Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice has issued an energetic call to the directors of a Venice dance festival to cancel the ballet Messiah Game because of its blasphemous treatment of the person of Christ.
The ballet consists of a musical choreography that presents a sarcastic and sadomasochist version of the Passion of Christ, in which Jesus himself and his disciples are depicted as depraved.
Another blasphemous ballet, created by German choreographer Felix Ruckhert, has not yet debuted in Italy but is scheduled to open June 27 at the Dance Festival.
Despite the complaints of various Catholic organizations and of the Catholic Anti-Defamation League of Italy, officials have confirmed the dates of the ballet’s debut.
Last Friday, Cardinal Schola again called for the cancellation of the show, which he called “a completely banal work created to be offensive.”
“I make this request because it is necessary that the figure of Jesus Christ be respected and because I care about Venice and about humanity; because our city has the right and duty to propose better things,” he added.
“What kind of a message does a city with such a great cultural heritage send with such a work?” the cardinal asked. The right to freedom of expression, he noted, does not include the right to directly offend the sensibility of the majority of Italians.