University regrets that sculpture is offensive to Catholics

University regrets that sculpture is offensive to Catholics


Washburn University said it regrets that Roman Catholics may have been offended by a sculpture that depicts a Catholic clergyman in a hat that resembles a penis.

"No one involved in the selection process or in any aspect of the Campus Beautification Committee intended for any viewers to experience pain or hurt," read a university statement, issued Sept. 30.

Archbishop James Keleher of the Archdiocese of Kansas City and Kansas wrote the university president Dr. Jerry Farley, asking for the removal of the sculpture. Dr. William A. Donahue, president of the New York-based Catholic League, submitted his own letter opposing the sculpture.

"I am particularly concerned for your many Catholic students who see their faith ridiculed and they themselves embarrassed," wrote the archbishop.

The sculpture is on loan to the university until July 2004 as part of the university's eighth annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. The university made no mention of removing the sculpture from campus at an earlier time.

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