County Tipperary, IRELAND (ChurchMilitant.com) - An acclaimed Catholic artist has painted a scorching theological critique of Pope Francis, portraying "the pontifex maximus of the new pseudo enlightenment" as "a relativist ideologue given to gesture piety."
Eugene de Leastar's gallery of more than 20 oil paintings covers a range of Francis' foibles — from the disputed apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia to favoring a gaggle of pro-gay cardinals and homopredator McCarrick cronies like Blase Cupich, Donald Wuerl and Kevin Farrell.
Drawing his inspiration from Dante Alighieri's epic poem The Divine Comedy, Leastar paints the celebrated Italian poet and his companion Virgil discovering Bergoglio in the Inferno. Francis is upside down in the furnace with protruding feet and legs in the air above ground.
Dante's Inferno has several corrupt popes in Hell. A pope is one of the first souls Dante sees in the flames because he rejected the task God set for him. Anastasius II is in Hell for heresy and Nicholas III for simony, heralding the arrival of Boniface VIII and Celestine V in the fire.
"It's astonishing how brazenly Bergoglio twists and corrupts Catholicism," Leastar told Church Militant when asked what led him to paint the provocative portraits of Francis and his favored cardinals and bishops.
"There is a war going on, and it is being played out on different levels politically and culturally but ultimately it is a religious war, and Francis is a key figure. For me, he and his sycophants are a strange and dark miracle," Leastar said.
"If art does not engage with this, what use is it? In my arrogance I see myself as a bit player," the artist added, remarking on his own unimportance and little influence in the situation. "However, I believe the heroes in this war are in convents and monasteries, whose names we may never know."
Leastar's paintings are pregnant with literary and biblical allusions, including Jesus warning that it would be better for one to have a millstone around his neck and be drowned in the sea rather than cause "one of these little ones who believe in me to sin" (Matthew 18:6).
The artist depicts a glum-looking Francis sitting on a jetty and twiddling his thumbs. Behind him is the sea, and a noose around the pope's neck is tied to a large millstone resting against a wooden post.
"Symbols form part of the creative process of which an artist may be only vaguely aware," Leastar explains, pointing to another biblical symbol in his work "The Great Accuser" — used in both Old and New Testaments to refer to the Devil.
Leastar tells Church Militant how he flipped this designation on its head after Francis used it to "refer to Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò because of his revelations."
Leastar paints Francis cowering behind a pillar with a figure of "Truth" who comes in the person of "Jesus" pointing intently at him.
"The great accuser for Bergoglio is and will be Truth, that we all must face. At the base of the pillar curls the serpent. The pillar has its own symbolism; lurking behind the compassionate facade of liberal theology is almost always sexual license," Leastar notes.
Leastar boldly develops the theme of sexual libertinism and hones in on the sin of sodomy promoted by Jesuit homosexualist Fr. James Martin, who is portrayed standing and snickering behind a grinning Francis, who seems to be flying in mid-air.
The painting has resonances from the book of Revelation, with a waning crescent moon set in a tenebrous sky. A serpent emerges from the pope's cape and confronts the Virgin Mary who firmly clasps the child Jesus to her bosom as described in the Apocalypse of St. John.
It is, however, not just sexual sin but the sin of Francis' compromise with the red dragon of communism that Leastar polemicizes with his brush.
A painting titled "The Great Betrayal" shows the pontiff nearly crouching on the floor, apparently searching for something he has lost. With his right hand, he is holding up the keys of Peter, which dangle in front of a portrait of Chairman Mao.
Another painting slamming the Holy See's secret concordat with China has Vatican Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin in a cardinal's red cassock that looks like a lady's gown. Parolin holds a document stamped with the communist sickle and hammer symbol. He is admiring himself in a mirror, oblivious to the victims' skulls staring at him from the glass.
Leastar proves himself a keen observer of the pope's throwaway remarks. In one painting, Bergoglio sits on the dome of St. Peter's Basilica as if sitting on a commode. Titled "The Great Coprophiliac," the artwork is a reference to Francis attacking the media as engaging in "coprophilia" (feces loving) and "coprophagia" (feces consuming).
The artist also alludes to the whitewashed McCarrick Report — which exonerates the pope of culpability and paints whistleblower Abp. Viganò as the villain — in a painting portraying McCarrick leading four dogs on leashes.
The dogs are wearing clerical collars and cardinals' zucchetti (skull caps). The painting is labeled: "McCarrick ... even the dogs in the street knew" — a reference to the cover-up of the homosexual abuse scandals by several U.S. cardinals still in office.
Individual cardinals are singled out for Leastar's canvas: Blase Cupich of Chicago is shown plummeting down the "rabbit hole" (alluding to Alice in Wonderland) with his scarlet cassock ballooning around him to reveal scandalous undergarments.
A half-naked Cdl. Joseph Tobin is depicted wheeling a baby carriage with a "baby" (the hand dangling from it is that of an adult) in a dig at the bizarre tweet from the Newark archbishop which announced: "Nighty-night, baby. I love you."
Italian archbishop Vincenzo Paglia gets his own colors from Leastar's palette. The bare-bottomed prelate is shown staring at his own portrait with one hand near the groin — a reference to the enormous homoerotic fresco Paglia commissioned to grace an interior wall of his cathedral.
Leastar exhibited his paintings when Francis visited Ireland, but the left-wing press ignored this work, the artist said. "People who hate the Church think I am one of them. Others are bemused and ask why I would waste such effort on characters few in this country have even heard of."
The artist, who has written several pamphlets on art theory including "Problems of Truth for the Painter," laments the expunging of the Catholic faith from his native land particularly under the new COVID-19 health dictatorship.
"Ireland has been ruthless in banning Holy Mass, but there was great excitement some years ago to have a Star Wars episode filmed on the sacred island of Skellig Michael. This is who we now are," he says.
The painter blasts Francis' philistinism: "Bergoglio has demonstrated little interest in European culture, perhaps due to some post-colonial disdain. By culture, I mean the literary, musical and visual tradition exemplified by such as Edmund Burke, Monteverdi or Titian, to take three from a thousand."
The pope's "embrace of the demise of the culture of Europe by an antithetical culture [Islam] is more than acquiescence in this case. It is based on a modernist theology that sees human progress as an inevitable divine imperative," Leastar writes in a brief essay on "Dante Discovers Bergoglio in Hell."
Leastar, who has also painted other works of religious and secular art, says he "would like to take this show to the USA, which is at the center of a battle that Abp. Viganò describes as between 'the children of light and the children of darkness.'"
"Europe is already lost," he mourns, "but I would still like to take my 'Bergoglio Suite' to Rome, where I feel I would be going into the belly of the Beast."