I had a question in regards to the Processional Crucifix, I think that’s what it’s called. My question was that is it appropriate to have a Crucifix that does not look like Jesus? Our parish is in a Native American community and our Processional Crucifix was hand carved by the local people. The Processional Crucifix looks like a Native American is Crucified in place of Jesus is this something my wife and I should be concerned about? We’ve tried to talk to the Father, however he did seem concerned but never did anything about the Crucifix, now we got two new Fathers should we pursue removing the crucifix? or is this acceptable?
Do you have a picture?
First of all, we don’t really know what Jesus exactly looked like (many including me would point to the Shroud, but since that’s still a controversial topic…), and depicting Jesus as having the same features as the artist is not a particularly new thing, so I’ll give it first the benefit of the doubt and say that the image COULD be that of Jesus portrayed as a Native American. In which case IMHO it is not inappropriate, considering that your local Native American community made it - such is a good way to express that Jesus Christ was, after all, ‘God with us’ who took on human flesh and became a man like us.
It might not be historically accurate, but that doesn’t make it wrong. There’s no rule that we should always portray Jesus as the blonde, delicate - almost effeminate - Caucasian with spotless clothes (itself an historically inaccurate portrayal!) you’ll often see in many holy cards.
Now, if the image was that of a crucified woman (or some such 'art’rocity - yeah, bad pun ) that’s another matter entirely.
Ever notice how many baby Jesus figures are blue-eyed curly-haired blonds? We don’t know what Jesus looked like, even if we can have an educated guess, but it’s unlikely that he was blond & blue-eyed. Artists rendered him in a way that would resonate in the area where they were. Different ethnic groups often have Him looking like they do, so Jesus is sometime portrayed as Asian in Asia, or African in Africa. Artists tend to portray what they know. There is nothing wrong with that.
I guess I’m used to being able to recognize Christ… but what I’m hearing is that the what i’m used to seeing, is up to interpritation by the artist. I’ve always seen Jesus as i see him on this site, EWTN, the Vatican, in Bibles and in most Catholic Churchs; just doesn’t seem right to deviate from the idenifiable facial and body features. I’d post a picture but don’t know how. I’m wondering if it would be apporpate to place any male person on the cross?