Blog Post

Outrage Grows Over Catholic-Themed Met Gala

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC (Wikicommons)

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Social media is abuzz this morning over last night’s Met Gala which was themed “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” and drew stars dressed in costumes that many found to be downright offensive to Catholics. is reporting on the annual event which also featured an exhibition of items from the Vatican. Stars were asked to arrive in outfits that showcased the imagination of the Catholic Church. Even though the museum’s curator, Andrew Bolton, said the dress code given to guests was “an implicit plea to dress somewhat more modestly,” the outfits that were seen at this event went beyond art and ventured into the "land of bad taste."

For example, Sarah Jessica Parker wore one of the more modest dresses, a golden gown emblazoned with Sacred Hearts, while balancing something that resembled a reliquary on her head.

Rhianna showed up in a white jewel-encrusted mini skirt and Papal mitre.

Jennifer Lopez wore a skin tight black dress that was slit to just below the hip with a large blue cross emblazoned across her barely-concealed chest.

Lana Del Ray wore a white gown with a large gold image of the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, complete with seven metallic swords sticking out of it.

Zendaya played Joan of Arc in a metallic silver gown with bared shoulders and deep slit showing off her cleavage.

Katy Perry wore a next-to-nothing golden mini dress that sported gigantic feathery angel wings and posed for pictures in a prayer posture while kneeling on the red carpet.

Madonna draped herself in black with a cut-out in the shape of a cross on her breast and black netting covering her face.

As for what was in the Museum’s collection, it wasn’t much better.

As Page Six reports, “A leather bondage mask draped in rosary beads, a jeweled bustier with its gems strategically placed and a fuschia gown inspired by cardinals’ robes — with a neckline that left its mannequin’s breasts mostly exposed — were all part of the Catholic-themed fashion exhibit at the Met Gala.”

Believe it or not, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan visited the collection yesterday morning, just hours before the event kicked off.

“You may be asking, what is the cardinal archbishop of New York doing here? I asked that when I was invited several months ago,’’ the Cardinal joked.

“But think about it just for a moment. It’s because the church and the Catholic imagination are all about truth, goodness, and beauty…That’s why we have great schools… to teach the truth; That’s why we love and serve the poor – to do good; That’s why we’re into art, poetry, music, liturgy, and, yes, even fashion… to thank God for beauty; I guess that’s why…”

Notice he made these comments before the event. If had a change of heart after seeing how far some of the stars went in making a mockery of all things Catholic, he has not yet commented.

But some Twitter users didn’t hesitate to speak up.

“The met gala theme is lowkey disrespectful to the catholic religion, let’s be real,” one user wrote.

“Imagine using my religion to do your fashion show… disgusting!” another said.

“I think they need to respect all religions. I’m a practicing Catholic. I’m not sure how appropriate this theme is?!” someone else responded.

“I’m not even Catholic and find it offensive," said another user. "It is a demonstration against Christians as a whole.”

“The bourgeoisie appropriating religious iconography is not acceptable and you wouldn't think it was if it were any religion bar Christianity," this user opined.

It’s a shame that the Metropolitan Museum had to stoop so low just to raise funds for its Museum of Arts Costume Institute. With tickets running in the $30,000 a piece range, surely they can come up with enough money to fund their annual needs without disparaging the world’s largest religion with this crass display.

Let's get real. This show wasn’t about fashion – it was about a bunch of elites with very bad taste.

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