I recently stepped into a church which had the U.S. flag displayed off to the side of the santuary, yet the Vatican flag was noticeably missing. Do all Catholic churches need to have the flag of the Vatican (yellow & white) displayed? Since the Church is universal,it seemed odd to me that this particular church ONLY displayed the U.S. flag…To show some semplance of respect to Rome, I feel the Vatican flag should be displayed.
I see no reason why. For that matter, I’m not particularly fond of national flags within churches outside possibly important civic occasions. But one does not need an emblem like the flag to show the unity to Rome. That is best shown within our ecclesiastical rites e.g. by the commemoration of the Pope at Mass.
I feel that unless there is a good reason to put up an emblem or picture of the Pope (funerary monument, he is ill and you want to pray for him, or something like that) those should be avoided as well. I like the idea of churches being windows on heaven and it seems that putting more ‘secular’ images within, is not appropriate. For example, I don’t see people hanging emblems of their diocesan bishops or their pastors or similar - and for good reason. They are our leaders, but churches are not meant for them.
Why would the Church in the US display the flag of another country? The Church has nothing to do with countries.
Not necessarly, but there should be a picture of the Pope and a picture of your Bishop near the entrance.
It always puts a smile on my face when I see a Vatican flag somewhere in a Church, as well as a picture of our Holy Father and the Bishop. It displays are connection to Rome and our support of the Holy Father.
Not having my copy of the GIRM handy, I may be recalling incorrectly, but I believe there is something in it about the posting of flags in the church.
As far as posting flags in the US, if the US flag and another are posted, US protocols indicate that the US flag is to be to the right of the speaker and in advance of other flags, which go to the speaker’s left.
I once saw a parish with a picture of the Pope below the crucifix. I think that that was a bit much. I would like to see the Vatican flag perhaps flown outside, rather than inside the sacred space.
They are not to be in the sanctuary if they are present.
We have both the U.S. flag and the Vatican flag in the vestebule of the church.
The Vatican flag is not the flag of the Catholic Church (which does not have a flag) – rather, it is the flag of Vatican City State, which is a sovereign political entity. It is a political symbol, not a religious one. Therefore, it is a “profane” (i.e., not “sacred”) accoutrement and does not belong in the nave and especially not in the sanctuary.
A great place for it would be on a flag pole or in the narthex.
The Church documents which regulate church decor address what is allowed and what’s not, but I’m too lazy to dig it up the document.
For the record, I’m all for displaying the Vatican flag, either on a flag pole or in the narthex.
Our Parish has had the Vatican flag displayed inside for many years. I once saw a picture, taken in the mid-1950’s, with the American and Vatican flags in the Sanctuary, on either side of the High Altar. They are now no longer in the sanctuary, but they are still in the Nave, one on each side of the Church (I don’t know when they were moved).
I can see the logic behind not having flags in the church - however, if there is going to be an American flag, symbolizing loyalty to the United States, I think there should be a Vatican flag as well.
Byantine parishes often don’t have flags, but generally, they will have a picture of the pope in the Narthex.
Our flags, both the American and Vatican, are hung on poles from the choir loft.
Well, National flags are evident in the Church of St. Elizabeth, Wroclaw, Poland:
In my Byzantine Catholic parish there is a Vatican Flag, American Flag, photo of the Pope and photo of our bishop. Sometimes you see the Byzantine “Lion” flag as well in Byzantine Catholic parishes.