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NY Post
New York Post
24 Feb 2024

NextImg:NYC congregation outraged over ‘tacky’ Jesus cutout – as some churchgoers compare it to pizza: ‘Grotesque’

A Queens congregation is torn over a “tacky” life-size cutout of a “grotesque” bloodied Jesus that some are comparing to a “bad Halloween decoration” — and even a slice of pizza.

The controversial new cardboard figure at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach, which appeared beside the altar last week for the start of the Lenten season leading up to Easter, depicts a crucified Jesus Christ in all his gore.

Gaping, bloody wounds cover the image nearly from head to toe and have frightened children, some parishioners said on Facebook.

The life-size cutout has disturbed some of the Howard Beach parishioners. J.C. Rice

One even recommended 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 initial post in the Howard Beach Dads group.

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

Others in the famously Italian community mistook the fleshy, raw wounds for cheese and tomato sauce.

“I went for ashes on Wednesday … I thought he looks like a slice of meat lovers pizza,” one person wrote.

Another suggested pepperoni.

Some saw the humor in the realistically shown bloody wounds, comparing them to one of America’s favorite foods.

One polite parishioner took issue with the piece’s artistic value.

“If this piece were re-worked by a more talented classically trained artist, I think there would be no complaints,” the critic said on the post, which drew nearly 200 comments.

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But others hailed the new addition next to the altar, where it stands alongside a cloaked Virgin Mary statue, saying the point was to feel uncomfortable and that children could learn from it.

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

The bloody Jesus cut out sits next to a statue of the Virgin Mary cloaked in a black robe. J.C. Rice

The church addressed the passion over the Christ — and doubled down on the new addition.

“It’s not pretty, but [it] will move us to sorrow, reparation, prayer, and most importantly, reconciliation,” Pastor Dominick Dellaporte wrote in a post on the church’s Facebook page.

Cancel culture was trying to erase what Catholics believe happened to Jesus, he said.

The pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church stood by the decision to put the cardboard cut out front and center. J.C. Rice

“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,” Dellaporte wrote.

There is “no changing” what happened to Jesus, he added.