Sign of the Cross in Media

Dear everyone,

I recently have been bothered by what appears to me to be a growing number of television personalities, sports figures, and others on the media making what they think is the sign of the cross. They get it wrong (I don’t mean our Orthodox brethren who go from right to left) and/or do it as a joke. Maybe I’m getting more aware of this apparent trend or am getting more sensitive to it.

I have no objection to those who are sincerely expressing their faith before an endeavor, sports or otherwise, and their gratitude afterward. I also noted during the Olympics that Moslems were prostrating themselves in prayer which is fine by me, too, when honestly meant.

Any thoughts? Am I being overly sensitive? Should I smile that our Catholic faith has permeated those people without their realizing it? I appreciate any and all comments, and will not be upset if there are those who thing I should live and let live. It bothers me and I wanted to get a good sense of whether it should or I should let it go.

Yours in Christ

How do you know these people aren’t Catholic or Orthodox? And even if they aren’t, are we supposed to copyright the Sign of the Cross? I’d say be glad that people are doing that, even if they aren’t fully aware of what it means–you never know what door it might open for someone.


Most often it’s used as a substitute for “God help me,” in a joking sense. As in one episode of Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta. If they were Catholic or Orthodox they wouldn’t miss one component (a triangle motion instead of a +).

I have a feeling you’re right. I always do smile when people make references to Catholicism without even knowing it. I may need to do this here too.

Thanks for answering so promptly.:smiley:

Still, it’s better than what they’re usually doing with their fingers. :smiley:

You asked for comments so in a nutshell, yes.

I do know what you mean, ValT. I used to wince every time I saw someone wearing a rosary like a necklace. But then it was pointed out that this is a form of ‘silent witness’, and we cannot predict the effects it may have. So I learned to tolerate it (big of me!), and hope that, inspite of how it seems, it may be that it works for God!

BTW - the mis - sign of the cross goes back quite a way. I recall that a mock-cross was around in the 70’s which went " king, jack, ace, queen" at respective points as the cross was made. :mad:

I only recall a few sports players who do this - and each of them, to me, do it quite genuinely.

I know there is a relief pitcher in the MLB that makes the sign after every inning he pitches, whether he performs well or not. I like that, it showed me that he was trusting in God even when he had a bad day.

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