Drag queen Pura Luka Vega's apparent portrayal of Jesus Christ while jamming to a remix of Ama Namin is "completely disrespectful," the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.
According to a report by The Philippine STAR, Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs, said people should be extremely prudent in their actions, especially with regard to using elements of religion and faith for secular purposes.
"If not used properly, such actions border on mockery and profanity,” Secillano said.
He noted that dancing to the tune of a sacred and biblical prayer—with matching sacred costume to boot—is "completely disrespectful not only of people and institutions practicing such faith but of God Himself."
“Faith and sacred objects are not for entertainment purposes," the CBCP official added. "They are useful for channeling our deepest desire to have recourse to the Divine.”
Ama Namin is a song version of the Lord's Prayer, the central prayer of the Catholic church.
A now-viral video showed Luka at a bar performing Ama Namin, as the crowd sings with her. "Thank you for coming to church!" the caption read.
Many netizens took the drag queen to task, with some calling it "offensive" and "blasphemous."
In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe on July 12, Vega said that she did not intend to offend people with her act. "It’s my way of expressing my faith, odd as it may seem. I deliberately chose Ama Namin for the message—a message of hope for the oppressed, particularly the LGBTQIA+ community."
When asked about what she meant to convey with her performance, she explained: "This is something that has been done before, it’s not very new, Jesus as a drag persona, I mean. Whenever I embody a character as a drag artist, the challenge for me is to embody the values associated with that character and incorporate them in a queer setting."
"I keep reminding myself, 'What would Jesus do?' and 'How can the act of expressing faith and worship intersect with queerness?' Hence the performance," she said,