It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s A…Priest?!?

Holy holy water, Batman! This priest has taken Bad Vestments to a whole new level.

From Buzzfeed:

Each Sunday, Father Humberto Alvarez dons a special chasuble, or outer robe, decorated with images of superheroes, grabs a plastic gun full of holy water and celebrates a special mass for the children of Ojo de Agua parish in Saltillo, Mexico.

The Catholic priest’s robe bears images of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man, superheroes who were chosen, Alvarez explains, because of their “struggle and effort to overcome fear and find peace and forgiveness.” He began using a water gun to bless the congregation after a series of fatal shootings in Salitillo spooked the members of his parish last year. Alvarez’s unconventional style of worship has attracted young and old Catholics to Ojo de Agua for the weekly children’s mass. Afterwards, the priest puts away the water gun and comic book chasuble and officiates all of the other services without deviating from tradition.

The 40-year-old priest, who wears jeans and sneakers under his vestments, has been criticized for his playful approach to the Eucharist and has earned the disapproval of traditional parishioners and the Bishop of Saltillo alike. Alvarez continues his services because he believes that children can be led to Jesus through Batman, Superman and Spider-Man. Like the superheroes, Alvarez explains, “Jesus was different and always sought justice. We should follow their example.”

I agree – kids can be led to Jesus through superheroes. And the Church has ‘em by the boatload. They’re called saints.

And you know, I don’t have a problem with priests using cultural symbols and iconic fictitious figures to make a point about the faith. Just don’t do it during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! As for holy water in a water gun? Stop.  Just, stop.

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(images by Mexico/Reuters)

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14 responses

  1. If the Bishop disapproves of what Fr. Alvarez does as the article claims, why doesn’t he put a stop to it.
    As for the supersoaker.If you are facing a bunch of vampires, then a supersoaker full of Holy Water might be of some value. but NEVER in the way he is using it.

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  2. As a Catholic, it’s a very man-focused Mass (which rather misses the point).

    As a geek, it’s an abuse of the characters (who are not Catholic anyway).

    Yeah, I’m a geek, and a pretty big one too (I’m on the right here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brankoblog/5494488660/lightbox/). But the Mass is about God and Christ, and the focus should be appropriate. I’d never dream of going to Mass in a costume like that.

    You’re right Larry – the saints are our heroes. We just don’t hear enough about them, save the ones where we might get to drink, eat chocolate or be otherwise cringe-worthily consumeristic and materialistic. Which sadly misses the point.

    I think we’ve a plank in our eyes.

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  3. This is the comment I left over at Creative Minority Report about this:

    In their misguided efforts to be “relevant” to young people, all they manage to do is insult the intelligence of the aforementioned kids and make fools of themselves.

    And, trust me, the kids are laughing at him not with him.

    Seeing things like this makes me physically ill.

    I feel a rant coming on, so I’ll leave peacefully before I explode – you’re welcome. ;-)

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  4. This is silly. He needs to get excited when talking about the saints as he does when using that water gun, but so disrespectful to the Sacrifice of the Mass. It’s not about entertainment – it’s about covenant renewal. If he wants to do that outside of the Mass, I have no problem with it. Mass should be solemn and sacred not full of folly.

    This video is all about the Catholic Mass – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJtRXzyWul8

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  5. Unfortunately, this photo was featured prominently in Catholic New York per Cardinal Dolan, giving the idea that this is praiseworthy.

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