Abusing Christ

Abusing Christ August 15, 2018

Recently, The Onion, a delicious news parody website, published a brutal headline. It read: “Biblical Scholars Find Evidence Church Covered Up For 3 Wise Men Who Molested Baby Jesus.” At first glance this is outrageously offensive. Yet, reading the comments section, some folks had a point. Is this headline more enraging than the story that recently broke regarding several diocese in Pennsylvania where more than 300 priests who abused thousands of children and adults were protected by Bishops and Archbishops? The imagery takes the offences of these priests and puts it on the most sacred scene in Christianity. Imagining the violation of such a sacred child is blasphemous. And yet, we have been far too complacent with these incidents in our communities and parishes.

And yet, the Onion, as it is so good at doing, gets at an underlying truth. One of Jesus’s most powerful teachings was his identification with those who suffer. In Matthew 25, where after exhorting his apostles to feed the hungry and visit the sick, Jesus says point blank: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Christ really was violated with each of those children, because Christ suffers with us.

Certainly priests are not the only people to abuse children. Yet, there is a dark irony in these all too frequent cases of abuse by priests. Those adults and children were abused by a men who according to Catholic dogma stand in the Persona Christi, in the very person of Christ when reading the Gospel and when administering the Eucharist. The sacraments that they administered were still valid despite their heinous sins. And yet, little did they know, that Christ was certainly more present to the abused than he was to them. May each and every one of them be brought to justice, in this life or the next! And may their survivors find peace and healing. Lord Have Mercy. Christ Have Mercy. Lord Have Mercy. +++

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