A Carnegie Mellon University student is under investigation after marching in a campus parade dressed as the pope, naked from the waist down. According to news reports, the student marched in the art school's annual Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby on April 18. The half-naked female student handed out condoms to those gathered for the parade.
Students described the display as "freedom of artistic expression."
After receiving numerous telephone calls and emails about the incident, the Diocese of Pittsburgh became involved, describing the display as both inappropriate and disrespectful.
"It's not a matter of pointing to one young lady, we have to ask what could cause things in our society that would make her think it's acceptable to do something like this," said Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik. "It's crossing a line...under the guise of freedom of speech. What I do want to happen is that this person can learn an important lesson...that prejudice, bigotry, there's no place for it."
"If CMU tolerates this incident, invoking no sanctions whatsoever, then it is opening a door it may regret," said the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in a statement. The organization described the university's failure to act as "legally problematic and morally indefensible."
The University has said that it is "continuing our review of the incident. If our community standards or laws were violated, we will take appropriate action."
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