SHOCKING: Consecrated Hosts Desecrated in Spanish Art Exhibit

A new low for performance art: In the city of Pamplona, Spain, artist Abel Azcona used consecrated hosts to spell out the word “Pederasty” in Spanish on the sidewalk; the display was photographed, and featured in an exhibit in a city-operated public art gallery.

By AbelAzcona (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By AbelAzcona (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Azcona is a controversial artist whose video performance project “Intimacy” features the artist engaged in raw sexual activity with other males. In the first stage of the project, Azcona explains, he attempts to show the “intimate emotional bonds” with the artist Juan Yuste,

“with whom he had a partner relationship for the last months of 2013…. further stages shall be recorded from now on with different collaborators during the life of the artist.”  

In this latest shocking presentation, part of an exhibit titled “Buried,” photos show Azcona spreading the Body of Christ on the pavement: He uses 242 consecrated hosts which he procured by pretending to receive Holy Communion at Mass. The Hosts themselves were displayed beside the photos, until a private citizen removed them from the exhibit.

An equal opportunity insulter of religion, Azcona also created the controversial “Eating a Koran” video in which he is shown tearing up a Koran and then eating it, page by page. For that presentation, he received death threats.

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Despite Azcona’s belligerent portrayals of anti-religious motifs, one can almost feel sorry for him after reading his bio on the artist’s Vimeo site. It tells of a tragic childhood marred by abandonment and maltreatment by his prostitute mother:

His artistic exploration considered highly biographic looks into his own childhood, scarred experiences of abuse, abandonment, and child maltreatment, being his biological mother a key reference of his experience and therefore of his artistic craft.

The feeling of abandonment experimented for the first time because of his mother, who practiced prostitution, and his pass through multiple child shelters, mental institutions and different foster homes, are determinant to the way Azcona expresses himself.

His life experience, marked by drugs, prostitution, or several suicide attempts during his adolescence, are linked to his creation and so he doesn’t hesitate to share with the viewers through his work. In his works on this intimacy, Azcona is known for experiencing pain and physical stamina, exposing himself to beatings, intoxications, aggressions and various tortures both physical and psychological, and doesn’t cower to confront himself.

Azcona tells us that when inner pain is so intense, outer pain can disappear; uses pain to empathize with his own feelings and own experiences during childhood and teen ages. Also, he assures that when he practices self-harm, it’s his own choice to alter the shape of his body, as opposing to an abused child or woman, without a chance to decide. A resilient Azcona, creator of a cathartic work as a mean of self knowledge and personal construction.

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The Archbishop of Pamplona-Tudela, Archbishop Francisco Perez, has announced that he will celebrate a Mass of Reparation in the cathedral on Wednesday, November 25.  According to the Spanish-language newspaper Noticias de Navarra:

In a statement to the media, the Archbishop said that this “is a serious desecration of the Eucharist, a fact that deeply offends the Catholic faith and feelings, and violates religious freedom.”

Therefore, the Archbishop expressed his “strong condemnation of these painful facts which constitute an attack on the faith of that Catholic community of the faithful of this Archdiocese and of all Catholics.”

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And now, the legality of the offensive exhibit has been challenged. According to a report by Catholic News Agency,

The Christian Lawyers Association has filed a lawsuit against Azcona for violating Spanish law. It has said the city council must pull the display by Thursday or face legal action itself.

Maider Beloki, a councilwoman from the city’s Department for Culture, presented the exhibit, which is titled “Buried.” The Hosts were laid out on display until a private citizen removed them from the art exhibit.

Polonia Catellanos, spokesperson for the Christian Lawyers Association, told CNA that the association has filed a lawsuit against the author of the display for “an offense against religious sentiments and desecration.” The offenses are illegal under Articles 524 and 525 of the Spanish Penal Code.

“We’ve also given the Pamplona City Council until Thursday to close down the art exhibit. If they don’t do it, we’ll expand the lawsuit to include charges of complicity and necessary cooperation,” Castellanos stated.

As of Monday evening, November 23, more than 75,000 individuals had signed a Change.org petition asking the Pamplona city council to immediately and totally remove the exhibit.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • SJH

    The Bishop now has an excellent opportunity to ban Communion in the Hand.

    • Fourteen

      Desecrating the host is the new progressive move to offend Jesus Christ, His Church and His people. Yes, SJH, the artistic expression of this artist provides and excellent example why banning of Communion in the hand is reasonable. Some who receive Communion in the Hand say they do so because the option was provided. Well, if a ban on receiving communion in the hand is instituted, there should be no problem with moving to receive Communion on the tongue.

      This artist is enslaved by his past and resulting sin in his life. Let’s pray that by the grace of God, the light of Christ can be shown in his life, even in the midst of the confusion and pain that has pressed itself upon this young life, that he is healed and that he repents of his self hate no matter where it originates, that he ultimately is forgiven.

      Peace,

      Fourteen

    • Mary S

      That has to come from the Vatican which approves reception in the hand.

      • jdumon

        No, the Vatican has made the communion in the hand an indult that every bishop is free to cancel in his diocese.

        • Mary S

          You are right (except when offered by intinction) it is.

  • belladox

    Where is “political correctness” police
    here? isn’t this more serious and cause for hurt feelings than an unintentional use of a word that may slightly offend?

  • Mack

    One pities this unfortunate boy, but he is old enough to know better. A temper tantrum is not art.

  • jdumon

    In my humble opinion, it is obvious that the local bishop should ban the communion in the hand forever from his diocese.

    • TanichcaF

      Couldn’t he have just received by mouth and then removed the host? It wouldn’t be hard at all. No, making communion a by-mouth thing only wouldn’t have fixed this… this man is obviously very hurt, and he would have found a way to express his pain and need for attention somehow. Sad.

      • Justin Jurek

        It’s a lot harder to steal hosts when people can see you spit them out.

  • LT Brass Bancroft

    It’s too bad Franco is still dead. Looks like Spain could use a man like him again.

  • Florian

    Can anyone be sure that all the Hosts had been consecrated? We have to pray for this man…

  • ConofChi

    The Jihadists would have none of this!

  • billlang

    I feel sorry for his judgement if he doesn’t repent!

  • james

    Bishop & the faithful should have collected all the consecrated hosts after praying the rosary instead of doing nothing for the body of Christ being desecrated in their presence !

  • Facebook User

    Do we really have the right to accuse him of desecrating the body of Christ? What about innocent until proven guilty? What if the claim made by some Christians that the wafer is an idol is true?

    Read the other side of the debate on http://www.romancatholicism.co.uk/stayawayfrommass.html

  • danny

    Total desecration of the Lord! The news article is very incomplete; it did not say how he got hold of those 242 Consecrated Holy Eucharists. Did he grab a ciborium from the hand of the priest or special minister of the Holy Eucharist, OR did he run to the tabernacle and grabbed a ciborium (which, of course are already consecrated hosts)?