Betrayal, 2015, 26X48” Ceramic faces, cast pocket coins, child Rosary beads, Catholic crosses, Vatican song titles, and encaustic on board.

(Detail)


Discourse

Institutionalized pedophilia and hypocrisy shook the foundations of the Catholic Church in a betrayal of trust.

Sex abuse rocked the Catholic Church as crimes against innocent boys and girls by trusted nuns and priest were revealed. Although a global issue, the United States has the highest number of reported abuse accounts (Boston Globe 2002). It was shown that offenders were deliberately moved to other parishes to avoid prosecution. Trusts were broken, lives shattered in a struggle for hearts and money.

According to the Catholic News Service, public awareness of the sexual abuse of children in the United States and Canada emerged in the late 1970s and the 1980s as an outgrowth of the growing awareness of physical abuse and trauma of children in society. Victims began to come forward with their own allegations of abuse, resulting in more lawsuits and criminal cases. It was shown that offenders were deliberately moved to other parishes to avoid prosecution. Since then, the problem of clerical abuse of minors has received significantly more attention from the Church hierarchy, law enforcement agencies, government and the news media. (Spotlight 2015)

The star field base is a dark shade of blue with the Papal Crest layered in a haunting black shadow mark that represents the dark knowledge held quietly by the Vatican. Catholic crosses of a crucified Christ replace secular stars, as no state is immune to the “sacrifice” by Christ and the child victims.

Ghostly ceramic faces represent the sons and daughters who lost innocence and faith by actions that would scar them forever. Their faces alternate with Catholic pewter pocket coins requesting protection by Guardian Angels to show the hypocrisy of doctrine and practice. Child rosaries, pink and blue, interlace the faces and medallions; they are dropped on the surface in a show of traumatic disarray and a frozen moment in time. Song titles from the Vatican Archives make poignant statements and form alternating stripes of the flag; they are the songs of victims.