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The Son of Man finds a new place to lay his head

The Son of Man finds a new place to lay his head

The latest installation of “Homeless Jesus,” a sculpture by Timothy P. Schmalz, was unveiled in Cathedral Park, Buffalo, at 1:30 p.m. today. The congregation of St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral is funding the statue and donating it to the city of Buffalo.

The work first found controversy in the US after a woman in North Carolina called the police after mistaking it for a homeless person sleeping on a bench in a local churchyard.

Interim Dean the Very Rev. Will Mebane expects a mixed reaction to the installation in Buffalo.

 While the church and city leaders have shown their approval of the statue, Mebane said he expects that, once the sculpture takes its place in the park – a peaceful location that also is popular with the homeless of Buffalo – it could stir up some controversy.

“It’s not the way people want Jesus represented,” he said. “They want him triumphant.”

He added that in other cities, the sculpture has been criticized for “encouraging homelessness,” an idea he quickly dismisses.

“We want to remind people that poverty exists,” he said, “and we want to bring some comfort to the homeless.”

Schmalz described as a “small miracle” the anticipated attendance of both the Anglican and Catholic Bishops of Dublin, Ireland, when the same statue is unveiled outside of that city’s Christ Church Cathedral on Friday.

For now, he couldn’t be happier about the Buffalo installation. Cathedral Park was his first choice.

Story via the Buffalo News. Photo credit Diocese of Western New York facebook page.

Posted by Rosalind Hughes


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David Allen

Why is it that the first thing folks utter when they disagree with how other people spend their money is to quote Judas Iscariot? (Mt 26:9)

Perhaps you misread Laure, the art piece isn’t coming from the parish or the cathedral budgets, it is being purchased entirely with private donations.

I find it a beautiful work of sculpture, one that tells a real story, for scripture says that the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head. Much like modern day homeless folk sleeping on benches in the park.

Bro David

JC Fisher

Seriously! When I first read the Judas quote, I thought L Linhart was being sarcastic. Until I read on.

Laure Linhart

Money which could have benefited the poor . . . SHAME on the church where I’ve a family community!
“We want to remind people that poverty exists,” Rev. Will Mebane said, “and we want to bring some comfort to the homeless.”
What an occupied bench DISGUSTING waste imho
Sorry but the over educated and well off financially Episcopalians have very common or practical sense, yet we lavish praise about spending a large part of church budget’s on ourselves rather than the community’s poor, health and nutrition.

Laure Linhart

Both Davids, I appreciate your replies and sharing with me. David Allen, I did not misread it said St Paul’s congregation and was not quoting Judas Iscariot. The scripture you quote is about woman anointing Jesus’ feet, the story of Matt. 26 I know well. I too find it a beautiful and touching piece of artwork also, being funded by private donations by member of St Paul’s Episcopal is on their conscious.
Jesus lived and worked among the street people and FED them and what do we do? We apparently don’t examine our actions and behavior through Jesus’ eyes.

David Streever

Laure: The money was donated by private individuals. I think a generous assumption is that the individuals who gave to this specific fund already donate, & made personal sacrifices to fund an enduring image that would remind people outside of the Church how Jesus would appear to us.

I can’t pull up the exact link now, but there are many, many ethics discussions that get to the heart of the issue you raise; one thing I’d note is that $2.50/day would provide an entire family in less wealthy countries with healthy, abundant food per day. Most people could probably find 2.50/day and feed an entire family in another country, but we don’t; it’s hard to establish priorities in a vacuum without context & an understanding of the intentions and economic means of a person giving to charity. I don’t know that it makes sense to castigate a person donating money for not donating to the cause or specific application that we personally think is best served by their money.

It’s funny, my first thought was “That’s a more effective outreach tactic than extra brochures!”

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