The Patrons of the Vatican Museums were formed in 1983 as an international society organized from within the Holy See institution. The Patrons were dedicated to supporting and maintaining the art of the Vatican Museums. While there are chapters of Patrons in several parts of Europe, by far and away the greatest number of patrons can be found in the United States.
The chair for the Minnesota chapter is one Maureen Kucera-Walsh, as can be seen on the Vatican Museums Website on the Patrons page.
Kucera-Walsh was particularly instrumental when the "St. Peter and the Vatican" show toured the States in 2004. She was indicated in the June 2004 issue of Basilica, the magazine of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as the point person for visiting the traveling exhibition. Her Minnesota chapter restored the hammer used to verify the death of the Pope as well as the statues of Sts. Peter and Paul from the sacristy of St. Peter's.
But Kucera-Walsh does not limit her charitable activities to the preservation of sacred art. Last Oct. 9, she served as a host for a Planned Parenthood event in Minneapolis.
This event was organized to marshal support against the proposed law in South Dakota which would have make it a crime for anyone to perform an abortion except where the mother's life was in danger. One of the principal items on the agenda of this event was to "get the inside scoop on the effort to defeat South Dakota's abortion ban."
Benefactors of this event paid between $100 and $1,000 to participate. Kucera-Walsh was listed among the hosts for this event.
This activity, unfortunately, is not the extent of Kucera-Walsh's role in Planned Parenthood. In the Planned Parenthood annual report of 2005, she sits on the 2006 board of directors.
What a sad state of affairs when one can be so involved with the preservation and protection of the works of art in the Vatican but so easily turn one's back on most fundamental moral teachings and beliefs that inspired them.
The position of Kucera-Walsh reflects the common contemporary view that the art of the Vatican is somehow disconnected from the teaching of the Church that commissioned it. That idea is fostered by portraying the artists themselves as mavericks, or religious rebels, a myth demonstrably false in the cases of Michelangelo, Raphael and numerous others, including the hands that fashioned the hammer that would touch the head of Christ's Vicar on earth when his earthly mission came to an end.
Undoubtedly many people who gave and produced the great art of the Vatican were sinners themselves, and found their path back to God through the patronage of great works. Nonetheless, supporting Church art while actively opposing the Church's moral mission confuses the faithful and scandalizes those who embrace the Gospel message in its entirety. Zenit News