The crucifix vs. the cross


#1

Can anyone help with the following: The protestant church has an empty cross that signifies the resurrection of Christ, which they say that shows the message of the gospel “better.” Any help with the Catholic position to speak against it? Thanks.


#2

[quote=mj330]Can anyone help with the following: The protestant church has an empty cross that signifies the resurrection of Christ, which they say that shows the message of the gospel “better.” Any help with the Catholic position to speak against it? Thanks.
[/quote]

I don’t think the Catholic position would say there’s necessarily anything wrong with an empty cross in general. The crucifix is better because it’s more apt to remind us of the huge sacrifice and price Jesus paid for our sins. This is especially pertinent at the Mass, which is the perpetuation of that same sacrifice (and why the GIRM mandates a crucifix I believe).


#3

I believe this subject to be a personal one. Everyone today knows what a cross or crucifix represents. However, the Church (and my personal pref) is the crucifix. It reminds us of the sacrifice made by Christ for humanity. Christ didn’t save us from sin by coming off the cross, but rather by dying on it. THAT was the greatest gift.

Those that choose to use a bare cross and the argument that “Catholics think that Christ is still on the cross” choose to focus not on the price of their salvation but on the resurrection; which was proof of Christ’s being God; however, it’s not the resurrection that saved us.


#4

when it comes to displaying the cross in Church it is not a matter of personal preference. A Catholic Church is required to have a crucifix, with the corpus of the crucified Christ, not the risen Christ present prominently during the celebration of Mass to make it perfectly clear that the Mass IS the sacrifice of Calvary and without the sacrifice there could be no resurrection. The Protestant view is the Sacrifice of Jesus was a one-time historical event, as was the resurrection, over and done with. The Catholic view is that the entire Paschal Mystery, from Holy Thursday, Good Friday through to the Resurrection and Ascension is sacramentally present and we participate in it sacramentally through every single Mass celebrated in every time and place by the Church. We are united in this way to the salvific action of Christ and to all Catholics past, present and future.


#5

I have heard some Catholics argue in favor of the crucifix and against the bare cross by noting that the demons wanted Jesus to come down from the cross. Therefore, to show a cross without the corpus is an offense to Christ’s salvific work.

Fiat


#6

In my opinion, the resurrection proved that Jesus was God but did nothing for our salvation. That was accomplished when he took the sins of the world upon himself and died. Plus, Jesus did not arise from the cross, but from the tomb. His body was taken down from the cross by people. It seems to me that those who prefer a symbol of the resurrection should use an empty tomb rather than an empty cross.


#7

[quote=puzzleannie]when it comes to displaying the cross in Church it is not a matter of personal preference. A Catholic Church is required to have a crucifix, with the corpus of the crucified Christ, not the risen Christ present prominently during the celebration of Mass to make it perfectly clear that the Mass IS the sacrifice of Calvary and without the sacrifice there could be no resurrection. The Protestant view is the Sacrifice of Jesus was a one-time historical event, as was the resurrection, over and done with. The Catholic view is that the entire Paschal Mystery, from Holy Thursday, Good Friday through to the Resurrection and Ascension is sacramentally present and we participate in it sacramentally through every single Mass celebrated in every time and place by the Church. We are united in this way to the salvific action of Christ and to all Catholics past, present and future.
[/quote]

I think that you misunderstand me. I am NOT suggesting that it is a personal prefence to use a cross w/o the corpus in the Mass or for that matter, be placed inside of a Catholic church. When I read the question I assumed (maybe wrongly so) that it was referring to individuals wearing one or the other or hanging one or the other on a wall in ones house. I apologize if I was not clear enough.


#8

Speak out against them ???

The MOD SQUAD is putting them up in Catholic churches now in favor of Crucifixes :frowning:


#9

[quote=mj330]Can anyone help with the following: The protestant church has an empty cross that signifies the resurrection of Christ, which they say that shows the message of the gospel “better.” Any help with the Catholic position to speak against it? Thanks.
[/quote]

“an empty cross that signifies the resurrection of Christ” Would not an empty tomb signify this better? It is not the cross itself that brought about the graces necessary for the forgiveness of our sins. It was Christ’s sacrifice and death on that Cross. The living presence of Christ in the Eucharist is the greatest of all proofs of Christ’s Resurection from the dead. Even those walking with Him on the road did not recognize Him until the Breaking of The Bread!


#10

Perhaps St. Paul said it best:

1 Cor 2:2

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

or did St. Paul get it wrong?

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#11

Does anyone know the historical timeframe when prots started to use bare crosses?

It seems to me a more modern day thing. One thing I think of is the Passion movie. Catholics really take all that suffering that Jesus did to heart. Protestants today dont like to think about blood and suffering. The fact that the CC uses the term “Passion” represnets a deeper understanding of the situation.


#12

This is so funny me and my husband are converting to catholic and were having this discussion just last night. I am converting from lds. You will not find a single cross or picture of a cross anywhere in a lds home or church. So I have been trained from childhood to not be comfortable with any crosses and more especially crucifixs. We were even instructed as a lds ward to not see the passion. Because it was graphic in detail and that we didn’t need to concentrate on that aspect of christs life and death. One of the first things I am trying to do is to get used to this religious symbol. I am starting easy a cross. It is a small gold empty, my training crucifix. But I anticipate moving up to a crucifix as I grow more comfortable. As for having one in my home I have to overcome alot of ingrained thinking to move myself to the proper mind set. Probably the first crucifix I get will be very busy so as to deemphasize the body of the savior in the middle. But I long for the day where I am awestruck by a simple crucifix and have let go all of my earlier teachings so that I can properly enjoy this manifestation of faith.


#13

[quote=Catholic Dude]Does anyone know the historical timeframe when prots started to use bare crosses?

It seems to me a more modern day thing. One thing I think of is the Passion movie. Catholics really take all that suffering that Jesus did to heart. Protestants today dont like to think about blood and suffering. The fact that the CC uses the term “Passion” represnets a deeper understanding of the situation.
[/quote]

Hi Catholic Dude,
I searched for more information on this topic and found this website christianideas.org/thecross.htm. It was very interesting reading and according to the information on the site, you are correct. Protestants didn’t start using the “bare cross” until recently. Originally, they did away with ALL crosses and anything that might even remotely link them to the Catholic Church.:frowning:


#14

[quote=Tietjen]Hi Catholic Dude,
I searched for more information on this topic and found this website christianideas.org/thecross.htm. It was very interesting reading and according to the information on the site, you are correct. Protestants didn’t start using the “bare cross” until recently. Originally, they did away with ALL crosses and anything that might even remotely link them to the Catholic Church.:frowning:
[/quote]

Yeah and I’ve always wondered why instead of a cross on top of the spire, their churches tended to have those tall, pointy things.


#15

The crucifix repels evil spirits… kind of makes you think.


#16

This isn’t on topic but it made me think of something that happened to me recently. I was in search of a small silver crucifix for my sister for her birthday. I was at our local Mall and I went to THREE jewelry stores and when I told them I was looking for a silver CRUCIFIX, they showed me a selection of crosses. I said, “no , Im’ looking for a CRUCIFIX, you know a cross with Jesus on it?” and they said, “oh, we don’t have any of those right now.” I ended up going to a shrine gift shop in St. Augustine to purchase one. I thought that was strange so I wanted to share it with you all. Nobody seemed to know the difference.


#17

[quote=Lucania]This isn’t on topic but it made me think of something that happened to me recently. I was in search of a small silver crucifix for my sister for her birthday. I was at our local Mall and I went to THREE jewelry stores and when I told them I was looking for a silver CRUCIFIX, they showed me a selection of crosses. I said, “no , Im’ looking for a CRUCIFIX, you know a cross with Jesus on it?” and they said, “oh, we don’t have any of those right now.” I ended up going to a shrine gift shop in St. Augustine to purchase one. I thought that was strange so I wanted to share it with you all. Nobody seemed to know the difference.
[/quote]

That’s society for ya. They can remember the instrument used, but not the Man the instrument was used on. :frowning:


#18

[quote=mj330]Can anyone help with the following: The protestant church has an empty cross that signifies the resurrection of Christ, which they say that shows the message of the gospel “better.” Any help with the Catholic position to speak against it? Thanks.
[/quote]

Our Lord suffered and died for us. It is His Crusifixion which brings forgiveness of Sin. Can you help with the protestant position to speak against this?

Also, how do they show what it cost Him to bring us that forgiveness?

May the peace of Christ be with you.


#19

[quote=Ignatius]Our Lord suffered and died for us. It is His Crusifixion which brings forgiveness of Sin. Can you help with the protestant position to speak against this?

Also, how do they show what it cost Him to bring us that forgiveness?

May the peace of Christ be with you.
[/quote]

  1. Best I can say is that Christ died once and for all and that He presented Himself into the Holy of Holies once; therefore, the completed work is not necessarily reflected by the cross but by the resurrection. I may not have articulated this well enough, perhaps another can explain it better.
  2. Isaiah 53.

Have a good day. Peace.


#20

[quote=puzzleannie]when it comes to displaying the cross in Church it is not a matter of personal preference. A Catholic Church is required to have a crucifix, with the corpus of the crucified Christ, not the risen Christ present prominently during the celebration of Mass to make it perfectly clear that the Mass IS the sacrifice of Calvary and without the sacrifice there could be no resurrection. The Protestant view is the Sacrifice of Jesus was a one-time historical event, as was the resurrection, over and done with. The Catholic view is that the entire Paschal Mystery, from Holy Thursday, Good Friday through to the Resurrection and Ascension is sacramentally present and we participate in it sacramentally through every single Mass celebrated in every time and place by the Church. We are united in this way to the salvific action of Christ and to all Catholics past, present and future.
[/quote]

Annie,
I agree could not have said it better.

Fogny


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