PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A picture of the Philly Jesus is upsetting local Catholics. In a picture he posted on social media, he's seen holding up a monstrance at one of the most sacred places in the city.
The man known as Philly Jesus is seen behind the alter at the Shrine of Saint John Neumann holding up a ceremonial vessel holding the blessed sacrament known as a monstrance.
"As far as Catholics are concerned we are not supposed to be doing that. So it is a little uncomfortable,” said Janine Massi of South Philadelphia.
The picture is getting blasted on social media.
"They call me blasphemous. They tell me I'm going to hell. They call me the white devil," the Philly Jesus told FOX 29.
Philly Jesus whose real name is Michael Grant is a former heroin addict turned Center City street preacher and social media star. He made news last year getting arrested in an Apple store for loitering. Some say this stunt went too far.
"It's like a photo op he's doing for himself. It's all about him. I don't know his motivation but he's definitely missing the point," said Bob Brawn.
Grant says he's a lifelong catholic and has been coming to the shrine since he was a kid and strongly feels he did nothing wrong.
When asked he if he finds it disrespectful to pick up something that's meant for the clergy to handle, he said, "No I don't. I am the king of the rebels.>"
Clergy at the shrine say most catholics should know the monstrance should only be touched by an ordained minister and treated with reverence. But they also say he's welcomed back here anytime.