Men won’t follow a Lady with a Beard…
Why there is a Catholic man-crisis in the Western Church?
One contributing reason is that Jesus has become feminized in a number of ways, including the promotion of images that portray Jesus as “a lady with a beard.”
Men are not going to follow a “lady with a beard”. Men are not going to follow a castrated Christ.
Jesus is not a metrosexual. Jesus is not a eunuch. And too often in imagery, He is portrayed as one.
There is a serious “man-crisis” in the American Catholic Church. Large numbers of Catholic men have left the Church, the majority of those who remain are lukewarm in their faith. Today’s Catholic men, by in large, lack a passion for the faith.
Five years ago, when a group of priests and lay men asked Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, why so many Catholic men were lukewarm in their faith, His Excellency replied without a hesitation, “Lukewarm men don’t know Jesus Christ.”
Since then, under the guidance of Bishop Piche, a group of men and priests have been drawing men together at CatholicManNight events across the Twin Cities. The objective of these events is to introduce Catholic men to Jesus Christ with a clear-eyed view of Jesus Christ, not shying away from Christ’s Perfect Manhood. The work is slow but steady, and there are amazing conversion stories occurring.
The New Emangelization Project has several simple objectives: 1) To document and raise awareness about the Catholic “man-crisis”, 2) Identify key reasons why men are turning away from the Church and 3) identify a series of principles to guide the effort at a New Emangelization. If we wish to have a New Evangelization, there must be a New Emangelization, drawing generations of Catholic men to Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.
One of the emerging themes is the problem of the feminization of the Church and the feminization of Jesus in particular.
Jesus has become feminized? Yes.
Dr. Leon Podles’ book, The Church Impotent – The Feminization of Christianity lays out a solid case for the feminization of Christianity. You can read/hear an recent extended discussion with Dr. Podles here.
Monsignor Charles Pope directly notes the tendency in some Catholic art to render Jesus as effeminate in a recent article on the Sacred Heart of Jesus (well worth the read for it separates the genuine devotion to Christ’s Sacred Heart from the feminized images). Monsignor notes:
“I must say that in the past I was not always as on board as I should have been when it came to the Feast of the Sacred Heart. As a man, I have struggled especially with some of the Sacred Heart images of past years, especially from the 1940s into the 1970s that, frankly, made Jesus look like a bearded lady. Deep red lips, baby soft skin, “come-hither” look, ”feminine” head tilt, long slender fingers, and strangely bent wrists all seemed too feminine for me. See for example the image here: Sacred Heart. Frankly, the feminized portrayal of Jesus made me cringe. “Maybe this works for some,” I thought, ”but not for me.” Women are beautiful, but men shouldn’t look like women.”
Monsignor Pope is not alone. I’ve met lots of men who feel the same way.
To make the point that Jesus has been feminized in images, simple Google “Jesus” and look at the images.
Here are some that pop up on page 1:
Of course, there are other images, but these are images that have been widely distributed.
Jesus has been feminized? Yes, and it has been deliberate. Here is the original image of the Divine Mercy by artist Eugene Kazsimierowski that St. Faustina saw and approved:
Compare the original image with the later and more widely reproduced image by Adolf Hyla in which Jesus has become more feminine looking:
And here is the widely reproduced image that has become even more feminized:
The point of this is not to denigrate the devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Divine Mercy of Jesus. Rather, the point is to raise a caution about the trend to feminize the imagery of Jesus…for they simply don’t resonate with men. Men will not in large numbers be moved by feminized images of Jesus.
More to the point: Jesus was not female or feminine, and it can be argued that images that portray Him as such are blasphemous (CCC 2148) for it denigrates Jesus Christ. It misrepresents Our Lord in material ways, ways that Satan would certainly approve.
Still not convinced that there are serious attempts to feminize Jesus Christ? Here is the result of the National Catholic Reporter’s effort to give Jesus a “facelift” for the turn of the millennium. This image, chosen by some perverse and confused process was modeled on the image of a sub-Saharan black African woman (note: Jesus was Jewish not Gentile, Israelite and not African, white/Mediterranean and not sub-Saharan black, and a/The Man and not a woman):
The perversion and confusion in society will only continue to get worst in the near term. Here, is an Austrian homosexual male named Thomas Neuwirth, performing as a transvestite drag queen with the stage name Chonchita Wurst who won the American Idol equivalent in Europe called Eurovision 2014. Some see Mr. Neuwirth as attempting to promote himself using a highly feminized imagery that attempts to mimic Jesus. Compare the image of Mr. Neuwirth below with the feminized image of Jesus at the top of the post. Coincidence?
May the Lord Jesus Christ forgive us for our confusion and the hijacking of His Incarnation for political, sentimental, perverted and commercial reasons. May the Holy Spirit draw many men to the Perfect Manhood of Jesus Christ and all people into Christ’s ultimate Kingdom.