Cardinal sin - a statue about clerical abuse

“Cardinal Sin is the bust of a priest with its face sawn off and replaced with a mosaic of bathroom tiles”

Describing the statue as a Christmas present, the artist said in a statement: “At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity – the lies, the corruption, the abuse.”

I don’t know why I’m posting this, except half of me feels sick to see our Church portrayed this way, and the other half of me remains angry that systematic abuse of children was allowed to go on for so long. In all the important ways it doesn’t matter if the rate of child abuse in our Church is the same or less than that of the Boy Scouts, or Protestant Churches - once is too many.

Have we done enough as a Church to witness to the world our metanoia?

I don’t think this has anything to do with whether or not the Church has repented enough. It’s Catholic bashing. It would exist without the scandals. Madonnas painted with elephant dung. Crucifixes in a glass of urine. It’s all okay. It’s “art.”

I was once on a site and someone wrote “what will you be doing on St. Valentine’s Day this Holiest of Holies?” I raised an objection and told him to take it down – it was a dig at Catholics to phrase it that way. I know it’s trivial, but a few things get to me and it’s always open season on us.

Only we are guilty by association.

P.S. It really is horrible and it frightens me.

Have we done enough?? Yes.

Do we need to continue to do more?? Yes.

Do these two answers seem contradictory?? Possibly…

The thing is that scandals are an ever present danger. We may have done enough in regards to the abuse scandal, but we must be constantly on our guard to prevent some future, as yet unknown, scandal.
We do this by living the holiest lives we are able to, and by praying with and for the Church.

As to the so called “Art” - to each his own. Just someone else that needs to be prayed for.


If you look at it and don’t think about it, it just looks like a piece of tacky “Huh??”-inducing post-modernism. A lot of people, the kind whose mind works on auto-pilot, whose idea of culture is vegging out in front of a sitcom or reading a Dan Brown novel, are probably going to be confused by it.

But if you look at it long enough, you start to realize the face is meant to be one of those mosaic-effects that gets edited onto news footage of the arrests of pedophiles, to protect their identities from vigilantes. I thought of some things seen on Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” when I looked at this.

Art often has to do with truth, and truth isn’t always pretty. The ugly truth is, there are priests who have abused kids. Maybe the artist knows someone who was abused by a priest or they were themself abused by a priest and this is their way of working through the pain.

I’m not sure if I find this piece offensive or just irritating. The problem is, we Catholics seem to have this knee-jerk reaction to any art or literature that might be perceived as offensive. This gives the creators of such things more power over us, which encourages them to create more offensive stuff and make us jump all the more, till we’re hopping any time they say “Froggie”, as the saying goes.

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