April 11th, 2013
03:21 PM ET

A papal portrait ... made out of condoms

(CNN)–An artist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has created a unique portrait of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over 4,000,000 members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Some believe Obama is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is the only option for certain people, or for people in certain positions. Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but pretend not to understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create more extreme divisions as time goes by, constantly subjecting others in its crossfire.

    April 11, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • { ! }

      Christianity has sufficient substance, history, and power to inspire dialogue among 40,000 different denominations. Most of what the secular world offers sounds like it originated in someone's pants.

      April 12, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • meifumado


      April 12, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • meifumado

      @ { ! }

      Your ignorance is showing.

      April 12, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      The secular world made your computer and the internet. The secular world made airplanes, cars and lifesaving medical discoveries, put roofs over our heads and gives us food to eat. The secular world is so much bigger than the religious world, which has thousands of gods and thousands of beliefs but not a single shred of evidence that any of those gods are real.

      April 12, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Dialog, {!}? Do you not see the irony of what you're saying?
      Dialog, my ass. Christianity can't even decide on the most basic tenets of their faith, which is why the Founding Fathers decided that the separation of church and state was such a wise idea in the first place.

      April 12, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Christianity can no longer exist on its own merit. It has to be reinvented and reevaluated with every new historic or scientific discovery. It's impossible to make the words of the bible jibe with everything modern society knows about the world around us. A thinking person can no longer accept any literal truth from its pages.

      April 12, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • ..

      Go fuck yourself, you inbred hillbilly. Prayer doesn't change one God damned thing, asshole troll.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Austin

      eternal life sanctifies the body in the presence of God. The difference with prayer and salvation will be finalized. God will not tolerate those who would not seek Him in prayer.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • the real Tom

      Does it "sanctify the body" of a dead cat, moron?

      April 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "God will not tolerate those who would not seek Him in prayer."

      That just makes him an asshat Austin, why would a "perfect god" need recognition in order to tolerate someone?

      April 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      austin: your god is a punk, and you are a snivelling slave

      April 12, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • The real Tom

      does it purify the contents in my Depends, sonny boy?

      April 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  3. Akira

    Oh, my.
    The ironic meter is off the scale with this one.

    April 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Austin

      Hi Akira!

      i agree with that.........off the scale.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • the real Tom

      Define "irony," Austin. Then explain what's ironic here.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  4. Jees

    It appears that some of those condoms were used by some of his underlings, health alert, quarantine. YUK.

    April 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • David

      Don't worry, thats why the Vatican installed dishwashing machines so they can sterilize their used condoms...

      April 11, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Jees

      The choir boys and altar boys did not understand why they were given PreperationH along with their outfits until....

      April 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • David

      PreperationH O L Y?

      April 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  5. Pure Light of Truth


    April 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • sam

      It's cute when the loonies are off their meds. Run along, idiot poe!

      April 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Honey Hush

      PLOT...NOT LISTENING..to bad you did not say that while you were being brainwashed, please take the morning after pill every day even if you have not been laid for years for the benefit of all mankind, thank you. Immaculate sh1t happens at least in your mind.

      April 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  6. Pure Light of Truth

    This is NO PLOT, this is a WARNING! The time is near! You don't get it do you? Condoms for artwork of a spiritual man serving HIM? Do you think that is some kind of joke? Repent or suffer that is the only choices you have or you will surely burn. No wonder our blessed country is falling apart at the seems when those who need to listen are

    April 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow you really are insane. I was just joking the first time.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Shut up, you hysterical ninny.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • sam

      Could have been worse; it could have been a pic of the pope actually using a condom, while made of condoms.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Pure Light, I'll see you in the rapture capture with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chains onto when we were practising for the Uplifting.

      This time though, keep your mouth closed when the swirling starts and your head goes under, so the brown floaters don't go in like they did last time.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  7. Segoy

    As many may ask..is this really art or just a crude political statement?

    April 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  8. Pure Light of Truth

    This is disgusting! Its just as disgusting as many of the comments here. I am sure the "artist" of this vile picture spends most of his time fornicating and sinning his way through life with no regards to the decency of righteous people like the former Pope even if he had his own sins to worry about. The time is near, but many of these sinners should be on their knees trembling for forgiveness from our Lord and Savior, lest He smite them and take them away now! There is little time for these vile creatures to repent and accept His love. God bless America.

    April 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      You're just all full of crazy aren't you?

      April 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Yadda Yadda

      The plot thickens. Christian trolls like you lost your sense of humor or sense of the ridiculous in sunday school class. My suggestion is to watch Monty Python until you get it.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • sam


      April 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Bob1god

      Plot, take solace in the words of ur wholly Babble.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • A HeavenSent

      By any other name. PLOT. Do you still spill cream onto your crotch so the cats will lick it off, you carnal gal.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Pure Light, I'll see you in the rapture capture with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practising for the Uplifting.

      This time though, keep your mouth closed when the swirling starts and your head goes under, so the brown floaters don't go in like they did last time.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The artist is concerned about people who are dying, and have died, because the Catholic church has lobbied hard for public policy that runs against the findings of science.

      April 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  9. Russ

    the formula:
    1) when lacking artistic talent sufficient to stand on its own,
    2) find a controversy you admit you don't understand (video)
    3) to make a name for yourself

    this is not art. this is bottom-feeding. and it's been done before...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pis.s_Christ [just remove the dot in pis.s]

    April 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • sam

      Butthurt alert!

      April 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Irony escapes you, doesn't it, Russ old boy? At least they weren't used. Since this pontiff did more to help spread AIDS than just about anyone, I think a portrait of rubbers is apropos. Get over yourself.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Pepperpot: irony does not escape me, but understanding artistic ability evidently escapes you. while art can be political, being political is not necessarily artistic.

      there is a difference between artistic ability moving into the political arena & simply attempting to exploit a controversy to make a name for yourself. for example, Picasso's Guernica did not make his career – it was faithful to his pre-existing work, now expressed in a political moment. his talent was already evident in his work. if he'd never done Guernica, he'd still be known for his art. (compare that with Andreas Serrano.)

      look at the pictured piece. it looks like she simply took a photo of the pope, scanned it & had the computer tell her where to fill in the colors on the grid. sure, she had to shop for condoms & make a canvas that would hold them. in the end, it still was nothing more than a color by number chart with condoms.

      moreover (to take your point head on), of ALL the possible photographs of Pope Benedict upon which she could draw to base her piece, she didn't even choose an IRONIC one! why not have the Pope in a scene or posture that better draws out the irony? oh yeah, as she said, she doesn't even get why he thinks like he does...

      this may be good fodder for the belief blog, but this is not good art.

      April 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • sam

      Booo hooooooo

      April 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dan

      Russ is a stupid pile of dog doodoo.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Saint Bro'Dee Walker

      sam- "Butthurt alert"

      Thanks for the alert. It seems like something that plagues you a gret deal. See a doctor.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Russ, old chap, are you offended by this portrait? Good. This man has offended many people over the years.
      Time he got some back.
      Do you think she was trying to emulate Degas or Picasso? She was making a statement, and you opened your stupid elitist mouth and gobbled it up. Art is expression, and this type of art is an extension of the contempt she feels for the P O S you are defending.
      You can criticize the medium she chose all you want, Russ old boy. The medium chosen reflects the irony of the subject matter. So WHAT is she took an existing photo and covered it with rubbers?

      Would you feel any different if it was Hitler or Bush covered on condoms? (Yeah, you'd probably be bitching if it were Bush, wouldn't you?)

      Yeah, irony escapes you, as does artistic satire.
      For all that this "man" has done to hinder prosectuion of criminal rape of kids, the portrait should have bee done in feces.

      Tough shit if you don't like it.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • sam

      @Saint – actually, it's a common problem for Russ. He has plenty of trouble irritating his colon by storing his head there.

      You go ahead and feel free to fill out the butthurt report, too.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Russ Baby

      Making fun of or deriding pompous lying hypocrites is not new, get over it.

      April 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Pepperpot: you're only demonstrating my point by your mistaken assumptions.

      I'm not a Catholic. I have no interest in defending the Pope here. The art is bad. I explained that above, but you chose to ignore that and complain about my non-existent 'Pope-defending, anti-prophilactic' positions.

      Let me repeat it:
      1) as art, it's bad (composition, depiction of subject, etc.)
      2) as creative political tool, it's low brow (using condoms as the medium is the ONLY creative thing about it)
      3) she admitted she doesn't even understand the Pope's position (which is necessary to satirize accurately)
      4) if the goal was irony, why not use an ironic depiction of the Pope? (b/c clearly she chose to use a photograph)
      5) the real test: let's see if this artist can come up with anything worthwhile in the future

      That's the substance of my objection – NONE of which you actually engaged in your response. Instead, you chose to fabricate positions I don't hold.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  10. Ken Margo

    This pope is gonna blow up.

    April 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  11. French Tickler

    Fvcking brilliant.

    April 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  12. CS

    Ooooh, Frank honey uh.....did you remember to bring a pope baby?

    April 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm |

    Represents nothing less than hindu corrupt mind of a hindu secular, filthy self centered, hall mark of hinduism ignorance, based on hindu secular ism, filthy monkey ism. followers of hindu secular ism, stupid baboon ism, species of zoo, pretending to be of human.

    April 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • sam

      Buck up, Mohammad; one day they'll make one small enough to fit you.

      April 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  14. LOL


    April 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  15. Al

    A Pope made from salami slings. Brilliant!

    April 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  16. Russ

    "Nobody ever went broke underestimating American taste." – H.L. Mencken

    April 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  17. BobZemko

    Are priest required to wear condoms before they abuse little boys?

    April 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Of course not. That goes against their religion.

      April 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  18. Colin

    How many people in Africa and South America do you think the Pope has killed by opposing the use of condoms? Did he kill more by lying and saying condoms cause AIDS? If so, how many more?

    April 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  19. sam

    Oh, boy. Should I get the popcorn for this one?

    April 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  20. Gandolph The Lundren

    He never would have used them anyway.

    April 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Roger that

      Some of his fellow priests could have used them.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.