Mary and Human Liberation

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Date: 1994 - 1998

Region: Asia

Subject: Religious

Medium: Literature


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Artist: Tissa Balasuriya (b. 1924)

Confronting Bodies: The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and other Catholic authorities

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Dates of Action: 1994-1998

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Description of Artwork: Balasuriya was known for challenging the Catholic Church in his book, Mary and Human Liberation.

The Incident: In Mary and Human Liberation Balasuriya argued that the myth of Eve's temptation of Adam, to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge, is merely a denigration of women; different religions offer different paths to God; and that there should be no objection to a "black, brown, white, or yellow Pope." Church officials found these comments unacceptable and excommunicated Balasuriya in 1997. He refused to sign a "Profession of Faith" to prevent his excommunication.

Results of Incident: In 1998, Balasuriya withdrew the statements that the Vatican found most offensive. He was permitted back into the Catholic Church.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones