Is a Cross with the Risen Christ licit? By Michael Prabhu

 Due to technical reasons the photographs could not be loaded.Readers who need the complete article with photographs may visit,Michaels website 

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_RISEN_CHRIST_ON_A_CROSS.doc

michaelprabhu@vsnl.net www.ephesians-511.net

“Not to oppose error is to approve it, and not to defend the truth is to suppress it” – Pope St. Felix III

Note: In this report I may occasionally use bold print, Italics, or word underlining for emphasis. This will be my personal emphasis and not that of the source that I am quoting.

Q:

 Dear Ron,

This is an issue that was brought to me by conservative Catholics. They are upset over the following. The most popular new icon being installed in Indian churches seems to be the one of the Risen Christ. These icons are often behind the main altar, sometimes outside the church building. The main problem for these Catholics is that the wounds of Jesus are not visible. They seem to believe that such an icon comes from Mormonism, which treats the passion of Jesus as a past thing and irrelevant today. They are familiar with the approved icon that is used at Easter tide and which shows Jesus’ wounds. They argue that there is neither precedent nor ecclesial approval for this new model. Your comments please.

Regards, Michael Prabhu – India

A:

 First, I point out that the Catholic Church writes its laws and doctrines in a style referred to as the positive-affirmative. This simply means that what they write is what is either required or what is permitted. As an example, The Sacramentary has a section in the beginning that lists what is permitted to be placed upon the altar[1].

However, it does not say what is not permitted. For instance, it does not say that there cannot be a statue of Buddha on the altar, although we all know this is not permissible. As you can imagine, if the Church was required to list all prohibited items the lists would indeed run into the millions! I think you ‘get the picture’ here. I occasionally hear about clergy and laity claiming things like, “the Sacramentary doesn’t prohibit this which means it is all right”.  They are, of course, wrong and are attempting to use a lame excuse to justify their errors. Things such as a cross with a risen Christ are ‘modernist ideas’ implemented at various local levels without Vatican approval! As a reference point for you, I am quoting from The Sacramentary used in the USA. India may have some variations in The Sacramentary that is used there. The Sacramentary and The General Instructions of the Roman Missal are the primary books that describe what images that are required or permitted within a Church. Since neither mentions a risen Christ on a cross we turn to Canon Law. “The liturgical books approved by competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore no one on personal authority may add, remove or change anything in them.”[2]

As you know from reading my reports, I extensively quote and footnote writings that are from or about HolyChurch. So, finding writings to quote about what is prohibited is scant at best! I will begin my answer by quoting some things on this subject that do originate with HolyChurch.

There is also to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, either on the altar or near it, where it is clearly visible to the assembled congregation. It is appropriate that such a cross, which calls to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord, remain near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations.”[3]

“Sacred Images: Images of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Saints, in that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which she journeys as a pilgrim, and where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God; and by venerating the memory of the Saints, she hopes one day to have some part and fellowship with them.

Thus, images of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Saints, in accordance with the Church’s most ancient tradition, should be displayed for veneration by the faithful in sacred buildings and should be arranged so as to usher the faithful toward the mysteries of faith celebrated there.”[4] A risen Christ on a cross will not draw people to the Passion and suffering and death of Jesus on Calvary!

With the above in mind, many if not most people who convert to our Catholic faith get their first exposure to our beliefs by visiting the inside of one of our churches, perhaps during a wedding or funeral. If these ‘newbies’ are introduced to a risen Christ on a cross they can easily become confused and possibly believe that we teach that Jesus was resurrected on the cross (a heresy), not from a burial cave! Catholic images and statuary have always been a central element to teaching us about our faith and drawing us to meditate upon what we see! “Holy images have a similar purpose. When we look at the crucifix (not a risen Christ on a cross), it reminds us of the sacrifice of Jesus. Our thoughts may have been wandering, but when we see the crucifix, we are able to refocus and return to prayer. As our physical eyes look at the statue, painting, card, or other image it helps the ‘eyes’ of our heart and mind to turn to Him Who is represented in the artwork. Through history many images were also meant to instruct the faithful. When reading and books were not accessible to the masses, the artwork in the church was a teaching tool.”[5]

By the accounts of the mysteries of our redemption, portrayed in pictures or in other representations, the people are instructed and confirmed in the articles of faith which should be kept in mind and constantly pondered over – The Council of Trent.”[6]

“For St. Paul, the Cross of Christ was not only a precious remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death, but also a symbol closely associated with His sacrifice and the mystery of the Passion. It was, moreover, natural that it should be venerated.”[7]

“The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, ‘the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype’, and ‘whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it’. The honor paid to sacred images is a ‘respectful veneration’, not the adoration due to God alone.”[8]

“The altar of the New Covenant is the Lord’s Cross (in our faith the cross means a crucifix), from which the sacraments of the Paschal mystery flow.”[9]

“By His glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men.”[10]

Over the many years of doing Catholic research I frequently check the columns written by the Catholic experts at the Eternal Word Television Network (Mother Angelica) in Irondale, Alabama. EWTN has a multi-decade reputation of being orthodox and traditional. I will quote from a few of their past Q&A’s concerning the risen Christ on a cross.

“I would still try to make the argument, however, that a “resurrected” crucifix is not a crucifix at all, but a flight of artistic fancy that is historical and not founded in Catholic liturgical tradition. The signs of sacrifice on the resurrected Lord are the marks of the nails and the opening in His side, not the Cross behind Him. That is biblically, historically and liturgically incorrect.”[11]

Question: Which cross is preferred/acceptable as the main Crucifix in the front of CatholicChurches, the Crucified Christ or the Risen Christ?

Answer: The Crucified Christ, because it was His Crucifixion that saved us.”[12]

Question: Is there a rule or regulation requiring that a cross present on an altar during Mass must contain a corpus?

Answer: The image of the cross should preferably be a crucifix, that is, have the corpus attached, especially in the case of a cross that is erected in a place of honor inside a church.

The Ceremonial of Bishops comments that the image on the cross is to face forward. (n. 128) In the Latin version (of The Ceremonial of Bishops), which is the authoritative version, “cross” is “crux” meaning a crucifix. This has always meant a crucifix. The same word is used in documents before and after the Second Vatican Council. Had a new interpretation of this word been intended, mention would have been made somewhere. A risen Christ crucifix is an oxymoron and does not fulfill the requirement for a crucifix since a risen Christ is not a crucified Christ.”[13]

“As the entrance song is being sung, the procession moves from the vesting room (sacristy) to the sanctuary (chancel) in the following order: censer bearer carrying a censer with burning incense; an acolyte carrying the cross, with the image to the front, etc.”[14]

“The General Instruction of the Roman Missal requires that a crucifix (a cross with a corpus of the crucified Lord on it) be on or near the altar. If there is a crucifix affixed to the wall or suspended above the altar or if the processional crucifix is placed near the altar, then no additional crucifix is needed on the altar.”[15]

“In the context of the Roman liturgy, ‘cross’ means a crucifix (a cross with Christ crucified upon it). A figure of a risen Christ behind an altar cannot be regarded as a substitute for the cross.”[16]

What some modernist churches allow is almost unbelievable. A few years ago I visited a Catholic Church within my own diocese to pickup some old pews for a shrine. I observed, in the sanctuary, a full-size statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a lot of exposed cleavage! So, would venerating this image bring to mind all that our Lady represents or could it bring us to the near occasion of sin by having lustful fantasies? (This paragraph is just a bit of venting on my part).

If you need further information, please ask. END

This report prepared on November 16, 2010 by Ronald Smith, 11701 Maplewood Road, Chardon, Ohio44024-8482, E-mail: <hfministry@roadrunner.com>. Readers may copy and distribute this report as desired to anyone as long as the content is not altered and it is copied in its entirety. In this little ministry I do free Catholic and occult related research and answer your questions. Questions are answered in this format with detailed footnotes on all quotes. If you have a question(s), please submit it to this landmail or e-mail address. Answers are usually forthcoming within one week. PLEASE NOTIFY ME OF ANY ERRORS THAT YOU MAY OBSERVE!

Å Let us recover by penance what we have lost by sin Å

THE ENQUIRY WHICH I FORWARDED TO RON SMITH- MICHAEL

From: Name Withheld To: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net Sent:Sunday, October 24, 201010:39 PM

Subject: Fw: The idol and the Mormon rejection of the cross

Dear Michael,

It was nice talking to you this morning… I’m attaching an article as per our telephonic discussion. It would be helpful if you could provide additional insight after going through the article.

God Bless you and your family. CR, Goa

Godhead (Latter Day Saints) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godhead_%28Latter_Day_Saints%29

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrection of Jesus, as depicted in this replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen‘s Christus statue located in the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints#cite_note-35#cite_note-35

Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus’ status as the son of a mortal woman (Mary) gave him the ability to suffer temptation (yet he did not succumb to it)[53] and experience physical death; while his status as the Son of God gave him the power to lay down and take up his life again at will. The church also believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus’ body.[54]

Because of its emphasis on Jesus’ resurrection and his status as the living head of the church, the church does not use the symbol of the Christian cross except on the uniforms of military chaplains. Instead, the church tends to focus on the belief that Jesus overcame suffering and death and that he lives today.

[53] Newsroom.lds.org. “Euthanasia and Prolonging Life”. Press release. http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=aae4b28d7cb9f010VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=726511154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD. Retrieved March 2007.

[54] Newsroom.lds.org (2006-10-19). “Political Neutrality”. Press release. http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=6203d93c8688f010VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=726511154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD. Retrieved March 2007 ; see also Newsroom.lds.org, “No Thumbs Up or Down To Legislature”, Retrieved May 2007.

   

     THE RISEN CHRIST …ON A CROSS                    …WITH THE WOUNDS OF THE PASSION

 

A SECOND ENQUIRY

From: Name Withheld To: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net Cc: director@ephesians5-11.org

Sent:Monday, November 22, 20109:42 AM

Subject: How to open discussion regarding Risen Christ statue in the church and homes

Dear Bro in Jesus Christ, praised be the name of Jesus and Mary,

In our church we have the Risen Christ idol from last 4yrs+. I request your help by the grace of God how to tackle this situation and to remove the same. Please guide me with church documents to this effect as to how it has entered the church. Also enlighten me all other errors which has entered the church for which what precaution we may take for the same. Kindly also update me with all changes and facts via my email. Thanking you and may God bless you all and us. AF (V), Mumbai

From: prabhu To: Name Withheld Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 10:48 AM

Subject: Re: How to open discussion regarding Risen Christ statue in the church and homes

Dear V…

On the subject of the “Risen Christ” I do have some information for you. I have to retrieve it and then send it.

In the meantime, I hope you don’t mind my asking you how you obtained my email address.

May I also have your telephone number please? Love and prayers, Michael NO RESPONSE

                                              THE RISEN CHRIST ON A CROSS

 

                                       TRADITIONAL RESURRECTED CHRIST ICONS

                                                           

From: Name Withheld To: prabhu Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 10:43 AM

Subject: Re: CONFESSION PROBLEM

Dear Michael, […] Your “Emperor Emmanuel” report was very enlightening.

Also your article on the “Risen Lord” images.

More and more people are installing the image of the Risen Lord. In our very parish, they are circulating the Risen Lord images to all the families.

There is an urgent need for the awareness of subtle errors that are creeping in the Catholic Church.

1. The whole emphasis is on “Celebration” which has evolved through the charismatic understanding that the Lord is risen and so there is need to “Rejoice and Celebrate”. In fact, Fr. Erasto of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers openly teaches that Christ died and rose at the same time.

2. Actually, resurrection is the ‘result’ of the passion of Christ. Therefore, the need of a crucifix to remind us as long as we are in the world we have to carry our cross and die on it. Here the emphasis is more on penance, sacrifice, mortification and a continuous purification through the Blood of Jesus. What is strange is that the charismatic or the new movements call on the Blood of Christ without going through his passion or meditating on his suffering.

3. The world is suffering and it needs a God who is on their side. When they look at him struggling on the cross innocently, it definitely gives them hope to live. By just focusing on the “Risen Lord” and bypassing his suffering, it does not give us hope.

4. Whenever an “Exorcism” is done, the priest uses the “Crucifix” and not the “Risen Lord”. Satan is defeated by seeing the wounds of Jesus bleeding and the smell of the Blood suffocates him.

Hence, it is highly recommended to keep a crucifix either big or small to ward off our homes from all evil and to continue to protect us, so that the Lord sees the blood on our lintel and pass by. Our Lady of La Salette gives us a crucifix with added tools – hammer & pliers. Actually Our Lady of La Salette is seen wearing this crucifix and she has promised that this crucifix would emanate “Light” during the dark days.

5. Imagine how improper it would be to take away the crucifix from St .Francis Xavier’s hand and replace it with the “Risen Lord”.

6. “Every time anyone kisses the Crucifix or looks at it with devotion, the gaze of the Blessed Trinity is fixed upon that soul – and at the same moment a wondrous beauty is added to that soul, and a reward treasured for an endless glory”- Words to St. Gertrude.

Thanking you very much for all your mails and your fervent love for the Church. Keep doing the good work. God Bless you. Keep good health. Praying for you. Continue praying for priests.

                                 

 

 

 

                                               Risen Christ on Cross

Q: Dear Mr. Ronald Smith, I request you to kindly e-mail me detailed information of therisen Christ on the cross. Here in India there are several Catholic Churches that have taken down the corpus cross and have put up the risen Christ on the cross. The faithful are also following this trend in their homes as well as many book stores are selling these risen Christ crosses. Another error is that the image of Christ has the left foot over the right.

Capt. Mervin John Lobo, Mahim, Mumbai 400 016 India

A:Capt. Lobo: Along with this report I am sending you my original report dated November 16, 2010 titled Is A Cross With The Risen Cross Licit? It should answer all of your questions regarding the Risen Christ Cross. “The cross (meaning a cross with attached corpus of Jesus) is the most widespread and venerated sacramental of the Church. This symbol of mankind’s redemption has been used since the early days of the Church, and today it is present in all Catholic and most Christian Churches (without a corpus).”[17]

“There is also to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, either on the altar or near it, where it is clearly visible to the assembled congregation. It is appropriate that such a cross, which calls to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord, remain near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations.”[18]

Most crucifixes are made showing the right foot of Jesus crossing on top of His left foot. However, some people have told me that they have a crucifix of Jesus with His left foot crossed over His right foot. In all of my research documents I cannot find a rubric (requirement) for one way or the other.

This report prepared on Holy Wednesday, April 21, 2011 by Ronald Smith, 11701 Maplewood Road, Chardon, Ohio 44024-8482, E-mail: <hfministry@roadrunner.com>. Readers may copy and distribute this report as desired to anyone as long as the content is not altered and it is copied in its entirety. In this little ministry I do free Catholic and occult related research and answer your questions. Questions are answered in this format with detailed footnotes on all quotes. If you have a question(s), please submit it to this landmail or e-mail address. Answers are usually forthcoming within one week. PLEASE NOTIFY ME OF ANY DOCTRINAL ERRORS THAT YOU MAY OBSERVE!

Let us recover by penance what we have lost by sin

Our church has a large cross with a figure of the risen Christ attached but no crucifix. Even the processional cross has the risen Christ. Shouldn’t there be a crucifix near the altar?

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/quickquestions/?qid=176

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal instructs that there must be a cross (with a crucified corpus) on or near the altar, “positioned either on the altar or near it, and . . . clearly visible to the people gathered there” (GIRM 308). In the case where a crucifix is not in the sanctuary, the processional cross with the figure of Christ crucified upon it would be an option.-Peggy Frye

michaelprabhu@vsnl.net www.ephesians-511.net

 

 


[1] The Sacramentary, (1985), Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York, NY., Paragraph 79, P. 31

[2] Code of Canon Law, ISBN. 0-943616-20-4, (1983), Canon Law Society of America, Washington, D.C., Canon 846.1, P. 321

[3] General Instruction of the Roman Missal, ISBN. 1-57555-543-3, Publication No. 5-543, US Council of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C., Paragraph 308, P. 103

[4] General Instruction of the Roman Missal, ISBN. 1-57555-543-3, Publication No. 5-543, US Council of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C., Paragraph 318, P. 108

[5] The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions, ISBN. 0-87973-415-9, (2000), Mike Aquilina and Regis J. Flaherty, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, IN., P.P. 180-181

[6] The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions, ISBN. 0-87973-415-9, (2000), Mike Aquilina and Regis J. Flaherty, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, IN., P. 180

[7] The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. IV, (1908), Robert Appleton Co., New York, NY., P. 529

[8] Catechism of the Catholic Church, ISBN. 0-932406-23-8,  (1994), Apostolate for Family Consecration, Bloomingdale, OH., Paragraph 2132, P. 517

[9] Catechism of the Catholic Church, ISBN. 0-932406-23-8,  (1994), Apostolate for Family Consecration, Bloomingdale, OH., Paragraph 1182, P. 306

[10] Catechism of the Catholic Church, ISBN. 0-932406-23-8,  (1994), Apostolate for Family Consecration, Bloomingdale, OH., Paragraph 1741, P. 432

[11] EWTN Q&A, (09/26/2002), by Colin B. Donovan, STL, Irondale, AL.

[12] EWTN Q&A, (05/06/2002), by Dr. William Carroll, Irondale, AL.

[13] EWTN Q&A, (01/28/2002), by Bill Bilton, Irondale, AL.

[14] Ceremonial of Bishops, ISBN. 0-8146-1818-9, (1989) The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN., Paragraph 128, P. 51

[15] EWTN Q&A, (06/03/2009), by Rev. Fr. Mark Gantley, Irondale, AL.

[16] Welcome to the Catholic Church CD-ROM, (1996), Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite – paragraph 64, Harmony Media, Gervais, OR.

[17] A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, ISBN. 0-87973-448-5, (1991), Nihil Obstat & Imprimatur, Ann Ball, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, IN., P. 42

[18] General Instruction of the Roman Missal, ISBN. 1-57555-543-3, April 2003, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C., Paragraph 305, P. 103

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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5 Responses to Is a Cross with the Risen Christ licit? By Michael Prabhu

  1. Ralph Coelho says:

    The Risen Christ was the Christ who converted St. Paul, the one who convinced the other Apostles that Jesus came to save all, not only Jews; that circumcision or conversion to Judaism was not a necessity for Baptism;

    • Croydon. says:

      Dear Ralph, your point is valid. But what does that have to do with displaying a risen Christ on the cross. My apologies if I have misunderstood, but are you suggesting that the suffering and death of our Lord on the cross is nothing compared to his resurrection? Another question for you, is a risen Christ on the cross a CRUCIFIX?

  2. fergus misquitta says:

    Dear Michael and other friends who are as confused as I am. I have a suggestion why not (the old fogies who tweaked around the words of the liturgy of the MASS causing such a waste of time money and other resources, the printing of all the books, and the distraction at Mass with the fidgeting with the newly printed leaflets; I really want to ask what is the difference, and what was the need?? in India the land of scams one would think it was to facilitate some printing press or paper manufacturer), sit down for one more elaborate Council and once and for all, decide this issue. Then the POPE with his infallibility power should properly pronounce his verdict. With all these new fangled sects/theories/groups floating around one really does not know what is correct to believe. many regards from a confused East Indian Catholic who is now 70 and does not need to doubt.

  3. I have asked The Holy Father and/or his rep at New Delhi to provide a feedback to this issue.I am confused and need to have the correct answers when my Non Catholic brother and sisters in India put these questions to me.Its surprising the our Church leaders need to be pushed to give us the strength to and wisdom to stand up for our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Lets await a response from The Holy Father and/or his rep.
    Lord Help us, we pray.

  4. Pingback: Is a Cross with the Risen Christ licit? « EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

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