Catholicism

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by TrainingForUtopia, Apr 2, 2002.

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  1. darthdrago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2003
    star 4
    I personally don't mind when someone wears a crucifix as a 'fashion statement', but I do think it looks kind of clumsy and shallow when worn by someone who doesn't consider themselves Christian or devout. I say this because wearing the cross could lead other folks to think you're practicing the faith, and therefore they could make (mis)judgements of you for it. Yes, being judgemental is the problem of the other person doing the judging, but it's a reflexive reaction that we all engage in at one point or another.

    If someone wore the Star of David or the Crescent & Star purely because they like the way it looked as a fashion accessory, other people might naturally think that person was Jewish or Muslim, because those symbols are so heavily identified with practicing those respective faiths. (And that's not even including what practicing Jews & Muslims themselves might think if they saw non-believers wearing those symbols...)
  2. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2006
    star 2
    There is a difference between a cross and a crucifix. A crucifix is more elaborate in that it has the figure of Jesus on it. What you are probably seeing in most jewellery designs is likely to be a cross in most cases. I have only ever seen the crucifix on Christian items, and even then, they were usually Catholic ones. I personally feel that while the crucifix is an exclusively Christian symbol, and, to a great extent, even a largely only Catholic one, the cross is not. For example, it is the most easily recognisable symbol of the International Red Cross. That said, there are no other major religions which use the cross as a visual signal, and as such, it does perturb me when I see it used on various 'secular' things for purely decorative reasons. But it has become quite widespread, and I suppose I can live with it.


    Yes, what Darth_Overlord said. Many of my Catholic friends wear a crucifix around their neck, and I myself received one from my parents upon the occasion of my Confirmation. It helps me focus during prayer, and it helps to remind me that I am a Catholic and should think, speak and behave like one. :)
  3. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    As a Mormon, I have never quite understood the cross and crucifix thing. As one of the few Christian denominations that doesn't use that symbol, we explain it by asking if your son was shot if you would carry around a little gun to remember him by. As a missionary in a predominately Catholic country the only people I baptized were Catholics. We didn't try to bash the Catholic beliefs, but it was always somewhat funny when the ex-Catholics would go off and be pretty harsh because we would kind of have to settle them down and tell them to be nice.
  4. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    The idea of the crucifix as a "symbol" is probably a relatively recent development in the scheme of things. I haven't made any effort to verify this, but I'm sure it has its origins in medieval (and probably pre-medieval; I can just talk about medieval because that's what I know) devotional practices. It was a big thing, for instance, to meditate on Christ's passion, to contemplate his suffering. One way of channeling that kind of experience was through the use of devotional imagery; you might concentrate on a painting or engraving of the passion in an attempt to come closer to an understanding and an experience of the scene. I am sure the crucifix has its roots in the same tradition.

    I can name one literary work off the top of my head that underlines the potential present in such devotional images. In the Shewings or Revelation of Julian of Norwich (the Revelation of Love is an early account of the experience; the Shewings a later version that expands and explains things so much that it can basically be thought of as a separate work), Julian, is lying in bed, thinking she is dying. (There's a complicated setup for all this that I won't get into; I'd encourage you to read Julian, as she's quite interesting.) A priest comes and holds a crucifix before her; the rest of the room seems to go dark, until the crucifix is all that she can see. Then the crucifix begins to bleed, and she experiences a series of visions; early visions in the sequence include seeing the passion. Whether or not one goes in for bleeding icons and celestial visions, the point it makes about the power of focusing on an image like the crucifix is striking.

    So with the idea of the crucifix, at least in earlier use (I don't know how most Catholics, or most Christians in general, would view the crucifix) it wouldn't be like carrying around a gun image to remember your son; it would be like focusing upon a representation of a gun in order to invoke, imagine, and come closer to experiencing your son's shooting. Although that particular idea would be silly in a way in which invoking the passion is not.

    If I had to hazard a guess about the cross, my surmise would be that it grew out of the representational tradition of the crucifix, but I really don't know, and wouldn't state that with much confidence, certainly. If anybody could talk about the roots of the cross and its early use, I'd be very interested.

    -Paul
  5. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    This may be of some help:

    1 Corinthians 1: 22-24

    For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.


    Also, this article, Archæology of the Cross and Crucifix, may be informative.
  6. darthOB1 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2000
    star 5
    Interesting tidbit.................

    The book The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons (London, 1896), says: "There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross.....
    It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as "cross" when rendering the Greek documents of the Church into our native tongue, and to support that action by putting "cross" in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles, did not become its primary signification till long afterwards, and became so then, if at all, only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which Jesus was executed had that particular shape.??Pp. 23, 24; see also The Companion Bible (London, 1885), Appendix No. 162.
  7. DarthFacetious Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2004
    star 6
    When I asked a nun that serves in my church about it, she said (almost verbatim), "I wear the crucifix to remind me how much God loved the world and the people, past and present. If God willingly sacrificed His Son, shouldn't I follow and sacrifice from myself for the greater good? That's why I wear one - to remind me that self-sacrifice for the greater good is what we should be doing."
  8. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    This is exactly why I'm always so confused that Catholics aren't bigger fans of communism or socialism.

    Well, other than the Jesuits I know. They're total pinkos.:p
  9. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Communism says that since "happiness" is achieved on Earth, Religion is no longer necessary, and then the USSR proceeded to persecute Christians. So, I really doubt Catholics would be big fans of Communism.

    As for socialism, I'm not sure. In my Social Justice class, Catholicism is a big supporter of Capitalism, more accurately, a Modified Free Enterprise Economy. As long as the little guy isn't getting screwed, Catholics will be happy.
  10. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    In many Latin American countries, Catholics are big supporters Marxist viewpoints. You can look up Liberation Theology for more.

  11. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I'm talking about mainstream Catholicism, you know, with the pope and such.
  12. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, it's a "no" on Communism, because of the Marxist "opiate of the people" thing, but the Vatican definitely supports socialism--or at least fails to support more laissez-faire forms of capitalism. Both JPII and Benedict XVI have been very critical of "unbridled" capitalism. The idea is that excessive competition encourages selfishness and forgetfulness of duties toward the poor.

    Liberation Theology is something else, however. At the most basic level, it's part of a millennias-old debate within the Church--namely, just how literally should we take Jesus' statement, "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." Many religious orders take vows of poverty because they believe that teaching should be taken literally. Vows of poverty remain voluntary, however, since the Church's position has always been that "spiritual poverty" is also acceptable--meaning that you can have possessions, so long as you remember that they belong to God, not you, and that you only have them for the purpose of doing his work.

    On another level, Liberation Theology is a response to the often-appalling living conditions of the poor in some Latin American countries. It was condemned by the Holy Office ages ago, and people who won't quit promoting it can be excommunicated. The controversial elements involve politicizing the figure of Christ.
  13. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
  14. Sima_Sith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2005
    star 1
  15. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Nope, that's the name of the document (document with the really long name for short)

    It is essentially a reiteration of Dominus Iesus, isn't it? With plenty of quotations from Vatican 2 (which of course the Pope is backsliding on by approving this document! ;) )

  16. Sima_Sith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2005
    star 1
    [image=http://photos-180.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sctm/v45/232/74/38502180/n38502180_30694034_6755.jpg]
  17. GrandAdmiralThrawn66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 1
    I'm just glad Latin mass is back.
  18. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    That makes you and Jello.
  19. Sima_Sith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2005
    star 1
    And me. :)
  20. DVCPRO-HDeditor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2006
    star 4
    Pop quiz! Off the top of your head (no Google, Wiki or anything else - just your own brain): Why is The Ten Commandments on TV every Easter?

    (I'll explain what's going on after I get a few responses.)
  21. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Perhaps this is reading into it too deeply, but is it because of the connection of Easter to Passover, that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world?
  22. Jedi_Liz Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    I was thinking because of Passover, too. Sometimes, and it might just be a coincidence at these times, but sometimes Passover and Holy Thursday have fallen on the exact same Thursday during the year (though I think its most of the time). And Holy Thursday's Gospel is about a Passover meal shared between Jesus and his apostles.


  23. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah, I guess it could be called a half-coincidence. That the seder falls on Holy Thursday is a coincidence, but Easter is Passover calculated in a funky non-Jewish way using a solar calendar and moved to a Sunday.
  24. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Actually, no. Easter is the commemoration of Christ's Resurrection, which took place on the third day after the Crucifixion. The Crucifixion happened on a Friday we know, because the next day was the Jewish sabbath (Saturday), and the Resurrection occurred on the day after the sabbath (Sunday).

    However, it also happened at the time of the Passover. Matthew 26:17 makes it clear that the meal that Christ and his Apostles shared was the seder, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That means that Christ was crucified on 14 Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is a lunar calendar. (15 Nisan is the sabbath commonly called the "Great Sabbath" as in John 19, becaue it is the sabbath during the Feast.) The entire feast (stretching from 14 Nisan to 21 Nisan) is called the Passover.

    Jewish months start the evening of the New Moon, and are 28 days long (one lunar month), which is why it moves around within the calendar year on our solar calendar.

    Kimball Kinnison
  25. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Not disagreeing with anything you said, KK.

    I'm just pointing out that if Holy Thursday falls on the same day as the Passover seder in a particular year that is something that sporadically happens from time to time.

    Easter's connection to Passover is more clear in most other languages as they use a variation of Pasche to name the day. Christ's death and resurrection occurring during Passover is of course highly significant. The date for Easter, however, is not actually the Sunday after 14 Nisan, however, but the first Sunday after the 14th day of the lunar month that falls on or after 21 March. That lunar month may or may not be Nisan. To complicate matters further, it is not based on the actual phase of the moon but a mathematical calculation of what the phase of the moon is supposed to be.
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