Banned by Facebook, but accepted by Twitter, a photograph of a section of the Vatican’s 2017 Nativity scene went viral this month – and provoked accusations of inappropriate homoeroticism.
A photo of the scene, which includes representations of seven corporal works of mercy – Catholic acts of penance and charity – was first posted on Twitter on December 12 by veteran Vatican journalist Edward Pentin. It quickly began circulating on social media and “produced shock and dismay among Catholics”.
Some have called it “disgusting” while others noted that the naked man is:
Too much a poster boy for the local gym to be a man in need of corporal mercy.
In banning the picture, Facebook cited its policy that prohibits “sexually suggestive or provocative” images.
In explaining how the buff naked man made it into the scene, the right-wing, homophobic LifeSiteNews suggested a cunning plot by devious homosexuals by pointing out that the Abbey of Montevergine in Italy, which donated the “Nativity of Mercy”, houses the Marian image that has been adopted as patroness by Italian LGBT activists.
The abbey shrine is the annual destination of a sort of sacred and profane “ancestral gay pride” pilgrimage which, according to one LGBT activist, in recent years has gained the “active, political participation of the LGBT community.”
An official of the Vatican’s Governorate told LSN that the abbey initially proposed the original idea for the scene. The Vatican discussed and developed a more detailed design with the abbey, then submitted final plans to the Secretary of State and Pope Francis for approval, which was duly granted.
Antonello Sannini, President of homosexual activist group Arcigay Naples, confirmed LSN‘s worst fears:
The presence of the Vatican Nativity Scene for us is a reason to be even happier this year. For the homosexual and transsexual community in Naples, it is an important symbol of inclusion and integration.
One observer who found the figure of the poor naked man in need of clothing too sexy said:
I’ve worked with a personal trainer. That guy’s been in the gym two hours a day, six days a week.
And a source close to the Vatican told LSN:
This horrendous exhibit, a sacrilegious, highly deceitful and malevolent attempt to turn the holy innocence of the manger in St Peter’s Square into a lobbying tool for the homosexual rights movement, is just the latest fiendish act, but one that’s symptomatic of this entire pontificate.
The Neapolitan artist who crafted the crèche, Antonio Cantone, insisted:
It is not a camp nativity; it is particular and makes you think, It leaves no one indifferent; there are provocations.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn