If your Cross/Crucifix is not blessed, is it Catholic?

I recently had my new cross blessed by our parish priest.

It got me thinking because my old cross was a gift, it was made by American Indians and I never considered it a “Catholic” cross. I wore it because it was a gift and was the only one I had, but I was never comfortable wearing it.

When I went shopping for my new cross, I made sure it came from a Catholic source (the store designs, makes and sells Catholic jewelry) and I had every intent of having it blessed.

Explore melensdad

[LIST=1]
*]So if you buy a cross or Crucifix at a non-Catholic store, and if you don’t have it blessed by your priest, is it really a Catholic symbol with religious significance?
*]Or is is just a piece of jewelry that YOU place some religious significance in.
*]But does it ACTUALLY have any religious significance?[/LIST]

What does a crucifix (whether it’s blessed or not) depict ?

Does what a crucifix depicts have religious significance?

The cross I sometimes wear around my neck was never blessed. It does, however, portray the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. When I see it or touch it, this is what is brought to mind. I can think of no more religiously significant event than Jesus crucified.

I guess my question regarding all this is what is the difference between Protestant and Catholic religious jewelry or as simply non-religious jewelry? I see a lot of people wearing crosses as fashion statements, some even wear a Rosary as a necklace.

So is that is the perspective of where my question comes from.
[LIST]
*]What constitutes Catholic jewelry?
*]What constitutes fashion jewelry?
*]Is it because WE choose to call it Catholic that it becomes Catholic? If so, then would it be true that two identical pieces of jewelry could be Catholic and Protestant depending on the owner’s point of view? And if that is true, then a 3rd identical pieces could simply be a fashion statement?
*]Or is the act of blessing it what makes it Catholic?[/LIST]Clearly I don’t know, that is why I am asking!!!

Well, yes. Frankly, I think you already have your answer. If you need affirmation - yes. I think so.

Saints medals, miraculous medals, jewelry depicting the Virgin Mary, rosary bracelets, rosary rings and crucifixes are generally made by and for Catholics. But what constitutes either fashionable or religious jewelry (of any kind) is the intent with which it’s worn.

I’m not so sure they are made BY Catholics, but clearly most of them would be worn by Catholics (and perhaps to a lesser degree Episcipalians?). Many of the “Christian” sites sell what they call “Catholic” jewelry. I did a lot of web searches when I was shopping and saw all sorts of jewelry makers that were making all sorts of jewelry and had selections of “Christian” and/or “Catholic” jewelry.

I think this may be part of my confusion over the whole issue. **If I buy a cross at Wal-Mart, made in China by communists, does it become a religious symbol because I say so when I put it on? **

Or perhaps my question could be phrased, is intent all that matters?

Clearly I’m confused on this whole thing!!!

:shrug:

Okay! Now I see what you mean.
I think it already is a religious symbol, whether or not those who made it adhere to the beliefs of those it is made for. Christ suffering on the cross is Christ suffering on the cross - no matter who wears it, or for what purpose.

What I tried to make clear in my last post is that we can’t say if a piece of jewelry is “Catholic” or “Protestant”. But we can say that it’s Christian. And Christian jewelry is always Christian, no matter who wears it.

Well what about these girls who are wearing Rosaries as necklaces but are not Catholic. Many seem to be ANTI-religious. I’m speaking about the “Goth” crowd, and similar groups, that dress funky and escews religion, society, etc.

Interesting thought. I will say that in general protestants wear crosses (sans corpus) and Catholics wear crucifixes. I agree that the dross or crucifix symbol is always Christian. Some may wear them with the intention to blaspheme or with no thought at all other than that they like that piece of jewery. Intention does matter. Any cross or crucifix I put on–whether blessed or not and no matter who made it–takes on a Christian symbolism for me because that is my intention.

But isn’t there plenty of evidence that the cross symbol pre-dates Christianity?

The Celtic Cross, which Christians have adopted, is pre-Christian and pagan in origin. It is still used by pagans and some sects of Christianity avoid it for that very reason.

And in Egypt the Ankh (also called the Ansate Cross) is basically a cross with a loop on the top and was adopted by early Christians when they told the ancient Egyptians that they already wore the “cross” but needed to be baptized to accept the true savior. There is also the Egyption Coptic cross, which is a totally different shape of cross and the Tau cross, which has roots in Egypt too.

Just to toss everyone a for a loop, the Star of David is worn by many Ethiopian Catholics as a cross!

So what makes a piece of jewelry “Catholic”? ***The cross shown in my first post depicts several Catholic saints so I suppose, blessed or not, it would be a Catholic symbol. But if it did not have specific Catholic symbols on it, what would make a Celtic Cross Catholic instead of Pagan? Or what would make a Coptic Cross or Ankh Catholic instead of Egyptian?:shrug:*

I believe that putting the title “Catholic” on a piece of jewelry is an inappropriate use of the title. Most pieces of jewelry can be considered works of art. As such they take on many meanings, both for the creator and for the viewers. So, something so dependent on its environment as to its meaning should not be called “Catholic”.

Sorry, I simply don’t understand. Are not most pieces of jewelry mass produced? Seriously, how many pieces of jewelry are actually pieces of art or even remotely close to man-made? I would think most are either cast or stamp in a production line and I would not consider them to be art.

Perhaps I simply do not understand your point?

I’m sorry, Christ crucified is Christ crucified - he was a real historical person that this really happened to, no matter what pagans or Goths or anyone else thinks of him. So his depiction is what it is regardless.

If I look at a picture of Stalin I may have different feelings about it depending on whether I was his wife or daughter, a prisoner in his gulags or a schoolkid who barely knows his name. The person who made it, too, may do so for various different motives - respect, mockery, curiosity, whatever.

Doesn’t change what that picture is - a picture of Stalin, a representation of the man and all he was and stood for (obviously different things to different people).

Perhaps the underlying question here is whether the item is a sacramental. If it’s not blessed it’s jewelry with a Catholic theme. If it is blessed, it is a sacramental.

Betsy

1 Like

:shrug:

Irrelevant. My first name, last name, middle name and initials all existed as symbols of people before I was ever born or named. But now, those things represent me. When someone who knows me calls my name, that symbol usually means me. It’s intent that counts.

1 Like

Betsy,
Thank you! You wrote, in a couple short sentences, the answer to the question that I could not even describe properly in many paragraphs. :thumbsup:

1 Like

Not all of us goths who wear our rosaries around our necks are pagan anti-catholic freaks…Most of us are devout catholics with dark tastes

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