The Met Gala's 2018 theme "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" didn't sit right with many Catholics watching stars l walk the red carpet in couture outfits decked out with religious iconography

By Dave Quinn
May 08, 2018 01:42 PM

The Met Gala’s 2018 theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” didn’t sit right with many Catholics watching stars like Rihanna, Katy Perry and Sarah Jessica Parker walk the red carpet in couture outfits decked out with religious iconography.

As photos of Monday night’s Costume Institute benefit began circulating on social media, viewers questioned the theme — the harshest critics calling it “blasphemous” and “sacrilegious cosplay.”

This is all despite the fact that New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art worked closely with the Vatican on the exhibit, opening May 10.

According to The New York Times, Archbishop Georg Gänswein — Prefecture of the Papal Household under Pope Francis — collaborated with the Met’s curator Andrew Bolton to put together a collection of pieces that showed the way the Catholic Church served as an inspiration to designers throughout history. Religious vestments were lent to flush out the exhibit. Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, even attended the Gala as a guest, posing with A-listers like George Clooney.

Cardinal Dolan and George Clooney at the 2018 Met Gala
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/MG18/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Looking for more style content? Click here to subscribe to the PeopleStyle Newsletter for amazing shopping discounts, can’t-live-without beauty products and more.

But none of that seemed to matter when viewers started watching attendees walk the red carpet.

Rihanna, 30, wore a papal mitre (a ceremonial head-dress of bishops) and an opulently bejeweled strapless mini dress with a matching collared robe. Parker, 53, paired her gold three-quarter-length-sleeve Dolce & Gabbana gown with a towering headpiece featuring a nativity scene to scale. Perry, 33, rocked a gold Versace ensemble and an enormous pair of angelic wings. Jared Leto, 46, wore a crown around his hair inspired by the crown of thrones Jesus wore. Lana Del Rey, 32, had a heart chest piece pierces with swords often adorned on renderings of a mourning Mary, mother of Jesus.

Model Taylor Hill, 22, wore a black Diane von Furstenberg dress that looked like a skin-showing version of Cardinal Dolan’s robes.

| Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
Sarah Jessica Parker
| Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/MG18/Getty
Kary Perry
| Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock
Lana del Rey and Jared Leto
| Credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock
Taylor Hill
| Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty

Many of the aforementioned were called into question by irate users.

“Nothing right about celebrities sexualizing and disrespecting the Catholic Church and Christianity,” wrote one critic. “No other religion gets disrespected like Christianity. Disgusting

RELATED VIDEO: Madonna Shares How The Designer of Her Met Gown “Treats Her Like a Queen”

The Met Gala is considered fashion’s biggest night. The extravaganza is held the first Monday in May annuals to raise money for the Costume Institute.

Vogue editor in chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour hosts the event — this year joined by co-hosts Rihanna, Donatella Versace, and Amal Clooney.

Tickets are expensive, going for $30,000 apiece with tables costing about $275,000, The New York Times reported.