300 soldiers

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

it's not up to me to investigate the specific historical facts and trajectories that led me to believe that the Vatican and the Jesuits played a significant role in the shadows of numerous conflicts. I am not an historian. I can't possibly tell you if the The Monita Secreta from 1613 (also known as: Secret Instructions of the Jesuits) is a genuine code of instructions to lay down methods to expand the power and influence of the Jesuit Order... maybe this document is simply a forgery by Polish former Jesuit Jerome Zahorowski. It is not in my reach to check the authenticity of a 1689 work, Foxes and Firebrands by Robert Ware. In his publication Ware claimed that leading Jesuits take a secret oath that stated unconditional compliance to papal authority and describes the most gruesome acts imaginable against political or ideological opponents, and their wives. The truly shocking claims in Foxes and Firebrands where debunked by reverence T. E. Bridgett in his book, Blunders and Forgeries: Historical Essays, published in 1891. The whole debate leaves me somewhat uncomfortable because I have no means to verify if reverence Bridgett himself is not merely a fraud, looking for ways to get his name established and his editions sold.


Simple fact remains that if you do a quick search on Catholicism, politics and military, you end up pretty easy at the one coupe after another. From Hitler Germany via Franco's Spain to Videla's Argentina, the church never seem to fail in whitewashing war crimes, oppression and torture. What to think of the recent discretely exerted pressure by Washington, on the cardinals who are members of the Vatican conclave, to elect “a pro-US pope”. This could benefit Juan Guaidó, the self declared president of Venezuela in the near future, as evil tongues have suggested. Indeed governance is planning ahead and the South America's are a stronghold of Catholics.


Back to my Pope swapping toy or machine in the making. The piece as we have seen, centers around the current Black and White Pope. I envisioned it as a sort of reliquary enclosed by 4 walls. Now tell me what could be more appropriate than to create these walls as a delicate filigree using 300 plastic soldiers? I could easily weld them together to form a golden army, hidden behind a thick front wall repleted with floral motives. I lively remember the words that became proverbial during the Urbi et Orbi at the St. Peters Square "Bedankt voor de bloemen" (thanks for the flowers). Somehow I like to include these opposites between lush beauty and war. I will turn the piece into a true world politics machine scaled down to hand format.