Is the True Cross adored with "relative" or "absolute" latria?

Hi!

thesumma.info/saviour/saviour55.php

The source above on St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa says that the True Cross is to be adored with absolute latria, and not just relative latria. Can someone explain why this is so? I understand why any cross can be adored with relative latria, since it is an image of Christ. But why is the True Cross to be adored with absolute latria? Isn’t it just a relic, although the highest of all relics? Does this mean that we give the same adoration to the True Cross as we do to the Blessed Sacrament? Is Jesus “truly, really, and substantially” present in the True Cross like in the Eucharist? If not, how is this not idolatry?

Thanks!

He seems to give the following rationale:

Fourth Article: Whether Christ’s Cross Should Be Worshiped With The Adoration Of Latria

Reply. The answer is in the affirmative, in accordance with the following chant of the Church: “Hail, O Cross, our only hope, during this Passiontide: give to the just increase of grace, grant to each contrite sinner pardon.”[1657]

St. Thomas gives two conclusions.

First conclusion. The true cross of Christ on which Christ was crucified is to be adored with the cult of latria both inasmuch as it represents to us the figure of Christ extended thereon, and because of its contact with the members of Christ, and of its being saturated with His blood.

The bolded part I suppose seems relevant.

What are you referring to? The latria given to the Cross is relative, not absolute and nowhere does the article state otherwise.

From what I understand from the article,

First conclusion. The true cross of Christ on which Christ was crucified is to be adored with the cult of latria both inasmuch as it represents to us the figure of Christ extended thereon, and because of its contact with the members of Christ, and of its being saturated with His blood.

Second conclusion. The effigy of Christ’s cross in any other material is to be adored with the adoration of relative latria, as being the image of Christ.

it seems to be suggesting that the true Cross of Christ is to be given absolute latria, whereas an “effigy of Christ’s cross in any other material” (that is, a cross which is not the true cross) is to be given relative latria.

I think this is what that the OP understood and hence asked, and it’s also what I gather from the wording.

Well, both the article and the Summa itself stop short of using the word “absolute”, although one can see why the True Cross would be worshipped in a manner higher than replicas, since the Precious Blood is on it. But it doesn’t sound to me that absolute worship is given to the True Cross itself, since the Summa itself says worship is not due to anything save a rational being, or to its contact and association with that rational being. So I would think the True Cross itself is still worshipped with relative latria, even though one would worship with absolute latria the Precious Blood on it. But that’s only a guess on my part.

That’s correct. I suppose the question would be if it’s possible to ‘separate’ the Precious Blood from the True Cross. While ontologically speaking not the same entities (True Cross and Precious Blood), if it’s the Precious Blood on the cross which makes it a True Cross, I can see why Aquinas claims the True Cross is to be given absolute latria.

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