Modernity in the Vatican Causes Strong Controversy

Modernity in the Vatican Causes Strong Controversy

The artwork that makes up the Vatican nativity scene is receiving a lot of attention.

The artwork that makes up the Vatican nativity scene is receiving a lot of attention.

Some say that the birth is out of the traditional since it includes an astronaut, with a touch of modernity and representing that Jesus reaches all parts of the universe. Others say it seems strange and is not commensurate with what is required in times of a pandemic.

The nativity scene was created by art school students in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s when humans landed on the moon. The sculptures were also made with the help of masters in Castelli, an Italian city famous for ceramics, between 1965 and 1975.

According to HuffPost, previous Vatican nativity scenes have included a broken ship depicting the plight of refugees and "a person visiting a prisoner in a cell, symbolizing charity."

An astronaut, a character that looks like Darth Vader with the baby Jesus wrapped in a red cloth. It is not a joke setup, but a unique version of the nativity scene in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican.

Mary, Joseph, the three kings, and the shepherds are in the style of cubic chess figures surrounded by squat and square animals. The Vatican uses a different nativity scene each year, which is usually donated by towns or artists.

Despite the limitations due to the CORONAVIRUS pandemic, people were able to flock to St. Peter's Square for the inauguration of the Vatican Christmas tree and manger; a large crowd gathered outside the venue to wait for the lights on the 75-year-old fir tree to come on.


Vatican Christmas decorations are considered a sure sign of hope, as this tradition has remained unchanged. The most memorable moment was when the tree was lit.

The manger was especially striking with its gigantic ceramic statues. Both decorations can be seen in St. Peter's Square until January 10, 2021.

Despite the controversy, some people appreciate the occasional change in style. They like it to include current affairs such as the astronaut.

The astronaut statue was not placed there randomly. The pieces of nativity scenes are more than 50 years old. The students wanted to include relevant topics as a reminder that Jesus was born to people of all ages.

Every year, the Vatican nativity scene is accompanied by the history of its place of origin. Ceramic is a difficult material to mold, hence the strange shapes of the statue. It should be a source of pride to have this nativity scene displayed in St. Peter's Square, especially for a community affected by two earthquakes, one in 2009 and the other in 2017.

Art historian Elizabeth Lev expressed her disappointment to America Magazine, saying: "The problem is that there is a universal outpouring of mockery. The Holy Family is being mocked; people are competing with each other to find the funniest name. "

She also added: "The Catholic Church has an incredible tradition of beauty and yet, after a year of hardship, we have put in something that makes people laugh at Jesus." What can be concluded is that the traits of modernity reached the Vatican for these celebrations.

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