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Blasphemous statue of Our Lady raises indignation in Italy
The Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata has its center in Verona, Italy. Near Verona in Sezano is a Stigmatine Historical Monastery, whose religious changed its name to Monastery of the Common Good. It became a center of ecology, feminism and class struggle along the lines of Liberation Theology.
Last Advent, in the chapel of the Sezano monastery, a small bronze statue (17 inches) of a pregnant naked woman by artist Marco Danelion, above, was displayed close to the Tabernacle. The features and hair of the figure speak of a black woman. The title of the sculpture is The Mother of God. It supposedly represents Our Lady carrying the Word Incarnate in her womb, walking toward giving birth.
In addition to the statue being placed in the chapel during Advent, a public visitation was promoted by the Diocese after Christmas. An ad posted on the front page of the Diocese of Verona website read:
It is Happening in Sezano:
From Saturday, December 29, 2009 to Thursday, January 6, 2010
The [exhibit] Echo of the Icon invites you to visit
the icons displayed in the Monastery
On Sunday, 27 at 4:00 p.m. - Come to hear what The Icon of the Nativity says to us
On Friday, January 1st at 4:00 p.m. -
Come to meet The Mother of God, the sculpture of Marco Danielon
On Thursday, January 6 at 4:00 p.m. - The Vault is unveiled
Thus, there can be no doubt that the display of that statue was an initiative of Fr. Silvano Nicoletto, the Stigmatine priest in charge of the chapel, and that the exhibit was duly approved by Diocesan Bishop Giuseppe Zenti.
The display raised strong indignation among lay Catholics in the area. The Stigmatines responded by continuing to host the statue in their monastery. They also publicly supported the art piece as a worthy symbol of Our Lady. As the uproar increased and threatened to careen out of control, an attempt to curb public anger was made by finally retiring the statue from the church. Such a decision, however, caused great disappointment to the feminine (and feminist) Combonian Missionaries who fully endorsed the Stigmatine initiative.
This public exposition of a nude figure representing the sacred person of the Immaculate Virgin is so disrespectful that we must classify it as a most grave offense to her honor and purity. The right word to describe it is blasphemy. And the initiative of the priests and religious who promoted and defended it is nothing less than a public scandal. Our full support goes to the Catholic faithful who demanded the withdrawal of that sculpture.
Below first row, the sculpture close to the Tabernacle. Second row, the chapel of the monastery; the Tabernacle is in an adjoining room in front at right.
Third row, a view of the cloisters of the Sacred Stigmata Monastery in Sezano.
Photos from Inter Multiplices Una Vox
Posted May 23, 2010
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