‘Hero of Linz’: Vandals Behead Offensive Statue of The Virgin Mary With Legs Spread Giving Birth

Image: Video screenshot

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Linz, Austria, has been a center of controversy after an offensive sculpture of the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus was put on display.

The piece, which some Catholics have called blasphemous, showed the Virgin Mary sitting on a rock with her legs spread while giving birth.

Artist Esther Strauss designed the piece, which was carved by Theresa Limberger.

This week a vandal beheaded the statue.

From The National Catholic Reporter:

The sculpture had been on view at Austria’s largest cathedral as part of the DonnaStage art installation project on women’s roles, family images and gender equality, the Linz Diocese said in a statement. It added that the incident, which occurred on July 1, had been reported to police.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of what is now the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, commented on the German news site kath.net that “if a pictorial representation of the birth of Jesus causes offense among the faithful and causes division in the church, the aim of Christian and especially sacred art has been missed.”

Alexander Tschugguel, an Austrian traditionalist Catholic responsible for the so-called “Pachamama” act of vandalism during the Vatican’s 2019 Amazon synod, in a July 3 social media post praised Cardinal Müller for commenting on the incident: “I am happy that Cardinal Müller again defends the Church and especially our Lady!” he wrote.

Tschugguel said the unknown vandal reached out to him directly, and he shared on X, “The Hero responsible got in touch with me and has just told me the following: ‘I did it first and foremost for the Mother of God!’ So let us pray to God through the intercession of Our Lady: Protect this man, O Lord, and continue to guide him!”

In another update, Tschugguel shared a statement from the alleged pepetrator:

The Hero of Linz anonymously relased (sic) this statement:

“Hate or love, what were my reasons for today’s action?

Well, as a simple Catholic and sinner, it is of course not up to me to prevent the actions of our bishops. But it is very much my and our task to prevent any defamation of GOD and his most holy Mother.

Just as the Virgin Mary protects us every day and is there for us, we must also be there for her, the Mother of GOD, in the most severe afflictions, because that is what defines us as a Church.

But why so martial, why no dialogue? Unfortunately, emails from the Diocese of Linz are ignored, telephone calls are abruptly ended when criticised and there is no outlet for criticism or even intervention. Therefore, in view of this abominable and blasphemous caricature, urgent and decisive action was required!

But why the head of this caricature, of all things, had to be destroyed is quickly explained, because I had to be quick and effective. Although I started by sawing the torso, the noise level and limited time meant that I was unable to carry out this initial plan, so only the head was sawn off. But without the head and halo, there could no longer be any question of a caricature of our Virgin Mary.

In the end, the sculpture was just an immoral, tasteless statue without a head, which effectively ended the blasphemy and defamation of our Blessed Mother.

Just as the Blessed Mother does everything for us in love, we must do everything for her without hesitation. This begins with prayers and ends, if necessary, with our lives.”

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