NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic church in New York City has kept a highly controversial painting series in its place near the altar as the exhibit’s accompanying description, which entitled the series “God is Trans[gender]: A Queer Spiritual Journey,” has been removed for an “update.”
While Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) previously reported that an Archdiocese of New York spokesperson said the office had been informed by the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle in Manhattan that it had removed the exhibit, Catholic News Agency (CNA) shared Monday that only the display’s title and description sign has been temporarily removed while the paintings remain after the Archdiocese said it would investigate reports of the display.
Paul Snatchko, a spokesman for the Paulist Fathers, told CNA that the Paulist Fathers took the concerns of the archdiocese “very seriously” and accordingly removed the description of the paintings, naming the series “God is Transgender” and promoting the idolatrous and heretical ideas that we can make a “god” according to our own liking and that “there is no devil.”
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) has described assisted suicide as sometimes being the “greatest common good concretely possible” contrary to the Catholic Church's strenuous condemnation of the practice.
This betrayal of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is not for the first time, with the PAV repeatedly causing scandal under his watch by:
- recently appointing a notorious pro-abortion atheist to the organization
- claiming contraception and artificial insemination are sometimes acceptable
- insisting that priests could accompany people through assisted-suicide, and
- that Italy's pro-abortion law is a “pillar” of the country's social life.
SIGN: Pope Francis must remove Abp. Paglia from the Pontifical Academy for Life
“Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance,” Archbishop Paglia told an Italian journalism conference last week, “but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in.”
Accepting an anti-life Italian court ruling that specified when assisted-suicide is permitted, the archbishop claimed “it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that would allow assistance to suicide under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court Sentence 242/2019...”
From the outset of his presentation in Perugia, Paglia also undermined the authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, stating: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the Catholic Church is not that it has a ready-made, prepackaged package of truths, as if it were a dispenser of truth pills.”
SIGN: Abp. Paglia must be removed from the Pontifical Academy for Life
The PAV issued a statement on Monday trying to clarify the archbishop's remarks, insisting that Paglia “reiterates his ‘no’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium”.
However, far from denouncing Paglia’s words, the PAV unsurprisingly supported its president. Referencing the Italian court ruling which partially decriminalized euthanasia by outlining exceptions to its illegality, the PAV stated it was in the context of this ruling that Paglia had made his comments.
In this precise and specific context, Msgr. Paglia explained that in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ (certainly not a moral one) in the direction indicated by the Sentence is possible, maintaining the crime and the conditions under which it is decriminalized, as the same Constitutional Court has asked Parliament to legislate.
The PAV’s fudging of the issue was met with consternation from several Catholic commentators, with liturgist Matthew Hazell, who had highlighted Paglia’s original comments, asking “How hard is it for the @PontAcadLife to just say ‘sorry’ for scandalising the faithful? Indeed, how hard is it to actually adhere to the teaching of the Church on life issues? Are you so incapable of reading the signs of the times & interpreting them in the light of the Gospel?”
The Pontifical Academy for Life has tried & failed to explain @monspaglia's remarks. Paglia had spoken about the “accompaniment” needed for the dying, saying “in this context, it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible …” https://t.co/C3LU601aA2— Michael Haynes 🇻🇦 (@MLJHaynes) April 24, 2023
Sorry guys, not good enough. Nowhere near good enough.— Matthew Hazell (@M_P_Hazell) April 24, 2023
Archbishop Paglia's "opinion" on the possibility of "juridical mediation" regarding euthanasia is still contrary to the Catholic faith, as has been explained already. https://t.co/qMATq0UZrL pic.twitter.com/W8s4zLvkj7
Archbishop Paglia's comments about assisted suicide being "feasible" are wrong and harmful. It's the kind of "crack in the wall" that opponents of human life will run with to promote their agenda. The teaching of the Church is clear: Euthanasia is "morally unacceptable." Period.— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) April 24, 2023
SIGN: Abp. Paglia's presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life is untenable
It's vital that the Church and PAV push back against the culture of death, rather than trying to accommodate it and accept a world that where the vulnerable are helped to kill themselves.
Be part of pushing back against the tide and making it clear that there is no room for confusion or betrayal when it comes to the sanctity of human life and the infallibilty of Catholic teaching on the matter.
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Abp. Paglia defends assisted-suicide as 'greatest common good possible' for dying people - LifeSiteNews
Snatchko shared that the artist, Adah Unachukwu, a Fordham University student, and the Paulists Fathers’ New York City “artist-in-residence” Father Frank Sabatté are working on a new title and description for the paintings.
According to the previously displayed description, “The painting Sacrifice … speak[s] to the need to shed an old life and personhood in order to be able to focus on your spiritual need. There is no devil. Just past selves.”
The description further explained that the painting, “Identity,” marking another “significant point” of the “queer spiritual journey,” asks, “What does holiness look like? What does your god look like? Are these two portrayals that can be merged?”
“Finally, ‘Communion’…plac[es] God and the mortal on the same plane,” Unachukwu continued.
Sabatté directs a group of visual artists based at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle called the Openings Collective, which “often exhibits at our mother church,” according to the Paulist Fathers’ website.
When CNA asked Snatchko if the Paulist Fathers believe it is acceptable to say that God is transgender, Snatchko replied “no.”
According to Snatchko, Openings Collective puts on “two or three exhibit shows” every year, and the “God is Trans” painting display was included along with eight others in the current exhibit.
“It’s not the practice of the parish to get pre-approval of the titles of the artworks,” Snatchko told CNA. “The idea is that Father Frank [Sabatté] is overseeing that.”
“That title was the title that one artist gave to their display,” he continued. “So it is not the opinion of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. It was one artist in an eight-person exhibit, and that was the title they gave to their display. It was not a statement of theology in any way.”
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York declined to comment when asked by LifeSiteNews to clarify whether the paintings remained on display. However, on Tuesday, a representative from Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s office told a source known to LifeSiteNews that, to their knowledge, the display had been removed.
LifeSiteNews also reached out to the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle for clarification but had not received a response as of the time of publishing.