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Milwaukee museum to display portrait of Pope Benedict made of condoms

Hi resolution version of RNS-BENEDICT-XVI021113a.jpgMILWAUKEE (Reuters) The Milwaukee Art Museum says it hopes a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI made of condoms will ignite a conversation about the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the role art plays in public discussions, director Dan Keegan said on Monday.

The museum said that about 200 callers have complained about the portrait. Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Jerome Listecki called the museum callous and the portrait insulting in a blog last week on the Archdiocese website.

About 17,000 colorful condoms were stitched together to fashion the portrait called “Eggs Benedict,” which the museum plans to put on display in November, museum spokeswoman Vicki Scharfberg said.

Milwaukee artist Niki Johnson has said she made the portrait in response to Pope Benedict’s position against the use of condoms even to combat AIDS in Africa. She completed it two years ago. Benedict later softened his stance, saying condoms were sometimes permissible to stop the epidemic.

The museum said callers supporting the portrait have outnumbered those opposed it its display.

“We look forward to continuing the dialog around this work and the role art plays in society,” Keegan said.

To see a photo of Johnson’s artwork, visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Reporting By Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Ken Wills

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  • I find it odd how the Left expresses their hatred for the Catholic Church. You can almost see the fangs come out in these types of things.

  • “Art?” I say it is an insult. It is obscene even for people who have no religious sensitivities at all. The Church isn’t trying to be mean about the use of condoms. The Church is carrying out its God-given command to abstain from all immorality. Of course, this stance isn’t going to be popular in a world here “anything goes.” But the, the Church isn’t seeking popularity, but obedience to God and love of neighbor. The world will reply, “Love of neighbor?!” Yes, love of newborn and of God Who only wants what is best for His children! The sexual impulse is strong, but like man, it, too, is fallen. A person is not to give in to these impulses, except in marriage and even then it must be moderated. Prayer is the only way to overcome these out of control impulses as it is constant prayer and vigilance that is necessary for control of other evil impulses (such as murder, theft, lying, gluttony, etc.), as well.

  • “Art?” I say it is an insult. It is obscene even for people who have no religious sensitivities at all. The Church isn’t trying to be mean about the use of condoms. The Church is carrying out its God-given command to abstain from all immorality. Of course, this stance isn’t going to be popular in a world where “anything goes.” But the Church isn’t seeking popularity, but obedience to God and love of neighbor. The world will reply, “Love of neighbor?!” Yes, love of neighbor and of God Who only wants what is best for His children! The sexual impulse is strong, but like man, it, too, is fallen from grace in the Garden of Eden, when man and woman decided what was right and wrong, rather than God (“Tree of knowledge of good and evil.”). A person is not to give in to these impulses, except in marriage and even then it must be moderated. Prayer is the only way to overcome these out of control impulses as it is constant prayer and vigilance that is necessary for control…

  • Please forgive the second post. Some corrections had to made!

    Blessings to all!

  • Thank God Catholics do not react to these grotesque images as Islam would. I’m dumbfounded the museum would embrace this artist’s deformed “message through art” mind, and that the public would care to even see it. Is this supposed to prod the Church to change its Teachings on contraception, to embarrass it into submission? As if.
    The Church teaches morality in the manner God would. It cannot make exceptions for the dubious claim that condoms would eliminate AIDS in Africa. Is this fame seeking artist aware of this, or just an atheistic drone believing her work is of any value short of shock?
    Do museums accept all things controversial for the dollar? Then frame the Muhammed cartoons and display them alongside Benedict’s “portrait”.
    Or why not create a portrait of Obama using cotton and watermelon?
    Absolutely disgraceful…..shame on all citizens of Milwaukee.

  • There will always be fundamentalists who see dogma as more important than saving people’s lives. I only wish the exhibit pictured Pope Francis instead since he shares Benedict’s opposition to contraceptives to alleviate the suffering of the poor in Africa and elsewhere.

  • What a bizarre attitude, Betty. Should we murder all Muslims because a minority are terrorists? Why wouldn’t that be a solution to the suffering of the world today? Does Pope Benedict’s teaching stop any African from using contraceptives? Why should he, or any Pope, violate the natural law to addresses a disease that has many more alternative cures? Marital fidelity, chastity, abstaining from sex, human dignity, moral behavior, are but a few of the answers for AIDS. The Church cannot sanction an evil for an assumed good outcome……it would be contradicting itself.

  • Oooh they are mocking him in ART!!!

    That is so equivalent to the efforts of people like yourself to attack the civil liberties of others and promote persecution. /sarcasm.

    Its insulting, its obscene. Its art meant to provoke. Its free speech.

    Sister Geraldine, when we start seeing “love thy neighbor” coming from devout people like yourself, then maybe you might see a little less hostility. Its one of those phrases often invoked, seldom performed by those calling themselves Christians. If one will know a Christian by their deeds, then it doesn’t really say much for most of them.

  • I especially like it when he wears that tall yellowish hat that looks like the end of a condom. It’s just too funny then when he steps out wearing it and stands erect.This condom art in the article sure suits that -makes it all even more funny.

    As for your prayer fix, Sis Gerry, ask yourself why your god gave you those evil “impulses” to begin with, that you need to try so hard to suppress. Or did your god not create everything after all?

  • Save your blessings Sis Gerry and do some critical thinking instead.

    I don’t mind a bit of duplication. I especially like it when the popey wears that tall yellowish hat that looks like the end of a condom. It’s just too funny then when he steps out wearing it and stands erect.This condom art in the article sure suits that -makes it all even more funny.

    As for your prayer fix, Sis Gerry, ask yourself why your god gave you those evil “impulses” to begin with, that you need to try so hard to suppress. Or did your god not create everything after all?

  • JR, what is really “absolutely disgraceful” is your silly delusion and your attempts to quash a valid, very effective means of STD transmission.

  • Unfortunately, JR, none of your alternative cures work in the real world. Condoms do work, stupid.

    And the church excels at contradicting itself. Just thank your “loving” god for all those diseases he saddled us with.

  • Correction: that should have read:
    JR, what is really “absolutely disgraceful” is your silly delusion and your attempts to quash a valid, very effective means of preventing STD transmission.

  • I expect no higher sense of morality from you, Susan, no. Let the Africans continue their lax sexual impulses without any other information but the correct placement of a condom. Let latex cure the ignorance of a better life and a sense of self worth. They’re just savages anyway, right? Now check your supply of condoms and hit the bars again tonight.

  • Since you are a particularly nasty disease yourself, I doubt that God has anything to do with the creation of disease. All God created was/is good. Disease is neither good nor evil…..it exists without conscience or feeling. I definitely would wear a body condom if I ever met you, but not because there would any remote chance of, dare I say it, sexual contact. Your very presence would be fatal. How’s that bar crawling working out. Still “last call” material? Love ya’.

  • JR, you are a racist, sexist old pig. You are the worst of your disgusting superstition. You have no valid morals whatsoever. Fortunately you’ll be dead soon.

  • JR, you are a racist, sexist old pig. You are the worst of your disgusting superstition. You have no valid morals whatsoever.

    Fortunately you’ll die soon. The world will be better off without stupid lowlife like you around.

  • Actually, JR, Susan makes a very good point. God is the creator of everything, so he must have made those diseases. That does make him a pretty nasty berk, or else he’s not god.

  • Ted, are you and Susie co-joined at the brain? Now, did God make smallpox, or is smallpox the result of a myriad of factors that make it dangerous to humans? It is deranged to think that God….who you deny anyway….would create disease for disease sake. Man’s interaction with each other and natural elements can develop all kinds of mixtures that are not good for them. More dangerous than disease is what evil the human mind can concoct and then blame it on God. Take the two of you, just as a random example. Trolling religious news when your agenda can only be sarcastic, caustic, and evil. Your type is the type that Christ would have called a “brood of vipers”, or would have included in his statement that “Satan has been a liar and a murderer from the beginning.” You expect soothing words and a submissive attitude because I am a Christian? You bait me? Tough luck. You both are dregs searching for attention that most likely no one ever gives you. I will not die soon, Susie.

  • Heaven sent us tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, plus cancers, lupus, typhoid, malaria, and other diseases too numerous to mention, that have caused horrid suffering and death to millions of innocent people.

    Wow, Christian god must be quite the azzhole.

  • JR lacks the spheres to respond with any substance when he is challenged so he just posts insults. Pretty clear from all his posts above. He’s a coward, plain and simple.

  • Whoever this JR person is, he should be ashamed of his insults and sexism in his comments. As a Christian, I think his behavior is reprehensible.

    Shame on you, JR.

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