Stop "blasphemous" art exhibit or we’ll sue, lay Catholic groups threaten CCP
(SPOT.ph) Non-profit organization Pro-Life Philippines has threatened to file charges against the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for permitting to show "Kulo (A Gathering of Artists of the UST)," a "sacrilegious and blasphemous" art exhibit which features the unconventional use of religious images, reports GMA News. The group sent letters both to the CCP and the artists demanding the display’s removal. "By Thursday afternoon, we will file a case if they do not stop the exhibit and if they do not also make amends because stopping is not enough. The damage has been done," Pro-Life president Eric Manalang told CBCP News.
Jo Imbong, former CBCP lawyer and executive director of the St. Thomas More Society, said "Kulo" violates Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code (offending any race or religion), reports Malaya. "Is it our cultural heritage to mock and insult religious personages and icons? Is it aesthetic to vandalize a venerated representation of objects of worship and reverence? Is vulgarity and blasphemy a Filipino value? Is this our national identity, and CCP promotes it?" she asked. Meanwhile, outspoken retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz and founder of conservative political party Ang Kapatiran Reynaldo Pacheco revealed their disappointment and shame over their alma mater, UST, for its involvement in the showcase.
According to the CCP website, the exhibit was allowed "based on the determination that the premise of the exhibit and the works in question are legitimate art expressions by artists who have already established reputable track records through national and global awards, grants and expositions." CCP also clarified that the showcase is not an official project of UST but serves as the artists’ response to Rizal’s 150th birthday and connects it to the University of Sto. Tomas’ 400th anniversary. Some of the art featured in the exhibit are: a crucifix draped with a stretched-out condom, a photo of Jesus Christ with Mickey Mouse’s face, and an image of Jesus Christ with a male genitalia pointing toward his face. CCP will also hold an open forum about "Kulo" on August 5. Unless terminated, "Kulo" will run until August 21.