Why are Protestents offended by the Corpus?


Something I have heard before is some Protestents are “offended” by the body of Christ hanging on the Cross.

I would like this thread to go on for a while and we all have a frank honest discussion about this.

I would be appreciative if a well grounded Protestent would start this discussion because I am convinced “not” to have the “Corpus” minimizes the sacrifice. The Cross does not save us, the Body does.

Thank you :slight_smile:


In a nut shell…Christ overcame death.


Many are not. Many Protestants recognize that the death of Christ is essential to the Gospel – Paul says “I preach Christ and him crucified.”

The empty cross (for Christians) emblems the resurrection, although one might argue that the cross, itself, is nothing but an instrument of death.

Just as Catholics use crosses without a Corpus, many Protestants use crucifixes in their personal devotion for the same reasons we do.

Those who intransigently reject crucifixes usually do so on the grounds of “graven images.” But they are usually not averse to depicting the crucifixion in art.


I must say, as I was a protestant for ten yrs. I have never heard anyone say they were offended by a crucifix. Thats would just be silly. They prefer the bare cross to proclaim Christ is risen. I just bought a 3 foot crucifix to hang in the foyer:)


I personally have never heard of a Protestant ever being “offended” by a crucifix, and many Protestants own a crucifix themselves.

I am convinced “not” to have the “Corpus” minimizes the sacrifice

That is impossible, so there is nothing to fear here.

Please remember that the crucifix is rather a late invention. It appeared first many centuries after Christ. Christ’s sacrifice was not minimized those centuries when no one, including all the Apostles, used a crucifix. I say, if it is good enough for the Apostles and martyrs, it is good enough for the rest of us.

The cross, however, has always been a symbol of our faith and Christ’s sacrifice. Christ is not on the cross. He hasn’t been for 2000 years. He is risen!


Actually, the cross comes into the history of Christian art rather late. Around the second quarter for the 4th century. Go figure.


No one’s going to be in any doubt which side you’re on. :thumbsup:


I think what myfavoritmartin is saying goes hand in hand with another observation by protestants that our sacrifice of the Mass in their view crucifies Christ again and again. That his sacrifice was not once and for all and that denies a basic tenet of their belief.

In teaching RCIA one year I has a woman who was an evangelical Christian in the class. The question of “Catholic guilt” came up and being Catholic I have always taken that phrase to reference our belief that sexual expression is reserved for one instance, and we are stuck in a condition of shame or guilt because we don’t go along with the Playboy magazine crowd. When I asked her to define it, she said that “Catholics believe that the cross wasn’t enough” Sure opened my eyes as to what some of our fellow Christians believe about Catholics.

Protestants (from my observation) believe that Christ overcame death, redeemed man, and returned to His Father’s house and sits at His right hand.
Catholics believe that Christ did that, but instituted a Church in which He lives here on earth in the sacraments he left us.
Our idea of Jesus being more than a historical figure who now reigns with His Father, and the way we express that reality, presents a problem for much of the Protestant world.

My two cents.


Some don’t like the corpus, because they really don’t want to be reminded of what Christ suffered for us. For some, it makes them uncomfortable because of their own petty ailments and woes. Some just can’t deal with the Guilt, the corpus brings upon them.


Mostly, when I have found people “offended” by the Corpus (and this has not happened often in my experience) it is just a knee-jerk reaction that goes, “Catholics have that, therefore it is evil. Everything those idol-worshippers do is evil.”


Hey, Simon!!!

I’m reminded of Paul in Galations when I think of this topic:O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Although some may claim this describes an actual Crucifix, I hesitate to go that far. But it does paint the picture in one’s mind, if not on a canvas.

We, as Catholics, are reminded of Jesus crucified and risen many times during the Mass. Most poignantly in the Eucharist Prayers:

  1. Christ has Died, Christ has Risen, Christ will Come again!
  2. Lord, by this Cross and Resurrection, You have set us Free. You are the Savior of the World!
  3. Dying You destroyed our death. Rising You restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory!!

We usually recite one of these prayers after the priest has consecrated the host.


Didn’t this topic appear here before? I’m not afraid of the Crucifix we have one over our door.


Bottom line: they are overreacting to anything that smacks of “romanism”.


1 Corinthians 1:23
but we preach Christ crucified

1 Corinthians 2:2
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Weird, isn’t it?

Paul was not afraid to speak of the Crucified Christ, but Protestants today want little to do with that aspect of Jesus’ incarnation.

If Paul were alive today, he would wear a crucifix and not a cross.


Some protestants, Randy, some protestants. And I would guess very few at that. Paul, I suspect, would cherish both, as do and did most Catholics and non-catholics through history.



Fair enough.


This is a highly slanderous and false accusation.

I have never met a single Protestant that ever wanted “little to do” with the crucifixion.

If Paul were alive today, he would wear a crucifix and not a cross.

Paul was alive and he never thought of a crucifix and never wore one. The same goes for all the Apostles. This was the way it was for all the martyrs as well. This is the way it was for centuries.

They all seemed to do fine without them. Is that actually shocking to some that that is even possible?

Very unfortunate worldview with minds on the materialistic.


Really? Well, just watch your TV tomorrow morning and see how much “prosperity gospel” is preached. There’s a lot more emphasis on receiving blessings than there is on dying to self, IMO. Folks naturally want to avoid sharing in the sufferings of Christ, but they are all to eager to share in the resurrection. Human nature, wouldn’t you say?

Paul was alive and he never thought of a crucifix and never wore one. The same goes for all the Apostles. This was the way it was for all the martyrs as well. This is the way it was for centuries.

But that is not the point.

TODAY the wearing of crosses and crucifixes IS common among Christians, and it is my contention that if he were alive today, Paul would identify more closely with and “preach Christ crucified” by wearing a crucifix rather than an empty cross as is more common among Protestants.


Here’s the way I’ve heard it voiced to me (by a virulent anti-catholic).

“Walk into any Catholic Church and what do you see? A DEAD JESUS. Catholics believe Jesus is powerless and helpless to do anything for them. All Catholic art shows Jesus either dead or else as a weak helpless baby. Catholics need to keep Jesus helpless and powerless in order to make everyone turn to Mary and to their own good works to save them.”

See, it’s people like that who reassure me that there’s such a thing as ‘invincible ignorance.’ Anyone that far gone mentally just can’t be responsible for their actions.


Got a source for this?

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