Blasphemous nativity scene displayed at Saint Joseph Oratory Dec. 2018

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Your Excellency Archbishop Cristian Lépine, 

I am writing to you on behalf of the many devout Christians, including parishioners of St. Joseph’s Oratory and parishioners of neighboring parishes throughout the dioceses who are outraged and offended by the “modern day” nativity scene displayed in St. Joseph’s Oratory’s museum. This nativity scene depicts our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and the Wise Men in a way that is clearly blasphemous. Our Blessed Mother is depicted in modern clothing with her shirt pulled down beyond her shoulder exposing a bra strap. St. Joseph is also displayed in modern clothing with a man-bun and is holding a cellular phone for the purpose of taking a “selfie” of themselves with the baby Jesus laying in the crib. The three Wise Men are depicted as delivery drivers delivering wrapped packages. We feel this display of “art” is irreverent and we respectfully request that it be taken down without delay. It is the churches’ responsibility to engender in the hearts of the faithful  a holy fear toward the solemnity of the Christmas season. I cannot echo strongly enough the thoughts of Rev. L. Nicholas Farley on this matter as he wrote in his letter attached below   

Respectfully yours in Christ

Tracy Martin Smith


—That is the question. 


“I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see”. -Amazing Grace (hymn excerpt) by John Newton (1725 A.D. to 1807 A.D.), former slave trader. 

 ‘Recovery of sight’ is what sinners loudly proclaim—but not so those who are arrogant and proud (John chapter 9, verse 40); for such as these profess a lamentable brand of wisdom. 

 May these traders, who pedal this blasphemous modernization of the miracle that is the “nativity of Christ”—recover the true “Light of Faith”. May they not continue to violate what they claim to understand; for they clearly demonstrate a profound ignorance. (1 Corinthians 2, verse 12)  


A hallmark of Catholicism is the ability to distinguish ‘the sacred’ from ‘the profane’—whereas fear and cowardice are trademarks of those who betray Christ and His Church. 

 Such traders proudly proclaim intimate connections with the secularist mindset of a materialistic and agenda-driven world. Does it escape them that they reject Christ’s call and mission? (Matthew chapter 28, verse 19)  

 This ‘selfie-minded concept’ and ‘slovenly-dressed representation’ of some contemporary youth cannot speak universally for what is essentially a mystery of faith. 

 the nativity of Jesus may not be “reduced to” or “confined within” the parameters of a media-driven outreach.  The modernistic nativity scene does not represent the spiritual depth of the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ—who is proclaimed by the Catholic Church as the universal “Redeemer”. 

 The message of Joseph and Mary with Jesus at the nativity crèche stands as a universally profound “pro-life” witness. It is a condemnation of the tragedy of multitudes of voiceless casualties eliminated by those who have chosen or will choose to deny the life they have conceived in favour of a facile self-preoccupation—one largely due to an irresponsible sense of personal sexual freedom. 

 Each generation, including contemporary ones, must be redeemed from everything that would hold them captive. The peace of God descends upon those who receive Jesus Christ in a spirit of goodwill.

 However, those who promote this “sacrilegious happy-holiday display” of the nativity are neither demonstrating ‘inherent truth’ nor ‘artistic novelty’.  Their artistry lacks the soul of veracity and the honour of self-restraint—it is a profound disrespect. 

 In addition, those within the structure of the Oratory of Saint Joseph—those responsible for enabling, promoting or defending this artistic abomination, which departs from the historical context and the cherished tradition of Christianity—fundamentally reject Christ’s ‘high-priestly prayer’. 

 In this prayer, Jesus made a heartfelt appeal on behalf of his followers—that they would maintain the ‘unity’ (John chapter 17, verse 14) and integrity of the meaning and purpose of his incarnation, ministry, suffering and death, and resurrection—and, in so doing, identified the means by which they would effect the world’s belief and conversion. (John chapter 17, verse 21) 

 Furthermore, how can believers not discern the flood waters of vomit (Revelation chapter 12, verse 15), which prophecy warns is a concerted and relentless effort to sweep away all that is holy? 

 Modern day attacks (conscious or not) are numerous. They are like sickly dogs, addicted to the scent of their nauseating and putrid retching (Proverbs chapter 26, verse 11)—they offer a worthless self-centered idolatrous substitute. 

 What more can be said about traders except that they—not unlike Judas, whose office they so eagerly fill—are all too ready and eager to sacrifice what is Holy in exchange for a  mere thirty pieces of coin. 

 Such traders need to recover their zeal for what intrinsically belongs the Lord and to have the unholy offerings removed from the premises of the Oratory Temple. (Matthew chapter 21, verse 12) 


Rev. Lawrence Farley, 

Permanent deacon, 

Diocese of Valleyfield.