Jesus party wigs draw fire

A Vatican official has described the sale of Jesus fancy dress kits including beard and plastic crown of thorns as blasphemous after the "Jesus party wig" went on sale within walking distance of St Peter's.

The Age reports that the $A20 "Jesus Party Wig" is available across Italy for wear at pre-Lent street festivities.

"Can you imagine the outcry if a costume of Mohammed was on sale?", an unnamed Vatican official asked.

"The vilifying of religion is a crime and this should be investigated by the police," said Bishop Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican's Supreme Court.

"It's come to the point where the Catholic faith has no defence and it is something to be laughed at. The Christian doctrine is exploited but everyone is very careful to be respectful of Islam."

A Milan firm, Widmann, distributes the outfits, which are made in China. It also offers a luxury version, at $40, which adds a long white tunic and a plastic staff. Father Vittorino Grossi, secretary of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, said: "This is regurgitated paganism and is a shameful insult and blasphemous to millions of believers.

"It's worse than the Roman graffiti of 1800 years ago that showed Christ with a donkey's head," he said.

No one at Widmann would comment. But one stockist, who would not give his name, said: "I don't see what the problem is. To me it's just a novelty wig and beard."

Vatican in unholy row over Jesus party wig (The Age, 3/2/07)
Vatican Condemns Sale of Jesus Costumes (New York Daily Sun, 2/2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Jesus Wig and Beard (Star Design Costumes)

5 Feb 2007