Europe

Snowflake MEPs demand iconic LGBTQ+ Virgin Mary be removed from Brussels museum

Danai Nesta Kupemba June 8, 2022
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MEPs addressed an open letter stating the Virgin Mary with a rainbow was disrespectful. (Credit: Getty Images)

A rainbow-dapped Virgin Mary poster has caused uproar among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) after it was hung in a museum in Brussels, Belgium.

Thirty MEPs from countries including Hungary, Poland, Italy, Spain, Lithuania and others have addressed a letter to the director of the House of European History (HEH) demanding the Black Madonna of Częstochowa with a rainbow flag be removed, according to Remix News.

The letter read: “Using an image revered by Catholics for LGBTI+ campaigns violates the principle of respect for religious objects.”

The signatories stated that as the museum was established due to an initiative of the European Parliament, it should not be exhibited.

The MEPs’ letter went on to argue that there is no educational or artistic reason for depicting the Virgin Mary with a rainbow flag.

“We demand basic respect for our religion and the removal of the wrong image from the House of European History,” reads the letter.

One of the signatories of the letter, MEP Izabela Kloc, told the Polish Press Agency that images and objects of religious worship deserve respect and should not be used freely in commercial, social or political campaigns.

Kloc added: “In the House of European History, visited by numerous groups of tourists, including pupils and students, there should be no room for this kind of apology for iconoclasm.”

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is an important piece of artwork that has been often referred to as the Queen of Poland since the 17th century and is held in high regard throughout Europe.

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a revered piece that depicts Virgin Mary. (Credit : Getty Images)

The image dates back to the time of the 12 apostles and was painted by St Luke the Evangelist. The story goes that while St Luke was painting Mary she told him the about the events of the life of Jesus Christ, which were later included in his gospel in the Bible.

One of the more contemporary stories surrounding the image is that in 1920, when Russia was invading Warsaw, soldiers saw an image of the painting in the clouds over the city and retreated, according to Catholic News Agency.

To this day, many millions make the pilgrimage to see the Black Madonna. The modification of the painting with the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag was created by Polish civil rights activist Elżbieta Podleśna.

In 2019, Podleśna told BBC she put up images in the Polish city of Płock of the rainbow Black Madonna to protest “exclusion of the LGBTQ+ people from society” by the country’s Catholic Church.

She said: “Nobody should be excluded from society. Sexual orientation is not a sin or a crime and the Holy Mother would protect such people from the Church and from priests who think it is okay to condemn others.”

Podleśna was arrested shortly after putting up the posters for “publicly insulting an object of religious worship in the form of this image which offended the religious feelings of others”, according to Amnesty. She was acquitted in March 2021.

More: Belgium, Brussels, European Parliament, Poland, virgin mary

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