Eating a communion wafer, which is the literal body of Christ? That’s okay.
Eating a cake that looks like Jesus? Big no no.
Those are the apparent rules for Catholics, and the Culture Minister of Buenos Aires, Enrique Avogadro (center, below), learned that the hard way.
A slice of cake was taken from Jesus’ arm, put on a plate, and given to Avogadro. He promptly picked up a plastic fork and, smiling, started to eat the cake. The incident was videotaped and quickly spread across YouTube and the Internet. Avogadro’s actions sparked much outrage among Christians in Argentina, which is a largely Catholic country.
What the hell…? It’s not like he took a bite and yelled, “This will fill the Jesus-shaped hole in my heart!” He just ate a piece of Jesus cake created by two artists who were trying to depict Jesus as a younger generation might see Him. It wasn’t meant to be offensive, and it wasn’t offensive. The outrage is overblown.
But try telling that to the tens of thousands of people who signed an online petition calling for Avogadro’s resignation. They’re acting like he stabbed Jesus with a knife instead of just eating a piece of cake.
Avogadro apologized, but added that he was a firm supporter of free speech and artistic license:
“As a person, I have a very clear opinion in favor of freedom of expression, particularly when it’s related to issues that question us, that make us reflect or that oppose our own convictions,” he said.
“I also believe that the place of art is precisely to make us uncomfortable and to shake us. I understand, on the other hand, that public employees have a role that transcends what’s personal, and as such, we’re responsible for our actions. For this same reason, I want to apologize,” he said.
He did the right thing, politically, but he has nothing to apologize for. I wish I could say the same for his critics, who are pretending that eating a cake is now a cardinal sin.