Lucinda Naylor lost her Basilica of St. Mary Artist in Residence position on Sunday, and with it about a third of her income.
Her offense: Speaking out against her archbishop's plan to distribute 400,000 anti-gay marriage DVDs.[jump]
The Basilica's Father John Bauer broke the news to Naylor in a face-to-face meeting, offering her the option of resigning the post she's held for 15 years. But she said she wasn't willing to step aside voluntarily, so he suspended her.
"I don't blame him or the Basilica," she said. "I knew it was coming. But I was surprised at the speed."
Archbishop John Nienstedt announced the diocese's plan to mail the DVDs last week, in a pre-election move aimed at reminding good Catholics to obey church teaching on its opposition to gat marriage, vote their values, and seek a state constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from marrying. They were produced by the Knights of Columbus, and Nienstedt said a secret donor came forward to pay for the mailing.
Naylor, who specializes in liturgical art, said she felt compelled to speak out against the archbishop trying to marginalize dissenting voices. And she wanted to do so in a creative way. So she asked others who felt as she did to donate or collect as many DVDs as possible, and she would turn them into a sculpture.
She's says she's been overwhelmed by the support she's received for the project from other parishioners within the Basilica, and on Facebook, both when she announced her artistic protest, and when she revealed she'd been suspended.
"Now more than ever I want this project to take off," she said. "It will make a great statement."