Catholic officials in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are discontented after an annual art school parade at Carnegie Mellon University included a female student who was dressed like the pope. But that isn’t the extent of her controversial actions.
The young woman was apparently also naked from the waist down, while handing out condoms to her peers. And, according to KDKA-TV, she reportedly shaved her pubic hair into the shape of a cross.
While the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is calling for the university to take action, some feel that faith leaders are overreacting. One student told the outlet that the student’s actions were rooted “in good fun” and that were were essentially harmless.
That said, Bishop David Zubik believes that the young woman crossed a line.
“I think we all know that when we’re growing up we do stupid things but to cross over the line in this instance shouldn’t happen with anybody,” the Catholic leader told KDKA-TV. “What I do want to have happen is for this person to learn an important lesson.”
KDKA-TV has more:
Zubik told the outlet that evidence of the girl’s antics was corroborated by photographs that were submitted to the diocese. And university spokesperson Ken Walters apparently confirmed the claims against the student in an interview with the Associated Press.
In the midst of controversy, Carnegie Mellon did release a statement, affirming that it is reviewing the incident and that the school will take action if “community standards or laws were violated.”
With some arguing that, despite being distasteful, the student’s actions are protected free speech, the bishop disagrees.
“If you’re going to argue from that perspective, that this is freedom of speech, God help us all,” said Zubik. “What I do want to have happen is that this person can learn an important lesson that prejudice, bigotry, there’s no place for it.”
The controversial display apparently unfolded during the 4th Annual Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby, a parade organized by Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts.
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