“Stripped Down Passion” for a Catholic Calendar

Is it harmless fun for a good cause? Is it sacrilegious?

A Catholic youth group has made a calendar – which the nearly naked cast of the Easter week passion play cast  –  to raise funds.

The bishop is not impressed.

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From the Guardian:

A Catholic youth group has shocked its religious superiors in Mallorca by producing a calendar that features a nude version of the passion of Christ.

The wrath of the bishop of Mallorca has fallen on the Davallament youth group from the Spanish island’s town of Sant Joan after they decided to make the stripped-down version of the Easter week story to raise funds.

The calendar features a semi-naked trio of young men raising the cross on which Jesus will be crucified and a Last Supper whose protagonists wear only crotch-hugging underwear. In other shots the protagonists are entirely naked, covering their genitalia with plumed roman helmets (above).

“It is a daring and original idea that emerged because we are young and wanted to do something new,” a group member, Antoni Company, told Ultima Hora newspaper.

The bishopric of Mallorca, however, has criticised them for shocking their more traditional elders. “It turns Easter week into something banal,” the bishopric said in a stern written admonition. “It does not respect Christian symbols and is insensitive to Catholic feelings.”

The calendar marks the 20th anniversary of the Davallament Youth Association, one of whose principal tasks is to act out the passion of Christ in a fully-clothed version every Easter.

“It all came from the need to celebrate our 20th anniversary,” said Pep Mas, the group’s co-ordinator. “The actors are the same people who take part in the Easter week representation, and the pictures are shot in the same places. I don’t think, after all these years, that anyone can doubt our dedication.”

The town’s mayor, Joan Magro, approves. “The calender is very original,” he said. “The pictures are artistic and the models show what they have.”

The town’s priest, Joan Marti, refused to be drawn. “They are grown up enough to know what they are doing and what it all means,” he said.

 

UPDATE:

In a comment to the this report, a reader has made some important observations:

All people are born naked. When Jesus left the garden he was followed by a naked youth? In all early church art, Jesus is pictured being baptized naked (e.g. Ravenna). It is not until “Adam sinned” that “Adam” crafted an apron to hide his “shame” which did not exist until the theological debate between Eve (who won) and the “serpent” (meaning “enlightened”). Jesus has been depicted as naked more times in the early church than he was portrayed wearing clothes. The calendar follows history as it was–not as the church would want to transmogrify it.

I have written in previous posts about both the naked young man – a story which really deserves to be better known, and carefully considered – and the depictions of his nakedness in the art of earlier times.

See

 



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5 Responses to ““Stripped Down Passion” for a Catholic Calendar”

  1. Jack McNulty Says:

    Where to buy the calendar?

  2. Charles W Wells Says:

    Where to buy the calenar?

    • Terence Says:

      Jack & charles both – I wish I knew!

  3. arthuride Says:

    All people are born naked. When Jesus left the garden he was followed by a naked youth? In all early church art, Jesus is pictured being baptized naked (e.g. Ravenna). It is not until “Adam sinned” that “Adam” crafted an apron to hide his “shame” which did not exist until the theological debate between Eve (who won) and the “serpent” (meaning “enlightened”). Jesus has been depicted as naked more times in the early church than he was portrayed wearing clothes. The calendar follows history as it was–not as the church would want to transmogrify it.

    • Terence Says:

      These are important observations, arthuride. You’re spot on in your observations about Jesus and the naked young man, and about the early depictions of his nakedness in art. (I have written about both in previous posts).


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