If you were to set about artistically rendering Jesus’ “corporal works of mercy,” would you immediately get down to building a well-proportioned muscleman who’s being handed a towel?
That’s apparently what the muses instructed artist Antonio Cantone to create for them/us.
Now his nativity scene is causing outrage and consternation since it was unveiled in St Peter’s Square earlier this month.
Glad tidings of great joy look different: The Vatican's Nativity Scene is a monstrous scandalhttps://t.co/rlJMCybqhr #vatican #catholic #popefrancis #franciszek #vaticano #vatikan #tcot #trcot pic.twitter.com/677ENuwcxz
— Novus Ordo Watch (@NovusOrdoWatch) December 19, 2017
In fact, images of this naked man ISO moist towels were deemed too sexually suggestive by Facebook.
Canton insists this towel-less piece of cheesecake merely represents “clothing the naked.”
“It is not a campy nativity,” says the artist. “It is particular and makes you think. It leaves no one indifferent; there are provocations.”
Indeed there are, judging by social media response.
Many people think this naked linen-seeker is wildly inappropriate.
Others think the whole damn scene is a cultural abortion, considering it features a corpse and your standard, run-of-the-mill desecrated church.
Personally, we think it’s a rather a romp.
I don’t care. Only people in Nativity should be Holy Family—period. None of the displays should be there. Nativity is about His Birth…nothing else.
— Catherine Siena (@1catherinesiena) December 22, 2017
#Nativity Scene at the Vatican! ? The "Seven Corporal Works of Mercy" have been added, but it looks like mockery! Bombed-out church, falling star, naked man, dead corpse too? Is this Christmas or the Apocalypse? https://t.co/56e2THA324#Catholic #CatholicChurch in trouble. pic.twitter.com/F2m6tvZZHn
— EA Bucchianeri (@EABucchianeri) December 13, 2017
An Asian child looks out at this year’s Vatican Nativity scene featuring a homoerotic figure. The crèche, meant to portray the 7 corporal acts of mercy, was made in Montevergine, a town famous for its close links with Italy’s LGBT community. The scene has outraged many Catholics. pic.twitter.com/uXIHRX9mgf
— Edward Pentin (@EdwardPentin) December 22, 2017
Omg if that's really the Vatican nativity, I was right and this pope is the anti christ. ?
— Kim Donadio (@kim_donadio) December 16, 2017
Worth noting: not everyone is displeased with the work.
The president of Arcigay Naples, Antonello Sannino, told Catholic blog Lifesite that “the presence of the Vatican Nativity Scene for us is a reason to be even happier this year.”
“For the homosexual and transsexual community in Naples, it is an important symbol of inclusion and integration.”
It also includes/integrates what look like sorrowful, terrified cherubs with baleful widdle eyes and quavering widdle infant-mouths, who may or may not have been gutted and disemboweled by King Herrod or some other sword-happy, tyrannical baby-hater.
More of this around the holidays, please.