KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter
April 17, 2019
by Patricia Lefevere
First priest ever to sue church officials over sex abuse charges remembered as ‘holy disturbance’
In a week when Christians recall Jesus’ passion and death, the homilist at a funeral for Fr. Gary Hayes, a victim of clergy abuse, declared that “Jesus himself was a victim of sexual abuse.”
Fr. John Bambrick was referring to theologian Rocío Figueroa’s recently published study that followed a research project she did with theologian David Tombs called “When Did I See you Naked”?, a work that Hayes would have loved, said the homilist. Hayes died of cancer April 4. He was 66.
Bambrick told assembled mourners that Figueroa had proven in her writing that Jesus had been sexually humiliated during his passion and crucifixion. He noted that three times in Gospel accounts of his ordeal, Jesus is forced to strip naked in front of cohorts of soldiers. Figueroa “makes the point that there are different forms of sexual abuse including sexual humiliation in the form of forced nudity, mockery, stripping, touching, sexual assault and other physical acts.”
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