Lord, have mercy.
You may have already heard: a group of feminists in Argentina marked International Women’s Day earlier this month in a most vile way: they acted out an abortion on a woman dressed up as a pregnant Blessed Virgin Mary, who was happily celebrating the deed, in front of their local cathedral. (There’s an uncropped picture of the act at the end of this article, but be warned that it is graphic.)
In response to outrage about the blasphemy on social media, liberal groups defended the “protest,” saying the fake abortion symbolized the abortion of “patriarchy” and “forced heterosexuality.” The local archbishop condemned the act.
Since then, a priest’s moving open letter to the woman who played Mary has gone viral on Facebook.
He expresses his sadness at the outrageous blasphemy, saying that it had all the marks of the diabolical. But he also points to the hope we all have in the very blood of Jesus they mocked.
“It is not easy for me to write this to you,” Fr. Leandro Bonnin begins (original in Spanish). “A mixture of indignation and sadness invades my soul, as well as that of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Argentines. […]”
“Although almost nothing can surprise us anymore, I have to say that this time the blasphemy has exceeded all limits. A blasphemy with all the unmistakable signs of the diabolical: with his malice, his perversity, and above all with his hatred of Mary.”
After explaining Mary’s indispensable role in salvation history, he points toward Christ’s call to love:
“At the same time, even though it may be difficult for us, even though our guts may stir in anger, we know that the Child you dared to imagine unborn has taught us: ‘Love your enemies, pray for their persecutors.'”
He then points out how the fake blood used in their “protest” pointed to the hope of the world:
“In the horrible image you created, there is blood. Blood of the Mother, but also of the Son. Blood spills at the moment of death, but it is also a symbol of life. That blood you represented with contempt is your hope, our hope. For where sin abounded, grace abounded. Because that Blood cries more strongly than Abel’s. Because Jesus shed it for your sins and mine.”
The priest then presents an offer of salvation:
“I do not know your story. It is possible that true and gratuitous love has not visited your life, you probably have not yet been able to experience the beauty of the Face and Love of Jesus. But I want you to know that if for a moment you open your soul, if you give up pride, if you humbly acknowledge your sin, if you repent of heart, then the Blood of the Son of Mary can renew and cleanse you.”