Who’s More Like Jesus?

I just saw this column by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. In it, he describes the swift excommunication of a nun who saved a woman’s life. Meanwhile, all the priests and bishops guilty of child abuse are “re-assigned,” or in rare cases, suspended, or in even rarer cases, defrocked. But still allowed to take the sacrament.

Two passages from the story hit home for me. The first is a quote from a doctor who works at the same hospital as Sister Margaret.

“She is a kind, soft-spoken, humble, caring, spiritual woman whose spot in Heaven was reserved years ago. The idea that she could be ex-communicated after decades of service to the Church and humanity literally makes me nauseated. True Christians, like Sister Margaret, understand that real life is full of difficult moral decisions and pray that they make the right decision in the context of Christ’s teachings. Only a group of detached, pampered men in gilded robes on a balcony high above the rest of us could deny these dilemmas.”

The other is from Kristof:

Sister Margaret made a difficult judgment in an emergency, saved a life and then was punished and humiliated by a lightning bolt from a bishop who spent 16 years living in Rome and who has devoted far less time to serving the downtrodden than Sister Margaret. Compare their two biographies, and Sister Margaret’s looks much more like Jesus’s than the bishop’s does.

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