A Monastery’s View

John Stone


For almost two thousand years, Christians have consistently taken liberties and “played around” with the Old Testament. All the while, the clergy, et al, claim they were guided by the “holy ghost” or “inspiration” as modern evangelicals and Mormons call it.

Someone recently had a “Close Encounter of the Xian Kind” and sent photos to prove it. This Christian exhibit [see photograph below] purported to be “The Ten Commandments.” Yes, there were two engraved stone “tablets” on public display in a church yard.   As usual the Christians still get it wrong. Evidently, the Christian mindset thinks; “what’s so special about the commandments ― 8, 9 or 10, give a commandment, take a commandment ― so what!” Take a look for yourself:

The not so 10 commandments

Photo taken in May 2004.

Overlooking these tablets was a big statue of Jesus with outstretched arms. (See below)

statue of Jesus with outstretched arms.


Let’s see what our alert correspondent had to say; in Cassidy’s own words:

‘Unfortunately those tablets are the real thing ... at the bottom of a large hill. At the top of that hill is the church.  The tablets are no more than 20 feet away from a highway, Route 3 in New Jersey. Not surprisingly, there is a big statue of Jesus [god incarnate or Invisible Man in the Sky] a few feet away from the tablets. I have seen people at the base of this hill, praying and stuff, so it must be a well-known location.

I was recently driving east near Clifton, NJ (Passaic County) ― from the Willowbrook Mall’s direction, it is on the right side of Route 3 ― right after 46 and 3 split there is a big sign there for “The View,” which is a restaurant. There is a Benedictine Monastery 1 called the Holy Face [of Jesus]. You can access it from the east bound direction, and it’s right off the highway. You can also reach it from Vincent Drive, which is an obscure dead-end street also in Clifton. There is a chapel there in the Monastery, so people do come and pray. Meaning, it is not just monks.

I climbed the hill to the church and asked a few people what denomination it was. I saw statues of the saints, so I figured it was Catholic, but I wanted to be sure. I entered the chapel and felt a sick feeling when I saw all the statues and pictures and stuff. So I left.

I was all set to go back down the hill. There was a monk down at the bottom, where the tablets and my car were. His name is Father Bernard, and he is called the Superior. He has been in charge of the monastery for 2 years. Well, the monk came over to me, seeing as I was staring at him with my notebook. I asked him what denomination [this church] was. He told me the church was Catholic and a Benedictine Monastery. I then said quietly to him, “You know you’re missing a commandment.”

He grabbed my arm like he was having a stroke and asked “where?”  He said “There are ten listed, what is wrong?”

I told him about how the 9th and 10th commandments on his tablets are really one in the Bible [not separately listed.]

He then told me that he had actually never read the tablets.  As he looked over the tablets, he noticed the one missing. He said, “Yes, we’re missing one; ‘Thou shall not make idols of strange gods.’“

So his interpretation was not perfect, but at least he realized the error. I hinted at the big statue of Jesus while we discussed this and I said at one point, “Its one thing to break a commandment, but to erase one is a wholly different matter.”

The impression I got was that since Jesus was God, [the Invisible Man in the Sky] that it was all right for them to make an idol of him. I got this impression because Bernard never seemed to understand what I was saying ― “that the Jesus statue was an idol.” But nevertheless, Bernard [seemed] a sincere man, from Brooklyn, and he promised me that the tablets would be “reviewed!” So that’s the story! Their phone number is 973-778-1177.

I felt a sick feeling as soon as I looked around in the chapel. It was a creepy place where people come and stare and pray to objects that cannot do anything for them. It is very hard to accept this as reality. I really hope that Bernard has a crisis of conscience.’

So, if you feel that the Benedictine Monastery ― The Holy Face ― and Father Bernard in particular, should learn what's what, please feel free to write or call them. Maybe you could interest them in the Invisible Pink Unicorn, after all she created the universe. Remember, "It is only through faith that we can see Her divine Pinkness."



1.  1697 Route 3 in Clifton, New Jersey: Mail: The Holy Face, PO Box is 691, Clifton, NJ 07012; Tel: (973) 778-1177


Copyright © 2004, All rights reserved.