Loading
Vienna cardinal expresses regrets about controversial artwork display
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

.- After a controversial piece of artwork depicting the apostles engaged in sexual acts was removed from an exhibit at the Vienna cathedral’s museum, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has expressed his “explicit regret” that the work was exhibited, Kath.net reports.

The Cathedral Museum of Vienna had put on a retrospective exhibition honoring the 80-year-old artist Alfred Hrdlicka.  One of the pictures depicted what Hrdlicka described as a “homosexual orgy” involving the apostles at the Last Supper. 

Another sketch depicting the Crucifixion showed a soldier simultaneously beating Christ and holding his genitals.

The obscene depiction of the Last Supper was removed from the exhibit within a week.

On Wednesday morning, Cardinal Schönborn released a statement in which he explained why the exhibit had taken place and why the Last Supper artwork should not have been displayed.

The cardinal said the Cathedral Museum did not identify with every work of Hrdlicka it hosted.  In some of the artworks, the cardinal said, “he oversteps the essential threshold of respect for the Sacred. From the point of view of committed Christians, certain of his works must quite clearly be rejected.”

“I obviously would not have agreed to have blasphemous or pornographic works exhibited,” the cardinal continued.  “I therefore explicitly regret that a work of this kind was exhibited without my knowledge. I ordered the particular work, which committed believers find deeply distressing, to be removed on 20 March.”

The cardinal also noted the artistic contributions of Hrdlicka. 

“Hrdlicka is one of Austria’s most notable living artists who, probably more than any other living artist, has devoted himself to the suffering and downtrodden human being and has appealed for ‘compassion’ with the ‘Passion,’” the cardinal said, according to kath.net. 

“He expresses this ‘compassion’ in a most perturbing way,” the cardinal said, citing prominent Hrdlicka works that include a Holocaust Memorial in front of a Vienna gallery.

“It is for this reason that I agreed to an exhibition of his works at the Cathedral Museum, albeit without detailed knowledge of the individual works to be exhibited.”

Cardinal Schönborn said that though Hrdlicka claims to be a communist and an atheist, throughout his life he has dealt with biblical subjects, “especially the sufferings of Christ.”

“He nevertheless has a burning interest in the Holy Bible, and has personally admitted that he has a great longing for faith,” the cardinal said.

Cardinal Schönborn concluded his statement saying that Catholics must welcome the fact that artists who are not Catholic “occupy themselves so intensely with biblical subjects.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: