Crisis, Commonweal, Hudson Review, Arts, The New Criterion, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and The Magazine Antiques. She was a columnist for The New York Sun.

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Bruce Dorfman, Artist & Mentor

From Maureen Mullarkey

Aesthetic modernism is too often faulted for what, in reality, is the result of the academy’s appropriation of art training. Blame the state of contemporary art on the captivity of the atelier by the podium. An artist’s studio is a workshop. Critical theory, reigning in the classroom, is no help inside the studio where the only ideas that matter are pictorial ones. Bruce Dorfman is an artist who understands that.
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Cloward-Piven Goes to Rome

From Maureen Mullarkey

Are we witnessing the Cloward-Piven strategy adapted for pastoral ministry?  For Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the system targeted for collapse and reconstitution was welfare. For Pope Francis, it is the Church’s historic ordering of the demands of an enduring marriage bond.

The Second Coming of Peronismo

From Maureen Mullarkey

Jorge Bergolio grew up amid extravagant devotion to Juan and Eva Perón. The agitated history of those years and the collapse of the peronato into violence and economic ruin is well documented. What matters here is that Pope Francis brings to the Chair of Peter an embrace of the Peronist mystique untempered by its lessons.

Reinhard Marx, Agony Uncle

From Maureen Mullarkey

Let me ease into this new semester with a wholesale borrowing—part piracy, thoroughgoing plaudit—from a blog named St. Corbinian’s Bear. The Bear prefers anonymity but he [surely it’s a he.] is deeply serious as every good humorist has to be.

A Mess & How It Got There

From Maureen Mullarkey

Every embarrassment is not a scandal. Egg on the face washes off. Scandal, by contrast, does not. It cuts to the core. A Church scandal poisons trust in those we look to for guidance through our own caprices. And it negates those teachings and practices that exist to purify our own desires.

Treason of the Clerisy

From Maureen Mullarkey

The debacle at Our Saviour is a symptom of bureaucratic conditions more critical than any clash of taste in church décor. Umbrage over “the integrity of the art” is a red herring. If that were the essential factor, this would be a minor local foofaraw. But it is not minor; and the breach of trust on display extends beyond locale to the temper of our clerical bureaucracy itself.

Vandalism With Intent

From Maureen Mullarkey

Something unedifying is underway at the Church of Our Savior in Manhattan. Splendid icons commissioned by Fr. George Rutler are being removed in what appears to be a political matter, not one of architectural renovation.

Notes on the Vatican Climate

From Maureen Mullarkey

On the face of it, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber's appointment to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is incomprehensible. We can only make sense of it if we ask ourselves an unwelcome question: Is the Academy risking guerilla war against the pro-life movement?