News
Featured Image
 Twitter/TheCatholicTraveler

ROME, Italy (LifeSiteNews) — Called the “new Pieta,” a “blasphemous” version of Michelangelo’s famous Pieta has been unveiled in a Roman basilica, depicting a muscular older man holding a younger man, both of whom are completely naked.

The “new Pieta” was sculpted by Italian artist Jacopo “Jago” Cardillo during the COVID-related lockdowns, and is situated in the Chapel of the Crucifix, in the basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto in the Piazza del Populo.

Michelangelo’s Pieta shows the Blessed Virgin holding Christ after His descent from the cross, with Mary fully and modestly clothed, and Christ’s modesty covered with the loincloth. Michelangelo’s work has been noted to show how “the beautiful figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus are echoing the beauty of the Divine.”

In contrast, Jago’s version appears to depict two men. An older, very muscular, bald man bends on one knee, while holding in his arms a younger man with long hair. A sculpted piece of fabric is draped over the older man’s bended knee, but both figures are fully unclothed.

While the statue appears to be of two men, at least one report described it as being of a man and a woman.

The statue is part of the project “‘A door towards infinity’ – Man and the Absolute in art,” within the cycle “Art and Liturgy,” which is being promoted by the basilica’s rector Msgr. Walter Insero.

Commenting on the statue, Insero said it was “a work of contemporary art that contaminates the context. I was struck by the expression of pain, a poignant pain.”

“The work is placed in the Chapel of the Crucifix where the scene of the Cross gives it depth and illuminates the mystery,” Insero added. “It makes us understand the pain of a man who tries to give life to the body of a loved person.”

The artist himself noted that the work was based on “the historical period in which I live.”

— Article continues below Petition —
PETITION: Urge the Catholic Church to demand ethical COVID vaccines for Catholics (and, everyone else)!
  Show Petition Text
10314 have signed the petition.
Let's get to 12500!
Thank you for signing this petition!
Add your signature:
  Show Petition Text
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.

Please SIGN this critical petition which urges the Catholic Church to demand that Big Pharma develop, produce and distribute ethical (non-abortion tainted) COVID vaccines for Catholics...and, anyone else who feels morally obliged to refuse abortion-tainted vaccines!

Over the past 10 months, the Catholic Church's teaching office (the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - CDF) has quietly directed the Catholic faithful to protest against the use of aborted babies in the production or testing of available COVID vaccines in the West -- all of which use aborted fetal cell lines in either their development or testing phase.

Sadly, this direction has been so quiet that almost no-one knows about it.

At the same time, however, the Pope (see below), along with many other senior prelates, has been loudly promoting the uptake of these same unethically-produced vaccines amongst the Catholic faithful with only a whisper of protest.

It's clear that there is a major disconnect in the Church between word and action on this major moral issue.

But, instead of being a follower, the Church should be a leader in this area -- demanding the development of ethical vaccines (and, other ethically-developed products) for Catholics.**

In fact, there are already Catholic scientists, like Dr. Alan Moy, who are working with adult stem cells to help achieve ethical alternatives, but they have received "very little interest" from the Church, to-date.

And, to be fair, some individual bishops, like Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver, Canada, have vocally supported non-abortion tainted vaccines, with Archbishop Miller going so far as to donate towards ethical research.

But, it's time to try again and ask Church leaders in the Vatican and its US counterpart, the USCCB (the Catholic bishops' conference in the United States), to be fully consistent in word and deed on the issue of aborted fetal cell lines used to produce vaccines.

Jews have kosher foods and Muslims have halal foods. And, people from both traditions demand such foods - and, their demands are respected. As an example, please click and scroll down here to see all of the halal certificates which McDonald's needs to operate in Saudi Arabia.

So, certainly the Catholic Church could and should loudly demand that pharmaceutical companies develop and produce ethical vaccines for Catholics.

Indeed, the Church could and should ask the faithful to loudly demand ethical vaccines from Big Pharma (by providing phone numbers and email addresses, for example). And, or, the Church could and should commit to sponsoring the development of pro-life pharmaceuticals.

It should be noted here that the Catholic Church teaches that there is NO moral obligation, whatsoever, to accept a vaccine.

But, regrettably, for those who wish to take an ethically-produced COVID vaccine, even the Church's direction is hard to understand, precisely because it is contradictory.

On the one hand, the CDF says that acceptance of an abortion-tainted vaccine constitutes passive/remote material cooperation in the evil of abortion.

On the other hand the CDF also says that the acceptance of abortion-tainted vaccine is morally permissible when no ethically developed and tested vaccine is available.

At the same, however, the CDF paradoxically says that those who accept an unethical vaccine have the moral obligation to protest against it.

But then...there's the recent video of Pope Francis and other senior bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals promoting the COVID vaccines, without protesting against their gravely immoral development and testing, nor calling on Big Pharma to produce an ethical alternative.

So, where the current slate of COVID vaccines is concerned, the Church is apparently saying that you can cooperate with evil if some good may result...if you have no ethical alternative...but, you have to protest the evil...while participating in it.

And, well, the very people who are telling us to protest the unethical vaccines are, themselves, actually promoting them as, "an act of love."

That's confusing!

This kind of contradiction - saying one thing and doing another - is unacceptable because it assumes as normal the situation where only unethical vaccines are available for Catholics.

We are asking the Church to stop this seeming servility towards Big Pharma, and start a loud and active campaign promoting the development and production of ethical vaccines.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging Pope Francis and other Vatican authorities, as well as USCCB authorities, to loudly demand that Big Pharma develop and produce ethical vaccines for Catholics, untainted by abortion.

Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'‘Wholly unethical’: US ‘personhood’ org condemns COVID vaccines derived from aborted babies' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/wholly-unethical-us-personhood-org-condemns-covid-vaccines-derived-from-aborted-babies/

'In ‘rupture’ with Church’s ‘absolute opposition’ to abortion, Vatican hosting pro-aborts at pro-COVID jab conference' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/in-rupture-with-churchs-absolute-opposition-to-abortion-vatican-hosting-pro-aborts-at-pro-covid-jab-conference/

'‘I will never comply with evil’: Pro-lifer Abby Johnson on abortion-tainted vaccines' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/i-will-never-comply-with-evil-pro-lifer-abby-johnson-on-abortion-tainted-vaccines/

'Canadian archbishop donates to ethical coronavirus vaccine research' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-archbishop-donates-to-ethical-coronavirus-vaccine-research/

**Actually, to be fully consistent with the Church's teaching on this issue, the Catholic Church should demand that Catholics be offered an "ethical" choice for every major product, from food to cosmetics, from to clothing to medicine, and beyond.

  Hide Petition Text

“I don’t want to unbalance myself on its meaning, I prefer to leave the observer the total freedom to interpret it,” he told Ansa. “I hope it will become a symbol for the community and for many new sculptors who follow my path on social networks to find courage and inspiration.”

Jago, 34, gained notoriety and the 2012 Medal of the Pontificate after sculpting a marble bust of Benedict XVI, clothed in the papal robes.

When Benedict XVI resigned in 2013, the artist modified the statue to depict the pontiff without clothes, with the title “Habemus hominem,” to show that “the representative of God returned to being a man.”

His “new Pieta” has drawn considerable backlash on social media. Users described it as “not even close to sacred art. It is base, vulgar statuary of ambiguous meaning with no right to be in a church.”

Fr. Ronald Vierling hinted at Satanic influences behind the statue, saying that “I dare say, most — if not all, the problems in the world (and possibly, even the Church) can be traced back to having expelled God to make room for a new tenant: Satan.”

Another Twitter user simply described the statue as “blasphemy.”

LifeSiteNews spoke with Professor David Clayton — provost at Pontifex University as well as a painter and iconographer — who noted that the statue could not even hold the title of “pieta.”

“A pieta is an image that contains Mary holding Christ. Neither the Virgin Mary nor Christ is present in recognizable form — there are traditional forms for each.”

“According to St. Theodore the Studite, whose theology finally settled the iconoclastic controversy in the 9th century, art that is worthy of veneration must bear the name and the recognizable characteristics of the people named,” Clayton observed.

“So you might have Christ and Mary, Mother of God named and then two figures who bear the characteristics that tradition has passed on to us — i.e. the figures must look like who they are supposed to be. You could alternatively have ‘Pieta’ as a name for the image, then it would be understood that Christ and the Virgin Mary are the figures, and again the characteristics of each person should be there.”

Clayton said the work was “not a pieta and not appropriate for a church by any other name either as far as I can see according to this criterion, as it bears no relation to any recognizable religious or sacred Christian theme.”

“Whoever commissioned this or carved it is not following Christian tradition,” he concluded. “It doesn’t become a pieta just because someone randomly decides to call it so.”

Meanwhile Andrew Thompson-Briggs, a writer and manager of GTB Sacred Art, described the statue as a “perversion of the ends of art,” but something which was not unexpected in modern Rome.

“While the artist seems to have talent and formation, his work is dominated by the desire to be provocative. This may well bring him fame and fortune, but it is a perversion of the ends of art,” Thompson-Briggs noted in comments to LifeSiteNews. 

“Art is meant to be beautiful and to encourage contemplation. Sacred art has the additional aim of moving the will toward sanctity and the intellect toward the contemplation of God. Unfortunately, the would-be-provocative nature of this artwork prevents the ascent of the mind; instead, we are forced to engage the same tired deconstructionist ideology of the post-68 elite, with its promotion of sexual perversion, gender fluidity, and sacrilege.” 

He added that “since this ideology is so very tired, and since it is no longer the province of the intelligentsia, but has become dominant everywhere, the artwork actually fails even in its attempt to be provocative. It comes across merely as conformist regime propaganda. Sadly, it is exactly what one expects to find in a church in Rome today.”

The statue, unveiled October 1, will be on display until February 28, 2022.

Comments

Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.