MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales on Tuesday said controversial artist Mideo Cruz should be held legally liable for his ‘blasphemous’ artwork at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Rosales said Cruz must face the consequences of his actions for having offended the Christian faithful.
“He needs to be instructed. He needs to open his mind. Hindi dahil artista ka ay magagawa mo na lahat ng gusto mo na wala kang pakiramdam, wala kang pagpapahalaga sa damdamin ng iba [It doesn’t mean that if you are an artist, you can do whatever you want without considering other people’s feelings],” Rosales said in a radio interview over Radyo Veritas.
Rosales said Cruz’s work has crossed the boundaries of freedom of expression.
“You cannot justify that… Sana maturuan siya na hindi komo mayroon tayong laya na maglathala ay wala tayong pananagutan. Sa bawat ginawa natin ay may kalakip yan na responsibilidad. Dapat maturuan iyong tao na ‘yun [He should learn that every action has a corresponding responsibility… He should be given a lesson],” he said.
After various protests from Christian groups, the CCP has closed the gallery where the “Kulo” exhibit was held.
Meanwhile, Rosales defended the officials of CCP, saying not all of them deserve to be punished for holding the exhibit in their premises.
Rosales was reacting to Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s call for all CCP officials to resign even after hearing their explanations at the Senate.
“Sa pagkakasala ng isa ay huwag naman idamay lahat. ‘Yun lamang directly na may kinalaman sa usapin [Only those who are directly involved in the mess should resign],” he said.
Rosales has also declared Aug. 26 as a “Day of Penance” for the ‘sinful’ art exhibit.
In a circular, Rosales also encouraged the faithful to perform sacrifice on the date such as fasting or other forms of mortification, “as an expression of remorse for the sins committed against God’s majesty.”
Cruz’s work called “Poleteismo” displayed Catholic religious images with condoms, Mickey Mouse ears, clowns, and a bright red penis.