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Church members leave over Jesus 'penis'

April 15, 2010 at 2:35 PM

WARR ACRES, Okla., April 15 (UPI) -- The pastor of an Oklahoma church said some members have been leaving due to a 10-foot crucifix that some say appears to depict a penis on Jesus' stomach.

Rev. Philip Seeton of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Warr Acres said some members have left the church due to the crucifix, which some say appears to depict a large penis covering the abdomen of Jesus Christ, The Oklahoman reported Thursday.

"I've had people who have vocally said that that's what they see there. I've had people who have been just as vocal who said that's not what they're seeing there," the pastor said.

"There are a couple people who have left the parish," Seeton said. "There are people in the parish who don't like it and have stayed."

He said the sculpture, created by artist Janet Jaime and installed in the church Feb. 21, actually depicts Jesus with his abdomen "showing distension."

"I think it was painted according to the certain specific rules of iconography and church art," Seeton said.

He said there are no plans to remove or replace the crucifix.

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