OCP under fire for Mormon cover art
  • MarkB
    Posts: 360
    Catholic news agencies are reporting that OCP is taking heat for using a Mormon image on the cover of two of its 2021 music publications.

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/mormon-cover-art-sparks-row-for-catholic-publisher-56803

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/08/25/catholic-publisher-makes-second-apology-over-mormon-cover-art/

    Would that the company would take heat more for what's inside their publications than what's on the outside.
  • Jen
    Posts: 27
    To me this issue is a reflection of the problem with what is inside their publications. With hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of authentically Catholic artwork available, they choose something that does not represent the Catholic faith. With all the authentically Catholic pieces of music available, why do they keep publishing pieces that are questionable?
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 355
    With all the authentically Catholic pieces of music available, why do they keep publishing pieces that are questionable?


    Money?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    I wouldn't be surprised if OCP's staff picked it out of simple ignorance over the differences between the Catholic faith and the LDS religion.

    For Mormons, this alleged angel is central to their claim of a new revelation, so it is more or less blasphemous for a Catholic publication to use it. But most Catholics, even people who work as art directors in church publishing, probably don't know enough about the LDS religion to realize that there's an issue.
  • kenstb
    Posts: 362
    Chonak is absolutely correct on this. Many publishers and consumers aren't aware of exactly what we do with music and art in liturgy. Our music and our art are supposed to embody what we believe. With very little insight into what they are publishing, we often get music and art that is (if not blasphemous) very questionable for our use. There has been a diminution in our education on these subjects. It is important to know what the cover art says about what is inside your publication. It is the face that you show to the world. Mormon imagery should not under any circumstance be exhibited on a publication meant for Catholic consumption.
    Thanked by 1Brian Michael Page
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,082
    I would venture that this comes from an ignorance of LDS iconography. The archangel Gabriel blowing a trumpet is a commonplace in Catholic art for centuries. Less common, but not exactly rare, would be an archangel holding a book of judgement (of the blessed or the damned). The combination of the two is what LDS iconography deploys (but with a golden book of Mormon as the referent book). I think many people unfamiliar with LDS iconography would be hard-pressed to see read it as LDS in nature.
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  • What I find hysterical is that in one article I read, they tried to defend themselves by pointing out the other (so-called) lovely art they've used in the past. I have two different copies of Respond & Acclaim right here and frankly I find Moronai one of the better looking choices they've made. lol. Two years ago it was a garish cartoon-esque depiction of a guitar morphed into a monstrance.

    Ultimately, it is reflective of their editorial decisions writ large. Poopoo anything traditional in favor of the euphoric new world we've created for ourselves. *sigh.

    What I also find funny is that there are some parishes threatening to end their relationship with OCP over this picture, and not because of the music that they publish. *sighs again.

    Edit: I also find it odd that they turn to non-catholic artists to support their art. Just like they turn to non-catholic composers. You'd think that a "Catholic" company would search out and support Catholics first.
  • I don't think there was any malicious intent - I just think they couldn't be bothered to care.
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  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,192
    I appreciate the complete apology.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    so it is more or less blasphemous
    ...most blasphemous? OK... I am not a theologian, but I don't believe there are levels of blasphemy... it either is or it isn't.

    https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02595a.htm
    Thanked by 2CatherineS CCooze
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    I wavered, Francis, over whether to use the word "sacrilegious" or "blasphemous", since the offense is not a direct insult against God or against sacred things; rather, it's an implicit disrespect against the uniqueness and truth of the definitive revelation God has given us in Christ.

    But if you can propose an alternative wording that reflects my thinking better than the wording I chose, feel free to send me a PM about it.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • The 2017 Respond and Acclaim cover isn't bad. I will say the flame coming out of the center pipe is kind of weird, but it is OCP we are discussing.
    318 x 417 - 50K
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    @chonak

    I will stick to my guns on what I said... and therefore, your assessment is very close to reality... and I will never profess to be a theologian... :)

    I don't think it is up to us to judge... God knows if it is blasphemy or not depending upon the individual(s) and their level of involvement, decision making, ignorance or malice I suppose.

    But thank you for your clarification nonetheless.
  • Respond and Acclaim also has to be one of the dumbest and most corporate-sounding names I have ever seen.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,647

    I appreciate the complete apology.


    Me too. Yes they tried to defend it at first, but when the evidence came forward they owned their mistake. They could have just deleted a lot of comments and tried to ignore this.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,518
    I guess we could be grateful OCP didn't print a picture of Mormon underwear on the front cover.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 360
    OCP has announced that it's going to reprint the publications without the controversial/offensive/problematic/ill-considered/unworthy cover art:

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/08/27/catholic-publisher-to-reprint-music-editions-without-mormon-image/

    Store your first editions/misprints in the basement or attic. In a decade they will be worth tons as collectibles.
  • OCP choosing a depiction of Moroni because they initially thought it looked vaguely "Christian" and fit the aesthetic they wanted is pretty much the exact same process most go through when they select OCP music, if you think about it.
  • @nathan, that's about the only decent cover they've had in the last decade.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,082
    Well, you could gift them to your local LDS temple.
    Thanked by 1Brian Michael Page
  • “OCP choosing a depiction of Moroni [...] is pretty much the exact same process most go through when they select OCP music, if you think about it”

    You are saying ... moronic?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 873
    @Nathan, I'm fairly certain that's a Hanukah menorah (with just the centremost candle lit) morphing into organ pipes...? That's what it looks like to me, anyway.
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  • CCooze, I never would have made that comparison. I think you might be right. If you are, this thread would not be the first instance of OCP using another religion's symbols on their covers.
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 150
    I saw this OCP publication from 2006 on ebay today for $5. I wondered what the picture is--your guess is as good as mine. Can anyone tell? Check this out.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Todays-Missal-Music-Issue-2996-by-Oregon-Catholic-Press-852-PAGES-100S-HYMNS/193630616326?hash=item2d1548bb06:g:bJEAAOSwAMRfNBAL
  • MarkB
    Posts: 360
    It's obviously Salome dancing for King Herod.
  • Carol
    Posts: 577
    I believe it is Miriam dancing in praise after the Exodus. Looks the Red Sea parted in the background.

    I doubt that outfit would entice Herod to promise Salome anything she wished for.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,908
    That flaming pipe? Sure!! You'll see that in or near every garbage dump. The pipe vents methane from the rotting material within and that venting methane is ignited.

    The analogy, although completely unintentional, is hilarious.
  • I know that there has been some controversy to that artwork in question from the 2006 edition of Music Issue. There is a website called “The Rape of the Soul” by Michael A. Calace, a Hollywood screenwriter that examines subliminal imagery in religious artwork. He goes on this whole spiel about Steve Erspamer, who commissioned that cover art, along with other pieces for OCP. Most of Calace’s observations are largely outlandish, so it’s probably best to take his words with a grain of salt. Pretty entertaining videos on YouTube about it, too.

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gun-suicide-artwork-distributed-by-largest-catholic-publisher-as-reported-by-silver-sword-international-llc-300919684.html
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 478
    It may not be a style everyone likes but in charity I've browsed dozens of the guy's images on google and see nothing satanic. It seems a rather extreme accusation, perhaps to do with some personal spat?
  • Does the drawing on the 2006 cover actually qualify as dancing? I would consider it highly debatable.

    dad29, that is hilarious.
  • @CatherineS,

    Calace’s examinations are extremely far-fetched. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a personal spat, but no one will ever know. The observations he makes are just entertaining, to say the least.
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 323
    With hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of authentically Catholic artwork available ....


    What makes a piece of artwork "authentically Catholic"?

  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,192
    What makes a piece of artwork "authentically Catholic"?

    Well, the absence of the angel Moroni is a good start.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    Note: that angel in slc lost his trumpet in an earthquake this year. Pic seen here.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/03/18/us/earthquake-salt-lake-temple-moroni/index.html
    Thanked by 1Carol