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CMU Parade Controversy Over Naked Woman, Dressed As Pope

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Students at Carnegie Mellon say it's freedom of expression, but the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh calls it inappropriate and disrespectful.

At an annual art school parade, a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down while she passed out condoms.

Even more, witnesses say the woman had shaved her pubic hair in the shape of a cross.


The Diocese has asked CMU to take action.

"I think we all know that when we're growing up we do stupid things but to cross over the line in this instance shouldn't happen with anybody," Bishop David Zubik said.

CMU issued a statement, saying "We are continuing our review of the incident. If our community standards or laws were violated, we will take appropriate action."

Some Carnegie Mellon students we talked with saw no need for discipline.

"It's all in good fun and it's not meant to harm anyone," Ivy Kristov told KDKA's Andy Sheehan.

Bishop Zubik says the incident must be addressed.

"What I do want to have happen is for this person to learn an important lesson," Zubik said.

Bishop Zubik joined Marty Griffin on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA on Tuesday to discuss the issue as well.

"I'm upset because I think what happened at Carnegie-Mellon is really not just an insult to us as Catholics, but it was an insult to other religious denominations and it was an insult to who we are as American citizens," Zubik said.

Listen to the full interview here:

Bishop David Zubik

The University encourages individual thought and artistic expression but the Diocese believes this student not only crossed the line, but trampled all over it.

They are demanding some action.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights issued a statement Tuesday.

They say "CMU's decision not to suspend this female student, who publicly ridiculed Catholics and violated the local ordinance on public nudity, while invoking sanctions against the frat boys for offensive behavior behind closed doors, is legally problematic and morally indefensible."

Mike Pintek spoke with the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Director of Communications Dr. Pat McNamara on Tuesday.

Listen to the interview here:

Dr. Pat McNamara

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