Sunday, December 13, 2015


Esquire Magazine thinks this is what Jesus actually looked like:
The Shroud of Turin would beg to differ:
I'll go with the Shroud! What about you?


Anonymous said...

If the Shroud of Turin was more than a pious fraud, then it might be a credible source for "What Did Jesus Look Like".

Gene said...

He probably looked more like the guy that played him in the Nativity Story a few years ago. I thought the woman made a great Mary, as well. I like to think he looked like the young Netanyahu.

Anonymous said...

I don't need the Shroud to support my faith, but I have no doubt about it's authenticity. Too many beautiful facts about the Shroud that offer a preponderance of evidence for anyone who doesn't have an innate aversion to holy objects and relics.

I suppose that Christ could appear to have different ethic and racial features to those He reveals Himself to. Seems reasonable that Christ might allow people to see Him as more like one of their own.

However I think based on the apparitions and visions that saints have had over the centuries, the Shroud confirms how our Lord looked to people when he was on earth.

Also, the more I observe in this life the more sense Bl. Anne Emmerich's explanation for racial differences makes.

Robert Kumpel said...

I KNOW that is not what Jesus looked like, because the man in the top photo owns a convenience store in West Covina.

George said...

Te more I have read on the research done on the Shroud, the more apparent (to me) that it is genuine. There are aspects about the Shroud which go beyond what even the most fastidious and skilled fraud artist would have considered necessary. Why would such a person incorporate details in an object which could only be detected in a future time such as our own when the necessary analytical equipment had been developed and refined enough to detect any flaws, if any were present? The image was neither dyed or painted. Researchers have concluded that since the image had been exposed to fire and part of it mended with newer cloth, then the carbon dating analysis did not come up with the correct date for its creation.

Anonymous said...

There are aspects of the construction of the pyramids that go beyond what we understand, too. Does that mean they are miraculous?

Robert Kumpel said...

The whole point of magazines like Esquire using this kind of art to represent Jesus--just one more symptom of our hyper-secularized age--is to "de-mythologize" Jesus and hammer away at our belief that he is the risen Son of God. By making him look like an Iraqi auto mechanic, he becomes just some other guy. I have to agree with George (who bit the bait from Anonymous about "pious fraud") that there is too much to the Shroud of Turin to think of it as a counterfeit or coincidence. And the image from the shroud shows a crucified man who exudes nobility, gentleness and dignity, in spite of the hateful death he endured--for us. Anything that can strip the public's perception of Jesus as a noble person, as the true Son of God, will be used again and again and again.

Cletus Ordo said...

I can't say that I'm too interested in the engineering behind the pyramids as that lies in the realm of mystery, not miracles. But I gotta give credit to the "frauds" behind the Holy Shroud, as they did a great job of coordinating with the other "frauds" in Lanciano and Orvieto Italy, who perpetrated those "fake" Eucharistic miracles. Imagine! Being clever enough to use the AB blood type on all three!

Anonymous said...

This is just silly, he looks like a Cro-Magnon man. Why do liberals always want to change history, just like Cleopatra the VII, liberals love to say she was of black African decent when in actuality she neither an ethnic Egyptian or black African, but Macedonian Greek stemming from Alexander the Greats conquest of Egypt.

Anonymous said...

Yes, from the research I have read about the shroud, I also believe that it is authentic and is the form of the crucified Christ. One interesting theory is that the form was imprinted on the shroud when Our Lord rose from the dead in much the same way as permanent shadows of objects were imprinted on walls etc following the searing light of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

To create a negative without using paint has been tried and no way has been found of being able to replicate what is on the shroud. As we know, the form on the shroud was not visible to the naked eye until the invention of the camera. It is impossible for me to believe that anyone in centuries past knew the secret of photography or how to imprint a form on to a cloth as a negative without ink or paints. Therefore I believe it has to be miraculous. We also have the form of Our Lady of Guadalupe imprinted on the cloak of St Juan Diego made of delicate plant material that should have disintegrated years ago, having been exposed uncovered for over 100 years before being put behind protective glass.

From what the saints have written their description of Our Lord tallies with that of the shroud. And all the depictions of Christ down the centuries are similar to that of the shroud and of a handsome man. St Faustina complained that all the representations were not beautiful enough from the visions she had of Our Lord.

But of course if you wanted to gain publicity for yourself, what better way than to go against the grain of the centuries and create an ugly representation of Christ?

Michael A said...

Do you know the difference between a miracle and a topic or concept that you're unable to understand? I have limited interest in the pyramids but I know that there is some confusion about how the Romans constructed some of their structures with the tools available to them at the time but that is quite different from why a consecrated Host begins to bleed.

Unknown said...

Why does it matter if someone does or does not believe the Shroud of Turin to be authentic?

John Nolan said...

'In his body he was most beautiful. This is known first by the tradition in the Church that it was so and by holy writers agreeing to suit those words to him: "Thou art beautiful in mould above the sons of men": we even have accounts of him written in early times. They tell us that he was moderately tall, well built and tender in frame, his features straight and beautiful, his hair inclining to auburn, parted in the midst, curling and clustering about the ears and neck as the leaves of a filbert, so they speak, upon the nut ... I make no secret I look forward with eager desire to seeing the matchless beauty of Christ's body in the heavenly light.'

(Gerard Manley Hopkins, sermon at Bedford Leigh, 23 November 1879.)

Doesn't sound like the geezer in the picture. I trust a poet more than I do a computer image.

George said...

The Sudarium of Oviedo:
Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin

The Sudarium of Oveido

Anonymous 2 said...

Two vignettes:

First vignette: Several years ago an artist friend of mine painted Jesus Crucified and Jesus Christ Resurrected as he imagined Him at the very moment of His resurrection in the tomb. He donated the paintings to St. Joseph’s Church in Macon. Both of them were on display for a while in the St. Joseph’s chapel before being hung in the back of the Church (they are no longer there by the way). I was standing before these paintings once during this display period when I heard two ladies in conversation behind me:

“What do you think?”

"Oh, I don’t know. He looks so Jewish.”

I suspect they were not Catholic.

Second vignette: An art teacher in school walks over to a little girl who is very intently working on something in the corner.

“What are you drawing, Mary,” she asks.

“I’m drawing a picture of God,” replies the little girl.

“But, Mary, nobody knows what God looks like.

“They will very soon.”

Anonymous said...

Beautiful John and thank you, George, I hadn't heard of those two things you mention. Who could imagine the Son of God, born of the Blessed Virgin, who gave Him flesh, would be any less beautiful than what the poet described?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"In his body he was most beautiful..." One is left to wonder, by what standards of beauty? Was he physically (In his body) beautiful according to 1st century Palestine standards, or according to the standards of 1879?

Knowing there is no final answer to the question, I ask, "What constitutes physical human beauty?" There is certainly no standard across the Christian centuries.

Gene said...

Liberals and progressives search only for a Jesus of the flesh. That is all they know or expect. They weep and lose sleep every night because they cannot make him black.

Jusadbellum said...

Fr. K, the humanities teach us that beauty resides in a certain proportion whether this be in music, architecture, or the human body. Thus the ancient Greek temples and statuary all reflect a timeless beauty. The Gothic sculpture likewise understood this in their own bass reliefs, stained glass, etc. the multiple images of Our Lord follow the Shroud's basic look as well.

So while there is always some subjectivity to human beauty ("a face only a mother could love"), there remains this universal quality as well which is why we can and do recognize women and men as "10s". If it were entirely subjective we'd not do this. But because all cultures have this sense of relative beauty it does point to something outside ourselves.

There's youtubes out there showcasing the changing face of beauty for women over the past decades but what never changes is the proportion of the face - eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc. that remain relatively constant.

gob said...

There's a place on line (Google it) where, for $99.99 one can get a Shroud of Turin toaster oven....for that last minute Xmas gift...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - I suspect that the proportions of what are considered beautiful faces haven't changed because faces haven't changed.

The "timeless beauty" of some Grecian statues is, I think, wishful thinking. Many of those shapes would not, by today's Western standards, be accounted as particularly beautiful.

I would suggest that beauty is much more in the eye, or the ear in the case of music, of the beholder than in some mathematical description, whether that is the Golden Mean or the Fibonacci sequence or Pi

The depictions of Jesus in Coptic art is rather dissimilar to shroud-esque images. Other depictions show him with a beard, but there are many of a clean-shaven savior.
The beard in one image by Piero della Francesca, about 1465, is whispy and thin. The double-pointed beard on the Divine Mercy image I have never understood.

"Jesus Through the Centuries" by Jaroslal Pelikan is a good read on all of this.

Gene said...

Gob, does the toaster oven have a door that rolls away like a stone?

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

Hopkins could also write, contemplating a bluebell 'I see the beauty of Our Lord in it'. I can well understand your predilection for the flat, pedestrian, prosaic and decidedly non-numinous Novus Ordo!

George said...

I find the number of points of agreement between the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium to be quite compelling. Keep in mind that the image of the person on the Shroud shows evidence of someone who suffered significant trauma to the face and head in addition to the rest of his physical body. So the face pre-trauma is closer to that of the painted image next to the image of the Shroud.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - I, too, appreciate the beauty of the Lord in a bluebell. I am enamored of the presence of God in the intricacy of cell mitosis. I stand in awe of glorious sunsets, remarking to myself on the goodness of God. Having studied embryology, I am bowled over by the fact that so many of us, by God's design, make it through the process. The natural world is the first place in which I experience the presence of God.

Like Bl. Bishop Nicholas Steno (1638-1686), the Father of Stratigraphy (see the law of superposition), I am given to finding God's presence in the world He has created, marveling at its organization and mystery.

I know that you think a philistine such as myself cannot appreciate the finer things of life, such as bluebells and poetry. But in this you are quite mistaken.The numinous is present in nature in ways I hope you will one day discover.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Gob, and I can imagine it is on your Christmas wish list. I am sure you won't be disappointed.

Fr Kavanagh, when you say "Was he physically (In his body) beautiful according to 1st century Palestine standards" implies to me that you don't think that 1st century Palestinians could be beautiful as compared to the standards of 1879. Cleopatra has been classed as beautiful right down through the centuries, even by the standards of 1879. There are many Palestinians of great beauty today and I don't imagine they have changed in any way from the time of Our Lord. Certainly the ugly face depicted is not the average Palestinian face either. It is ugly by any standard. I don't imagine even Judas looked like that.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - I think that beauty standards change over time. A 1st century Palestinian could certainly be considered beautiful by the standards of 1879 if that Palestinian's looks met 1879 standards.

You bring in another issue with your comment about Judas. He may have been the most handsome man in the room, but you perceive his looks through his actions.

Is a person made physically "ugly" if he/she does terrible things? I don't think so.

Gene said...

Rudolph Otto's concept ("The Idea of the Holy") of the numinous (no relation to Kant's noumenon) is theologically problematic because it represents the irrational "feeling" of dependence upon something outside the self. It is NOT based upon revealed truth, which is theo-logical and not irrational. It is a philosophical term which has its most complete embodiment in the neo-protestant theology of Frederich Schleiermacher. It is careless theology...not surprising coming from Cavy Gnaw.

Fr. Michael J. Cavy Gnaw said...

Gene - Um, it came from John Nolan. Check his 5:48 post....

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene and Father Kavanaugh:

How does the concept of the numinous relate to the venerable tradition of Christian mysticism (or religious mysticism more broadly) throughout the centuries, indeed millennia? I genuinely do not know (because there seem to be different usages of the term numinous) but I thought one or both of you might know.

Anonymous 2 said...


By the way, I think it was John Nolan who first used the term “numinous” in this thread, implying that Father Kavanaugh’s sense of it was deficient due to “predilection for the flat, pedestrian, prosaic and decidedly non-numinous Novus Ordo.” Father Kavanaugh then responded to that charge.

Anonymous 2 said...

What are we to make of the language in Isaiah 53:2 in the context of the present discussion?:

“He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
no beauty to draw us to him.”

Gene said...

Well, whoever used it first, it is a problematic term from the Christian doctrine perspective. I remember long discussions about it in grad school and the problems with associating the "irrational," the "supernatural," or the broad "religious mysticism" with Christian Revelation and Incarnation. There is an excellent critique of Otto's numinous in Karl Barth's "Church Dogmatics," I beleve in volume two, where he distinguishes Christian mysticism from a general "religious" mysticism, which he says is tantamount to atheism. Wilhelm Pauck also spoke to this, as did Gilkey and Tillich (Mysticism East and West) God revealed himself to Israel through cultural avenues that they could understand. His Commandments and laws are logical and rational within the framework of the life of Israel. His self-revelation in Christ's Incarnation is internally consistent and theo-logical. We may call it SUPRA natural, but not SUPER natural, which smacks of magic, witchcraft, and vampires. The logic of the Incarnation may be beyond human a posteriori comprehension (supernatural), but it is not irrational, inconsistent, or willy nilly. Given our belief in God's Revealed truths, there is a consistent logic within God's order. I just think, given today's doctrinal confusion, our use of theological/philosophical terms should be careful and as precise as possible. I suppose I owe Cavy Gnaw an apology (that hurt).

Gene said...

Personally, I don't think it matters at all what Jesus looked like. As with the famous "Quest for the Historical Jesus," it is only a search for a Jesus of the flesh, not the Christ of Revelation. If it is still in print in English, those interested in this issue should read Martin Kahler's, "The So-Called Historical Jesus and the Biblical Christ" (Die Sobekontenn Historische Jesus und Der Biblische Christ)." This should lay to rest this search for Jesus stuff.

George said...

Further on in Isaiah 53 it speaks of a person who was "pierced for our offenses,crushed for our sins,". Many passages in Isaiah have their prophetic fulfillment in the person of Christ and His Suffering and Death. I don't see that taking 53:2 in isolation is conveying much as far as Christ's physical appearance
prior to His Passion and Death is concerned. Certainly, no one in encountering them would have mistaken Jesus and His disciples with members of the upper echelon of Jewish or Roman society.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, that description in Isaiah refers to Our Lord following His scourging at the pillar:

Old Testament references about a coming Messiah (whom Christians believe to be Jesus) have been projected forward to form conjectures about the appearance of Jesus on theological, rather than historical, grounds; e.g. Isaiah 53:2 which refers to the scourged Messiah with "no beauty that we should desire him" and Psalm 45:2-3 which describes him as "fairer than the children of men", often interpreted as his physical description.

Anonymous said...

There are apparently letters in existence that describe Our Lord:

The Oldest Views and Literary Data on the External Appearance of Jesus

The Description of Publius Lentullus

The following was taken from a manuscript in the possession of Lord Kelly, and in his library, and was copied from an original letter of Publius Lentullus at Rome. It being the usual custom of Roman Governors to advertise the Senate and people of such material things as happened in their provinces in the days of Tiberius Caesar, Publius Lentullus, President of Judea, wrote the following epistle to the Senate concerning the Nazarene called Jesus.

"There appeared in these our days a man, of the Jewish Nation, of great virtue, named Yeshua [Jesus], who is yet living among us, and of the Gentiles is accepted for a Prophet of truth, but His own disciples call Him the Son of God- He raiseth the dead and cureth all manner of diseases. A man of stature somewhat tall, and comely, with very reverent countenance, such as the beholders may both love and fear, his hair of (the colour of) the chestnut, full ripe, plain to His ears, whence downwards it is more orient and curling and wavering about His shoulders. In the midst of His head is a seam or partition in His hair, after the manner of the Nazarenes. His forehead plain and very delicate; His face without spot or wrinkle, beautified with a lovely red; His nose and mouth so formed as nothing can be reprehended; His beard thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked; His look innocent and mature; His eyes grey, clear, and quick- In reproving hypocrisy He is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in conversation, mixed with gravity. It cannot be remembered that any have seen Him Laugh, but many have seen Him Weep. In proportion of body, most excellent; His hands and arms delicate to behold. In speaking, very temperate, modest, and wise. A man, for His singular beauty, surpassing the children of men"

The letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar

This is a reprinting of a letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar describing the physical appearance of Jesus. Copies are in the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.


A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the Name of the God that had sent Him. At first I was apprehensive that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions!

Gene said...

So, he looked like Peter O'Toole?

Anonymous said...

It should be the other way around, shouldn't it, Gene?

Anonymous said...

Here is the history of one of the letters:

The letter was first printed in the "Life of Christ" by Ludolph the Carthusian (Cologne, 1474),[5] and in the "Introduction to the works of St. Anselm" (Nuremberg, 1491).[6] But it is neither the work of St. Anselm nor of Ludolph. According to the manuscript of Jena, a certain Giacomo Colonna found the letter in 1421 in an ancient Roman document sent to Rome from Constantinople. It must be of Greek origin, and translated into Latin during the thirteenth or fourteenth century, though it received its present form at the hands of a humanist of the fifteenth or sixteenth century.[7] Christopher Mylius, the 18th century librarian of Jena, stated the letter was written in golden letters on red paper and richly bound, and lost.[8]

The 19th-century scholar Friedrich Münter believed he could trace the letter down to the time of Diocletian, but this is generally not accepted by present-day scholars.[9]
The letter

The purported letter reads, in translation:

Lentulus, the Governor of the Jerusalemites to the Roman Senate and People, greetings. There has appeared in our times, and there still lives, a man of great power (virtue), called Jesus Christ. The people call him prophet of truth; his disciples, son of God. He raises the dead, and heals infirmities. He is a man of medium size (statura procerus, mediocris et spectabilis); he has a venerable aspect, and his beholders can both fear and love him. His hair is of the colour of the ripe hazel-nut, straight down to the ears, but below the ears wavy and curled, with a bluish and bright reflection, flowing over his shoulders. It is parted in two on the top of the head, after the pattern of the Nazarenes. His brow is smooth and very cheerful with a face without wrinkle or spot, embellished by a slightly reddish complexion. His nose and mouth are faultless. His beard is abundant, of the colour of his hair, not long, but divided at the chin. His aspect is simple and mature, his eyes are changeable and bright. He is terrible in his reprimands, sweet and amiable in his admonitions, cheerful without loss of gravity. He was never known to laugh, but often to weep. His stature is straight, his hands and arms beautiful to behold. His conversation is grave, infrequent, and modest. He is the most beautiful among the children of men.

Different manuscripts vary from the foregoing text in several details: Ernst von Dobschütz [10] enumerates the manuscripts and gives an "apparatus criticus". The description agrees with the so-called Abgar picture of Jesus; it also agrees with the portrait of Jesus Christ drawn by Nicephorus, St. John Damascene, and the Book of Painters (of Mt. Athos).[11]

Anonymous 2 said...


Lovely though they are, I suspect these documents fall into the category of “pious frauds.”

What is the Church’s current official position on these documents?

Good one, Gene – Peter O’Toole. I love it.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan at 8:28 a.m.:

To me the sense of Isaiah 53:2 is that this is a description before the scourging and the Psalm refers to the Messiah who comes in power and glory and who also has wives. However, perhaps both of us should defer to the priests who presumably know better than we do what the range of legitimate interpretations is.

George said...


It is true one cannot take EVERYTHING in Scripture literally, historically, sequentially or chronologically, still... portions of the New Testament do refer back to portions of Isaiah 53 when referring to Jesus.

Acts 8:30-35

1 Peter 2:22-25

Matthew 8:16-17(for example):

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word* and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:*

“He took away our infirmities

and bore our diseases.

Gene said...

Unfortunately, Anon 2, the letter is most likely apocryphal. There is no known Roman "procurator" named Lentulus, though there was a Lentulus who was a minor official during the reign of Augustus, and the terms describing Jesus in the letter are of OT origin, something a Roman official would not use. If I remember correctly, the consensus among scholars is that the letter actually first appeared in the fourteenth century, but is of older, undetermined origin. Now, there are actual historical references to Jesus in the writings of Josephus and one or two others, but none give any physical description.

Gene said...

I've never understood the obsession with the historical Jesus except as an academic exercise on the part of unbelievers who wish to "de-mythologize." One can neither prove nor disprove, scientifically, that He was the son of God Incarnate, born of the Virgin, raised bodily from the dead, and is to return in Glory in historical time. The articles of the Creed do not lend themselves to logical dissection. I have never understood the obsession with trips to the Holy Land, as if that really brings anyone closer to Christ. The closest to Christ we can get in this life is at Mass, with the possible exception of those who have been given the grace to experience Him in personal epiphanies as have many Saints. He comes to us; we do not go to Him. The real Holy Land is a heart turned to Him and a will that is bound to His will.

Gene said...

For clarification re: He comes to us; we do not go to Him: I am talking theologically about initiative...I do not mean we do not turn to Him in prayer, etc. But, even our turning to Him is because of His first seeking us and turning our wills toward His. God initiates, we respond.

Anonymous said...

Gene, while what you say is true about the Mass there are many different facets to life. If you read the life of St Theresa of Lisieux you will find that as a child when she was taken to the Colloseum she climbed over the barricade and clambered down to the ground where the early Christians had shed their blood and took a pebble as a memento, so naturally many people like to go to the Holy Land where Our Lord first walked. There are many famous pilgrimage sites where people go that Our Lord and the saints first walked and, yes, they attend Mass there also.

I myself can't understand Catholics who wish to depict Our Lord as ugly which the Son of God could never be.

Although the letters can't be proven to be true, anymore than what you state about Our Lord, nonetheless, they do actually exist and whoever wrote them at least did so in a laudable attempt to build up the image of Our Lord, which is more than can be said for you, in light of your Peter O'Toole sling-off. Personally, I believe that anyone who truly loved the Mass would be at pains to build up rather than to tear down because anyone can pay lip service and it is interesting that you got praised by Anon 2 ...

Anonymous said...

An interesting commentary from the Agape Bible Study website that also seeks to build up:

"It is interesting that most of the earliest depictions of Jesus are of a youthful, Apollo-like deity. But after Christianity is placed under the protection of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, the images of Christ change dramatically and almost exclusively to the bearded Christ. Is this change related to the fact that it was suddenly safe enough to reveal such precious relics as the Mandylion (many scholars believe this relic is known today as the Shroud of Turin) and Veronica's veil, both relics which carried a miraculous image of the Savior unmade by human hands (in Greek = archeiropoitos, "without hands")?

The only physical description of Jesus that does exist is from a copy of a letter from the Roman consul Lentulus to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. This document was discovered in a Monastery with copies of other ancient documents. According to the copy of the letter, the original letter from the consul was dated to the 12 year of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. Scholars have historical verification that a certain Roman consul named Lentulus was in Judea at the time of Jesus' trial and crucifixion. His influential family is mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus in his book Antiquities of the Jews. Scholars are divided, however, as to the authenticity of the letter. ... (Holy Land Magazine, Franciscan Holy Land Press, Spring 1998).

Whatever information Tiberius received concerning the strange progress of events concerning the death of this Jew, he was shaken enough to present a shocking suggestion to the Roman Senate. There is some historical evidence to support the claim that Tiberius was so convinced of Jesus' resurrection from the dead that he attempted to have Him declared a "god", but the Roman Senate refused to approve this provincial Jew's admission to the Roman pantheon of gods.

It is possible to take the information from Lentulus' letter and add it to the information gathered from the study of the figure of the man on the Shroud of Turin to complete the physical description of Christ. Professor Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia, a Shroud of Turin scholar, took the information collected from the Shroud and interpreted the information using his experience as a doctor and university professor of forensic medicine. He wrote: The man who was wrapped in the Shroud was a man of great beauty and uncommon statue. He was about one meter and 80 centimeters (six feet) tall, with a perfectly proportioned physique, lithe and harmonious. He was a 'standard type' in the most literal sense of the phrase. Although the cloth has suffered much damage, we can see that his face was a very soft and gentle one, rather long and with a broad, straight forehead. The nose is straight and turned slightly downwards; the cheeks are large and slightly protruding. From all the anthropometric calculations so far made, it seems that Christ was physically in far better shape than the average man. Through a complicated process of elaborating his facial data, I can conclude that his cranial capacity was of 1575cc, which would place him in the megalocephalic (large headed) category, with a cranial-capacity coefficient of 95 which would indicate that the weight of his brain was 1492 grams. This is far greater than average, suggesting a person of extraordinary genius (Professor Judica-Cordiglia, Holy Land Magazine, Franciscan Holy Land Press, Spring 1998).

This then, is the word picture we can artfully construct of the Son of Man who came that we might have life. This is the loving and tender face which twisted in pain from the beatings and the excruciating suffering of the Cross; this is the face of our Savior who loves us to the end of time and beyond; this is the face that will greet us when we cross the threshold into eternity."

Anonymous 2 said...


“It is interesting that you got praised by Anon. 2”

Why is this interesting, Jan?

By the way, I enjoyed Gene’s humorous comment because, as even the Agape Bible Society depiction you quote points out, Jesus was a Jew. And as a Jew from Palestine he surely would have shared the physical Semitic features of his fellow Jews. In fact, had He looked strikingly different and non-Semitic, we would indeed have expected his physical appearance to have been the subject of comment that made its way into the New Testament. Peter O’Toole is about the least Semitic looking person one can imagine, which helped to make him the perfect Lawrence of Arabia.

I don’t think Gene was tearing down rather than building up. Indeed, if the Agape Bible Society depiction works for you, and helps to fortify your faith, then that is all to the good. But one should bear in mind that for others it may have the opposite effect and call the credibility of our faith into question. That is why the Catholic Church is so very careful before it endorses these sorts of things, and that includes the Shroud of Turin. Once the Church puts its imprimatur on them, what happens when they turn out to be inauthentic? The Church has learned its lesson from the pious frauds in the past, some of which it perpetrated itself.

Therefore, allow me to quote the beginning of the Agape Society passage that you quote:

“Most early Christian images of Jesus, whether painted on the walls of catacombs, carved in relief on sarcophagi or set in mosaic tiles, can be divided into two general types of portraits: the beautiful, youthful, long-haired Jesus and the older, bearded Jesus. There is no physical description of Christ in any of the Gospels or New Testament letters. What did He look like and why did the eyewitness Gospel writers like Matthew and John fail to record His physical appearance?

Second century church fathers Justin Martyr and Origen point to Isaiah 53 as evidence that Jesus was unattractive: "He has no form nor glory, nor beauty when we beheld him, but his appearance was without honor and inferior to that of the sons of men." At the same time, Origen and others cite the portrayal of God in Psalm 45 as testimony that Jesus was the "most handsome of men" (Psalm 45:2). (see Origin, Against Celsus, 6.75-77; trans. Adapted from Anti-Nicene Fathers, volume 4, p.607 also see St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Psalms 44.3

St. Augustine suggested that everyone has a different mental image of Jesus. He wrote: "The physical face of the Lord is pictured with infinite variety by countless imaginations, though whatever it was like He certainly had only one. Nor as regards the faith we have in the Lord Jesus Christ it is in the least relevant to salvation what our imaginations picture Him like...What does matter is that we think of Him as man." (Augustine, On the Trinity 8.7; E. Hill trans., The Trinity, in The Works of St. Augustine, part 1 vol. 5; Brooklyn, N.Y. City Press, 1991, pp. 246-247).

The fourth-century Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem added: "The Savior comes in various forms to each person according to need. To those who lack joy, He becomes a vine, to those who wish to enter in, He is a door; for those who must offer prayers, He is a mediating high priest. To those in sin, He becomes a sheep, to be sacrificed on their behalf. He becomes "all things to all people" remaining in His own nature what He is. For so remaining, and possessing the true and unchanging dignity of Sonship, as the best of physicians and caring teachers, he adapts himself to our infirmities." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 10.5 (Andrew A. Stephenson, trans., The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, vol. 1,(Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1969, p. 198).”

Anonymous 2 said...


You and I need to have a come to Jesus moment (literally).

You seem to think that I am some kind of antagonist, or even enemy. I am not. I suspect you feel this way because I challenge some of your assertions, especially your propagation of dubious linked material that appears to be at best misleading and at worst downright deceitful, whether this concerns Muslims or the environment (I assume you are innocent in this, however). This is because I try to think critically and pursue the truth in all its forms. Ultimately I fail in this endeavor, as we all do, but I sincerely believe that we must try. We must try, both on principle because we claim to believe in a God of Truth in whom there is no deceit, and for prudential reasons because credulously accepting questionable material as true harms the credibility of the position one is trying to support and ultimately harms the credibility of the Church. I think that St. Augustine would understand this very well.

Gene said...

Jan, you and I agree on pretty much everything, and I have no desire to dispute with you over the fleshly Jesus. My point is that it really does not matter what he looked like. No, there is nothing wrong with going to the Holy Land or miracle sights if that builds up one's faith. Some need that and others do not.

Anon 2, that is a wonderful quote from St. Augustine's "De Trinitate," on which I wrote a graduate thesis. It is also quoted in Kahler's book, which I mentioned earlier. Your coming to my defense does make me a bit nervous, however. :-)

RE: O'Toole. Richard Burton told the story of when he and O'Toole, and Richard Harris were doing a live performance in London at which Churchill was supposed to be in attendance. O'Toole had been drinking heavily, and they spent some time backstage trying to sober him up. Well, the play went on and, when it came time for O'Toole to enter, he tripped over a light cable and sprawled onto the stage flat on his face near the footlights. There was a stunned silence in the audience until Churchill's croaky voice was heard loudly exclaiming, "My God, O'Toole's drunk again!!"

Anonymous said...

Anon 2, my point is that I think Catholics should be building up the image of Christ, as the Agape site does. The other quotes were taken from different sites - all of which are building up rather than demeaning as the artist does in the painting in Fr McDonald's post. To me it is illogical that God would have given His Son a repulsive ugly body. Our Lord's mission was difficult enough without being hampered by that. All the depictions show Our Lord very similar to the depiction of the shroud and the fact that the Church honours the shroud and puts it on display for veneration of the public speaks for itself: As was reported by the BBC when Pope Benedict viewed the shrine:

"The Pope appeared to come close to acknowledging the relic was the burial shroud of Jesus.

During Sunday's visit to the display in Turin Cathedral, Benedict said: "This is a burial cloth that wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus."

The Pope did not touch on the scientific questions that surround the linen and its authenticity, saying it was "an icon written in blood".

As regards the Peter O'Toole comment - Our Lord was descended from King David who is described as being fair skinned with blonde or red hair. There are also articles that say the Jews in those times had many different features, including some with fair hair. Many of the early depictions of Jesus show him with lighter hair. The picture of Our Lady on the Tilma of St Juan Diego - an image approved by the Church - shows Our Lady with blue eyes. So the descriptions of Jesus could possibly be true - no one knows for sure.

As regards the Muslims, I think you underestimate the danger in your midst. I am not saying that all Muslims are violent but I think that they are led - maybe in fear - by a very militant group and, therefore, anything is possible. You cannot guarantee the safety of people by allowing a high number of Muslim immigrants whose backgrounds, because of the war in Syria, are impossible to check. I don't agree with everything that Donald Trump says but I think he is right to call for a halt and many Americans agree. I think Obama has also come out with some pretty silly stuff thinking that gun control will help stop terrorists when they are in possession of pipe bombs.

You might not like the sources of the videos but they certainly depict refugees engaged in violent activities in their host countries and news reports of the very high increase of rape in those countries too.

I think in 100 years or so that people will maybe live side by side in peace but at the moment governments have a duty to protect their citizens and inviting in a group that has a high percentage of violent people among them, as the evidence points to in many countries now, is putting people's lives at risk. If there are more incidents like this then I think heads of government are culpable and should be brought to account in the courts, just as any head of a company would if they left their employees in unsafe buildings, for example. The Boston bombers and the latest incident in San Bernadino were perpetrated by immigrants.

John Nolan said...


Thanks for your input. I've often wondered where Hopkins got his description from, since he goes on to say 'The account I have been quoting (it is from memory, for I cannot now lay my hand upon it) we do not indeed for certain know to be correct, but it has been current in the Church and many generations have drawn our Lord accordingly either in their own minds or in his images ... But the best proof [of his beauty] of all is this, that his body was the special work of the Holy Ghost.'


I used the term 'non-numinous' to describe the Novus Ordo's lack of transcendental impact compared with the classic Roman Rite or the Byzantine liturgy. Perhaps not the best choice of adjective. I thought Fr K would have leapt to the defence of the new Rite, but he sold the pass.

George said...

I agree with Gene that it is more important who Christ is, and not what He looked like.
What Jan brought up was interesting,especially the commentary on the man depicted on the Shroud by Professor Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia.

John Nolan:
Yes. Jesus was conceived of an earthly mother,the Blessed Virgin, by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. That in itself should tell us something about His appearance. Indeed, "the best proof [of his beauty] of all is this, that his body was the special work of the Holy Ghost.'

Anonymous 2 said...

Well, Gene, even a broken clock is right twice a day. But which one of us is the broken clock? =)

Anonymous 2 said...


I am firmly convinced that whether or not we will live side by side in peace in 100 years’ time will depend largely on what we do now. We face a moment of genuine crisis and truth regarding one of the defining issues, perhaps indeed_the_defining issue, of our generation. We have to get this right.

After reading Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ latest book “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence,” I have now become even more persuaded that, to secure the longer term future of our children and grandchildren, Jews, Christians, and Muslims of goodwill must join together to face two inter-related existential and commonly shared challenges: the lack of meaning in Western secular materialism and the attraction of radical extremist religious ideologies for those who search for such meaning.

In facing these challenges, we should stop attacking one another’s religious tradition and instead mutually support one another. If I had to coin a slogan for the three Abrahamic religions, I would borrow from the Three Musketeers “All for one and one for all.” United we can be strong but divided we are likely to fall under the onslaught of secular materialism and/or radical extremism. So, let us set aside our differences and seek common ground with one another where it can be found for the sake of the greater common good. This is not relativism—each tradition can maintain its truth claims as a matter of belief and allow God to move as He will in the encounter—but a mature religious pluralism that recognizes shared challenges and a shared opportunity to meet them.

The United States, with its rich constitutional tradition of secular government guaranteeing the free exercise of religion, may be the place where such a project can advance most successfully. Moreover, I am very appreciative that I belong to a faith tradition that, more clearly as a result of Vatican II, is open to accepting the godliness and the goodness in other faith traditions.

Anonymous said...

Gene, no, I agree it doesn't matter what Our Lord looked like that is until someone portrays Him as they did in Fr McDonald's post - and then I think it is up to us to defend and build up - that is my point - much as John and others have done. Mind you, perhaps you were attempting to do that with your reference to a young Netanyahu.

Poor Peter O'Toole, I've got nothing against him but it seems at times, along with his sobriety, his acting left a lot to be desired:

He appeared in "such a bad production of "Macbeth" at the Old Vic that, despite all his efforts -- or perhaps due entirely to them -- it was sold out because people came in droves to see how bad it really was. The Times in London called it "gruesome" and "heroically ludicrous." The Observer said: "Chances are he likes the play, but O'Toole's performance suggests that he is taking some kind of personal revenge on it." And then, the Sunday Times: "Don't trust those reviews. The spectacle is far worse than has hitherto been made out, a milestone in the history of coarse acting."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, you express fine sentiments but the problem is you cannot reason with radical Islam and most moderate Muslims would be too afraid to stand up against the radicals. Therefore, the only solution is to not allow them into the country. A December 2014 column in the Washington Post gives some worrying facts:

"Consider a brief survey of Scandinavian countries and their cousins.

In Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, Imams call for decapitation and/or jail for those who reject Islam, because as immigrants they reject European laws and values.

In Sweden, Muslim immigrants account for 5 percent of its population but commit 77 percent of its crime. Sweden’s “rape crisis” is a direct result of an influx of Muslim “asylum seekers.”

Amnesty International reports that Sweden has the highest number of rapes in Europe and the lowest conviction rate. According to Swedish Public Radio, in Stockholm alone, over 1,000 Swedish women reported that a Muslim immigrant raped them; 300 were under age 15. (One third of those living in Stockholm are immigrants; 24 percent are Muslim). These numbers represent only 25 percent of all rapes in Stockholm because officials claim the majority are unreported. Despite this, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention and the European Commissioner for Home Affairs “refuse to admit the assailants are Muslim.”

Norway is no stranger to secularism and closed Lutheran churches, although in some regions Catholicism is growing. Crime has also spiked to unprecedented levels so much so that Norway’s jails can’t sustain their increasing overcapacity. Norway’s response: deport criminal Muslims back to where they came from: Nigeria, Afghanistan, Romania, and Morocco."

Gene said...

Jan, yes, I would expect that the Son of God would be a perfect specimen of His race.

Anonymous 2 said...


At the moment my focus is on the United States. What about all the Muslims already here? The question is how should we relate to and interact with them.

As for the situation in Europe and alleged rapes by Muslims, can you please cite us directly to official or credible sources, or better yet provide links to those sources. I have done some internet searching and I see lots and lots of blogs (all right wing it seems) repeating this sort of claim. In my view we now live in a cesspool of mendacity. There seems to be an epidemic of lying for political or ideological reasons. It is sickening. Facts do not seem to matter any longer.

Typically, some rabid blog will make some false assertion and then it gets picked up and repeated by all the other like-minded blogs, which means that one’s search engine just pulls up all these same stories because they dominate. Then they get more and more hits and dominate a search even more. It is pernicious, if not downright evil.

Please understand, I am not necessarily denying the claims about rapes you cite but I have learned not to trust most of what I find on the internet. And I have found many of your sources in the past to be suspect, as you know. So, official or other credible sources please.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 - women's organisations - hardly right wing - are reporting the increase of rape. Wiki reports the following:

Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ ), which is an 11 percent increase from the previous year.[6] The number of convictions has remained relatively unchanged since 2005, with approximately 190 convictions on average each year.[7][8] The BRÅ has not released detailed data on rape committed by immigrants since 1996, but according to that report individuals with an immigrant background made up 61% of all rape convictions between 1985 and 1989.[9]

Two reports from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ) are relevant to the rate of rape among immigrants to Sweden and their descendants. The latest published report that indicates the association between immigrants and rape was published in 2005 and revealed that foreign born individuals were 5.5 times more likely to be charged of rape than individuals born in Sweden to two Swedish parents.[37][38] While the report does not break down the foreign born category by country of origin, it has been found to be predictive of crime rates in other Nordic countries.[39] An earlier report published in 1996 by the BRÅ did break down rate of rape convictions by country of origin. It found that between 1985 and 1989 individuals with a foreign background made up 61% of all rape convictions while only representing 6.3% of the population. Ethnic groups with particularly high rates of rape included individuals born in Iraq, North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), and Africa (excluding Uganda and the North African countries) who were convicted of rape at rates 20, 23, and 17 greater than individuals born in Sweden respectively.[37][9]

In 2009, Amnesty International published a report on rape in the Nordic countries, criticizing the low conviction rates in Sweden, citing previously published estimates from Brå of around 30,000 incidents of rape, with less than 13 percent of the 3,535 rape crimes reported resulting in a decision to start legal proceedings and 216 persons convicted in 2007.[50][51]

Of course there is the Rotherham scandal in Britain involving Muslim men which was covered up by the council, police etc for fear of being called racist, including comments from the former MP who describes as a liberal leftie who sums up the problem with the liberal left who are not wanting to admit that anything wrong is happening:

|An independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in the town, led by Professor Alexis Jay, was established in 2013 for Rotherham Council.[3] The inquiry's initial report, published on 26 August 2014, condemned the failure of the authorities in Rotherham to act effectively against the abuse and even, in some cases, to acknowledge that it was taking place.[4][5][6] It conservatively estimated that 1,400 children had been sexually abused in the town between 1997 and 2013, predominantly by gangs of British-Pakistani men.[7] Abuses described by the report included abduction, rape, torture and sex trafficking of children.[6]

Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham between 1994 and his resignation in 2012, said in a BBC radio interview that no-one had come to him with child abuse allegations during that period, but conceded he should have gotten himself more involved in the issue. Admitting he had been guilty of doing too little, he said he had been aware of what he saw as the problems of cousin marriage and the oppression of women within sectors of the Muslim community in Britain, but "as a true Guardian reader, and liberal leftie, I suppose I didn't want to raise that too hard. I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that." However, in hindsight, he did say that "I think that I should have burrowed into [the allegations]".[11]

Gene said...

Why on earth does anyone defend Muslims or Islam? There is nothing appealing or desirable about their religion, they are not pleasant to look at or be around, their culture offers us nothing, they have a primitive understanding of human relationships, especially with women, and they hate us. The only reason we have anything to do with them at all is that their is oil under the wretched sands they live upon. The only people I know who continue to defend them are academics (self-explanatory), guilty liberals who want some "world without borders" because they think everybody will love each other then, and enemies of our Republic who libve within her borders (like the President). Seriously, who cares about Muslims? I certainly do not.

Anonymous 2 said...


Thank you for indicating the wiki source. I have now read the entire Wiki article and several of the footnoted sources. Here are my conclusions:

First, the annual number of rape convictions since 2009 has been 190. We do not know how many of those were convictions of foreign born because those statistics have not been reported since 1996. The 1996 report, however, indicates that “between 1985 and 1989 individuals with a foreign background made up 61% of all rape convictions while only representing 6.3% of the population. Ethnic groups with particularly high rates of rape included individuals born in Iraq, North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), and Africa (excluding Uganda and the North African countries) who were convicted of rape at rates 20, 23, and 17 greater than individuals born in Sweden respectively.” Assuming that these percentages hold true, I agree that the figures seem particularly damning of Muslim immigrants. But, then, one thinks and digs a little deeper, as elaborated in the following points:

Second, then, the Wiki article also discusses the 2009 Amnesty International report that you quote: “In 2009, Amnesty International published a report on rape in the Nordic countries, criticizing the low conviction rates in Sweden, citing previously published estimates from Brå of around 30,000 incidents of rape, with less than 13 percent of the 3,535 rape crimes reported resulting in a decision to start legal proceedings and 216 persons convicted in 2007.” This led me to ask about the low conviction rate. Are people being charged but found not guilty? Who is not being charged at all? Could it be Swedes, for example?

Regarding the first question, the Wiki report indicates a combination of a very wide definition of rape combined with a lack of evidence sufficient to sustain a conviction.

Regarding the second question, there is a very telling article in footnote 51 discussing the Amnesty International report and its criticism of the disparity between reported rapes and convictions and Here is a link:

The article is entitled “Swedish rapists enjoy ‘impunity’: Amnesty International.” The focus of the AI criticism is especially on “intimate partner” violence:

“Researchers for Amnesty found that frequently:

‘Young (drunk) women, in particular, have problems fulfilling the stereotypical role of the ‘ideal victim’, with the consequence that neither rapes within intimate relationships nor ‘date rapes’ involving teenage girls result in legal action.’ . . .

In addition to challenging victim and crime stereotypes, perceptions surrounding ‘typical’ perpetrators must also be considered. The UN Special Report discusses how there is a widespread belief that the type of men who commit intimate-partner violence are not typical, ‘normal’ Swedes.

They are usually imagined as somewhat ‘deviant’ - unemployed, uneducated, alcoholic or from non-Western backgrounds, and so on. However, as Ertürk challenges: “In absolute numbers, the vast majority of the perpetrators of intimate-partner violence are ‘ordinary’ Swedish men.” . . .

In its conclusion, Amnesty blames "deeply rooted patriarchal gender norms" of Swedish family life and sexual relationships as a "major societal flaw" and a reason for the continued prevalence of violence against women in Sweden.”

Third, then, in addition to the number of Swedish, non-Muslim alleged rapists who are not charged, one also wants to know what percentage of Muslim men are charged. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Muslim men committed rapes as a much lower rate than Swedish men but were charged at a much higher rate? Although more research is needed, it is beginning to look that way, though, isn’t it?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2: The Wiki article states that the BRÅ reports "revealed that foreign born individuals were 5.5 times more likely to be charged of rape than individuals born in Sweden to two Swedish parents.[37][38] While the report does not break down the foreign born category by country of origin, it has been found to be predictive of crime rates in other Nordic countries.[39] An earlier report published in 1996 by the BRÅ did break down rate of rape convictions by country of origin. It found that between 1985 and 1989 individuals with a foreign background made up 61% of all rape convictions while only representing 6.3% of the population."

That in itself "61% of all rape convictions" DOES NOT equate with your arguments.

You also fail to address the investigation in the UK in Rotherham that "conservatively estimated that 1,400 children" had been abused by Muslim gangs. The MP for the area admits that he should have done more but that his own liberal views meant he "had been aware of what he saw as the problems of cousin marriage and the oppression of women within sectors of the Muslim community in Britain, but "as a true Guardian reader, and liberal leftie, I suppose I didn't want to raise that too hard. I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that."

In addition to that, there is the Australia investigation in to rapes by a Lebanese Muslim gang that specifically targeted young Australian women, Christians and Catholics who told their victims that they were raped because "they were Australian" and that Catholics and Christians were fair game.

"The Sydney gang rapes were a series of gang rape attacks committed by a group of up to fourteen Lebanese Australian youths led by Bilal Skaf against Australian women and teenage girls, as young as 14, in Sydney Australia in 2000. The crimes, described as ethnically motivated hate crimes by officials and commentators,[1][2][3] were covered extensively by the news media, and prompted the passing of new laws. The nine men convicted of the gang rapes were sentenced to a total of more than 240 years in jail. According to court transcripts Judge Michael Finnane described the rapes as events that "you hear about or read about only in the context of wartime atrocities".[4]"

There are too many incidents coming out in various countries of the henious behaviour of Muslims to be overlooked but, like the Liberal leftie British MP (which he describes himself as) you and others liberal lefties continue to distort the truth and won't face the facts but your own families will be at risk in the future. You will learn the hard way.

The root of the problem is the Koran itself which allows for sexual relations with young children which Mohammed engaged in himself and "infidels" are fair game.

Anonymous 2 said...


It equates with my arguments perfectly, Jan. Please read them again and think. If non-Swedes are being charged at a much higher rate than Swedes, then of course the stats look worse for them. The real question is: What would the stats look like if Swedes were charged at the same rate as non-Swedes?

As for the rest, I did not “fail” to address these other matters because they are unanswerable. Do you have any idea just how long it takes to research and investigate the assertions you post here. I do have other things to do you know. Quite frankly, I find it exhausting to try to keep up with you.

I am not necessarily disputing the existence of a problem here. I am just trying to understand the facts as best I can. Only then will we really know what we are dealing with.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. You cannot dismiss me so easily by calling me a “liberal leftie.” This is the default position of the desperate, as if sticking on a label is an argument. I am neither a liberal leftie nor a “right wing loon” (or whatever the equivalent label is nowadays for those on the right). Far from distorting the facts (I leave that to others), I am trying to_understand_the facts. I am simply a Catholic law professor who is trying, against all odds it seems, to maintain some vestige of intellectual honesty, objectivity, and critical thinking. I will go where the evidence leads but, to do that, the evidence must be properly evaluated. I believe this is required both by my Catholic faith in a God of Truth and by my professional training. I am sorry if you have a problem with that.

Anonymous 2 said...


I take it, then, that you will not be joining the “All for one and one for all” movement that I discussed earlier (see 1:09 a.m. on December 18). I don’t know if we will be able to get by without you but we will just have to do the best we can I suppose.

By the way, only 20% of Muslims live in the Middle East on the sands, as you put it.

Anonymous 2 said...


Please add this fourth point to my post of 5:09 p.m. yesterday:

Fourth, to the extent Muslim men_are_committing rapes, we would also want to know if there is any profile regarding those likely to commit such crimes relating to factors such as cultural background, level of education, economic circumstances, etc. I mean, we would hardly think it fair or reasonable to judge all Catholics or all Americans by the actions of some Catholics or some Americans. Why is it any more fair or reasonable to do so in the case of the category “Muslims?” What about “all blacks?” Or, to make it especially vivid and poignant: How about “all Jews?”

Anonymous 2 said...

Correction – 5:03 p.m., not 5:09 p.m. I should wear my glasses. =)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 the reason that so many immigrants are being charged with rape and not Swedish men is because the immigrants are the ones committing the rapes. Simple. You obviously cannot or won't accept the facts.

Anonymous 2 said...


No, it is not so simple. I am prepared to accept for the sake of argument that most of the 200 or so convictions for rape each year are committed by immigrants. I will even accept, for the sake of argument, that these are mostly Muslim men. But I want also to understand the facts that provide the broader context.

What_you_ seem unable or unwilling to accept is that in 2009 Amnesty International estimated about 30,000 rapes per year, that of the 3,535 rape crimes reported only 13% resulted in legal proceedings, that of these there were only 220 or so convictions (mostly, we are accepting for the sake of argument, of immigrants), and that the vast majority of these unprosecuted and unreported rapes were committed by Swedes. Indeed, Amnesty seems to find that Sweden was (at least in 2009) suffering a major case of denial about the incidence of intimate partner rape in the country by “normal Swedes” and that this denial is partly related to scapegoating foreigners. I mean, how could the wonderful and beautiful Nordic man be guilty of rape? Surely only those nasty, swarthy foreign (especially Muslim) types could be guilty of such a heinous crime. Read the report I linked, Jan. Here it is again:

Why do you think it is entitled “Swedish rapists enjoy impunity: Amnesty International.” But I doubt very much that these figures will be bandied about on the right wing, anti-immigrant blogs in Europe or in the United States. They are “inconvenient facts” that do not fit the desired narrative. No, they will only emphasize the selected facts that promote their anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda. The result is distortion and the whipping up of hatred. It is wicked, and a Catholic should have no part in it.

So, let’s get the true facts, all of them, and then try to reach a dispassionate, objective evaluation about the real extent to which immigrants (and Muslims) are committing rapes compared with Swedes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2, "The risk of being raped in Sweden during one’s lifetime is one out of four (if every raped woman is only raped once), which is probably equal to the risk of being raped in countries in war, such as Iraq or Syria. When it comes to rapes, Islamized Sweden is already in a state of war. Sweden does not publish statistics on immigrant crime. If we want to have a hint about who is committing these tens of thousands of rapes and other types of sexual assaults yearly, we can turn to another Scandinavian country, Sweden’s neighbor Norway, the country most similar to Sweden. Here 100 percent of all attack-rapes (rapes where the attacker and the victim did not know each other beforehand) in the last five years in Oslo were committed by immigrants from “non-Western” countries. In Stavanger, a major Norwegian city, 90 percent of rapes are committed by “immigrants.”

"In 2003, Sweden’s rape statistics were higher than average at 9.24, but in 2005 they shot up to 36.8 and by 2008 were up to 53.2. Now they are almost certainly even higher as Muslim immigrants continue forming a larger percentage of the population. With Muslims represented in as many as 77 percent of the rape cases and a major increase in rape cases paralleling a major increase in Muslim immigration, the wages of Muslim immigration are proving to be a sexual assault epidemic by a misogynistic ideology"


Anonymous 2 said...


You have cited to a very credible and respectable source for your second quote. The problem is that you have then cherry picked from that source a quote from a different, right-wing source that is intended to illustrate how the political right spins official rape figures for political advantage. This is intellectually dishonest. The respectable source actually concludes that “rape-rate figures appear to be almost worthless” and give several reasons for this.

I do not know what your source is for the first quote. I cannot find it in the respectable source you cite. I imagine it is from another right wing blog that grossly distorts the figures. In any event, here is a counter to it, also appending the official police statistics for 2010. Yes, immigrants were responsible for 100% of the relatively small number of assault rapes. But this is only a small part of the total picture, which, once again, is conveniently omitted because, once again, most of the rapes were by Norwegians. Here is a link to the counter source, which admittedly seems to be a pro-Muslim source, but the official police report figures cannot be dismissed so easily:

Please stop reading junk sources, Jan. It is polluting your mind. Or, if you insist on continuing to read them, you should also read sources that give a contrary viewpoint and then make up your own mind instead of letting malicious others make it up for you.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. And Jan, I know that you are genuinely worried about the situation in Europe, and not without good reason. But we have to find a good way forward to address the problems once we have a proper understanding of them. Participating in the “culture of hate” (“culture of fear”) represented by these anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim blogs is not the answer. Indeed, it contributes to the sorts of abuses currently being committed against innocent Muslims (at least in the United States, perhaps Europeans are better behaved). Consider the following litany of anti-Muslim incidents since San Bernadino:

One can now add the vandalizing of the local Islamic Community center in Macon. Do you really want to be part of helping to promote (unwittingly) this sort of conduct? I certainly don’t

Anonymous said...

Anon 2, open your eyes. What I have quoted in Australia, England and Sweden are in many instances Muslim gangs and they are quoted in mainstream papers. There has been a GOVERNMENT INQUIRY in England. A HUGE OUTCRY IN AUSTRALIA OVER LEBANESE MUSLIM GANGS and the perpetration of rape on very young Australian women. In Norway they have INSTIGATED A PROGRAMME TO TEACH IMMIGRANTS NOT TO RAPE.

You claim that it is right-wing blogs publishing these figures. Well, if that is the case, it is because LIBERAL BLOGS AND YOURSELF ARE IN COMPLETE DENIAL.

Do you want me to start publishing some of the horrific photos as well? And then you can start denying those. Do you want me to cite the case of the Muslim who continued raping a woman long after she was dead? These are horrible, horrible crimes and unfortunately it is undeniable that rapes are on the rise the higher the immigrant population. THE STATISTICS SHOW THAT no matter how you try to put a gloss over it.

The fact is Anon 2, people can read the statistics for themselves. They can see the reports and no amount of someone like you trying to brush this sort of criminal behaviour under the carpet is going to change the facts. If you start being honest with yourself that will be a start.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2. Do you want to be guilty of covering up the following types of incidents occurring in the US - I don't. The first incident mentioned here by Muslims is described by the police as they worst case of its type they have seen and was perpetrated on an elderly woman - maybe your mother's age?

Five Colorado Springs residents from IRAQ are behind bars, the suspects in a violent sexual assault. The Colorado Springs Police Department said the alleged sexual assault occured around 1:30 a.m. on July 21 (2012) at the Wildridge Apartments.

February 2015, A 34-year-old Muslim immigrant has been arrested and charged with brutally raping a 10-year-old girl in Minnesota and the local media in Minneapolis has refused to identify the man as a REFUGEE FROM SOMALIA.

Oct 7, 2015 Four male Johnson & Wales University students have been arrested in connection with a reported sexual assault and alleged drugging of two female students at the university. The police have charged Mohammed Alsaqer, a 20-year-old sophomore, and Yazeed Alasiri, a 23-year-old senior, both from Saudi Arabia, with assaulting the women at the young men’s residence in Pawtucket after meeting the women at a nightclub in Providence on Thursday night. Late Tuesday night, Pawtucket police charged two more Johnson & Wales students — Mohammed Aljohani, 20, and Tareq Alharbi, 22 — with first-degree sexual assault - See more at:

DECEMBER 8, 2015 Abdulrahman Ali, a Somalian who arrived in America four years ago, is accused of sexually assaulting a gas station attendant in a bathroom at Gordy’s Travel Plaza in Mapleton, North Dakota. Ali, who refused to face a judge, claiming he was sick, faces charges of gross sexual imposition, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and two counts of terrorizing. The report again underscores concerns that the west is importing a real rape culture via the influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa. A Muslim migrant who kidnapped a North Dakota woman and raped her while chanting “Allahu Akbar” has refused to appear in court.


Anonymous 2 said...


“The fact is Anon 2, people can read the statistics for themselves.”

Good. That would be better than reading cherry picked statistics on right wing anti-Muslim blogs. But what I want (and apparently you do not) is for people to read ALL the relevant statistics so they can see things in proper perspective and context. And please do not cite Pamela Geller to me as a source. I have seen the kind of vitriol that woman spouts and I want nothing to do with it. So, you will have to give me a more respectable source than that. If she cites another, respectable and credible source, please give us that source. And if she doesn’t, then that should tell you something.

Jan, I have found so many holes in the sources you have cited on the subject of Islam, refugees, and the environment in the past that I have learned to be very, very careful about your postings.

But none of this means I am denying demonstrable facts. I have no doubt at all that a certain number of immigrants, including Muslims, have committed rapes and other crimes. It would be surprising if they hadn’t for then they would be better behaved than the indigenous population. ALL I ask is that we form an ACCURATE picture of the situation.

I am not going to convince you to be more careful about what you read and you are not going to convince me to be less careful about what I read. So, we will have to agree to disagree about this. I push back on some of your postings, not because I seek to convince you, but because I am concerned that these postings will be read by others and contribute to a further spread of distortions and Islamophobia. And you insist on posting these things from these sources because you are concerned about what you see as a mortal danger facing the countries of the West (at least I assume this is your motivation).

So, let me cut to the chase. We can argue all day about these statistics and sources. The real question is what do they signify and what actions should be taken. Well, Jan, what do they signify to YOU? And what do YOU propose that we should do? What do you really want? Please spell it out for us so we know where you stand.

Also, as part of your response, please tell us if you believe that most Muslim men living in the West would commit such crimes and, if you believe this, why you believe it.

Anonymous said...

They signify to me, Anon 2, that there should be a halt to the invitation to Muslim immigrants to come to the US and to all countries around the world until they can be properly vetted. I think also the men should have to undergo a programme that tries to educate them not to rape and to respect the culture of the country they are going to.

Yes, I think that a high percentage of Muslim men could commit rape, simply because the culture they come from are so different. By and large, Muslim regard women differently from the countries they are immigrating to and there is going to be an immediate problem because even the average woman is immodestly dressed and so that will definitely post a problem for young Muslim men. What do you suggest be done? Make women dress modestly? What is your suggestion Anon 2?

Anonymous 2 said...


Thank you for your response. You ask for my suggestions, so here they are.

To begin with, though, I think halting all Muslim immigration is a bad idea for several reasons. Here are three:

(1) As you rightly point out the problem is not religion but culture. The Shari’a already forbids rape (with the arguable exception of wartime and taking slave women, on a certain interpretation) -- although four witnesses may be needed for a conviction and punishment by the temporal authorities, Allah will punish wickedness in the afterlife. Moreover, rapes are committed by non-Muslim immigrants as well. One cannot halt all immigration, period. It is neither practicable nor politically feasible. (By the way, as the statistics from Sweden and Norway indicate clearly, far more rapes are committed by Swedes and Norwegians, but let that go for the sake of argument).

(2) People like ISIS would use a ban or a suspension as a terrific recruiting tool to confirm their narrative that the West has indeed declared war on Islam, so they are justified in fighting back. This would, of course, only produce more radicals and jihadists, both overseas and among Muslims already living among us. One of the strongest arguments against people like ISIS is that in the West people are free to practice their faith (within legal and reasonable limits of course) and that therefore the West is already part of the Abode of Islam rather than the Abode of War (one interpretation of this ancient distinction and the practice based on it is that Muslims needed to conquer territory to liberate the people from oppression and to enable them to practice Islam—well, we already have that, so let’s not lose it). Unfortunately, we actually have invaded Muslim lands (the central Abode of Islam) and we have stationed military forces on Saudi territory (which is guardian of the two most holy sites of Mecca and Medina), and therefore they are able to portray what they are doing as defensive, and this is not without some justification when you think about it.

(3) A ban or a suspension is unjust because it would harm the vast majority of innocent, law-abiding Muslims.


Anonymous 2 said...

So, that is what we should not do. What should we do? Well, better heads than mine are trying to figure this out (at least I certainly hope they are), but FWIIW:

(1) Building on your excellent idea about education, work with the local imams so that they communicate clearly to their mosque communities that

(a) The Shari’a prohibits the kinds of things, including rape, that are prohibited in the law of host countries, although it may me be easier to convict and punish under the law of the host country than under the Shari’a, which means Muslims have to be even more careful to be law-abiding;

(b) For those Muslims who are not yet citizens of their host countries, the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for offenses such as rape can be very serious indeed, specifically deportation after any prison term is served (at least in the U.S.);

(c) Provided they stay within the bounds of the criminal law of the host country, and within other reasonable limitations, Muslims are free to practice their faith as they see fit. The West considers freedom of religion to be a very high value; indeed, it is a value for which many have died in our own Ages of Intolerance so that we could enjoy the blessings of this liberty and it is a major foundation for the existence of the United States.

(2) Reinforce this third point—and also help combat social exclusion and alienation, and promote integration and assimilation—by making it clear to imams and their Muslim communities more generally that not only is Islam tolerated but it is especially cherished as one of the three Abrahamic religions. This should be done at the official level but it should also be done at the level of civil society as well. This is where you and I come in, and where our churches come in. We should actively reach out to Muslims in our own local communities, both informally (at the workplace, for example, or even when shopping—a smile may go a long way; okay, just smile at Muslim women if that makes you more comfortable), and more formally, for example in an inter-faith “encounter” group or “talking circle” organized with the cooperation of the local mosque or Islamic Center and ideally the local synagogue as well. In these groups we can discuss matters that are of common concern—how to resist secular materialism for example, or temptations to violence, and we could use books like Rabbi Sacks’s latest book or other suitable texts. We can also see how we might work together more actively in addressing local problems. Talk about these ideas with your priest and other leaders in your parish to see what they think. I am sure that when you start talking, all kinds of creative ideas will surface.

(3) Become informed about Islam and inter-faith relations, both through the sorts of initiatives discussed in (2) but through private study as well. Here are some suggestions for reading:

 John Mickelthwaite & Adrian Wooldridge, “God is Back: How the Global revival of Faith is Changing the World” (2009)

 Rabbi Jonathan Sacks,” Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence”

 Karen Armstrong, “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” (2012)

(4) Last but not least, of course, pray for God’s grace and divine assistance as we set about all the other things above.

The above are all things to do at home. There are several things to do regarding our relations with the Islamic world overseas. These are connected to the domestic measures, of course, but perhaps they should be for another discussion. I would say, though, that it might behoove all citizens to educate themselves about the movements within Islam for reform. Another such initiative started up just last week, for example:

Anonymous said...

Having looked at the video on the Halal slaughter of animals:

I feel physically ill and I have to say that I feel the Islamic culture is just far too primitive and barbaric in its practices - the treatment of women, the treatment of animals - to be able to peacefully coexist with society as we know it. There is major education needed to bring them up to a reasonable standard. I don't care if you say my view is racist. It is simply the truth. I certainly think our society is far from perfect but, at least, we have largely moved on from an eye for an eye culture but these people just plainly haven't. It's not their fault but bringing them to the west and trying to jam them like round pegs into square holes just will not work and things are likely to get far far worse if this immigration is allowed to continue unchecked.

Anonymous 2 said...

Well, Jan. we had better condemn the Jews too because of the schechita method of kosher slaughter.

Jan, I don’t know whether you are racist; only you can answer that. But I have the strong sense that you go looking for anything to condemn Muslims (which is, of course, what people like Pamela Geller do) and are not very impartial and objective in your approach. So, you do seem to be somewhat Islamophobic, yes. For example, did you try to evaluate the video and put it in proper context? This may help:

And to be even more objective and impartial, the Western practices of factory farming are not exactly “civilized”:

Nor are some of our slaughter practices: