The Slovenia Times

Christians offended by Mladina cover


Ljubljana - Brezje, Slovenia's main pilgrimage site, has responded to the latest cover of the weekly Mladina depicting a slightly altered image of the 1817 painting of Mary and Jesus that is cherished in Brezje (NW). The head of the pilgrimage site, Robert Bahčič, said this was an "inadmissible insult of religious feelings of Christian believers".

The 200-year-old painting Mary Help of Christians by Leopold Layer has been a symbol of profound religion of Slovenians for years, offering consolation and hope to Brezje pilgrims, Bahčič said in a press release, noting it was inadmissible to alter the famous art work.

He said that changing the Brezje image by replacing the baby Jesus with an image of a girl "who already has the attributes of an adult woman" and is reminiscent of a hermaphrodite hurt the "ideal image that believers carry in our heart".

Bahčič sees this as an attack on one of the most intimate personal relations that Christian believers have to the image. He said he deeply regretted Mladina editors' unacceptable decision.

The head of the Brezje pilgrimage site also expressed hope that the most profound people's feelings would one day be respected in Slovenia.

"No critical thought towards the historical manifestation of Christianity, not even towards church institutions, nor any reference to artistic freedom, can allow an attack on one of the deepest sacrednesses that Slovenian Christians carry within us," he said.

The image on the latest Mladina cover accompanied an article entitled Battle for Holy Matrimony about the reaction of the Catholic Church to the Constitutional Court's decision to legalise same-sex marriages and adoptions.


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