Jesus, Victim of Sexual Abuse

Rocio Figueroa Alvear writes that Jesus was a victim of sexual abuse. Figueroa, a theologian and abuse survivor, notes how, in the first century Mediterranean world, it was common practice for Roman prisoners to be humiliated by being paraded around naked.

Though we are most familiar with crucifix renditions depicting Jesus on the cross wearing a loincloth, history teaches otherwise. Especially in the Middle Ages, numerous artists portray images of a fully naked Jesus on the cross.

A significant aspect to execution by crucifixion was the humiliation of being publicly crucified naked. When we hear the phrase, “Jesus is stripped of his garments,” it means he was stripped naked.

“He was surrounded by people mocking him naked,” Figurao says, adding that “if the hierarchy of the catholic church understood that Jesus was a victim of sexual abuse, perhaps they would treat victims differently.”

Clerical abuse, she writes, “is not the same” as other types of abuse, because perpetrators are believed to represent God, leaving “enormous” consequences for victims.

Rocio Figueroa Alvear is a theologian, an abuse survivor and a consecrated woman turned whistle-blower on scandals in her former religious community.

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