Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met with Pope Francis last week, but now we are learning of the dubious “gift” the wartime leader bestowed on the pontiff, and it is one that many Catholics have found to be extremely insulting.
Zelenskyy met with Pope Francis
on May 13 and, as is the common practice, the two exchanged gifts that they hoped would be meaningful one to another. For his part, the pope gave the Ukrainian leader a bronze olive branch as a symbol of the peace he hopes will soon return to the people of Ukraine, Catholic Courier
also had a gift to deliver. The Ukrainian president reportedly gave the pope a painting entitled “Loss 2022-58” which is fashioned after a religious icon image of the Virgin Mary holding an infant Christ in her arms.
As Catholic Courier describes it, “The work commemorates the 243 children who died in the first 58 days of Russia’s full-scale invasion Feb. 24, 2022, which continued attacks launched by Russia in 2014.”
But that description fails to really encapsulate this “gift.”
What it actually shows is an unflattering image of Mary holding an entirely blacked-out baby Jesus.
The Union of Orthodox Journalists
had a bit more informative description: “The image is called ‘Loss of 2022-58’, its author is Ukrainian artist Oleksiy Revika, reports the Ukrayina Moloda resource. Despite the fact that journalists call Revika’s work a ‘painting’, it is very reminiscent of a parody of the Iberian Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.”
Indeed, “parody” seems to be the least of it. Many are calling it outright offensive.
Video podcaster Dr. Taylor Marshall, who has a very large Catholic following, was entirely insulted by Zelenskyy’s
“Lets just look at the Blessed Mother and how she’s depicted here. It’s not flattering, it’s not good, this is not quality. I’m offended by it … and Jesus is blacked out, he’s gone. This is highly offensive to the pope, this is highly offensive to all Catholics, it’s highly offensive to all Christians. Zelenskyy is Jewish. And this is a [he motioned a slap to his face] to the followers of Jesus Christ,” Marshall said at the start of his Wednesday podcast
Many Twitter users agree with Dr. Marshall and said they feel that the hideous painting is an insult to Catholics
already has enough trouble being perceived as a hater of Christianity. As Tucker Carlson
noted early this year, the Ukrainian leader has engaged in outrageous attacks on Ukraine’s Orthodox Church.
Granted, there is no way to say what was in Zelenskyy’s
heart when he gave the pope that painting. But it was far from appropriate, whatever he meant. Marshall is right. This abomination is an insult, not just to the pope and Catholics, but to all Christians who revere Jesus Christ. A gift symbolizing peace would have been far more appropriate than that thing.
The gift certainly does not make anyone more sympathetic to Ukraine
, either, especially since there is already enough suspicion that Ukraine may not be the good guys in a war where there don’t even seem to be any good guys.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal
Zelenskyy Gives Highly Repulsive ‘Gift’ to Pope Francis – This Should Offend Every Christian
Warner Todd Huston, Western Journal
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