Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Altar Crucifix
Altar Crucifix QUESTION from Vince Parise on May 31, 2002 I am very disturbed at the fact that certain churches, in the Diocese of Orlando, have chosen to display, not a crucifix, but the risen Christ over the altar. Is this permitted by the Church, the GIRM, or Vatican Council II?
What I find, however, to be even more distasteful, is the cross over the altar at Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine, built for the tourists here in Orlando, Florida. This cross, which is transparant plastic, has, hanging in front of it, a somewhat grotesque body which displays nail holes in the hands and feet without being affixed to the cross. The processional cross is also not a crucifix and is adorned only with colored glass, north, south, east, and west.
Can you give me any Church teaching or documentation that will help me understand and accept this situation, or give me certain authoritive credibility with which to approach these pastors in an effort to resolve or correct what I feel in my heart to be wrong.
Vince Parise Orlando, Florida
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on June 5, 2002 Dear Mr. Parise,
The current law is that the altar cross must have a image of the suffering Christ attached to it: that is, it must be an actual crucifix and not simply a cross or a cross with the risen Christ on it. Now, I suppose in ADDITION to this cross it would be okay to have what you have described: however I think the question of good taste arises. Transparent plastic? Speaking personally plastic would create more disgust in me rather than contrition for my sins or reverence for my Lord. The pastor should be aware of this, since I am sure there are many Catholics who feel the saw way that I do.
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