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Published On: Sat, Dec 16th, 2017

Facebook censors Vatican’s Nativity scene photo as ‘sexually suggestive or provocative’

Facebook has blocked a photo of the Vatican’s yearly Nativity scene, referencing its policy against “sexually suggestive or provocative” images.

The Vatican press release details that “Every year the nativity scene and the Christmas tree speak to us with their symbolic language. They make more visible what is perceived in the experience of the birth of the Son of God. They are the signs of the compassion of the heavenly Father, of his participation and closeness to humanity, which experiences not to be abandoned in the mists of time, but visited and accompanied. in their own difficulties.”

Facebook’s objection centers on the naked man being offered clothing by a charitable pilgrim, censoring the ad featuring the image of the scene was rejected by Facebook with the following explanation: “Your ad can’t include images that are sexually suggestive or provocative.”

Veteran Vatican journalist Edward Pentin first posted the photo on Twitter, which then circulated on social media and provoked shock and dismay among many Catholics, some calling it “disgusting” and others suggesting the naked man is “too much a poster boy for the local gym to be a man in need of corporeal mercy.”

The artist behind this year’s Vatican Nativity scene, Antonio Cantone, appeared to suggest that he intended it to be provocative.

“It is not a campy nativity; it is particular and makes you think,” he said. “It leaves no one indifferent; there are provocations.”

Pope Francis said: “This year’s Nativity scene, executed in the typical style of Neapolitan art, is inspired by the works of mercy. They remind us that the Lord has told us: ‘Whatever you wish men to do to you, you also do to them’ (Mt 7.12). The crib is the suggestive place where we contemplate Jesus who, taking upon himself the miseries of man, invites us to do likewise, through acts of mercy.”

 

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