Tuesday, 20 April 2010
A crucifix is often one of the focal points of a church. It is a constant reminder of the sacrifice Christ made for our freedom and the burden we bear as followers of Him. Yet one crucifix at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Oklahoma is reminding worshipers of something completely different.
“I think it’s an embarrassment to our Lord,” parishioner Rita Cook told The Oklahoman. “I think it’s an embarrassment to our parishioners. And I think it’s an embarrassment to our visitors.”
So what is it about this crucifix, commissioned by Monsignor Edward Weisenburger and created by iconographer Janet Jaime, that is causing such controversy? It all has to do with the appearance of Jesus' “distended abdomen.”
Rather than seeing a swelling stomach, many are seeing a giant erect penis.
Weisenburger and Jaime stand by the piece, which Reggie Jaime, husband of the artist, suggests “isn't just a subjective drawing.” The icon was based on the traditional San Damiano crucifix, though the abdomen does appear to be significantly more pronounced in Jaime's work.
Jaime has agreed to modify the crucifix.
What do you see when you look at the icon in question? Do you find it offensive? Do you think this is just a misinterpretation on the part of the parishioners? Do you think the artist should have been a bit more careful in the rendering of the image?