Artist Abel Azcona Is Sued for Using Hosts to Criticize the Church’s Sex Scandals

Over 89,000 people have signed a petition calling for the city to take down the show.

Abel Azcona.
Image: Twitter.

A provocative art exhibition has Catholics up in arms in Pamplona, Spain. Performance artist Abel Azcona’s new exhibition, “Desenterrados” (Unearthed), contains 242 consecrated hosts, several of which he has laid on the floor of a local exhibition hall to spell “pederastia” (pederasty), in criticism of the church’s highly-publicized sex scandals.

Azcona allegedly obtained the hosts by pretending to receive Holy Communion at mass.

The exhibition also contains a series of photos titled “Amen,” which depict Azcona taking hosts during mass and placing them on the ground. The show is meant to honor those who were kidnapped and killed under the three-decade dictatorship of Francisco Franco, which lasted until his death in 1975.

Christian Lawyers Association spokesperson Polonia Catellanos told the Catholic News Agency that the association has filed a lawsuit against Azcona for “an offense against religious sentiments and desecration,” which is outlawed under Articles 524 and 525 of the Spanish Penal Code.

“I don’t know why a city council, no matter of what political stripe, would allow something which is clearly a crime,” Castellanos added, noting that the lawsuit would be expanded to include the city if the exhibition, which is on public property, was not taken down by Thursday.

In a post on his Facebook page, the artist claims that visitors are stealing hosts and that some have removed posters from the controversial exhibition, which opened last Friday.

Azcona is an outspoken critic of religion, having recently told Jot Down magazine that “religion is at the same level as cancer or AIDS, and in fact has killed more people than these better-known diseases.”

Over 89,000 people have signed a petition calling for the city to take down the show.

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