CMU student in nude pope parody will perform community service
By Margaret Harding
Published: Monday, June 10, 2013, 11:48 a.m.
Bishop David Zubik hopes a Carnegie Mellon University student will learn from the controversy about her half-naked portrayal of the pope and avoid letting it ruin her future, a diocese spokesman said on Monday.
“Bishop Zubik said from the beginning our real concern was the lack of respect for the religious beliefs of others,” Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh spokesman Ronald Lengwin said. “He's hoping the community service can also be a learning experience for her.”
Prosecutors will withdraw the indecent exposure charge filed against Katherine B. O'Connor, 19, if she completes 80 hours of community service by Oct. 21.
“It is not uncommon to dispose of misdemeanors in this way,” said Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office. “In this case, all the parties involved, including school officials and school police officials, were in agreement on handling this matter this way.”
CMU spokesman Kenneth Walters declined comment. University President Jared Cohon has publicly apologized for the parody but said the university would not discipline O'Connor or another student charged with indecent exposure as part of a campus parade.
CMU police charged O'Connor on May 10 once Zubik decried the parody as offensive. O'Connor, an art student, was part of the April 18 parade sponsored by the College of Fine Arts. She wore mock papal robes from the waist up but was naked from the waist down.
O'Connor told police she initially submitted a proposal for a humorous approach her performance but was encouraged to “develop a concept with a political edge,” although court documents do not say by whom.
Police charged Robb S. Godshaw, 22, of Wilmette, Ill., accusing him of dressing as an astronaut and disrobing atop a float during the parade.
Photographs on Godshaw's Facebook page show him disrobing and riding the float naked, police said in court documents.
The charge against Godshaw will be withdrawn if he completes 80 hours of community service, Manko said. Godshaw's attorney did not return a message seeking comment.
Attorney Jon Pushinsky, who represents O'Connor, said arrangements have not been made to determine what community service O'Connor will perform.
“I think it's a good conclusion for all involved,” he said.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Judge denies former city police Chief Nate Harper’s appeal
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Doctor says Kilimanjaro trek was an inspirational high
- Jeannette dirt bike rider collides with car
- State Supreme Court will hear appeal in case of 11-year-old murderer
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Greensburg man lends expertise to new cable series ‘UFO Files’
- Most missing documents that resulted in Point Park security alert are located
- Memo confirms VA Pittsburgh officials knew of Legionella threat long before made public