Students at Catholic University of America (CUA) are now petitioning the administration to remove paintings depicting George Floyd as Jesus Christ from the school’s campus ministry office and from CUA’s law school.
“As students at the Catholic University of America, we believe that it is extremely grave that our university, the official university of the Catholic Church in North America, would cast another in the image of our Lord in this way, particularly for political purposes,” the change.org petition says. “No political or social cause ever justifies depicting another in the place of Jesus Christ.”
As of late morning on Wednesday, the petition has 2,300 signatures, and is growing quickly.
News of the paintings have spread like wildfire throughout the week, and the paintings have received international media attention.
CUA has remained relatively quiet throughout the media firestorm, ticking off some of its alumni and students.
“No one asked students, alumni, or parents if they wanted a George Floyd-as-Christ painting, or a multicultural office, or a self-audit on racism, or a Latin Mass ban,” Ryan Ellis, an alumnus, told The Virginia Star Thursday.
“The arrogant Campus Ministry and administration liberals simply imposed it. Similarly, they will ignore petitions to reverse these things,” he said. “The value of a petition, therefore, is not in and of itself. Its purpose is to organize an army of alumni cutting off donations, parents sending their kids elsewhere, and bad media attention to force action.”
Blayne Clegg, a junior at the school and head of CUA’s College Republicans, has been at the center of the student pushback against the administration.
“When you have 3,000 students paying something like $50,000 a year to attend this university, the students are your top concern,” he told The Star Thursday.
“These paintings were hung up without consultation from undergraduate students, and now almost 9 months later, students are finally being consulted through the petition and social media, and the consensus is clear: these paintings are not in line with a faithful interpretation of Catholic theology,” he continued. “The university has been receptive to these petitions before, and they must do so again.”
Tuesday, the school vaguely told The Star that the painting, called “Mama” and designed by artist Kelly Latimore, “depicts the Virgin Mary supporting the body of the dead Christ.”
“You can identify Jesus by the marks in the halo,” Vice President for University Communications Karna Lozoya continued.
The school refused to directly answer whether Floyd is depicted as Jesus Christ in the painting.
Wednesday, the school remained silent.
The Star reached out to Lozoya to ask if CUA believes the administration owes its students and alumni an explanation.
That request went unreturned.
– – –