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A Question of Conviction

The Catholic Church was once the great patroness of the arts. She commissioned artists who produced what have come to be regarded as some of the history’s greatest works of art. The great artists created works of timeless value for the human family and the glory of God.

Now, it seems, to be an artist one must be a rebel after a fashion. Art must be “challenging” to have “social value.” The sacred must be profaned — the crucifix dumped in a bottle of urine and the Virgin Mary covered in dung, for example. Controversy and irreverence rule in the milieu of modern art.

But when profane art appears on a Catholic campus, what is one to do?

When a black-and-white woodcut relief depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe as a stripper was included in an art display at the University of Dallas (UD), a Catholic institution, university president Francis Lazarus did nothing.

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