VA CATHOLIC CHURCH HANGS A MANNEQUIN TO REPRESENT JUDAS, ON GOOD FRIDAY
So, there’s this church in Henrico, Virginia that is making some waves. Actually, make those dramatic waves. The church is Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. If you want to see it on Google Maps, it’s on Woodman Road. Why is it making waves? Well, the church thought it would be a good idea to hang a mannequin from a tree on its grounds. One member of the church said the tree hanging mannequin was a reference to Judas. It’s a stretch, right? The ultimate betrayal and subsequent suicide by Jesus’ disciple. So the church hangs a mannequin. One might think that’s not the best idea on Easter. Well, at any time really. But Easter makes it worse. But I suppose to be really specific, it was on Good Friday.
MAYBE DON’T HANG (LYNCH) A FIGURE FOR ANY REASON, EVER, ANYWHERE
Obviously, some people are having trouble making the connection between a mannequin hanging from a tree outside a church in the South with Judas. Some people might think it’s a reference to a lynching. Because it’s the South! Even if you have certain opinions about Caine and Abel, wouldn’t you hesitate to make this display? I don’t go to church, but I’m pretty sure that hanging people is a major reference from the bible. But then again, I’ve never heard of a church hanging a figure from a tree to celebrate any aspect of Christian practice at all. Way to go, Our Lady of Luordes! Your decoration hangs well! Yet not so much.
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RICHMOND DIOCESE ISSUES STATEMENT, DOESN’T STICK OUT NECK, PLUS BAD GRAMMAR!
But the Catholic Diocese of Richmond did issue a statement to address the controversy:
Earlier today, a community Passion play took place on the grounds of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Henrico, Va. Part of that play featured an image of Judas’ betrayal and suicide which showed a figure hanging in a tree.
Although the Passion play is meant to be a devotional event during Holy Week intended to reflect the events surrounding the Passion, death and Resurrection of Christ, the image of a mannequin hanging from a tree – is insensitive. We regret any offensive this may have caused.
Meetings are scheduled with the members of the community responsible for coordinating the event to share these concerns and so these same members might better understand why this display was inappropriate and will not be used again in the future.
Holy Week is a season intended to highlight the saving mystery of Christ’s Passion, death and Resurrection. At this time of year, the Church prays for all those suffering from persecution, discrimination and injustice.
May the grace of this Holy Week transform hearts and minds to know God and to know His love.
Just make sure that love doesn’t involve lynching anyone, amirite?