Spiritual Warfare Forum: symbolic signs

symbolic signs QUESTION from Arnauld on October 31, 2002 I am a recent catholic although I get a catholic education.
My family believes that the Church is wrong because of what they call the error and heresy of concil Vatican II.
This has led them to follow different traditional catholic movements.
Until last year I could'n understand how it was possible to be right against the pope Jean-Paul II, and I think it is why I didn't believe.
I now believe in God and in the catholic Chuch.
But at certain time, because of my background and the believes of my family, I have to answer questions that I can't.
Could you help me for the followings :
Quoting from a website:

1) It is the Crucifix held by the Popes going back centuries. In certain catalogues it is called the 'Pastoral crucifix' and can be easily spotted by its down turned cross member on the cross. As can be seen in the following pictures. Their uses can not be denied if you click on the next thumbnails you will see various Popes using the same crucifix.
This emaciated Jesus hanging pathetically from this curved cross is called the Twisted Cross. This sinister symbol was created by Satanists in the Sixth Century as a caricature of the Traditional Crucifix. But, very soon, this Twisted, or Bent, Cross became one of the Satanist's symbol of Mark of the Beast.
This Satanic symbol was revived by Vatican Two, albeit in great secret. Yet, very soon, the Pope of that time, Paul VI, suddenly began using this Crucifix in public ceremonies, without any publicity or fanfare!! Yet not only Paul VI, but his successors, the two John-Paul's, carried that object and held it up to be revered by crowds, who had not the slightest idea that it stood for anti-Christ
2)Another instance of the Catholic occult is the chair Pope II sat on in Korazim, Isreal. Here we see the obvious use of occult symbols on the very seat the Pope uses. The upside down cross known by millions to be the sign of mockery of the Christian cross and Christ's death. It is said to represent a sign of martyrdom as Peter was crucified uside down. How naive can you get.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on November 5, 2002 Thanks for your questions.
I have edited your question to indent the two issues of concern since these are not your words but a cut and paste from an anti-catholic website. I wanted to make sure people did not think you were proposing those things.
The first thing to remember is that people who buy into these bigoted interpretations of innocent symbols or actions of the Church are NOT likely going to be convinced by any evidence. They have made up their minds and will not be confused with the facts.
Imagine trying to convince the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan that black people are equal in dignity to white people? The argument will not get very far and the Grand Wizard is not only going to reject the arguments but might kill the messenger.
Anti-Catholics are the exact same way -- an yes, even the killing part. Usually they will seek to kill a person's reputation or otherwise spew hatred. Jesus said that if we hate another we have committed MURDER in our heart. Sometimes anti-Catholics will literally kill.
Although your family, forgive my bluntness but truth must be told, claim to be Catholic, if they think Vatican II is heretical and such then they have left the communion of the Catholic Church and have placed their eternal souls in danger. Their minds are no longer Catholic, Protestants, behaving like Protestants -- protesting what the Church teaches and does and protesting with lies, distortions, arrogance and pride just like any other anti-Catholic does. They are not Catholic, but anti-Catholic.
Pray for them. But it is not likely you can convince them and will only cause grief for everyone if you try in my opinion.
As for the two issues you presented, anyone with an IQ above 25 can understand that neither the bent cross nor the inverted cross used by the Church are Satanic symbols. Again, forgive me for my caustic comment, but the level of outright hatred and profound non-thinking stupidity of people who attack the Church on these two issue is enough to make me vomit in disgust. (Now, Bro. Ignatius, tell us how you REALLY feel!) :)
THE BENT CROSS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

The Cross on the staff used by Pope John Paul II is called a Shepherd's Staff or a Pastoral Staff which is a symbol of the Pope's being the shepherd of the Universal Church. The Pope decided to use this instead of the traditional crozier which is a symbol of jurisdictional authority. This bent Shepherd's Staff was first used by Pope Paul VI when he was elected in 1963.
There is ABSOLUTELY NO connection with Satanism.
The anti-Catholics propose that Satanists in the 6th Century adopted this bent cross as one of their symbols to mock the Catholic Church.
You will find this repeated by many anti-Catholic websites. Most of these website got their information from the flagship of Hate Sites -- CuttingEdge.org Other sites include: Jesus-Is-Lord.com and TheForbiddenKnowledge.com among many others.

CuttingEdge, in their repeating of this demonic slander against the church quotes from another bigot Piers Compton, who wrote the diatribe, The Broken Cross: Hidden Hand In the Vatican, Channel Islands, Neville Spearman, 1981

Mr. Compton states in his book:

This Bent Crucifix is ... a sinister symbol, used by Satanists in the sixth century, that had been revived at the time of Vatican Two. This was a bent or broken cross, on which was displayed a repulsive and distorted figure of Christ, which the black magicians and sorcerers of the Middle Ages had made use of to represent the Biblical term 'Mark of the Beast'. Yet, not only Paul VI, but his successors, the two John-Pauls, carried that object and held it up to be revered by crowds, who had not the slightest idea that it stood for anti-Christ. (p. 72) On page 56 Compton prints a picture of the current Pope, John Paul II, holding this bent or broken cross, just as we have shown, at left.
However, Mr. Compton, CuttingEdge, and no longer anti-Catholic proposing this demonic lie about the Church has EVER offered one shred of documented proof to support their claims of the bent cross used by the Pope has a Satanic history going back to the 6th century.
Indeed, no Satanist I have come across makes this claim. Most are amuzed at what they called, the lack of intelligence of Christians to suggest that the bent cross is one of their symbols.
NOW FOR THE FACTS ABOUT THE BENT CROSS
The bent cross used by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II is an original artistic creation of an Italian artist by the name of Lello Scorzelli. Mr. Scorzelli was born in 1921 so I think it is a far bet that his original artwork was not adopted by Satanists in the 6th Century. I could be wrong though. :)
Even if these bigots were to say that this artist copied the design from Satanists in the 6th century, WHERE is the documented proof on this... we cannot take their word for it just because they say so.
The bottomline is that this is just another straw man erected by anti-Catholic bigots whose hate for the Catholic Church is so great as to only be descibed as demonic and who have no respect for truth, logic, of even common sense.

CONCERNING THE INVERTED CROSS ON THE PAPAL CHAIR

Again we have a case of non-thinking by people who do not care to think and do not care to know the truth. That is the nature of bigotry. Bigotry seeks no answers, but only invented notions to support their bigotry.
Satanists are REALLY amused at this notion posited by Christians:

Here is a comment from one Occult Site:

I laugh at this idea because of what people believe (about the Inverted Cross as a sign of Satanism)... I'm going to share a secret with you which may change your view of this symbol. The inverted Cross is a Christian symbol, but it's not one belonging to the Christian Satan. When Saint Peter was to be put to murder, it was determined that he would be crusified. Being a humble man, he felt that he didn't deserve to be crusified as his master and God, instead being crusified upside-down. This became known as the Cross of St. Peter. When someone wears the inverted Cross, they're making a statement as being humble in the eyes of God.
Another non-Christian Occult site says this:

The inverted cross was not invented or first used by Satanists. It is the cross that St Peter was crucified on because he didn't feel himself worthy to be crucified on the same form of cross as his messiah, Jesus Christ, was. It was a symbol for unworthiness and deep respect of ones superiors: representing folly, hardship, failure and reverence for Christ. That's what it used to mean. Since the advent of the B-Movie and limited public intelligence the inverted cross became a reversed Christian symbol - a symbol of Anti-Christian sentiment. Let us not forget that The Cross is just a symbol, used and misused over the millennium for a multitude of reasons. The Baphomet is the official symbol of the Church Of Satan, but many Satanists use the inverted cross to symbolize their dislike of Christianity. It's modern meaning has came to mean anti-Christian and it is used and recognized as such in today's world, but not in history.

Bottomline: the inverted cross is a symbol of Peter. The Pope is the successor to Peter which is why the Cross of Peter is on his chair. As the occultist said above, the inverted cross was neither invented by Satanist nor used by Satanists.
The use of the inverted cross is a rather modern practice of some Satanists, but moreso from teenagers and others wishing to give a symbol of rebellion.
The Church cannot control how people use symbols. If we were to abandon a symbol that has meaning for us as Christians MERELY because Satanists or other non-Christians adopt the symbol for themselves and give a different meaning to it, we would have to abandon ALL Christian symbols.
The plain cross is used by Satanists and heavy metal bands and the like today. The traditional Crucifix that CuttingEdge seems to think is ok, has also been used by Satanists. Nearly every symbol the Church has ever used -- including Protestant churches -- have bee used by Satanists or pagans or has a history rooted in paganism. Such symbols as Christ dying on the cross was a common story among pagans in pre-Christian times, the cross, the fish, Christmas Tree, and even the wedding band all have pagan histories.
So if this numbskulls are going to abandon anything with a pagan history let me see them through away their wedding bands, the crosses around their necks, the crosses in their churches, the Christian Fish symbol, and all the rest.
Like it is with all bigots, they have no logic, no sense of reality, and no brains -- only minds closed and eyes blinded by hard cold hatred, arrogance, and pride.
Hatred comes from Satan.

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