Statue Provides Opportunity for Catholic-Bashing.] There was a mini-controversy surrounding the statue at the time. There were a number of reports that Schmalz had attempted to give the statue to two prominent Catholic churches, St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, only to have his statue rejected by the two cathedrals.
Liberal blogs & news sources had a field day bashing the Catholic Church with stories how Homeless Jesus had no home.
The truth was, St. Patrick's had to refuse the statue, not because the work too controversial, but because the Cathedral was undergoing extensive restorations at the time.
The Toronto archdiocese had even tried to help Schmalz find an alternative location, eventually finding a home at Regis College at the University of Toronto.
Fast forward to November, when it was reported that the statue was presented to Pope Francis. An article written in December reports that the statue was blessed by Pope Francis and returned to it's home at Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields, in Toronto.
Now, the Christian Post is reporting that, after its trip to the Vatican, the statue was stolen.
Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields website. I was surprised to discover that the church is not a Catholic church, but Anglican. The church's pastor is a female priest, no less. I was a bit confused as to why an Anglican church would want their statue blessed by the Pope. Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to have it blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury?
Looking further into the website, I come across the church's report on the the theft of the statue. As it turns out, their statue was not the Homeless Jesus statue blessed by Pope Francis, but an entirely different one called Jesus the Panhandler .
Not quite certain what to make of all this. Perhaps it's just another case of poor Internet news reporting.