Catholics angry with Met Gala ‘blasphemous’ theme, but here’s what the Church just said about it

This year’s Met Gala has stirred controversy with its Catholic theme. Celebrity attendees made a show of wearing ostentatious outfits to the gala, many which Catholic commentators have criticized as blasphemous.

This year’s Met Gala had a Catholic theme, which inspired several celebrities to dress in costumes many regarded as ‘blasphemous.’

The Met Gala raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The money finances the Art Costume Institute Benefit, which is required to finance itself. Last year, the Gala raised about $12 million for the museum’s fashion branch.

The theme, ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagination’ resulted in some ostentatious costumes among the celebrity guests.

Rhianna dressed in a bejeweled short skirt with a long matching cloak. She wore a matching mitre hat similar to what a pope might wear, but much more gaudy.

Cardinal Dolan was in attendance. Cardinal Dolan was in attendance.

Katy Perry dressed as an angel with giant wings.

Katy Perry dressed as an angel with giant wings. Katy Perry dressed as an angel with giant wings.

Madonna performed a musical cameo dressed as a friar but had her cloak stripped away to reveal a racy outfit underneath.

Several Catholics took to social media to criticize the event, which appeared blasphemous. The event also embraced the culture of celebrity worship, which is a form of idolatry.

However, the Catholic Church seems to have sanctioned the event.

The museum is featuring an exhibit that shows Catholic garments from the Vatican collection. Cardinal Dolan himself was in attendance. He praised the event saying: In the Catholic imagination, the True, the Good & the Beautiful have a name: Jesus Christ, who revealed Himself as the Way, the Truth & the Life. The truth, goodness & beauty of God is reflected all over, even in fashion. The world is shot through with His glory. #HeavenlyBodies

Rihanna dressed as a bejeweled pope. Rihanna dressed as a bejeweled pope.

The event may have people talking about the Catholic faith. In such a case, it is a win for the Church. Also, Catholics have committed no acts of violence in response to the event. Even though some of the costumes were clearly blasphemous, Catholics are modeling how to turn the other cheek. There can be no greater testament to the truth of the faith than to see its members conduct themselves as Christians in the face of blasphemy and persecution.

No other religious faith would tolerate such an exhibition.

The fact that Catholics haven’t rioted over the event doesn’t make it okay. Vestments are spiritual garments, and the right to wear them is earned. They are symbolic and express the special relationship between the person who wears them and God. To profane holy things is a violation of the Second Commandment.

The fact that a Cardinal of the Church attended the event and made a kindly public statement should not be construed as the Church condoning such excess and idolatry.

Museums are important cultural centers. We should support them generously. But it is also reasonable to ask them to kindly respect the traditions of our faith. They may not agree. But we testify to the truth of our faith and the victory of Jesus Christ by turning the cheek and communicating the Gospel to all who will listen. Perhaps this event is just such an example. So we pray.

Edited by By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online) on 5/9/2018

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