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Carmine De Rosa at the Olympic Stadium, May 25, 2024.TikTok

ROME (LifeSiteNews) — Catholics have expressed horror after a male performance artist danced in drag for young children during Pope Francis’ first World Children’s Day this weekend.

On May 25, Salerno native Carmine De Rosa performed as one of the official artists for the inaugural World Children’s Day. In his capacity as a quick-change artist or a living cartoon, De Rosa appeared as a woman, wearing multiple outfits in drag. He also used suggestive cardboard costumes.

Children sat in a circle around De Rosa as he performed. His demonstration took place at Rome’s Olympic Stadium – where, later in the day, Pope Francis met with thousands of young children from across the world.

Wearing a pink dress with a plunging neck-line, De Rosa commented on the excitement he felt at being invited to take part in the World Children’s Day.

@carminederosaofficial Oggi in scena allo stadio Olimpico di Roma per la giornata mondiale dei Bambini indetta da Papa Francesco 😍 Che grande emozione! ❤️ #worldchildrensday #25maggio #papafrancesco #carminederosatrasformista #quickchangechallenge #world #eventi #roma #stadioolimpicodiroma #boy ♬ Dreamers [Music from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Official Soundtrack] – Jung Kook & BTS

Highlighting De Rosa’s performance, former U.S. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó attested that De Rosa’s inclusion in the international event demonstrated Vatican support for LGBT ideology. “It is now clear that Bergoglio is one of the main activists of the hellish LGBTQ + agenda,” the prelate wrote.

Continuing, Viganó quoted the Gospel, noting Christ’s warning about causing scandal:

There are no more words to express the scandal and disgust, in the complicit and cowardly silence of the Episcopate.

“Whoever scandalizes even one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for him if a millstone turned into a donkey’s wheel were hung around his neck, and he were cast into the depths of the sea” (Mt 18:6).

De Rosa has since defended his show. Writing on social media platform TikTok he stated that “bringing smiles to children and beyond was my task and I succeeded.”

LifeSite contacted the press office of the World Children’s Day to inquire about De Rosa’s official status at the event, but has yet to receive an answer.

READ: Catholics pray Rosary in protest of pro-LGBT Mass at Jesuit Saint Louis University

However, De Rosa himself stated that he was officially invited: “I would like to point out, reading the comments, that I was WANTED at this event FOR THE TYPE OF SHOW I CARRY ON STAGE and for professionalism…But I simply defend MY ART.”

De Rosa regularly performs for Italian network RAI. However he also appears at a variety of events including First Communion parties, where he dances suggestively and performs his trademark quick outfit change – nearly always wearing female costumes and red lipstick.

The World Children’s Day event saw young children from around 100 countries gather in Rome. The two-day meeting with Pope Francis was held on Saturday, where Francis met with children in the Olympic Stadium, and then Sunday when he presided over Trinity Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

Announced by Francis during the Angelus on December 8 last year, the special day continues a predominant, current theme set by the pontiff – namely, to be visibly involved in events involving children. Prior to the weekend’s events, Francis has been making a series of unannounced visits to parishes around Rome, where he meets with local children and conducts catechetical-style encounters.

Though papal attention to children at events – whether at weekly audiences, international trips, or in St. Peter’s Square after Mass – is not uncommon by any means, Francis’ pontificate in the last seven months has seen a particular focus on events aimed at children.

World Children’s Day is now anticipated to be a regular event, according to the will of Pope Francis, with the next occasion being in September 2026. It is intended to form a corresponding forum to the World Youth Day which is held every few years for those aged between 16 and 35.

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