• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Gay kiss photo show blocked by Vatican threat

Rosie Scammell · 26 Sep 2013, 11:35

Published: 26 Sep 2013 11:35 GMT+02:00

The series of photos, by Gonzalo Orquín, was due to be displayed at the exhibition opening at the Galleria L’Opera on Wednesday evening.

“A letter arrived from the Vicariate of Rome, an organization that is part of the Vatican, which said the church is against the exhibition. I spoke to lawyers and for security reasons we decided not to show the photos,” Orquín told The Local.

The Vicariate, an organization that helps the Pope carry out his functions as Bishop of Rome, confirmed it had sent the letter threatening legal action and said the photographs “could harm the religious sentiment of the faithful”.

Speaking to The Local, Vicariate Spokesman Claudio Tanturri said the photographs are in breach the Italian constitution.

“Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual’s religious feeling and the function of places of worship.

“Therefore photos that are not suitable and do not conform to the spirituality of the place, [they] offend and infringe upon the advancement of man in the particular place for the expression of faith.”

All but one of the 16 photographs were taken in churches in Rome, with gay and straight volunteers posing for Orquín.

“We went to churches, took the photos at the altar and ran off...it’s a bit like a flash mob,” said Orquín, who is himself Catholic. “A number of times we left because there were a people praying. It wasn’t easy.”

Orquín said lawyers are currently working on the case and for the moment the photos will continue to be covered up.

Flavio Romani, president of gay rights organization Arcigay, said the Catholic Church’s reaction is “grotesque”.

“In the images in which the church have seen provocation, I see an exchange of love, a type of public worship that creates harmony not contrast.

Story continues below…

“The indignation of the Catholic Church, therefore, is extremely grotesque,” he told The Local.

Orquín, who is Spanish and has lived in Rome for eight years, said he found Italy to be “a very homophobic county”.

“There aren’t other countries in Europe or the West that are backward like this” he said.  

Don't want to miss a story about Italy? - Then join The Local Italy on Facebook and Twitter.

Rosie Scammell (rosie.scammell@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Stress tests to show extent of problems at Italy's oldest bank
The ancient headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace

Stress test results for Europe's top banks come out Friday and all eyes will be on Italy's embattled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) - the world's oldest bank.

Video
Tourists blame Google for drive in car-free Venice
Cars are not allowed to enter Venice. Photo: Screengrab/La Nuova Venezia

“Google Maps sent us this way.”

Italy launches hard-hitting campaign to put off migrants
Migrants arriving in Reggio Calabria, in southern Italy. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP

People thinking about making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean are being encouraged to "make an informed decision" by a shocking Italian campaign.

Filthy Rome's rubbish problem 'fixed within a month'
Rome's new council say the city will be clean 'by August 20th'. Photo:Andreas Solaro/AFP

The heaps of rubbish on Rome's streets will be consigned to the dustbin of history next month. That's the plan, at least.

Pope aide investigated over child abuse claims: Australia
Vatican finance chief George Pell is being investgated by police. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Australian police said on Thursday they are investigating child abuse complaints against Vatican finance chief George Pell, but had not yet decided whether to press charges.

20 KG ice 'meteorite' destroys car in central Rome
Experts think the ice fell from the undercarridge of a jet. Photo: Olivier Cabaret

Investigators say the huge piece of ice probably fell from a passing jet plane.

The Local List
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
Photo: Alberto Fava/Flickr

When you move to Italy, you're bound to make a few mistakes before you settle into la dolce vita. Here are a few to look out for...

What we learned from Theresa May’s first visit to Italy as PM
UK PM Theresa May met Italian PM Matteo Renzi in Rome on Wednesday, Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

UK Prime Minister Theresa May was in Rome on Wednesday for a lunch meeting her Italian counterpart, Matteo Renz. The pair discussed Brexit, the migrant crisis and the terrorist threat facing Europe.

Two arrested over WhatsApp terrorism probe
The two men had been living in Italy for years. Photo: Raffaele Esposito/Flickr

A WhatsApp message mistakenly sent to a woman in Liguria sparked a full-blown terror probe.

Italian team finds vaccine against western diet's ills
An Italian team have discovered a vaccine that could protect against illnesses caused by the typical western diet. Photo: Alpha/Joe Flintham/Flickr

The vaccine could reduce incidences of type 2 diabetes and heart problems commonly associated with obesity.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,576
jobs available