I am not easily offended. I can understand that non-Christians will create and display "art" that mocks and blasphemes the Catholic Faith - but a Catholic institution permitting such behavior? Enough is enough.
Last week, a mock portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe was displayed as "art" in the Haggerty Art Village on the campus of the University of Dallas. The portrait, I am told, depicted a pornographic depiction of a woman surrounded by the recognizable aura of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the inscription "Saint or Sinner?" This is a clear mockery of one of the most recognized and beloved images of the Catholic Faith, an icon, I might add, that is especially venerated in Texas.
Do you think Hispanic Americans are likely to enroll at the University of Dallas when they discover that the University of Dallas allows Our Lady of Guadalupe to be mocked in the context of pornography?
I am ashamed of the art department at the University of Dallas for placing this kind of smut on the walls of our university. How dare they mock the Catholic benefactors who established and continue to support the school that employs them? I bet that they would have thought twice about hanging a pornographic picture of Muhammad or his daughter Fatima. It's true what they say: anti-Catholicism is the last and only acceptable prejudice.
Unfortunately, the story has been turned inside out. Apparently, the portrait has now been stolen and police and the school authorities cannot locate its whereabouts.
The University of Dallas' newspaper leads off the front-page with the headline: "President Lazarus Condemns Theft". I agree that stealing is wrong and that theft is not the answer to this problem. However, might it also be appropriate to publish a university statement "condemning" public scandal and religious intolerance?
Instead of being rightly identified as insensitive bigots, those responsible for the display of this image are now portrayed as martyrs on account of the theft.
I am glad to be at the University of Dallas and I love the school. I'd rather not have to write something like this, but something needs to be said.