Artist gathers raw materials, raw emotions with Catholic DVD

Posted by Sasha Aslanian on minnesota.publicradio.org:

"The Catholic Church in Minnesota is getting some pushback for a message against the freedom to marry it mailed to 400,000 parishioners last week. The Preserving Marriage in Minnesota DVD reiterates the Church's position that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

"Over the weekend, hundreds of Catholics donated their DVDs to an artist who plans to make an art project out of them.

"It's dawn on Sunday, and Lucinda Naylor stands on the sidewalk outside of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, the church where until recently, she was artist-in-residence for 15 years. She was suspended from her job after she announced on Facebook her intention to create a personal art project out of the DVDs.

"She's holding a sign drawing attention to her DVD to Art project. At her feet are three cardboard collection boxes. Parishioners arriving for early morning mass start filling them up, tossing in the DVDs they received in the mail.

"Two weeks ago, Minnesota's Roman Catholic bishops launched a campaign against marriage equality, mailing a DVD to every Catholic home in the state. Parishioners in the Twin Cities heard a message from Archbishop John Nienstedt.

"'The Archdiocese believes that the time has come for voters to be presented directly with an amendment to our state Constitution, to preserve our historic understanding of marriage. In fact, this is the only way to put the one man-one woman definition of marriage beyond the reach of the courts and politicians,' Nienstedt said on the video.

"The church's position on equal marriage for same-sex couples certainly wasn't a surprise to Naylor, but she says she felt the step of spending $1 million from an anonymous donor to produce and mail the DVDs, six weeks before the Nov. 2 election, was divisive.

"'I know a lot of people who were feeling like the church is sort of pushing them out. And this DVD was really just another way of shoving them out the door, and I didn't want to see good, loving Catholics being shoved out the door,' said Naylor. 'Every DVD that I collect and turn into a piece of art stands for a Catholic who's saying, 'No, I don't want to go there, I want to be an inclusive and loving Catholic.' '

... "'Glad to be rid of it,' said one man has he drops his DVD in the box.

"Some hug Naylor, others want to talk.

"'I'm Dan. I'm in the cathedral choir. I'm going on my ninth year, and I don't like that anyone on earth tells us what to do with our lives,' he said. 'I opened [the DVD], and it made me cry. ... I just can't play it. I want you to make some art out of it.' "

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