Observers shoveled abuse upon the unfortunate spectacle, rivaling each other to come up with the most appropriate epithets to describe the appalling scene.
As one irate Italian wrote on social media of the Vatican manger scene, “Ugliness is the first thing you notice, followed by a lack of familial warmth and the distancing guaranteed by the cylindrical figures. If you wish to judge harshly, the cylinders call to mind the sacred poles of Satanic cults condemned in the Bible.”
Traditionally, a manger scene is intended to evoke feelings of piety and devotion — not pity and revulsion — over the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, and thus this particularly regrettable work offends not only aesthetic sensibilities, but also the religious reverence of the faithful.
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