*From hereon in my words are italicized.
Obelisk… That big stone structure in the middle of St. Peter’s square. It’s on the news a lot these days. The obelisks of Rome are a favorite target of the more vicious anti-Catholic hate cults. I am referring to the hate cults that in no way represent mainstream Protestantism. Most Protestants I have met in my life are good Christians.*
The pagans used obelisks, so that proves Catholicism must be pagan. So the theory goes.
The following is from a book written by a non-Catholic Egyptologist. Notice there is no explanation as to why this particular obelisk has no inscriptions on it. There are also Egyptian obelisks in many cities in the world, including Washington D.C. The following is from a secular book.*
The Obelisk in the Piazza di San Pietro
The obelisks of the Piazza San Pietro, Piazza dell’ Esuilino, and the Piazza del Quirinale are all uninscribed. Their dates, provenances, and the reasons they were left uninscribed are not known…Neither Flinders Petrie, nor any other excavator working in the ruins of Heliopolis, has ever found an obelisk, or even a small fragment of an obelisk, that was uninscribed. The sovereigns of ancient Egypt were ever eager to decorate monuments with their own names and with phrases proclaiming their own glory, no matter what the size of the monument. The only undecorated obelisks in Egypt were unfinished ones abandoned in their quarries, and in fact one of these decoration was already in progress. More probably, the uninscribed obelisks were quarried in Egypt by the Roman emperors expressly to be taken to Rome, although it is possible that they were left incomplete because of the untimely death of the pharaoh.
The Obelisk in the Piazza di San Pietro is important chiefly by its surroundings… It is made of red granite and stands 25.37 meters high. It was erected in the Julian Forum in Alexandria by order of Augustus and remained their until 37 A.D. when the Emperor Caligula ordered the forum demolished and the obelisk transferred to Rome. It was then erected in the Vatican Circus, and there it remained until its removal to the square before the Basilica of St. Peter (1586). Legend (the author is writing as an archeologist when he says ‘legend’, not as an early church historian) has it that in the Vatican Circus innumerable Christians, including St. Peter and that the reason this obelisk was not later overturned as were all the others in Rome was that was looked upon as the witness to the martyrdom of St. Peter.
Pope Sixtus V appointed engineer Domenico Fontana to move the obelisk from the Vatican Circus…
April 28, 1586, Fontana and his men attended Mass at 2:AM, and later offered public prayers for the success of this feat….
Dedication ceremonies, Mass, and a procession with the entire papal court went to the obelisk More prayers, were offered and the obelisk was purified, and surmounted with a cross.
Former Chief Inspector of Antiquities, is an Egyptian archeologist who has published several books on Egyptology, as well as many articles in many journals.
Obelisks of the World, by Labib Habachi, Scribner’s Sons, 1974, page 74-75
*On the top of this Christianized pagan symbol, is a cross. Inside this cross, is a relic of the true cross. The obelisk at the Vatican stood in the presence of hundreds of the earliest Christian martyrs. The obelisk is a monument to them, not to the beliefs of its makers who killed them… To accuse Catholicism of paganism because of a monument to our roots is an insult to the deaths of the martyrs who refused to pay homage to Roman gods.
Sure, the obelisk at the Vatican has a lot to do with Roman paganism. It’s defeat by the blood of the martyrs and the spreading of the God’s love.
The cross is a symbol of our faith. Contrary to the hate cultists and their insane attempt to discredit the Catholic Church, the cross is not a pagan idol.*
Is Catholicism Pagan?