Parish in New York Displays 'God is Trans' Artwork
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A controversial art display titled "God is Trans: A Queer Spiritual Journey" at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan is undergoing a name and description change.
A spokesman for the Paulist Fathers, confirmed on May 14 that the display is still present at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.
5/16/2023 (1 week ago)
Published in Americas
Keywords: St. Paul Apostle, Parish, God is Trans, art, display, New York
The New York Post initially reported on the exhibit on May 7, sparking significant online controversy with many deeming the artwork "blasphemous." The display, consisting of three paintings, was accompanied by a sign asserting that it "maps the queer spiritual journey" and stating that "there is no devil."
The Archdiocese of New York expressed concerns about the exhibit to the parish but became aware of the artwork through media reports, according to Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese. On May 10, Fox News Digital reported that the display had been removed from the historic church, but Paul Snatchko, a spokesman for the Paulist Fathers, confirmed on May 14 that the display is still present at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.
Snatchko emphasized that the Paulist Fathers took the archdiocese's concerns seriously and, in response, removed the sign containing the name and description of the exhibit on May 9. When asked if the Paulist Fathers endorse the notion of a transgender God, Snatchko replied with a firm "no."
The artist of the display, Adah Unachukwu, a student at Fordham University, along with Father Frank SabattĂ©, the Paulist Fathers' New York City "artist-in-residence," are currently working on a new name and description for the exhibit. SabattĂ© heads a group called the Openings Collective, which is based at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle and consists of visual artists in New York City. The Openings Collective organizes two or three exhibition shows annually, with most taking place at the church.
The "God is Trans: A Queer Spiritual Journey" display is one of eight exhibits within the larger "Vessel: A Spiritual Art Experience" exhibition, scheduled to run from May 6 to June 14, 2023. The Openings Collective sponsors the exhibition, in collaboration with Fordham University's Center on Religion and Culture Duffy Fellows Program.
According to Snatchko, the parish does not seek pre-approval of artwork titles, as Father Frank SabattĂ© oversees the process. He clarified that the controversial title was given by one artist among the eight participants and does not reflect the opinion of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. It was not intended as a statement of theology.
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