|Mass of reparation in Oxford: Votive Mass pro remissione peccatorum|
Christ also, the spotless Lamb, was disfigured, by his enemies. Isaiah says of Him in prophecy: 'there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him' (Is 53:2). But again, Christ's beauty is hidden, rather than lost.
What has happened to the Church in the last 50 years and more is a disfigurement, a disgrace. Like the Beloved of the Song of Songs, the Church has been cast out of doors without her veil:
'The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.' (Song 5:7)
The defilement of the Church is real in one sense, and only apparent in another. As a human institution she can be wounded and shamed. As a divine institution she cannot. She is both human and divine, a mirror of Christ, who in His humanity truly suffered and died. This suffering was not unreal or superficial: the betrayal, the stripping naked, the being spat upon, the being tortured and killed. It is profoundly real and of the greatest significance. And yet Christ in his Divine nature, and the Church as the Mystical Body and Bride of Christ, is not defiled: such a thing is impossible. She remains beautiful, though blackened.