Church Puts Baby Jesus in a Cage for Controversial Nativity Scene

Saint Susanna Parish
Credit: Saint Susanna Parish

A Massachusetts church put a twist on the normal nativity scene and placed a baby Jesus figurine in a cage in attempt to “mirror” recent immigration issues.

The scene at St. Susanna Parish in Dedham, a Roman Catholic congregation, features baby Jesus in a black cage, separated from parents Mary and Joseph.

“We try to take a picture of the world as it is and put it together with a Christmas message,” Pastor Fr. Stephen Josoma told CBS Boston.

This year, baby Jesus represents migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border, Josoma said. Above the scene, a sign wonders, "Peace on Earth?"

Traditionally, the nativity scene features baby Jesus in a stable, surrounded by Mary, Joseph and the three wise men. 

In the display at St. Susanna, the three wise men are also separated from Jesus by a wall, a move church leaders said represents the migrant caravan currently parked near the border, where thousands are awaiting approval for asylum.

“Jesus was about taking care of one another. This is not the way to take care of one another,” Josoma added.

The priest told HuffPost that current practices by the Trump administration are not in line with gospel. 

“Soldiers firing tear gas at the border doesn’t seem to be the way to go to bring out healing and reconciliation,” Josoma told the paper, referring to an incident last month.

Some are criticizing the display for mixing religion and politics. 

“This is where you come to pray. This is not where you come to be preached at about what you should think about politics," Helen Watson, who went to the church to see the display, told CBS News.

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