“Love thy neighbor as thyself,” Jesus Christ is quoted as having said in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, noting that it was God’s “greatest commandment.” But, at least according to scripture, no one asked Jesus whether this commandment still applies if someone says something controversial about Jesus’ mother. Had such a question been posed to Jesus, it’s likely he would not have condoned issuing death threats at the person who said something controversial. It’s too bad, because precisely that scenario is being put to the test — and, well, people are failing miserably. Sister Lucia Caram, a Catholic nun originally from Argentina who is living in Spain, has received a spate of death threats following an appearance on Spanish TV on Sunday, during which she seemed to contradict church teaching on sex and faith.
During the appearance, Sister Caram expressed doubt that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was actually a virgin, noting that sexuality was a God-given part of human existence and something that would therefore have been a natural and inevitable part of her relationship with Joseph. “I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple — and having sex is a normal thing,” she said on the Chester in Love show. “It’s hard to believe and hard to take in. We’ve ended up with the rules we’ve invented without getting to the true message.” She continued, saying, “I think the church has had a poor attitude to it for a long time and has swept it a bit under the carpet. It wasn’t a taboo subject; it was more something that was considered dirty or hidden. It was the denial of what I believe to be a blessing.”
The Church, she said, had long struggled with the notion of sexuality. And it seems the struggle continues. The Bishop of Vic was fast to rebut Sister Caram’s comments, reminding the public that Mary’s virginity was not up for question and had been an article of faith since the Church’s inception.
Sister Caram’s remarks have, perhaps unsurprisingly, triggered a wave of online anger and even prompted a petition for her to be suspended from the order. In response she issued a statement defending her point of view, “This shocked a lot of people, perhaps because there was no opportunity for clarification. But I think that my fidelity to, and love for, the church, the gospel and Jesus’ project are clear — as it the certainty that sex is neither dirty nor something to be condemned, and that marriage and sex are a blessing.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.