Uptight Ottawa Catholics outraged that Archbishop allowed giant robot spider on cathedral roof

I mean, these are clearly just arachnophobes using the concept of sacrilege to legitimize their fear, right? People love to use religion (among other belief systems) to try to turn their quirks into public policy. Sometimes I wonder how many anti-vaxxers are actually just afraid of needles, and have worked themselves into a pseudo-scientific lather to avoid having to have their children get shots.


Fixed it for you.


This brings up an interesting question. Is there anything in the New Testament about the arts?


9 Now a man called Simon had for some time been practising magic arts in the town and astounded the Samaritan people. He had given it out that he was someone momentous,
Acts of Apostles - Chapter 8


On a more serious note:

10 We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life.
Ephesians - Chapter 2

This was in the time before the internet though … the things I’ve seen there make me doubt that statement.

1 Like

Burn it with fire. Little known fact, Jesus hates spiders.


To be fair, “art” does tend to be a rather generous category…

1 Like

Ooooh suuure,
Put a cross on the top a Government Building, and lets see who looses their sense of humor :wink:

-a former catholic


Unclear. Not sure graven images and the like were a big hit with Judaism at the time.
But then again JC is depicted in some circumstances as opposed to pedantic, literalist adherence to the scriptures.

And we Catholics do tend to have a soft spot for certain types of graven images.
Makes me wonder if this could be construed as some sort of Franciscan morality play: Sister Spider tying to live closer to God.

1 Like

This IS extremely Offensive to traditional Catholicism! Everyone knows the only monsters allowed on the tops of cathedrals are gargoyles. Didn’t anyone think about how the poor Gargoyles might feel about being displaced by giant spiders :frowning:gargoyle-chimera-famous-pic


Perhaps to the surprise of exactly no one, I’m gonna side with the parishioners who weren’t happy with this. I’d be pretty surprised and displeased myself were such a thing on my synagogue. Cant comment on if this is sacrilege from the Catholic POV but I do see an issue of dignity of the space for sure.

P.S. “kumo” is Japanese for spider.

Interesting perspective. I feel like these institutions are, by choice, part of our public spaces. If it’s not something that is overtly disrespectful or forbade, why do they get to make off the cuff decisions about what they are offended by?

Also, wouldn’t it just be good PR to chill out and be a relaxed neighbor? Its not like they’re being forced to host a burlesque show. The world has lots of problems. Giant mechanical spiders are not one of them. For now.

Which public? The parishioners or the public at large? I’m unsure if the cathedral or diocese in question receives any public funding as I don’t know the system in Ottawa offhand so my guess is the parishioners is the more appropriate public whose say matters.

In the case of my synagogue we do make an effort to be good/relaxed neighbors but there are red lines. No funds from the synagogue go towards the local festivals which are religious in nature as those are counter to our beliefs. Nor do we allow the space in front of our building to have the same decorations.

Since the Catholics are perhaps the closest parallel to Orthodox Judaism in terms of dignity of space and ceremony, I don’t think this is really a “chill man, this isn’t so serious” kinda thing. Just my opinion and obviously I can’t actually speak for Catholics at all.

The parishioners were not so much offended - they were terrified that this meant there would be an upcoming screening of Wild Wild West.


To be fair, that movie is an affront to humanity…


The parishioners are guests in the community of the “public at large”. The reason these institutions are withering is in part due their preciousness. A mechanical spider offends no-one but the pearl clutchers.

If you think that we need more up tight indignance in these relations I don’t think were gonna agree on much. But thank you for the thoughts.

Pardon? I’d really rather not assume the worst of this comment, would you care to explain?

It’s really not worth doubling down on this idea.

Churches are not public property and religious minorities are not “guests.”


If there is a problem on my end, it’s that I naively assumed you were making a comment referring to the topic of the article, and not some random statement. Or I missed the reference you were pulling from. Or that what you typed meant something way different in your head than what most people would take at face value.

1 Like

How aren’t they part of the community at large? I don’t think spending your Sundays in a church magically makes you no longer a member of the public.


It would appear that the cool archibishop is wasted on this particular flock.

Even if “cool” isn’t their thing; do they really not remember the good old days, when Catholicism was just dripping with cultural capital accrued by the appropriate schmoozing and patronage of the arts? They even turned it into something of a strategy for counter-reformation purposes while the more enthusiastic protestants were being all iconoclastic and grim.

Whiny people these days…