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article imageCatholics hit art exhibit featuring blasphemous images of Christ

By Leo Reyes     Aug 5, 2011 in World
Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines are protesting an art exhibit by a group of artists which features supposedly "blasphemous" Jesus Christ images at the state-run Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)
One of the art pieces being shown in the art exhibit is an image of Jesus Christ with with a wooden penis glued on His face.
Other images of Christ being displayed in the state-run art center include condoms mixed with rosaries, crucifixes and religious posters.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are demanding that the state art center close the exhibit on the ground that it is immoral and blasphemous. The Bishops and other religious groups are also preparing a lawsuit against the center and exhibitors, according to CPCP Website.
“Those responsible for the public exhibit… have a liability because they offended the religious beliefs of a country that is 85 percent Christian,” the website quoted well-known Catholic activist Jo Imbong as saying.
Artist Mideo Cruz' controversial exhibit is part of the works by alumni of a church-run university which aims to challenge the people's perceptions of figures they idolize.
The CCP maintains that there is nothing wrong with the exhibit and that it was part of the artist’s duty to challenge prevailing beliefs.
“Let us keep calm and take into perspective that we need not take this matter personally. We request the arts and culture community to keep vigilant but let us maintain a dignified stance about this,” it said.
“And though art is representation and does not pretend to be anything more than art, we would like to remind anyone else who is considering violent and destructive acts against art, artists and art institutions that such acts are clearly criminal.”
“Let us all be proper, respectful and tolerant despite our different views. Not all of us are Catholics, not all of us are artists, yet we are all deserving of honor and dignity,” it added.
Meanwhile, an unidentified couple reportedly attacked the "blasphemous" art exhibits particularly the Jesus Christ poster featuring a wooden penis glued to His face, according Karen Flores, chief of the visual arts department of the CCP.
The artist has been informed of the attack on his artworks. Flores said the exhibit will continue.
More about Catholics, Church, Jesus Christ, Blasphemy charges, Art
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