NYC congregation is split on ‘tacky’ and grotesque depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion that some compared to pizza

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A Christian congregation in Queens is torn over what has been described as a “tacky” life-size cutout of a bloodied Jesus. Some have compared the bloodied Jesus to a “bad Halloween decoration,” while others have compared it to a slice of pizza, according to the New York Post.

The cardboard cutout has become a controversial talking point at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach. The cutout reportedly appeared beside the altar last week for the beginning of the Lenten season.

However, the cutout appeared to some as a caricature of the Messiah. The image appeared on Facebook, with one woman suggesting that people who planned to attend should consider visiting another parish for the season.

“I am extremely upset by the grotesque cardboard cutout of a bloody Jesus in Our Lady of Grace Church,” one woman wrote in the original post in the Howard Beach Dads group, per the report.

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“Our children do not need to see the nightmarish Jesus when they go to Church.”

Some in the Italian community even mistook the depiction of Jesus’ deep wounds as cheese and tomato sauce.

“I went for ashes on Wednesday … I thought he looks like a slice of meat lovers pizza,” a second Facebook user said.

Another social media user suggested that the piece would not have drawn the ire of some attendees if it had been done by a more talented artist, writing on Facebook: “If this piece were re-worked by a more talented classically trained artist, I think there would be no complaints.”

However, not all the comments were negative. Some attendees suggested that the cutout was supposed to make people feel uncomfortable about what really happened to Jesus leading up to his crucifixion, and that children could learn from the imagery.

“This is our religion — it happened,” one woman said.

Pastor Dominick Dellaporte wrote on Facebook that “[i]t’s not pretty, but [it] will move us to sorrow, reparation, prayer, and most importantly, reconciliation.”

Dellaporte went on to say that cancel culture had tried to erase what Catholics believe happened to Jesus.

“The culture we live in wants to cancel out things that are not acceptable to one’s way of life, the culture wants us to live in a society where it’s better to change what we don’t like to see or hear. We simply want to avoid something, and so my dear friends, there’s no changing what was done to our Blessed Lord then and now,” Dellaporte wrote.

“The sins that we commit as mankind, instead of trying to change what He looks like or what He went through, what He has experienced for the outrageous sins committed against Him and His Dear Mother, isn’t it better to accept this as trying to change our lives and the lives of the world and make reparation? Keeping before our eyes this Lenten Season the effect of sin upon the Christ, that is what you see in the scourging of Christ: not what someone has done but what we have done this very day to our Christ,” he continued.

“We are called to recognize our sins, make reparation, and truly change our lives, because that is why the Scourged Christ is before His Dear Mother Mary. All that He suffered on His body is what she suffered in her heart.”

There is no indication that the church intends on removing on the controversial depiction of Jesus.

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