What's with John Paul and the Inverted Cross?


On several anti-Catholic websites I come across pictures of John Paul II underneathe an upside-down cross. The anti-Catholic website then goes on to explain how an upside down cross is a sign of the Antichrist, or something like that.

Could someone please tell me if the upside down cross story has any validity? From what I understand, the upside down cross is used with John Paul II because Peter was crucified upside down–and so this symbol shows the apostolic link between John Paul II and Peter. However, it seems natural to think of an upside down cross as something unnatural and foreboding. In any case, perhaps someone can clear this charge up for me. :slight_smile:


Please take another look at what you say is an inverted cross. Are talking about the wooden cross pictured with JP II when he is sitting. I think that one was a gift from his native Poland.


Yeah, it does look like an inverted cross. Here is one site among many that makes accusations based on this fact:


I suppose that this inverted cross is cut out of or inscribed into a piece of stone (I can’t tell from just the pictures along). It’s been really bugging me lately, since I don’t know what to say. A Petrine symbol? That sounds likely; but what about all information about the inverted cross as meaning antichrist?


Yes, now I have seen the excellent pictures you provided. I have no comment as to why that cross appears as it does.


I doubt the pope picks out every chair he sits on.


I thought that it was on his chair (is there another word for it?) because it had to do with Peter being the first Pope and his crucifixion on an upside down cross…


Yeah, I can understand what Catholics say it means; I’m just trying to figure out where this whole “inverted cross” = Antichrist thing came from. Any thoughts?


I’ve seen this. I don’t think it’s an inverted cross. I think it’s another bit of unfortunate ultra-modern liturgical art, where the vertical beam has just been stretched out to meet the line of the top of the chair. I don’t know what some people are thinking about when they design liturgical accoutremont.


[quote=Madaglan]Yeah, I can understand what Catholics say it means; I’m just trying to figure out where this whole “inverted cross” = Antichrist thing came from. Any thoughts?

Some goofball probably made the anti-Christ fantasy up. I have always understood the inverted cross is a symbol of St. Peter. People are nuts! This man furthers the Christian message more than most people on the planet, and he is criticized because of the cross on his chair??? Some people to get a life. These people spend so much time looking for the anti-Christ that they can’t would be blind to Christ standing there looking them in the face. :mad:


THAT, madaglen, is indeed the question. where does this idea come from? the Bible (which the protestant sources call their only authority) never mentions an upside down cross, let alone associates it with satan.

so it is with almost every attack i’ve experienced by the protestants against the catholic church. the question almost sounds legitimate - until you ask where the question came FROM. ‘we don’t believe what you teach because it’s not in the Bible’ sounds legit. but where does that idea come from?? it’s not in the Bible. in fact, the Bible says to listen to the church.

in this case, i’m supposing that the upside down cross is representative of peter’s crucifixion. what i’m sure of is that it’s not a satanic symbol. it’s funny and sad at the same time, to me, that protestants choose this to attack, while they don’t even READ his encyclicals - which provide so much depth and richness and wisdom on so many subjects. why not learn what they’re criticizing?

but if they did THAT, they might become CATHOLIC… :slight_smile:

i did.


Boy, this is just another bunch of malarkey from the generation that demands a sign.

One visit to one European city and. as JKirkLVNV has said: another unfortunate piece of liturgical art.

I think that website with it’s overblown allegations is the internet version of a hate crime: bearing false witness.



It seems likely that the inverted cross notion as meaning antichrist was spawned by some Catholic-haters–probably the same ones who say IHS means three Egyptian gods. I was just wondering if in fact, historically, the inverted cross was used by some (before the Reformation) as a satanic sign, or as a sign of the Antichrist. But there doesn’t seem any evidence to suggest that, unless someone knows of any.


The cross of St. Peter is identified with the Pope, his successor. After the reformation anything associated with Rome was considered to be satanic. You can still see some obscene drawings and pamphlets Luther had made depicting the Pope dropping out of satan’s posterior.

Over the centuries the protestants forgot where some of these symbols came from. When one of them decided to give satanism a try, he used the symbols his parents and ancestors had always told him represented satan. So ironically the satanic inverted cross is in actuality the cross of St. Peter. :cool:




In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


This is all too funny. Anti-Catholics getting all freaked out over St. Peter’s Cross. It reminds me of when I was a kid and we got all freaked out over the “evidence” that Paul MacCartney was dead. We obsessed about it for months as I recall.

The anti-Catholics with their demonic conspiracy theories are like a bunch of pre-teens at a sleepover. :stuck_out_tongue:



Not to be contradictory, the inverted cross is indeed used in certain black rituals and is a sign of desecration (when taken IN THE CONTEXT OF A DESECRATION. I know it can, to us, stand for St. Peter). I just don’t think that the one on the chair the Holy Father is sitting on in those pictures happens to qualify. Look at the pic. with the whole chair in it. I think you really have to be grasping to say that that is other than a modern, vershamncy architectural detail.


That is precisely the mentality! Enough energy to be scandalized, but not enough to find out the truth.


Most of the pictures seem to be of John Paul II at a Eastern or Oriental Rite ceremony? There are several different crosses used in the Eastern and Oriental Church.

As someone also pointed out it may be just modern art?


Its not bad architecture, its a symbol for the papacy, and more precisely a symbol of peter’s martyrdom. since the pope occupies the “chair” (office) of peter, i think it makes plenty of sense.
the swastika (sp?) is also a catholic symbol long before the nazis put a bad conotation on it. its called a fylfot cross, its a symbol meaning “good fortune” from sanskrit i think. its plastered all over middle age era cathedrals.
I think it is good to remember that consecrated hosts are also used in satanic rituals, that doesnt make it evil.


the swastika (sp?) is also a catholic symbol long before the nazis put a bad conotation on it. its called a fylfot cross, its a symbol meaning “good fortune” from sanskrit i think. its plastered all over middle age era cathedrals.

Hmmm…For some reason I thought it was a Native American sign which meant “peace” or something along those lines. I think i’ll look into it. But I get your overall point.

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