We Are Church Zoom – New Documentary Film: Wonderfully Made LGBTQ+R(eligion) ZOOM: 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 June 2023

ZOOM: 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 June 2023

Click here to register for your FREE ticket

for the ZOOM screening

Q&A to follow the ZOOM screening

Wonderfully Made – LGBTQ+R(eligion) is a feature-length documentary (95 min) striking at the root of anti-LGBTQ attitudes by exploring the challenges and aspirations of LGBTQ+ Catholics. The film focuses on the Catholic Church because it is one of the largest religious organizations and its anti-LGBTQ+ stance is known and growing more hardline. It features interviews with leading advocates rarely seen all together, including clergy, organizational leaders and activists. The narrative of the film is shaped by the process of a fine art project creating unprecedented, photographic iconography depicting Jesus as a member/ally of the LGBTQ+ community, represented by multiple LGBTQ+ models.

Directed by Yuval David

Produced by Mark McDermott





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  1. Joe O'Leary says:

    The Church’s anti-LGBT+ attitude is hardening? Surely not. But if it is, the Church is jugulating its own credibility.

  2. Peadar O Callaghan says:

    Thanks for posting the link to the documentary-film Wonderfully Made – LGBT+ R(eligion) showing a new US Catholic creative approach to traditional religious imagery with Director Yuval David and his team. The beautiful images created reminded me of Mainie Jellet’s painting ‘The Ninth Hour’ which is one of the colour plates in The Roman Missal for use in Ireland. I first encountered this artwork in the exhibition ‘Irish Art 1900 – 1950’ held at the Crawford Gallery in Cork as part of ROSC 1976.

    In more recent years, I encountered this painting again (original in Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art) as I had read about it in Gesa E. Thiessen’s discussion and interpretation of it, from a feminist theological view (Theology and Modern Irish Art, 1999).
    Her aim in reviewing the work of Jellett and other Irish artists was, she said: “… to uncover and draw out something of their meaning, i.e. especially their theological aspects.” (p.125) She identified ‘The Ninth Hour’ as “probably the finest” of Jellett’s numerous depictions of the crucifixion. And, in quite a prophetic manner went on to foresee: “Indeed, in time to come it would not surprise me if it came to be counted among the most beautiful paintings of the crucifixion in twentieth century art.”

    Thiessen says: “The figure of Christ on the Cross in ‘The Ninth Hour’ is not male but rather androgynous. The lower part of the body is especially female.” And she goes on to say: “Again, it cannot be ascertained why Jellett depicts the Crucified in this manner, and whether there may even be a (non) deliberate continuation between the rendering of the child Jesus and the Christ on the cross.” In this latter point Thiessen is referring to Jellett’s oil on canvas, ‘Madonna and Child’ painted five years earlier, 1936, of which she says of Jellett’s depiction of Jesus: “The figure of Jesus is particularly striking. He is not (semi-) naked as in conventional depictions, but rather his body is covered by a long garment, not unlike an ancient tunic or female dress. His head, notably his hair, also appears emphatically female. It is impossible to know whether and/or why Jellett consciously or unconsciously chose to portray Jesus in such fashion.”
    Thiessen then goes on to say: “It reveals that what ultimately matters is not that Jesus is male, but that God becomes a human being in Christ. Jellett, with or without intention, thus manages to express and anticipates in pictorial form what is relevant to contemporary
    (feminist) theological concerns, namely the humanity, wholeness and liberating aspect in Jesus, rather than his sex which served as the justification for the perception of God as male and for a patriarchal church throughout church history.”

    Sadly, only priests and bishops have access to this beautiful image in the daily celebration of Mass (The Order of Mass – facing page 377) which is depicted in purple, deep greens, blue and reds of fire. Its contemplation may help reflection that “a synodal Church unceasingly nourishes itself at the source of the mystery it celebrates in the liturgy”.

    Jellett was an outsider. Bruce Arnold says, “Everything about her was exclusive; her Protestantism, her Unionism, her class … her intellect with its strong dependence on European cultures, these were all handicaps in the new Irish State” (Mainie Jellett and the Modern Movement in Ireland p.182).

    Hopefully, the human suffering, abandonment and alienation depicted in the figures in Wonderfully Made, like Jellet’s, will one day find a place of respect and veneration in Catholic liturgy. But more importantly – not just the images – but the People of God in the LGBTQ+ communities around the world.
    A wonderfully made film and cast, thanks so much.

    Yours sincerely,

    Peadar O’Callaghan

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