Cork bishop criticises ‘offensive’ Mary image

THE Bishop of Cork and Ross has launched a scathing attack on an exhibition, due to open in UCC today, for portraying the Virgin Mary in an“offensive” way.

The digital image by Mexican artist Alma Lopez shows Our Lady of Guadalupe wearing a floral bikini, with her hands on her hips in what some consider a provocative pose. She is standing on a black crescent moon held by a bare breasted female butterfly angel.

Most Reverend Dr John Buckley said: “Respect for Mary, the mother of God, is bred in the bones of Irish people and entwined in their lives.

“It is regrettable and unacceptable that this exhibition seeks to portray the mother of God in such an offensive way.”

The image is to go on display at UCC as part of a conference on Chicano culture — US citizens of Mexican descent — organised by the university’s Mexican Studies Centre.

Two art exhibits — one by Celia Herrera Rodriguez entitled EnAguas EnTlalocan/Prayer for Mother Waters and the other by Alma Lopez, entitled Our Lady and Other Queer Santas — will run concurrently with the conference.

But Lopez’s artwork, and her portrayal of Mary, has sparked controversy.

Bishop Buckley said: “True pluralism respects the beliefs of all faiths and does not seek to ridicule the faith and convictions of any believer.”

He was backed by Cork South Central Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer who said UCC should not be lending support to an event which is considered by many to be “overtly blasphemous and blatantly disrespectful”.

“Those in charge at UCC should reconsider whether or not it is appropriate to permit this exhibition to take place on its campus without affording others the opportunity to present an alternative and balanced point of view.”

Neither UCC nor Alma Lopez were available for comment last night.

More in this Section

Councillor among three charged with criminal damage over street names

900 diagnosed annually with alcohol-related cancer: HSE

Ireland is eighth most expensive in Europe for broadband

Semen on child’s top matched accused, court hears

Breaking Stories

Powersharing in the North made more difficult by Sinn Fein's "glorification of terrorism", says Foster

The Euromillions results are in...

One person hospitalised following crash in Kerry

Gardaí urge shoppers to be vigilant online ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday


Toy story: 10 toys guaranteed to bring out the kid in all of us

GameTech: Star Wars Battlefront II: Chance to win Loot Skywalker

Military top brass: Meet the conductor of the army’s Southern Brigade band

Album review: Experience counts on U2’s return to form

More From The Irish Examiner