A recent incident at Carnegie Mellon University caused quite a stir — and some contention between the college and Catholic leadership in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following media reports and a plethora of questions surrounding an annual art school parade that included a female student who was dressed like the pope and was naked from the waist down, the university’s president has apologized.
The woman, as TheBlaze previously reported, was apparently mocking the Catholic Church, as she handed out condoms to her peers in broad daylight; she purportedly also shaved her pubic hair into the shape of a cross.
While CMU President Jaren Cohen noted that disciplinary action hasn’t been taken , he said the incident is still under investigation. Sharing in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh’s shock, he noted in a statement that he is disturbed by what unfolded. The school continues to look into the matter.
Cohen’s complete statement reads (as per KDKA):
“This act was highly offensive and, as we have said, the university has been investigating the matter and following our procedures to determine if disciplinary action is warranted.
Some people seem to equate limited communication with no action, believing that the university is doing nothing, and somehow hoping that the issue will just go away. This is not the case, and those who know me and my administration should reject such ideas out of hand.
While our process is still in motion and I cannot comment on or speculate about the resolution of the matter, I can apologize to those who took particular offense. I regret that this occurred, and I apologize to all who were offended by this, for religious or other reasons, and especially to those who witnessed this behavior.”
Earlier this week, the diocese called for the university to take action. Despite the outcry — and Cohen’s own admission that the spectacle was offensive — some feel that faith leaders are overreacting. As TheBlaze previously noted, one student told KDKA-TV that the young woman’s actions were rooted “in good fun” and that were were essentially harmless.
That said, Bishop David Zubik believes that she 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.”
Here’s KDKA-TV’s initial report about the incident:
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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