Cardinal Dolan and Rihanna: “She’s volunteered to do some confirmations.”

2018-05-09T01:39:32+00:00May 8th, 2018|Blog, Pop Culture & Porn, The Church|

(Pictured above: Cardinal Timothy Dolan and James Martin at the Met exhibition “Heavenly Bodies.)

Warning: Some links contain explicit material. 

On May 7, 2018, the annual Met Gala took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This year, the event coincided with the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition, also at the Met. The primarily contributors to the exhibition, as well as the Gala, were Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman and the fashion house Versace. In 2015, Schwarzman gave the largest donation ($40 million dollars) ever received by the Archdiocese of New York.

While the exhibition proved relatively uncontroversial, except for the addition of a disturbing bondage mask embellished with crosses and a headdress mimicking Christ’s crown of thorns by designer Sean Leane, the Gala itself has a reputation for pushing the boundaries of fashion. Probably the most notorious incident occurred in 2016 when the singer Madonna arrived wearing a Givenchy dress that exposed both her breasts and buttocks.

Each Met Gala event has a theme which usually determines the style of dress worn by the various celebrity attendees. For the 2018 Gala, the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Perhaps the most controversial costumes on the red carpet were S&M singer Rihanna (who was also an honorary chair of the Gala) wearing a low-cut bodice and mini-skirt with a miter on her head, Solange Knowles in an alien-nun bondage outfit and Lana Del Rey dressed as the Our Lady of Sorrows complete with swords piercing the Immaculate Heart. While this fashion could be interpreted as a homage, it actually reduced sacred symbolism to the level of kitsch.

Since at least 1999, when the Brooklyn Museum hosted the controversial exhibition “Sensation,” intentionally sacrilegious “artwork” with exclusively Christian themes, particularly Catholic, are entirely acceptable, even lauded by an elitist group of art critics and museum curators.

The Sistine Chapel Choir also provided a surprise performance at the Gala.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York attended both the opening of the exhibition and the Met Gala. At the Exhibition, he said:

What’s the Church doing here? What is the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York doing here? Well, because the Church and “the Catholic imagination,” are all about truth, goodness, and beauty…

What about the truth for the LGBT community?

On May 15, 2018, the official LGBT ministry, Out at St. Paul, located at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in New York City, will host a “Rooftop Social” at gay sports bar Boxers in Hell’s Kitchen. However, this is not the first time Out at St. Paul has held meetings at gay bars. On March 22, 2017, Out at St. Paul hosted a “Spring Social” at the Hell’s Kitchen gay bar Bottoms Up. Then again, on January 31, 2018, they hosted their “Winter Social” at the Rise gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen. In the past, Out at St. Paul sponsored and promoted a Mass at the site of the Stonewall Riots“countertraditions” to Adam and Eve, and “Christian” theories in support of same-sex marriage.

Also in the Archdiocese of New York, a well-known drag performer is the “leader” of the LGBTQ+ ministry at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in New York City.

Jesuit priest James Martin, who also attended the Met Gala, served as a consultant for the exhibition. In a post to his Twitter account he highly recommended: “The triumphant new exhibit.” He also praised the curator of the exhibition, Andrew Bolton. The Jesuit-educated Bolton is openly gay and has been in a relationship with fashion designer Thom Browne for the past several years. When Bolton asked Martin to find anything “inflammatory” in the exhibition, Bolton remarked: “To my disappointment, there actually wasn’t.”

In an interview focusing on his involvement with the Heavenly Bodies exhibition, when asked about the Catholic Church not being accepting of LGBT people, Martin said:

It depends who’s asking. Often I say, “What part of the church?” The parish next-door-to-me, St. Paul the Apostle, is extremely accepting. They have an LGBT outreach group, retreats…

Following the Met Gala, Dolan spoke with Fr. Dave Dwyer, the host of the Busted Halo Show on SiriusXM, and a vocal defender of James Martin’s outreach to the LGBT community; Dwyer is also in residence at St. Paul the Apostle Church. During the interview, Dolan spoke about the singer Rihanna and his experiences at the Met Gala, he said:

“I was teasing my auxiliary bishops, who were teasing me about Rihanna and I said, ‘Hey, you guys should not complain because she’s volunteered to do some confirmations.’”

In 2011, concerning the importance of art, Pope Benedict XVI stated:

Art is able to manifest and make visible the human need to surpass the visible, it expresses the thirst and the quest for the infinite…a work of art can open the eyes of the mind and of the heart, impelling us upward.


  1. Carolyn May 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I was at Mass recently and I sat behind a mother and her seven younger children. She wore a veil and a plain long skirt and was holding her youngest child. The baby was drooling down the back of her shirt. She looked tired and a little worn down. Around her, her biggest fans were tugging on her skirt, and leaning on her. I saw no flashing cameras or adoring media, just the loving gaze of her children. No Cardinal Dolan the Church does not need 40 million dollars from sources who continually mock all the is true,and good, and beautiful about her. Step outside your Hollywood bubble. You are losing touch with what is real. I’d rather have a smaller, poorer, Church with faithful souls than rub elbows with elites who mock Our Beautiful Mother, and her Precious Son any day. Guess I have a poor “Catholic imagination.”

    • Suzan R Zaner May 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm


    • Sam Gallo May 8, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Nice. I’m a male and adore “mothers.” Nothing equals viewing the eye contact of an infant with its mother.

    • Kimberly Fasser May 8, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you, Carolyn! I agree with you 100%! Know I’m praying for you & yours! God bless!💖

  2. Diane Wyder May 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    DIABOLICAL NARCISSISM in full swing here … For me this means still more Rosaries, still more Masses, still more Adoration, still more Fasting…. as we are surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing and evil just has to exhaust itself …
    Woman Clothed with the Sun, Come and Do not delay

    • Dona-Marie May 9, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you! Yes we must pray & offer more penance for those who would mock our Church!

  3. Linda m. Hill May 8, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Dolan needs to step down .he has lost all sense of what Jesus was about;the poor needy souls not rubbing elbows with rich entertainers.he needs to witness to them not join in there mockery of Jesus and his blessed mother. How pathetic that he is a leader in the church. I pray every day that God will protect his church from those who would destroy her from both within and without.

  4. Finn May 8, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Dolan actually won best costume. The loud mouth realtor/political hack went as a Catholic Cardinal.

  5. Catherine Olaiz May 8, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    How can any true Catholic think this was okay???? Far from my Catholic imagination. And to think the Vatican approved of this theme. I feel so sick,

  6. Wayne May 9, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
    Matthew 21:12-13

  7. TLM May 9, 2018 at 3:30 am

    This was absolutely an ‘In Your Face’ production hurled at faithful Catholics that love the Church and more importantly Our Lord Jesus Himself, and His Mother. Actually more like ‘Up Yours!’…..the whole thing was designed to OFFEND. I can pretty much guarantee that it was not only the faithful that were offended, but Our Lord and His Mother were extremely offended which means more reparation for us. The pure narcissism displayed is just astounding. And poor Cardinal Dolan in his quest to be ‘in’ with the so called ‘in crowd’ is proving to be risky for his eternal salvation. He seems to stop at nothing to be the ‘cool Cardinal’ with even the culture of death. He’s playing with Hell Fire. And as far as Fr. Martin? He fits right in. He was loving every minute of the extreme blasphemy of course! He put out a comment on his Twitter feed saying in essence that someone thought he was ‘in costume’ dressed as a “sexy priest”. So ‘complimentary’ eh?

  8. DD May 9, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Please leave your comments onCardinal Dolan’s Facebook wall. Email the Secretary of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Let him know he is a shame.

  9. Joseph M May 9, 2018 at 7:42 am

    How is Card. Dolan so blind. This is open mockery! Who in there right mind would dare to go up to Jesus dressed as a flashy image of His mother, yet an artist was dressed that way at the gala! Was Card. Dolan Blindfolded! Joseph Sciambra thank you for covering this fiasco. Now I think I need to go throw-up. Well do we pray on Easter and at baptisms to renounce the glamour of sin!

  10. Barb May 10, 2018 at 1:05 am

    My heart bleeds with Christ Jesus to see the desolation of the Catholic Leadership. His Mercy endures forever, but Justice will come. This world will fade away, and there will be a new Heaven.

  11. Serena May 10, 2018 at 7:29 am

    If I may…Catholic art is the most beautiful religious art in the world, so it’s no wonder it gets copied; it’s the mocking I’m-laughing-at-you intent that casts the kitsch aura around it. I looked at some of the costumes and they were basically drag but high couture and featuring actual female divas. If this is what passes as the highest form of fashion it’s no wonder many young girls get twisted messages from fashion mags, which mostly recycle in more practical styles what trends are going on in the high fashion world. And speaking of this, I wonder if anorexia is in part caused by the dominance of gay men in the fashion world (where most female models are basically visual approximations of young men).

  12. Monica May 11, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you for these beautiful and inspiring comments, so different from the comments one finds on news sites.

    May I add that this is what the First Saturdays of reparation are all about. We need them more than ever.

  13. Holly Wouldn't May 15, 2018 at 4:25 am

    A lot of people feel there was something more sinister to this than just mockery of “Catholic” images. (Although, why do some of their own garments have to be so flashy?)
    Who made up the guest list? Why were such people as Huma Abedin and Mitt Romney there as well?

Comments are closed.