Things That Matter

Catholics Are Upset With Pope Francis For Donating Money To Help Migrants In Mexico

In a generous move that will help assist over 75,000 migrants currently at the U.S. border, Pope Francis donated $500,000 in aid to migrants. The donation will be distributed between 27 projects associated with 16 Mexican dioceses and congregations. The funds will continue providing food, lodging, and basic necessities to migrants fleeing their home countries through Mexico.

The Vatican says there have been nearly 75,000 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that are essentially “stranded.”

The Catholic Church has been helping those fleeing their home countries by supplying medical necessities. The church is also housing thousands of migrants in hotels within dioceses or congregations. The donation is another way to help as the number of waiting migrants continues to grow in the coming months.

“In recent months, thousands of migrants have arrived in Mexico, having traveled more than 4,000 kilometers on foot and with makeshift vehicles from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala,” reads a press release from the Vatican. “Men and women, often with young children, flee poverty and violence, hoping for a better future in the United States. However, the U.S. border remains closed to them.”

Thirteen various projects have also already been approved for aid in Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana and Nogales, which all border the U.S. The remaining 14 projects are still undergoing the approval process, according to the press release.

The donation comes less than a month after Francis criticized Trump and other “builders of walls” who want to keep migrants out of their countries.

The funds are another rebuke to President Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration from Francis. In March, he said that “Builders of walls will end up becoming prisoners of the walls they build.”

“I realize that with this problem [of migration], a government has a hot potato in its hands, but it must be resolved differently, humanely, not with razor wire,” Francis told reporters.

Back in 2016, Francis suggested that Trump’s desire to keep migrants out of America was an un-Christian decision.

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Pope Francis told The New York Times, referring to Trump’s immigration policies.

The donation has angered a lot of people within and outside of the church.

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Religion is supposed to be about compassion. There is something in the bible about welcoming foreigners into your land and treating them kindly. It is almost like people forgot this passage recently…

Others are threatening to turn their backs on the church.

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While no one should be forced to accept anyone’s political affiliation as their own, one would expect that someone part of a church would understand compassion.

Some people are mad because the Catholic church didn’t donate enough.

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The internet is good for one thing: opinions. Social media is a place where no one wins. No matter what you do, people will argue that you did too much, not enough, or got involved in something you shouldn’t be involved with. It’s a real no win.

Some loyal Catholics support the pope and his donation.

The migrant crisis at the border has been exacerbated for months due to U.S. policies targeting migrants and legal asylum seekers. The Trump administration has even started forcing migrants to wait in Mexico as their asylum requests are being processed, which one U.S. federal judge ruled to be illegal.

READ:Border Patrol Discover 3-Year-Old Alone Near Rio Grande With Only A Phone Number In His Shoe

Just A Reminder That It’s Super Strange To Take Pictures With A Dying Man On The Cross

Culture

Just A Reminder That It’s Super Strange To Take Pictures With A Dying Man On The Cross

Like many aspects of Latino culture, we have a complicated relationship with Catholicism. While many of us grew up in the church and take solace in the ritual and community that the church provides, there are also some other aspects of the religion that are harder to deal with. For example, many Catholics express their love for Jesus in some…unusual ways. Anyone who grew up in the church knows that Catholics can be prone to depicting the death of Jesus on the cross in–some would say–graphic ways. Growing up, many Latinos don’t think twice about seeing explicit pictures of Jesus dying at their local parish.

But after Latinos grow up and are exposed to other lifestyles and religions, we develop a different perspective on Catholic art. Outside of our Catholic/Latinx bubble, we begin to see why a lot of people view Catholic art as morbid. And honestly, sometimes we can’t blame them. So, with both Dia de Muertos and Halloween quickly approaching, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to deep-dive into the sometimes weird world of Catholic art. Take a look below and see if any of these spark any memories!

1. The Towering Shadow of Jesus

@bishi_music/Instagram

Whoever thought this giant Jesus shadow was inspiring probably has a different idea of what brings people comfort than what your average person does. To outsiders, it may look intimidating, to say the least. 

2. The Floor Made of Bones

@danmstephenson/Twitter

Yes, Catholics have an unfortunate history of plastering their buildings with bones of their dead patrons. It was very trendy back in the day. We can’t say we want this one to come back in style.

3. Skeletons Everywhere!

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When non-Latinx people think of skeletons, they generally think of spooky stuff like Halloween. But many Latino Catholics have seen a skeleton or two pop up in their own cathedral’s decor (that still doesn’t mean it’s not a little spooky).

4. Morbid Public Rituals

@hildahoy/Twitter

You know an event is sufficiently Catholic when there is a life-size rendering of Jesus on the cross being carried by a group of people. When you’re experiencing stuff like this, you don’t even question it. 

5. Unfortunate Artistic Interpretations of Jesus

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Look, no one really knows what Jesus looked like. We, however, hope Jesus didn’t look like many of the old and dilapidated statues that we have seen of him in certain cathedrals. It may have looked great back in the day, but some of these need some refurbishing.

6. Tone-Deaf Baked Goods

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A quick internet search will turn up some unfortunate Catholic-themed baked goods that look like they were made by some clueless but well-intentioned abuelas. If you think these hands-of-Jesus cookies are bad, you should see the “blood of the lamb” cake we stumbled across on Pinterest. 

7. Uncanny Pope Memorabilia

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Naturally, the Pope is someone to be venerated in the Catholic religion, but odd-looking artwork depicting His Holiness is…well, odd. Especially when it’s a dinner table’s centerpiece. 

8. This disproportionate statue of Jesus

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Again, it’s obvious that the artist had the best of intentions, but unfortunately, the execution left a bit to be desired. Odd artwork like this is par for the course in many smaller parishes.

9. Graphic Depictions of Saints Being Martyred

@julie_van_winkle/ Instagram

It’s art like this that we remember being particularly afraid of as children. Blood coming out of saints was hard to look at and may have kept us up at night once or twice.

10. Embalmed Bodies of Saints

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Most other religions don’t display their heroes of yore out in the open for everyone to see. Again, this is what makes being a Catholic a sort of secret society–it doesn’t feel unusual when you’re a part of it!

11. This altar dedicated to the preserved head of St. Catherine

@LectorGirl85/Twitter

Really, there are countless sites dedicated to displaying the bodies (or body parts) of Saints who are no longer with us. Like this altar that’s dedicated to displaying the mummified head of St. Catherine. 

12. Yes, it’s as creepy as it sounds:

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We can understand how outsiders would give this practice a bit of a side-eye. But they just don’t understand, okay?

13. This Glow-In-The-Dark Crucifix

@revinthenorth/Twitter

This one is equal parts funny and spooky. Who thought it would be a good idea to display this in a church? 

14. To sum up with this astute observation from a priest with a sense of humor:

@thehappypriest/Twitter

Truer words have never been spoken. Sure, Catholic art can be morbid, but for many Latinx people, being Catholic is a substantial and important part of their identity. 

A Woman Violently Pushed A Priest Off Stage Who Is Known For Being Homophobic And Misogynistic, The Internet Can’t Stop Buzzing About It

Entertainment

A Woman Violently Pushed A Priest Off Stage Who Is Known For Being Homophobic And Misogynistic, The Internet Can’t Stop Buzzing About It

Site Famosando / YouTube

In downtown São Paulo, July 14th’s Sunday service didn’t go quite as planned. The Canção Nova Community sponsored a youth conference and invited a celebrity priest to serve the final mass. Brazil’s most famous padre, Father Marcelo Rossi, was giving a homily in front of 50,000 worshippers when a woman suddenly pushed him off stage. The 32-year-old woman’s name has not been released, and she was immediately arrested. The priest is known for being vehemently homophobic and misogynist and had reportedly told the crowd that fat women don’t go to heaven before being pushed off the stage.

A woman pushed a homophobic and misogynistic priest off stage on live national television.

Apparently, the woman was able to sneak past security and get on stage in the middle of his homily. In a few seconds flat, she excitedly shoved the elderly priest off the stage. 

O Dia later reported that “She said that she wanted to come in to talk to him and that she was scared the moment she saw the security guards running after her. It’s her version, but anyone who sees the pictures sees that there is none of it [security guards running after her]. She says she got scared and pushed him at a time when she kind of freaked out, lost control, but she had no intention [of hurting him], she just wanted to talk to him.”

She could be seen smiling after the push, and immediately jumped off the stage.

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Within a few minutes, the priest reportedly stood up and told the crowd, in Portuguese, that “the devil hates him” and “thanked Mary for deliverance.” There have been mixed reports about why she did it, along with mixed reactions.

The young audience watched in shock and then started to scream.

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Minutes after the incident, the priest was back on stage to finish la misa. Almost immediately, President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted out his well wishes for Rossi, saying, “All our solidarity with Father Marcelo Rossi. God looks [over] Brazil.”

The woman told reporters Monday that what happened was “between [Rossi] and I.”

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Her friends told police that she suffers from various mental disorders and that she was being chaperoned when she snuck away from the group. She told police that she has bipolar disorder. Rossi decided not to press charges given that he was protected by the Virgin Mary, and she was released that same night.

Brasileños everywhere were sharing their reactions–from horror to just pure laughter on social media. 

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Just so y’all know, Rossi is a Grammy-nominated “Latin singer,” and mega-producer of Christian music. He’s also a mega-homophobe. In 1998, he said, “A lot of ideas will change the day homosexuality is proven to be an illness.”

Given Rossi’s open, proud homophobia, some folks were applauding the woman’s actions.

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Just five years ago, he shared misinformation to his millions of followers, saying, “Sex between man causes pain, if something causes pain, it can’t be a good thing.”

We don’t know who said it first, but The Internet estaba chismosando for days about this version of the story.

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Unfortunately, the reason this rumor started spreading is rooted in body-shaming the mentally unwell woman, and mother of a 3-year-old. While feminist outlets clung to this story and ran, fortunately, Rossi has never said that.

Catholics started clapping back to the chismosas by pointing out the flaws in the story.

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Every version of the story we found says the priest said, “las gordas no van al cielo,” which wouldn’t make any sense. Rossi wouldn’t be speaking Spanish on a national broadcast when the vast majority of Brasileños speak Portuguese. This just didn’t happen, basta.

Others who feel spiritually traumatized by the Church felt that Rossi deserved the push.

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Of course, plenty of people from all sexualities, religious belief systems or none at all, came out as unable to condone assault of any kind. They argue that you can believe the Church needs to change to include equal opportunities for women, to stop hating on the LGBTQ+ community, and to stop supporting a culture of pedophilia, and also believe that assault is unacceptable. 

The Church released a statement saying, “The priest is well.”

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“He was attended by the medical staff at the event and presided over the celebration to the end.” Rossi himself said that he felt minor pain, but “that’s normal.” He didn’t break any bones, and will likely continue making religious pop and homophobic statements for a long, long time.

READ: Catholics Are Upset With Pope Francis For Donating Money To Help Migrants In Mexico