By Beth Germano

DEDHAM (CBS) – It’s an unconventional take on the nativity scene at St. Susanna’s Parish Dedham. The baby Jesus is in a cage, the wise men are closed off by a wall.

For the parish, the crèche is meant to be thought provoking. “We try to take a picture of the world as it is and put it together with a Christmas message,” said Pastor Fr. Stephen Josoma.

Saint Susanna’s Parish in Dedham has an immigration-themed nativity scene. (WBZ-TV)

That message this year questions “peace on earth”, since Jesus represents migrant children being held at the southern border separated from their parents.

The wise men are the caravan of migrants behind the border wall. They believe it’s very much the message of Jesus. “Jesus was about taking care of one another. This is not the way to take care of one another,” said Fr. Josoma.

“We’re not trying to scandalize anyone,” said parishioner Pat Ferrone, a member of the Pax Christi committee which came up with the idea for the display. “We’re trying to reflect back a reality that has to be looked at.”

The nativity scene in Dedham has a baby Jesus in a cage, calling attention to immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. (WBZ-TV)

But mixing politics with religion isn’t sitting well with some who believe the nativity scene has crossed a line. “This is where you come to pray not to be preached at what you should think about politics,” said Helen Watson who drove to church to see the display.

Fr. Josoma insists the scene is not a dig at Trump administration policies. Instead of political activism he calls it gospel activism. “We talk about Matthew 25 feeding the hungry and welcoming the stranger.”

A 2017 nativity scene at a Dedham church called attention to deadly mass shootings. (WBZ-TV)

Parishioner Phil Mandeville says Jesus was no stranger to politics. “Christ was political, he was hung on a cross for making political statements and bucking authority and that’s exactly why he died,” Mandeville said.

The nativity scene is meant to be a symbol of hope, and at St. Susanna’s the hope is that a conversation has begun.

Beth Germano

Comments (139)
  1. John Sandhofner says:

    Jesus said render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s. Jesus did not come to earth to establish a form of earthly government, but instruct us on how to live. He left us with many principles that we can use to guide how we structure our society including how we might form a government. But the government is not the church and definitely not so in this country. But the church does have a place in our lives and we had best understand how the separation of chuch and state was intended to work in this country. And it is not the liberal version of government largess doing what Jesus told his followers todo.

  2. bvikay says:

    Disgusting and insulting.

  3. Johnny Simpson says:

    Baby Jesus in a cage puts all Heaven in a rage.

    As does the mass molestation of God’s children and cover-up by his so-called rep on earth.

    Methinks someone’s priorities are somewhat screwed this Christmas season.

  4. Daryl E. Culler says:

    If Parishioner Phil Mandeville is an example of the people who attend, there is nothing of Jesus in that church. Jesus was not crucified for political activity, he was crucified to atone for the sins of the word. Even those of Parishioner Phil Mandeville.

  5. Joe Veritas says:

    Libs – always with the schtick

  6. Dave Fay says:

    Looks like they don’t want one of their Pedophile priests poking the baby Jesus in the bee hind.

  7. Caniac Steve Henderson says:

    If the leadership & elders of that congregation feel that strongly about how America now deals with illegal immigration…then a better way to protest or make a statement would be for each & every family or person physically sponsor & be 100 % respondsible physically & fiscally at least 1 family unit or 2 mliitary aged males in each congregation member home for a 3 year period… after all isnt that what Jesus would do but he also said …Render under to Caeser what is Caeser’s as far as obeying the law goes ?? Mark 12:17

  8. ddswaterloo says:

    Liberal Anti-White Suicidal Decadence in One Picture:

  9. Hey padre Josoma, don’t be a social justice warrior like your papa francis. First clean up your own church’s many scandals…….perverted pedophile priests.

  10. Mark Zarraonandia says:

    Question for Fr. Josoma, If this isn’t a dog at Trump….did you do this same scene during Obama? Because Obama did the exact same thing with separating kids and parents.

  11. And the church wonders why so many are leaving… I’d walk from that Church and never, ever return.

  12. Wouldn’t Jesus be considered an Anchor Baby?

  13. Enemyof Thehive says:

    To make it more relevant and less political, a Catholic priest should be shown hovering over the baby Jesus sexualy assaulting him in his crib.

  14. malewurmhole says:

    This isn’t liberalism, it’s capitalism through and through. People coming from Latin America are almost always Christian and generally devoutly so (with the exception of all those bad elements, which the Church does not care about). More Christians=higher attendance=more money.

  15. Catherine Robert says:

    Thank goodness they are reminding people of what Obozo did to illegals. Why don’t they tear gas & pepper spray it too, to make it the most authentic!

  16. Su Yu says:

    Thankfully,…Anti-Christian haters won’t be able to behead or steal the baby Jesus statue this Christmas,….Good Idea.

  17. Fred Bailey says:

    How absurd.
    Jesus was not an illegal immigrant.

  18. Russell Lamoreaux says:

    Massachusetts is proof that education does not always equal intelligence. It’s a state full of well educated morons!

  19. Michael Wolfe says:

    It’s not like the Catholic Church has enough problems then this priest comes along. Not to mention: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Caesar manages the borders while God manages the spiritual health of the border crashers.

  20. I have a child molesting priest behind bars in my nativity scene, where is my article?

    It is just common sense to screen people for disease to avoid another plague, and to have actual borders and laws to protect your sovereignty. I guess the church needs the billions they receive to house/harbor illegals to survive.

  21. This church does not follow the gospel of Christ. Their manger imagery is an emotional appeal to the simple minded to join the political rage that has enveloped this country. This is a country of law and order and the current President is trying to restore that pledge stated by the Constitution of the United States made by the founders. The manger scene in Dedham, MA is inappropriate and misleading in their efforts to drag Christ into a one-sided political farce. Christ specifically stated, “If you come in by the back door or the side door, you are a thief and a liar.” (John 10:1) To support this unlawful invasion into this country is anathema to all that is holy. These invaders caught up into their demands should realize law and order instead of threatening violence by mockery. They should obey the law. The leaders of this church are doing a great injustice to the gospel. They have misrepresented it to a wide extent and presented an emotional nonsensical argument in favor of breaking the law of righteousness. They misrepresent and use Scripture for their own ends.

  22. Robert Gendron says:

    sickening leftist agenda has no bounds. none.

  23. ” the wise men are closed off by a wall.” Maybe that’s why they’re wise.

  24. I’m Jewish, and even I know that Joseph and Mary were NOT homeless or immigrants. They were FORCED by an overbearing government to travel to Jerusalem so they could be counted for taxation. Now, when will the left embrace and internalize the real story of Christmas?? Probably after the second coming.

  25. Deb Az says:

    Again, those who are ignorant of the Bible’s teachings, politicize God.

    Mary and Joseph journeyed for the census. Why? Because they lived in a nation with boundaries and had to be accountable.

    Most of the democrats trying to use this angle are, also, the same ones who ‘booed’ God and say Jesus’ story is a fairy tale.

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