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Paintings that appear to depict George Floyd as Jesus at Catholic Univ of America campus spark firestorm

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The Catholic University of America is displaying paintings in the campus ministry office and in its law school that appear to depict the body of George Floyd as Jesus Christ being supported by the Virgin Mary.

According to The Daily Signal, the university brushed off any responsibility for the artwork that artist Kelly Latimore has entitled “Mama.” Latimore claims that the painting is meant to represent both Floyd and Jesus.

“You can identify Jesus by the marks in the halo,” commented Karna Lozoya, who is the vice president for university communications.

“The icon has no place at The Catholic University of America; it is blasphemous and an offense to the Catholic faith, but it is not surprising at all that it was put there,” a junior attending the Catholic University told The Daily Signal via an email. “It is just another symptom of the liberalization and secularization of our campus.”

“There are many students, faculty, and staff who are concerned about this, but there is nothing we can do,” the anonymous student added. “And if we sound the alarm, we will be labeled racists.”

The Catholic University of America has also just released a report that takes a look at the university’s culture and practices “on matters of diversity and inclusion.”

A ceremony was held in March to unveil the painting and celebrate its creation. It was unveiled at the conclusion of Columbus Law School’s Black History Month program.

Law School Dean Stephen Payne reportedly recited the poem “Solidarity” by Maya Angelou and admonished those in attendance that “diversity is a divine gift we should cherish.” Assistant Dean Shani Butts also read “I Dream a World” by poet Langston Hughes.

“Almighty Father, we now ask you to sanctify and bless this icon which we will use in the adoration of the Blessed Mother,” prayed Father Jude DeAngelo, university chaplain, and director of Campus Ministry, as he blessed Latimore’s painting with holy water. “May all who look upon this sacred image come to know her protection and maternal care, tracing in their hearts the pattern of holiness.”

“Following the violent death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Latimore created this icon in June of that year,” proclaims a description that is posted with the painting.

“The image is evocative of the Pietà—the Mother of Sorrows,” the description notes. “May Mary, the Mirror of Justice hear the cry of all who have known the sorrow of losing a loved one to violence and injustice. Amen.”

“Mama” hangs outside the Mary, Mirror of Justice Chapel in Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.

“‘Mama’ is done as a pieta,” said a spokesperson for Latimore, who strove to avoid saying that the painting depicts Floyd. “A mother with her son of color who was unjustly murdered by the state.”

Latimore claims he has received death threats over the painting and “spiritual denunciations.”

“I think it goes without saying that George Floyd didn’t deserve to die, and I sincerely appreciate the efforts of millions of Catholic Americans, who engaged in good-faith advocacy to advance policies that will prevent the use of excessive force by law enforcement,” junior politics major and former Catholic University College Republicans President Blayne Clegg stated while speaking with The Daily Signal.

He also said, “George Floyd is not Jesus Christ.”

“He is not a saint, nor a martyr, and to, in any way, compare him to the sinless son of Almighty God is to do a damning disservice to the vast majority of Catholics and Catholic theology,” Clegg said in a message to The Daily Signal. “It is damning anywhere, but especially at *THE* Catholic University of America, where this painting was purchased, unveiled, and hung up without input from student leaders.”

An anonymous student asserted in an email to the outlet: “The chaplain and the rest of Campus Ministry seem to think that their liberal version of social justice is the highest virtue, even more important than authentic expressions of the Catholic faith.”

“This is the same Campus Ministry who has a pride flag in their offices and allies themselves with every liberal cause that comes along, while bullying conservative Catholic students. This is the same chaplain who marched with BLM [Black Lives Matter] and barred Abby Johnson from speaking for Cardinals for Life (the pro-life club on campus),” the student remarked.

Many are offended by the painting and consider it blasphemous:

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