June 21st, 2010
10:11 AM ET

Artist responds to pope with gay wedding portrait

Kevin Sharkey's 'You May Now Kiss The Groom'

An Irish artist has reacted to Pope Benedict XVI's recent statement that gay marriage is one of the most "insidious and dangerous" threats to the world by painting a canvas called "You May Now Kiss The Groom."

"When I think all the evil in the world, from terrorism, to disease, to famine, I find it horrifying that a man with the Pope's incredible power and influence can only focus on something as minor as gay marriage," artist Kevin Sharkey, 47, told the website ClickLiverpool.com

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Catholic Church • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (41 Responses)

  1. Priests and gay men have some things in common: opinions on what is the proper orifice

    January 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  2. hawaiiguest

    Mr. Sharkey, that is awesome. The pope is a backward, divisive, pedophile hiding asshat.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  3. kevin sharkey

    Discrimination is wrong.... end game.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Marriage is a civil contract in this country, we have given the "church's" the right to preform this contract. No church has the right to take away my civil rights. I will not come and ask your church's to perform a wedding for me, but your church has no right to block my right to marriage ether!!! This is still not a Christian Nation, it's a NATION of CIVIL LAWS, that allow religious freedom. SO don't force your religious beliefs on me and I will not force my civil marriage on you. Thank you, a Single GAY California Man

    August 8, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  5. Reality

    We could get into the differences in same you-know-what unions and marriage but said discussion uses the physics and biology of the situations and this somehow somehow offends the moderators of this blog. To say the least such differences are the reasons many Californians voted they way they did.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  6. nonesuch

    Being gay is not "evil", CatholicMom, just because some misguided nuts think so. And marriage didn't begin with the Church, nor does it end with it. The Catholic church ought to be ashamed of the evil IT has wrought; far more harm has been done by your popes and their minions than has ever been committed by gays.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Nonesuch, never did I say that being gay is evil. Heaven knows I did not. Please, reread everything I have ever written and you will see. I had a brother who has now pasted on into eternity. He was my closest friend [all six of my siblings are close and dear to me but ‘he’ was extra special], an artist, and myself one, too. Our lives were so closely entwined that we collaborated on over a dozen works of art before he died of aids.

      June 23, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  7. amandaH

    No matter which side of the argument you are on, you must admit that Kevin Sharkey is a remarkably gifted artist!!

    June 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      That was funny, amandaH, to say the least. Here are some more funnies [we all need to laugh once in a while...]

      One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, "I'm not going."
      "Why not?" she asked.
      I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "(1), they don't like me, and (2), I don't like them."
      His mother replied, "I'll give YOU two good reasons why YOU SHOULD go to church. (1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!"

      The Picnic

      A Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Priest met at the town's annual 4th of July picnic. Old friends, they began their usual banter.
      "This baked ham is really delicious," the priest teased the rabbi. "You really ought to try it. I know it's against your religion, but I can't understand why such a wonderful food should be forbidden! You don't know what you're missing. You just haven't lived until you've tried Mrs. Hall's prized Virginia Baked Ham. Tell me, Rabbi, when are you going to break down and try it?"
      The rabbi looked at the priest with a big grin, and said, "At your wedding."

      The Usher

      An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps, "Where would you like to sit?" he asked politely.
      "The front row please," she answered.
      "You really don't want to do that," the usher said "The pastor is really boring."
      "Do you happen to know who I am?" the woman inquired.
      "No." he said.
      "I'm the pastor's mother," she replied indignantly.
      "Do you know who I am?" he asked.
      "No." she said.
      "Good," he answered.

      The Best Way To Pray

      A priest, a minister and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer, while a telephone repairman worked nearby.
      "Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray," the priest said.
      "No," said the minister. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."
      "You're both wrong," the guru said. "The most effective prayer position is lying down on the floor."
      The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas," he interrupted. "The best prayin' I ever did was when I was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."

      The Twenty and the One

      A well-worn one-dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty-dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation. The twenty-dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country.
      "I've had a pretty good life," the twenty proclaimed. "Why I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City , the finest restaurants in New York , performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean "
      "Wow!" said the one-dollar bill. "You've really had an exciting life!"
      "So tell me," says the twenty, "where have you been throughout your lifetime?"
      The one dollar bill replies, "Oh, I've been to the Methodist Church , the Baptist Church , the Lutheran Church ."
      The twenty-dollar bill interrupts, "What's a church?"

      Goat for Dinner

      The young couple invited their elderly pastor for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having. "Goat," the little boy replied.
      "Goat?" replied the startled man of the cloth, "Are you sure about that?"
      "Yep," said the youngster. "I heard Dad say to Mom, 'Today is just as good as any to have the old goat for dinner."

      June 23, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  8. TheRationale

    Technically, it should be irrelevant what the church thinks. So long as gay couples are granted equal rights by the government, people have the right to include or exclude whoever they want from their religions; social approval and disdain will come as it does. However, as people grow increasingly inclusive and tolerant of diversity, I don't think that this will continue to be a popular ideology of the church.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
    • nonesuch

      Exactly right. The Church's approval or disapproval of gay marriage matters not in the slightest. What does matter is the legal ramifications of marriage, not the religious ones. No marriage performed in a church is recognized as a legally binding contract unless the state has issued a license; the reverse is not true. A church is perfectly within its rights to refuse to recognize any marriage, and unless you believe in that church's brand of religion, it is inconsequential. What DOES matter is recognizing that the Pope is wrong in calling gay marriage an evil and a threat on a par with war, disease, and poverty, and it's incredibly callous to do so when many of those true evils were and are caused by the Catholic Church's own policies and beliefs.

      June 23, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  9. Jack

    I forgot to mention that Pope Benedict has also spoke out against terrorism, famine, and other evils as well.

    June 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • nonesuch

      And did so in the same breath as gay marriage, which is precisely the point. "Gay marriage" is not some "evil", except in the minds of half-witted zealots like you and CatholicMom.

      June 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Jack, you are so right. Holy Father has spoken out about the evil of the world in all of its various faces. People have not come to realize that he is speaking about the ACTS that are evil. People can change their ways and live holy lives in keeping with God’s laws if they so choose. Now I know Nonesuch or some other persons don’t want me talking about God because God is not real to them. But if they have the right to NOT say His Holy Name, I have just as much right to say it.
      So many people get upset over the mention of evil acts and they think that ‘anything’ goes; whatever makes you feel good—go for it…there is no evil in their eyes. They say there are no consequences. It makes them upset when they are reminded of some evil they may have done and now their conscience will bother them again. It bothers them because there is a right and there is a wrong way to live. Free will may take them down the wide path that leads to destruction but it is never too late to find the narrow path that leads to Joy, and they can turn away from evil deeds.
      We all need to care about each other enough to stop throwing nasty words around and show each person that they have great worth. And when I say everyone has great worth, I mean the unborn child, too.
      You are on the right path, Jack; it must be the narrow one.

      June 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
    • Garganzola

      Expressing love for one another is not an evil deed. Nowhere in the Bible, nor anything spoken in the guidance of the Holy Spirit does being gay is commiting a sin. I'm strait, I'm Christian,I'm a female, and I have a mind of my own that isn't toxicated with the crap that my Catholic school's have been shoving down my throat for the past 10 years.

      Right on nonesuch. 🙂

      (and Kevin Sharkey is a very talented artist)

      June 23, 2010 at 3:18 am |
  10. Jack

    It should be obvious to anyone that in this forged picture, the Pope is not vested properly for officiating at a wedding.

    June 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • nonesuch

      Gee, if you have a quarter, call someone who cares.

      June 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  11. nonesuch

    If only people realized that no one is against gay people
    Yah. "Some of my best friends are black."


    June 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      If you need a government contract, sanctioned by the government and granted by the government to make sure you are not discriminated against– for rights to make decisions in a hospital or to pass on your SS benefits or for other human rights– work towards that kind of thing. You do not have to abuse marriage to get what you need. Why must you try to tear down something sacred? Can't you come at it in a more sensible manner especially when it sounds like few of you even believe in God or want your union blessed? If you want to leave God out of your contract why use marriage as your goal? Go for the government contract and live the life you choose…it is your free will.

      June 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
  12. Will

    Bravo Mchael....I totally agree with you my brother.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  13. nonesuch

    CatholicMom sez: o even if ‘man’ passes a law saying ‘they’ can get married as two men or two women, this does not make the marriage valid.
    Uh, yeah, actually it does. Your church doesn't have to recognize such a marriage. It doesn't have to perform such a marriage ceremony. But if the law recognizes gay marriage as valid, who gives a fig what your church says?

    June 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  14. nonesuch

    People like CatholicMom miss the point of the artist's work entirely. The pope's shortsighted views on gay marriage as being such a terrible scourge are more evidence that the Catholic Church is completely out of step with the events of the world. Gay marriage is nothing compared to the starvation of children in countries that are overpopulated because of the Church's ban on birth control and abortion. That is the message you dolts fail to hear.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  15. nonesuch

    The fact is that a marriage performed in a courthouse is legal. One performed in a church, unless the couple has a license issued by the state, is not. Bottom line: the church's say-so doesn't matter in a court of law; only the state's does.

    CatholicMom, did you have to get a license to be married legally? The answer is 'yes'. Had you simply had a religious ceremony, you would not be married in the eyes of the law, and you'd be s*it out of luck. If you had gone to the office of the JP and had a civil ceremony, would you have been legally married? Yes, you would have, regardless of the church. Marriage is a legal contract, nothing more.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  16. Reality

    Are the moderators of this blog prudes? Any words with s– in them are not allowed. How very strange in the 21st century!!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  17. Reality

    Civil unions, yes for all who qualify as different from the norm.

    Marriage on the other hand is the normal and natural pairing of a man and woman.

    Those involved in either are subject to the same laws of good behavior and commitment required by the citizens of any country.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • nonesuch

      Are civil unions recognized in every state?

      No, they aren't.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  18. CatholicMom


    If marriage was just a legal contract why do people want their ‘union’ blessed?

    If marriage is just a legal contract, why is okay [in some people’s eyes] to NOT HAVE a legal contract and just live together in fornication? If it is illegal to drive a car without a driver’s license but it is not illegal to live together without a marriage license, why do people want that legal contract, as you call it? If you could drive a car without the driver’s license, would people still wish to have the driver’s license?

    There are people who drive without the driver’s license and there are people who live in fornication, but the majority, I believe, want to live their lives justly. Some WILL follow man’s laws and others WILL follow God’s laws, and some WILL follow both….

    Marriage by the Sacrament of Matrimony is doing the Father’s WILL.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • Luke

      Double sigh – not everyone wants their marriage blessed. You just likely attend Catholic weddings. I hearby invite you to my wedding next month. It will be non-religious and lovely. Seriously, please come. I want you to experience a secular union. I am a non-religous jew marrying a non-religous catholic girl. I think you may enjoy yourself, but please do keep your opinions to yourself during the ceremonies.

      June 22, 2010 at 10:32 am |
    • Luke

      And furthermore – the poiint of having a driver's license issued is to test abilities to control the machinery, read street signs and collect taxes. No civilized society goes without them. Regarding marriage licenses, what started out as a religious contract has morphed into a legal contract. Many marry to make their tax status official with the government. Others, like myself, want to commit completely and legally to my fiance. While we are completely happy together and do not need a wedding, we are chosing to go forth with a simple wedding to publically display our love for each other to our friends and family. There is nothing between us religious whatsoever and have been, and hopefully will continue to be, happy together.

      June 22, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • nonesuch

      You bonehead, the legal contract guarantees that a spouse will have the right to make medical decisions for his/her partner in cases where the partner cannot do so, among many other things.

      If a gay couple wants a union blessed by a church, they can have it that way. Just because it isn't YOUR church doesn't mean squat.

      Clueless boob.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • Mchael

      Catholic mom: You have such a narrow world view. You see nothing but what's in front of you or the bigotry and ignorance passed on to you by those who are telling you how to think. If a couple wants their union blessed, what of it? Blessing it doesn't give me the right t pass on my social security benefits or hundreds of other benefits that married couples get under man's law. gods law is meaningless in this debate but in your mind it's primal. And it's a smoke screen. We want civil rights that are sanctioned and granted by the government. Fictive blessings or religious rights? You can have them...you're mistaking the religious imagery of the painting with it's strong satire for something literal. Maybe god wants you to spend some more time thinking critically about the world around you instead of swallowing,lock stock and sacramental wine all of the clap trap your church is forcing on you.

      June 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  19. CatholicMom

    If only people realized that no one is against gay people or at least they shouldn’t be. It is the actions that people do that must be judged right or wrong. Judging an action is not judging their soul. We cannot judge a soul, not even our own—that is God’s judgment alone. When people want a Christian marriage which is a covenant between a man and a woman and God—it is just an impossibility when people try to have a covenant with God in marriage when there are two men or two women instead of a man and a woman. So even if ‘man’ passes a law saying ‘they’ can get married as two men or two women, this does not make the marriage valid. This is not MY rule, it is the Christian rule, if you believe and follow the Word of God. The Pope must speak the Truth in all matters of Faith and Morals whether people like the Truth or not.
    Marriage is not something minor in most people's eyes. It is a Sacrament for only a man and a woman.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
    • nonesuch

      Marriage is a legal contract, and there is no need for any church to be involved.

      June 22, 2010 at 9:13 am |
    • Luke

      Sigh. Don't you see that the argument is that you don't get to own marriage? I have a gay cousin who is not Christian. Why do you get to say what he can and cannot do regarding his marriage choices? Please note that this is the Christian way is not a valid argument due to this country being secular and composed of people of all faiths, creeds and even of those that choose not to believe in deities. One cannot argue that it is god's will. It is utterly irrelevant. This is a matter of civil rights. Ok – go...

      June 22, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • Mchael

      It's simple: You don't get to say what marriage is or is not based upon the bible or the so-called word of god (whatever that is...think about that for a minute...unless you speak 1st century aramaic you have no idea what the original writers of the ficto-mythic texts you now presume as the word of god even means!) When you avail yourself of benefits that others couples cannot have you are no longer benefitting from your supposed god's law. You are using man's law to discriminate against others. If you truly believe that marriage is god's intention as a sacrament or religious rite, that's fine. But don't use your religious bigotry or conveniently self interpreted 'word of god' to keep benefits for yourself while I and my HUSBAND of 23 years are denied. See? I can do it too. I'm married becuase my imaginary friend/god tells me that I am. And I declare that you are not. Becuase my god doesn't want those who diminish, discriminate against or try to use religion as an excuse to put others down in favor of feeling better about themselves to marry. How's that for a screed instead of a creed? That's all you're doing...

      June 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      This is for Mike; you are glad that you are a man so you don’t have to worry about having to decide about whether or not to have an abortion?…so if you are the father you feel no responsibility towards the baby you made? Leave it up to the woman? And what are you doing having 'relations' and not being married anyway? That is a sin as bad as any we are talking about here on this blog. Don’t you know that 'relations' is a gift for only a married man and woman? So to you it may be a cross to bear -to abstain. So be it.
      Furthermore, you said that a woman’s body is her own to do with as she pleases-well, excuse me, but she made her decision to have 'relations' and so now she has another body in her body that is NOT her body. Murder is not condoned –either in man’s laws or God’s laws. But somehow this lifestyle of people fornicating and calling themselves Christians
      and not seeing the log in their eye while seeing the toothpick in someone else’s eye has got to stop.

      June 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  20. Reality

    The topic noted: "something as minor as gay marriage," artist Kevin Sharkey, 47, told the website"

    Does this make real marriages something minor?

    The voters in California don't think so!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • nonesuch

      The voters in CA will not matter if this is determined to be a matter of civil rights, in which case the "tyranny of the majority" will be overturned.

      Try not to crow too loudly, cackle-butt. Your celebration may be premature.

      June 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • Guest

      The context is "minor" acompared to all the other major issues in the world such as war, disease, poverty, etc. It is just so sad that the church is stuck in the middle ages and promoting prejudice and discrimination instead of promoting love, peace, prosperity, health and happiness. The first small step is to allow priests to marry.

      June 23, 2010 at 2:05 am |
    • Guest Christian

      Why does everyone call Christian beliefs old fashioned. there was a guy who calleex before marriage old fashioned. and why is everyone making it seem like because Christian's have a belief they are some horrible racist prejudice people. look if you believe in gay marriage that's on you, but don't ask me to give up what i believe just to make you happy. do gay people getting married affect me, nope, but does that mean i have to vote and agree with it? we can agree to disagree but don't make it seem like Chirstians are prejudice because we have a belief. and don't select a few Christians who take it to far and categorize them and the representatives of all Christians

      June 23, 2010 at 3:43 am |
    • Reality

      Nonsuch and guest, We could get into the differences in same you-know-what unions and marriage but said discussion uses the physics and biology of the situations and this somehow offends the moderators of this blog. To say the least such differences are the reasons many Californians voted they way they did.

      June 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
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