Chilean-born artist-designer Sebastian Errazuriz, 35, was one of 10 artists featured in the the Love it or Leave it show at R'Pure Gallery
in New York celebrating New York Design Week, a press release said.
Raised in a Catholic household, Errazuriz said the laser engraved custom wood popsicle sticks were distributed as cocktail refreshments to the art gallery attendants "inviting them to drink the Kool-Aid", according to design
As the Christian Post notes
, Roman Catholics believe the bread and wine served by the priest during the communion ceremony is literally transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Errazuriz, now a "practicing atheist," said that's what happened to the popsicles.
The artist told CNN
that he simply smuggled the frozen pops, hidden in a cooler, into a Church during Mass.
Once there, they were "inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the Eucharist," he said.
The story behind the art
No stranger to controversy, Errazuriz created the Jesus pops as a way to gain attention towards the rising numbers of Christian extremist groups, according to the press release, it reads:
In the past years America has appeared to suffer a historical regression becoming more politically and religiously extremist than previous decades. The current religious fanatic groups although deemed potentially violent, are dismissed due to the current focus on religious fundamentals from the Middle East.
While fighting the War on Terror, we forget that only a few decades ago, groups like the Ku Klux Klan, where a functioning, dominant political force in American society. The Klan much like other extremists identified themselves as a Christian organization, carrying out ‘God’s work’ branding the Flaming Cross as their symbol during their reign of terror.
Today the Klan is long gone; nevertheless extreme religious and political groups continue to hold a dangerous and growing influence over American politics. The current culture of fear, rage and religious fanaticism demands that today’s politicians drink the Kool-Aid, publicly profess their faith in God and promise to enforce laws that defend the ideology of the Bible and the Christian Faith over individual liberties.
"I just believe if you are not doing work that can make people stop, think and discuss, then it's better not to make any work at all." Errazuriz added.
With that being said, Errazuriz insists that the popsicles weren't created just to stir up trouble. In fact, hoped the frozen treats would show that "Christians can take a little humor."
Well, he didn't have to worry about humor.
"I've often wondered how that works. Is there a distance limit on the magic words that a priest utters?" asks
CNN user Woody in response to the article. "For instance, if a church were located near a liquor store, would the entire inventory of wine be turned into Christ's blood? Does just red wine get turned into holy blood, or does white wine work as well? How 'bout wine coolers? Is there someone out there that knows the technical aspects of turning wine into blood?"
CNN user 'Defender' later said answered the question. "This is a huge fraud on the part of Sebastian Errazuriz," the reader began,
Unless the wine he used was on the altar placed in the area of the small alter cloth (about 12 inch by 12 inches), as is the chalice and dish with the hosts, the wine does not under go transubstantiation. Just as any wine that is stored in the sacristy (the room off the altar), or even brought in by a person in a grocery bag returning from the store is not blessed, consecrated, or otherwise transformed, neither is any wine he may have taken to into a church. A priest cannot 'inadvertently' bless anything, and in this case most certainly the priest had no intention of blessing Errazuriz' wine.
"Consult any book of Catholic Canon Law and General Instruction of the Roman Missal as validation of these comments, and proof that Errazuriz claim is a fraud."
Let's pray for him
And what did Bill Donohue think?
Donohue, the outspoken president of the Catholic League, did not disappoint.
"I never heard of this guy until about 10 minutes ago, but I already know he is a bigot, a hypocrite and a rip-off artist," he said in a statement
"[Errazuriz] is a hypocrite because he says that although Americans should be 'rightly worried' about the threat that radical Muslims pose, he decided to stick it to Christians instead," he added.
Others wanted to punch him.
"Mr. Errazuriz may win today's award for most vile and offensive act you've heard of in a long time," Jimmy Akin, an author and senior apologist for Catholic Answers, recently wrote
in the National Catholic Register," but fortunately there is a safeguard preventing this kind of thing from happening at the whim of a crazed artist: God has set it up so that the intention of the priest is necessary for the consecration."
Akin's conclusion? "He's a wanna-be sacrilege artist, but he's failing to commit the sacrilege he wants."
"Let's pray for him," he says.
What do you think?
Is it art or not? Let us know in the comment section below!