CNA Newsroom, Mar 21, 2023 / 15:30 pm (CNA).
The Archdiocese of Mendoza, Argentina, repudiated the acts of violence that took place Monday afternoon against an art exhibition offensive to the Christian faith.
The exhibition, titled “#8M Visual Manifestos,” is being exhibited during the month of March at the Rector’s office of the National University of Cuyo for Women’s Month. “8M” stands for March 8, International Women’s Day.
Some of the exhibited works had drawn criticism among those who profess the Catholic faith and among Christians in general for their explicit blasphemous content.
One of them alludes to the crucifixion of Jesus represented by the body of a naked woman; another symbolizes a vulva that simulates the silhouette of the Virgin Mary.
When the Social Ministry of the Archdiocese of Mendoza learned of the exhibition, the ministry repudiated it for carrying out “symbolic violence against Christian religious signs” and added that it “seriously offends” religious convictions.
Members of the educational community also spoke out and collected signatures for the exhibition to be removed from the university facilities.
On the afternoon of March 20, a group of people gathered to pray in the room where the exhibit was displayed and ended up trashing it.
In response to the vandalism, the Social Ministry of the Archdiocese of Mendoza issued a new statement, this time repudiating “this act of physical violence towards the works exhibited there.”
The ministry also expressed its solidarity “with the artists who saw the fruit of their work and effort damaged.”
“We call again for harmony and peace that is lost in extremes,” the ministry said.
At the same time, the archdiocesan ministry recalled that “behind a work or a religious symbol there are people who have beliefs or ideologies that should not be violated, ridiculed, or offended.”
Finally, the ministry lamented the actions of those who “live their religiosity as in dark times, which have been so painful for humanity.”
The statement concluded by invoking “the protection of God, source of all reason and justice,” citing the Argentine Constitution.
The university’s rector, Esther Sánchez; vice rector, Gabriel Fidel; and other officials condemned “all kinds of violence” and urged dialogue.
“The National University of Cuyo with its plurality of ideas, visions, and thoughts offers its space for reflection. It calls for listening and accepting differences in peace,” they said.
“The mission of producing knowledge and forming people can only be carried out in a peaceful environment and of sincere debate where the recognition of the other person and their ideas allows innovating and contributing solutions that unite and don’t alienate,” they said.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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The Archdiocese may want to keep this in mind before condemning the destruction:
Matthew 21:12-13: Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
John 2:15: In the temple courts He found men selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and money changers seated at their tables. So He made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle. He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
The exhibit “seriously offends”??? Thats the strongest condemnation this diocese could muster? Pathetic. The Social Ministry of the Archdiocese of Mendoza sounds like it could use some new staff who actually have some brain cells. As described, this exhibit was not only offensive but highly inflammatory . This sort of hate filled attack on the church by belittling it’s beliefs only fuels the self-righteousness and violent actions of the deranged on the left. Of which there appear to be many. I think we have seen FAR too many vandalisms of Catholic churches and pro-life centers, world-wide, about which the authorities apparently intend to arrest not a soul. This includes the permanent destruct of facilities by smashing statues and by fire. So, while I think violence to address such issues is not your first option , it does seem a case of “what goes around, comes around”. So excuse me for feeling like this “exhibit” got what it deserved. I think the church “ministry” could have expressed some reservation about the violence used, WITHOUT a need to justify the originally blasphemous actions of the artists by patting them on the head. There was NO need whatever for the church “ministry” to “boo-hoo” the loss of their disgusting work. Leftist social policies, which lack any moral center at all, has greatly infected even the church in the last few decades, with negative results. Weak-kneed responses such as this are proof. Nobody wants to belong to a church which stands for NOTHING for fear of offending some with the TRUTH.