The Archdiocese of Sao Paulo has called on Brazil’s Public Ministry to intervene in the Sao Paulo Art Biennial and remove an exhibit by artist Gil Vicente that depicts the assassination of various world leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI.
The archdiocese expressed “amazement, disgust and unease” at the exhibit “Enemies” by Vicente, which features drawings that “implicitly approve of violence.”
“There is no principal or school teacher with common sense who would display these drawings in their classrooms, as they would be considered uncivilized,” the statement continued.
“In a society already marked by conflict and suffering because of so much violence, it is dubious that in the name of art, an exhibit is displayed that suggests the expression of hatred against those perceived to be one’s enemies,” the archdiocese said.
It called the exhibit an “unfortunate show of disrespect for human dignity and a threat to the peace of social life. Violence, whether real or simply suggested, creates more violence,” the archdiocese stressed.
It also noted that the Catholic community feels particularly indignant and saddened “by the disrespect towards Pope Benedict XVI, who travels about the world on a mission of justice and peace. To imagine or suggest violence against the Pope causes sadness and indignation. May nobody, in any part of the world, be crazy enough to view these drawings!” the archdiocese said.
Recently, Brazilian lawyers demanded the exhibit be withdrawn for its depiction of the assassinations of world leaders such as George Bush, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Pope Benedict XVI.