Crossing the Line with The Way of the Cross

Here's how the World Youth Day event missed the mark

Trying too hard to relate to today’s youth can sometimes backfire — which is exactly what happened at a World Youth Day event in Poland.

The event in question was a dramatic rendition of The Way of the Cross, which took place on July 29 in Krakow’s Błonia Park with Pope Francis in attendance.

The odd, interpretive dance performance still has people scratching their heads, to say the least.

In the scenes with Pontius Pilate, the actor playing the Roman ruler did a ballet routine, as black-shadowed images of other characters from the Passion flashed on a screen behind him:

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‘Pontius Pilate’ as he danced a little ballet during World Youth Day

When it came to the cross itself, three male gymnasts actually created a “human cross.” Showing off their physical strength, the three men held each other up and created a series of poses in an attempt to tell the story:

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The balancing act by three gymnasts struck some as more than odd.

One of the stations of the cross was represented by these three gymnasts as well — “Jesus falls the first time.”

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The Third Station of the Cross received this dramatic interpretation.

In an overall successful World Youth Day this year — in which scores of young people were inspired to develop and share their faith — perhaps one hiccup wasn’t too bad. But this performance was silly and its optics were questionable.

Instead, a narrative that faithfully and reverently represents salvation for Christians should have been told with the utmost respect.

See the full performance below:

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