Can we claim the Celtic Cross as our own?


I wasn’t quite sure where to post this, but I am sure that if I post it here I’m certain to get an intelligent response.

Is the Celtic cross (Latin Cross with circle/ring imposed against the intersection) 100% acceptable for use within a Catholic context? The reason I ask is because it seems to have been appropriated by so many causes, each claiming ownership. Of particular concern is its supposed relationship to Celtic Christianity; which is as far as I can tell awash with pagan and anti Catholic sentiments.

Any information would be much appreciated.


I’ve worn a blessed sterling silver Celtic Cross for years. The intersection of the circle and the cross symbolizes the union of heaven and earth. I’m of Irish, Scot, and Breton Celtic ancestry. There is no reason why one cannot use the cross of one’s ancestors. The folks engaged in purporting a “Celtic Christianity” are living a dream for which the reality does not exist.

There was no Celtic Church, per se, and it was the Irish who spread Christianity back into Britain, Scotland, and then into what is now Germany. And they were very orthodox Catholics.


My wife is Irish. No disagreement about the Celtic Cross. If I am not mistaken though the original form of Christianity that had been spread to Britain was supplanted by a Latin form by a second Augustine who was sent from Rome to bring the “Latin” form of Christianity to the British Isles. I am not saying that that form of Celtic Christianity had pagan elements, just that it was different.


The Irish and Welsh churches had very poor contact with Rome during the Arthurian period and after. So they aquired a sort of independence. When the political situation settled down somewhat, and St Augustine evangelised the Anglo-Saxons from Rome, and Columba the Scots from Ireland, there was a lot of ill feeling between the two parties, though it never quite became a formal schism.

Eventually St Hilda knocked a few heads together at the Synod of Whitby, and most of the distinctively Celtic practises, such as the dating of Easter and the semi-circular tonsure, were abandoned. However the Celtic cross was not condemned. There is no reason why a person of Celtic origin, such as myself, shouldn’t have one.


The Celtic Cross is absolutely Christian!

See this article

Is the Celtic Cross a Pagan Symbol?


Just because other groups co-opt my Christian symbol or practice does nothing to devalue or debase that symbol. If they name a football team after my group it does not denigrate my group. We got criticism from some cranks for sending home a craft the kindergarteners did as part of their Noah’s Ark lesson - a rainbow, the symbol of God’s covenant, which kindergarteners have been making or coloring for years to remind them of that symbol-- because somebody thought we were promoting a certain dissident group within the Church who prominently displays that symbol.

We wear red for the Pro-Life Rosary and Eucharistic processions to protest abortion, even though another local dissident group wears red when then picket ordinations to protest against our bishop. Just because new agers advocate crystals does not mean I am going to stop using my crystal rosary. We cannot let the loonies twist and define the meaning of our own symbols, and if we give in and let them claim ownership, that is what we are doing. Display your Celtic Cross with love and pride in the Christian tradition and great saints it represents.


In Ireland, there is alot of tombstones with the Celtic Cross too. I love the Celtic Cross…it’s beautiful.

I have a Celtic Cross necklace from my husband. I have lawn ornaments and my Rosaries from my Grandmom have a Celtic Cross Crucifix.

Circle=heaven and earth…I didn’t know that.


My parents just returned from Ireland with celtic cross necklaces for my sisters and I… all were blessed by a priest there… :thumbsup:

No worries! :slight_smile:


Did you ever go to Ireland? Best time to go is winter …


No… I WISH! This was a huge trip for my parents… I hope to one day get there myself!
Thanks for the tip! :thumbsup:


Your kidding right?

The best time of year to go is now. End of May to middle of June.


My sister has a celtic cross tattoo’ed just under her neck. I have one on the inside of my left forearm that has a lion inside it. My other sister got me a large celtic cross necklace for my graduation and many people (including my priest) have complimented me on it. There’s a celtic cross on my myspace. I’ve never thought of it as being pagan or wrong. Symbols mean what we want them to mean.

It’s not a pagan symbol - It’s my Family Cross! :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit