Known as the “naked pope,” 19-year-old art student Katherine O’Connor at Carnegie-Mellon dressed up in mock papal regalia during a parade.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the naked pope was apparently employing the same strategy as the group FEMEN, which hosts topless female activists during protests. Other topless protests include Muslim women protesting the traditional hijab clothing required to worn by women in Islam.
This naked pope was actually a bottomless protest. Katherine O’Connor was naked from the waist down and her pubic hair was shaved in the shape of a cross. During the April 18 parade she threw condoms to onlookers.
Catholic Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh Diocese complained about the public nudity display so the naked pope was investigated. Along with several other friends, the naked pope was arrested for indecent exposure. Zubik explains why he complained:
“They needed to do what they needed to do and I’m grateful that they took it seriously. I did what I needed to do; and said hold on this is offensive to Catholics and Christians alike.”
The naked pope and her friends are contesting the indecent exposure charges on the grounds of First Amendment Rights to Free Speech. A female student at Carnegie-Mellon defended the naked pope as art:
“I feel that oppression of ideas is far more criminal than nudity, and to be offended by nudity and to make this a crime – that’s the crime.”
But another student disagreed, saying, “I don’t think it was art. I think it was someone who had an idea and wanted to get attention.”
The official statement by Carnegie-Mellon acknowledged the naked pope as an artistic display but still says public nudity is against the law:
“The student took part in a campus art event and, in the case of the student who portrayed herself as the Pope, made an artistic statement which proved to be controversial. While I recognize that many found the students’ activities deeply offensive, the university upholds their right to create works of art and express their ideas. But public nudity is a violation of the law and subject to appropriate action.”
Do you think the naked pope was art, a political statement, or someone merely wanting attention?