New York Archdiocese: We’re investigating ‘God is trans’ exhibit at Catholic parish

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The Archdiocese of New York is investigating a Catholic parish in Manhattan for hosting an art exhibit called “God is Trans: A Queer Spiritual Journey.”

The exhibit, which “maps the queer spiritual journey” and claims that “there is no devil” has upset some parishioners at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, while others are supportive, the New York Post reported.

An archdiocesan spokesperson told Newsweek that it only learned about the exhibit, which is displayed next to a side altar in the church, through media reports.

“We had no knowledge of it beforehand,” the spokesperson told the outlet.

“If media reports are accurate, then we would have concerns. We are investigating and looking to speak with the pastor of the parish to get more information,” the spokesperson said.

CNA reached out to the archdiocese and the pastor of the church, Father Rick Walsh, for comment on Tuesday but did not receive a response before publication.

Parishioners have been divided on the exhibit. The New York Post reported that an “irate” parishioner said “enough is enough.”

“It seems like they are trying to force the agenda on others,” the parishioner said. “Also, when a friend asked a priest about this they didn’t answer. You can’t put this out on the altar and then hide.”

“That’s what gets the church in trouble,” the parishioner said.

However, Cherri Gosh, 80, who supports the exhibit, told the New York Post that she loves the church because it is “very liberal.”

“I don’t understand the art, but this church is very liberal, which is why I love this church,” she said. “They are really in the present when others are not.”

The “God is Trans” exhibit by Adah Unachukwu “maps the queer spiritual journey by three significant points: Sacrifice, Identity, and Communion,” according to a description of the artwork, pictured by the Post.

“The painting Sacrifice and its complementarity act in the film speak to the need to shed an old life and personhood in order to be able to focus on your spiritual need. There is no devil; just past selves,” the description said.

'God is Trans' artwork by Adah Unachukwu. Credit: YouTube/Adah Toni
'God is Trans' artwork by Adah Unachukwu. Credit: YouTube/Adah Toni

Bill O’Connor, 79, who supports the exhibit, told the New York Post that the “queer community has been accepted here for a long time now.”

The church, which is run by the Paulist Fathers, runs a ministry called “Out at St. Paul,” which the parish’s website says is “our ministry and outreach to the Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, and Queer community.”

The ministry has a website and a Facebook page. “The love of God affirms trans kids, protects trans kids, listens to trans kids, fights for trans kids, delights in trans kids,” reads the description of one featured photo.

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In one Facebook post on March 3, 2022, the ministry celebrated International Transgender Day of Visibility and said it “intends to host events that will feature panel discussions on trans-affirming theology and health care very soon.”

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