MANILA, August 2, 2011— Various lay Catholic groups are now considering the filing of charges against those behind the “sacrilegious and blasphemous” art exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
The complainants already sent a demand letter to the CCP and the artists who claimed to be from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) to stop the exhibit in 48 hours or face the legal consequences.
Pro-life Philippines president Eric Manalang said the demand letter was already sent to the CCP yesterday but their ultimatum starts today.
“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,” Manalang said.
He said they are currently looking into the possibility of filing charges against CCP officials and artists of the exhibit dubbed as “Kulo.”
The exhibit features images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary adorned with objects not related to Christianity. One even showed a crucifix with a condom.
One Christ the King figurine had rabbit ears.
Laywer Jo Imbong, executive director of the St. Thomas More Society Inc., said as a public agency, the CCP should not have allowed such exhibit for it contradicts its legal mandate.
“It was created by law and funded by our taxes for the purpose of awakening the consciousness of our people to our cultural heritage,” Imbong said.
“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? What Filipino pride can emerge for such works? Is this our national identity? And CCP promotes it?” she asked.
Imbong said those responsible for the exhibit also violated Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code on Immoral Exhibitions.
“Those responsible for the public exhibit…the artist…they have a liability because they offended the religious belief of a country that is 85 percent Christian,” she added.
The CCP exhibit which opened last June 17 and will run until August 21, has received flak from various groups, including the Catholic Church, for the unconventional use of religious figures in the art pieces. [CBCPNews]