The National Catholic League is calling for an immediate suspension of the student who walked naked from the waist down and dressed as the pope from the waist up during the Carnegie Mellon parade. The female’s pubic hair was shaved in the shape of a cross, the most sacred symbol for Christians, thus further fueling the organization’s outrage. She was handing out condoms during the annual Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby, an annual art school event.
Although the parade took place two weeks ago, the CMU student’s parody gained attention only recently after coming under fire from the National Catholic League.
Bishop David Zubik, the Catholic Bishop of Pittsburgh, is calling on the university to quickly address the issue. The female should be punished for ridiculing Catholics and violating public decency laws. "It's not a matter of pointing to one young lady, we have to ask what could cause things in our society that would make her think it's acceptable to do something like this," Zubik told AP. "I hope that this gives every one of us the opportunity to pause and think about what it is that we say to one another, and how it is that we say what we say."
The National Catholic League has also brought it to the public’s attention that CMU recently suspended fraternity members for taking sexual pictures inside the frat and emailing them to other members. The female, they believe, should face similar repercussions for her pope parody.
The organization reprimanded CMU for failing to take quicker actions, “CMU’s decision not to suspend this female student, who publicly ridiculed Catholics and violated the local ordinance on public nudity, while invoking sanctions against the frat boys for offensive behavior behind closed doors, is legally problematic and morally indefensible.”
If CMU tolerates this incident, invoking no sanctions whatsoever, then it is opening a door it may regret,” the National Catholic League said in a statement.
CMU students, on the other hand, brush off the incident as artistic freedom and fun. One student even dismisses it simply with the statement “art school.”
As of now, it is yet unclear what actions CMU will take. The National Catholic League’s demand for the university to do something, meanwhile, is getting louder.
The organization definitely seems to have the right to a weighty opinion in this situation. However, it does need to acknowledge the CMU administration’s authority and stop pestering and verbally threatening the university as CMU decides on what course to take.