For the LGBT tour company appropriately called “Quiiky,” beauty isn’t the only thing in the eye of the beholder. Their homoerotic look at the Vatican Museums purports to discover gay art behind every fig leaf, which seems to reveal more about their clientele than about the art.
A recent HuffPo piece describes it as the “erotic gay art hiding in plain sight at the Vatican,” which would be very titillating indeed were it not for the fact that it is really just the product of an overactive adolescent imagination.
Tony Adams, a former Catholic priest who now works as a tour guide, told HuffPo that Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel represents some of the world’s best gay art.
“The fact is, if you go into the Sistine Chapel, you are in the presence of something done by a gay man that could be described in many camps as high-end pornography,” Adams said. “I mean, it’s hot stuff. You’re going to pull a muscle in the back of your neck looking up at this stuff. And it’s erotic art. It tells a spiritual story, but it doesn’t deny the physical dimension.”
Elizabeth Lev, a Vatican art historian, told Breitbart that there is nothing “pornographic” about the Sistine Chapel, and far less anything homoerotic. “People will see what they want to see,” she said, “like little boys giggling at the first nude statue they ever come across.”
Lev, who designed the course that the Vatican offers its guides and didactic staff about faith and art in the museums, says she has heard every sort of theory regarding the art in the Vatican.
“Everyone goes into the Sistine Chapel with their own background and proclivities,” Lev said. “Engineers want to know how tall the figures are, Dan Brown types see secret symbols everywhere, and LGBT activists see the art as sexually arousing, because that is the lens they use.”
Lev is the author of A Body for the Glory: Theology of the Body in the Papal Collections, which explores Michelangelo’s artistic and theological understanding of the human body, especially in the Sistine Ceiling and his Last Judgment.
According to Lev, the natural barrenness of homosexual relationships produces a visceral need for some sort of fruitfulness, so they latch onto the creativity of the Sistine ceiling trying to enlist Michelangelo as an ally to cover their sterility.
“It takes a very narrow world view to look at 5,000 square feet of ceiling and be unable to see the theme of complementarity running through the entire project,” said Lev, “between Adam and Eve, Christ and Mary and the 84 figures of mothers, fathers and children, demonstrating an ordered world replete with life and beauty.”
One could well wonder why, then, the Vatican allows these tours to go on, when they clearly oppose what the Church believes and have no academic credibility besides.
No licensed tour guide gets turned away from the Museums for undermining Catholic teaching, said Lev, and “groups don’t have to pass a test for Catholic orthodoxy before entering.”
“There are no doctrinal police listening in on what tour guides say,” she noted, “and believe me, people say some pretty idiotic things.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome