I would be very surprised if the artist were not a Catholic. Whether he was molested by a priest or just feels that he was duped by a manipulative system more concerned with its own power and preservation than the people who support it, there’s clearly lots of painful emotion here. Damn.
Realistically, though, I think this kind of artistic rendering is only important because of the response it generates. No one would do an image of Mohammad this way because the response would be violent. If the artist portrayed Matthew Shepard, MLK or a young child this way, the response would be a firestorm of negative attention. The Catholic church is a very available target now, MUCH more so than when Sinead O’Connor began attacking it. so this artist gets to make the statement, get lots of publicity and will have a built in excuse for anything that ever goes wrong in his career.
Hey, what can I write about that will put me in this kind of fail safe position?