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Staurophobia or the pathological "fear of the Cross" explained
Vivificat - From Contemplation to Action ^ | 23 June 2014 | Te骹ilo de Jes鷖 (@vivificat)

Posted on 06/25/2014 11:36:26 AM PDT by Te骹ilo


A crucifix with the corpus rendered
with the wounds as observed in the
the image on the Shroud of Turin.
Beholding a crucifix discomfit us. The poles and the bloodied Man hanging from it makes us feel that not all is well with the world. Once understood, beholding a crucifix reminds us of the cost God paid for our salvation and that doesn't make us feel better with ourselves. All that pain and bloodshed was for us? It discomfit even more those who feel themselves as righteous enough to resist and even oppose such a barbaric death on their behalf.

Brethren, Peace be with you.

Of all the religions of the world only Christianity has a a symbol an instrument of capital punishment. Buddhists rely on the impassive statue of their teacher, sitting in a lotus position meditating with eyes semi-closed and a mysterious smile sealing his lips or their dharma wheel. Hindus also prefer to symbolize themselves with the wheel of reincarnation; and the taoists love their ying and yang symbol. Muslims are often associated with a crescent moon, but that's a latter symbol for them. They prefer artistically flowing renditions of the shahada in flowing script. The Start of David is often associated with the Jews, our elder brethren, but that too is of late origin. A menorah, the facade of the Second Temple, the tablets of the Decalogue, even palm trees had been used and continue to be used as a symbol of the People of God from whom the Son of God sprung. Among all those symbols, the Christian cross remains a dissonant, searing reminder that not all is sugar and niceness among the world's religious founders for at least, one of them, was thought to have been defeated by an ignominious death while most of the rest died on their own beds while ours bled and asphyxiated to death as a common criminal.

The Cross in the Old Testament

The cross was already a sign of salvation in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the book of the prophet Ezekiel (9:3-4, NIV) we find these intriguing verses:
3Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side 4and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
This mark was a "tau" or a cross rendered "+". St. Jerome, who translated the normative Latin translation of Scripture already saw in these verses a sign pointing forward to the Cross of Christ.

The Cross in the New Testament

The cross as the principal sign of the followers of Christ in liturgical art is of primitive origin. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Since by His holy sacrificial death upon the Cross Christ sanctified this former instrument of shame and ignominy, it must have very soon become in the eyes of the faithful a sacred symbol of the Passion, consequently a sign of protection and defence (St. Paulinus of Nola, "Carm. in Natal. S. Felicis", XI, 612; Prudent., "Adv. Symm.", I, 486). It is not, therefore, altogether strange or inconceivable that, from the beginning of the new religion, the cross should have appeared in Christian homes as an object of religious veneration, although no such monument of the earliest Christian art has been preserved. Early in the third century Clement of Alexandria (Stromata VI) speaks of the Cross as tou Kyriakou semeiou typon, i.e. signum Christi, "the symbol of the Lord" (St. Augustine, Tractate 117 on the Gospel of John; De Rossi, "Bull. d'arch. crist", 1863, 35, and "De titulis christianis Carthaginiensibus" in Pitra, "Spicilegium Solesmense", IV, 503). The cross, therefore, appears at an early date as an element of the liturgical life of the faithful, and to such an extent that in the first half of the third century Tertullian could publicly designate the Christian body as "crucis religiosi", i.e. devotees of the Cross (Apol., c. xvi, P.G., I, 365-66). St. Gregory of Tours tells us (De Miraculis S. Martini, I, 80) that in his time Christians habitually had recourse to the sign of the cross. St. Augustine says that by the sign of the cross and the invocation of the Name of Jesus all things are sanctified and consecrated to God. In the earliest Christian life, as can be seen from the metaphorical language of the primitive faithful, the cross was the symbol of the principal Christian virtue, i.e. mortification or victory over the passions, and suffering for Christ's sake and in union with Him (Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; 14:27; Galatians 2:19; 6:12, 14; 5:24). In the Epistles of St. Paul the cross is synonymous with the Passion of Christ (Ephesians 2:16; Hebrews 12:2) even with the Gospel, and with religion itself (1 Corinthians 1:18; Philippians 3:18). Very soon the sign of the cross was the sign of the Christian. It is, moreover, very probable that reference to this sign is made in the Apocalypse (vii, 2): "And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God." It is from this original Christian worship of the cross that arose the custom of making on one's forehead the sign of the cross.
Staurophobia or "fear of the Cross"  arises

The custom of displaying the Redeemer on the Cross began with the close of the sixth century (ibid.) and this custom is the one concerning us the most because the crucifix with the corpus or an image of the crucified Christ, is the most visible form of the crucifix found in the Catholic Church.

As artwork the crucifix with the image of the crucified Christ is deeply rooted in ancient Christian art and custom, first appearing in the archaeological record as staurograms as early as the third century A.D. Staurograms also are examples of an early tradition of disguising the cross in art due to the Christian fear of being labeled "cross-worshippers" by the heathen masses (ibid.), as well as by followers of more "spiritual" and intellectual cults and religious movements within the spectrum of what was later called "Gnosticism".

The reaction against the notion of an enfleshed God who died a cruel death as a common criminal provoked an intense reaction which is recorded in the New Testament, for example,in 1 Corinthians 1: 22-25 (NIV):
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
There is archaeological evidence documenting visual depictions of pagan animus against the Christians and the Cross. The most eloquent one is the Alexamenos graffito - a tracing of which is pictured right. The graffito is an inscription carved in plaster on a wall near the Palatine Hill in Rome, now in the Palatine Antiquarium Museum.

he image depicts a human-like figure attached to a cross and possessing the head of a donkey. In the top right of the image is what has been interpreted as either the Greek letter upsilon or a tau cross. To the left of the image is a young man, apparently intended to represent Alexamenos, a Roman soldier/guard, raising one hand in a gesture possibly suggesting worship. Beneath the cross is a caption written in crude Greek: Αλεξαμενος ϲεβετε θεον. ϲεβετε can be understood as a variant spelling (possibly a phonetic misspelling) of Standard Greek ϲεβεται, which means "worships". The full inscription would then be translated as "Alexamenos worships [his] God". The scholarly consensus indicates the graffito stands among the earliest representation of the Crucifixion of Jesus although there are a handful of alternative explanations. (Wikipedia)

Staurophobia today

The fear of the Cross in general, and the Crucifix - the Cross with the corpus or the figure of the crucified Christ attached to it - continues on to this day. The Calvinist reformation rejected the crucifix in favor of the plain cross and the children of the radical Reformation abandoned the symbol of the bare cross altogether for fear of falling into idolatry.

Later, movements of the so-called restorationist tradition preferred to exchange the Cross for other symbols. For example, the Jehovah Witnesses used the cross as part of their logo and in artistic renditions in most of their publications until the 1930's, when they "discovered" that the Greek word for cross used in the New Testament (staurós) didn't really mean "cross" but "stake". Since then, they portray Christ as hanging from a single upright pole or "torture stake" in their art. The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS, the "Mormon Church"), also a product of 19th century restorationist ferment also ditched the cross in favor of their herald angel, though there is no single dominating attitude against the cross in the LDS church, spanning the spectrum from sympathy, to indifference, to hostility. Unlike Jehovah WItnesses, who consider the Crucifix an item originating and again leading one into heathenism, Mormon attitudes toward the Cross vary according to individuals.

I've experienced negative, verbal opposition to the Crucifix. Commentators in a blog post on Vivificat's Spanish site, titled: La Cruz: ¿signo de maldición o bendición? (The Cross: a sign of a curse or of a blessing?) spared no punches, one such guest deriding "the doll Catholics carry on two poles during processions." More recently, on a post in Free Republic's Religion Forum - that had nothing to do with the Cross - a self-proclaimed Gnostic Freeper sharply derided Catholics for worshiping a "corpse hanging from two bloody sticks" (The moderator has since taken down the comment for being "too personal."

Staurophobia continues on, now aided and abated by the Internet. Blasphemous, distorted, and deviant caricatures of the Crucifix abound in the 'Net. A simple Google search results in numerous examples. (Caution: the twisted images might be graphic, some even pornographic). Attitudes today against the Crucifix are not as far as those of the Roman graffiti scribbler who mocked Alexamenos during late antiquity.

Why do they fear the Crucifix?

People hate the Crucifix because they fear it, and Him who is portrayed on the Cross. Beholding a crucifix discomfit us. The wooden poles and the bloodied Man hanging from it makes us feel that not all is well with the world. Once understood, beholding a crucifix reminds us of the cost God paid for our salvation and that doesn't make us feel better with ourselves. All that pain and bloodshed was for us? It discomfit even more those who feel themselves as righteous enough to resist and even oppose such a barbaric death on their behalf.

The Cross is the definitive symbol of a historical event. Unlike the reception of the shahada by an angel, or the wheels of Hindus and Buddhists, or the Ying and Yang, and far beyond pre-Christian cruciform amulets, the Crucifix reminds us of a Man who once walked on this earth and died ignominiously. The "tau" ("+") marks the spot in space and time of a seeming defeat that was really a victory and guarantee that death is not going to have the last word in human affairs.

God willed His Son to die because bloodshed is the only universal language of humanity. The Crucifix is the stark reminder that it took a violence death to free us from sin and save us for eternal life. The Crucifix is a mirror God puts before us: some like what they see, many do not.

My brothers and sisters: let us say with St. Paul the Apostle  14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Let us sign that beautiful hymn for all to hear:
Lift high the cross
The love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world
Adore His sacred name.
Led on their way
By this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God
In conquering ranks combine.
Refrain:
Lift high the cross
The love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world
Adore His sacred name.
Each newborn servant
Of the Crucified
Bears on the brow
The seal of Him who died.
Refrain:
Lift high the cross
The love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world
Adore His sacred name.
O Lord, once lifted
On the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised
Draw the world to Thee.
Refrain:
Lift high the cross
The love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world
Adore His sacred name.
So shall our song
Of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified
For victory.
Refrain:
Lift high the cross
The love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world
Adore His sacred name...
Let us tamp out staurophobia, your fear of the Cross, with the love of the Crucified Christ!


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic; crucifix
Blunders. Typos. Mine.
1 posted on 06/25/2014 11:36:26 AM PDT by Te骹ilo
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To: YellowRoseofTx; Rashputin; StayoutdaBushesWay; OldNewYork; MotherRedDog; sayuncledave; ...

PING!


2 posted on 06/25/2014 11:37:32 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

So the media suffers from Staurophobia ?


3 posted on 06/25/2014 11:43:50 AM PDT by ransomnote
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To: Te贸filo

Humans lost in their sins are proud people. They have bowed to the proud power of the devil.

But when they finally consent to lay their burdens upon Christ (which may only happen when they perceive that these burdens are far too great for them to successfully bear alone) then they find great comfort and courage and hope.

People are proud — that is why they hate the sacrifice of Christ. Don’t help me — I can help myself, is the sinful song.


4 posted on 06/25/2014 11:45:34 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: ransomnote

Yes, not to speak of the Obama Administration.

Have you ever seen any of them under a cross or crucifix?

~Theo


5 posted on 06/25/2014 11:58:43 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

The Cross is intimidating to certain kinds of beings. Ask any Vampire!


6 posted on 06/25/2014 12:10:44 PM PDT by lee martell
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To: Te贸filo

Not willingly. I remember a scandal a few years ago where Obama insisted that the University of Notre Dame remove or hide a crucifix in a room where he would speak — and they did.

Talk about being allergic to Christ. I’m sure Obama and/or his advisors were talking in high-minded terms — oh, we can’t look like we’re tied to Christianity — but he didn’t seem to be so particular when it came to Islam.


7 posted on 06/25/2014 12:11:05 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

It wasn’t Notre Dame, it was Georgetown, and it wasn’t a cross, it was the Jesuit logo - a monogram of the first three letters of the name “Jesus” in Greek (”IHS”).

And the university complied. Disgusting.

~Theo


8 posted on 06/25/2014 12:18:22 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: lee martell

LOL!


9 posted on 06/25/2014 12:18:50 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

What was the fuss at Notre Dame about.


10 posted on 06/25/2014 12:20:01 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

POTUS was invited to speak and receive an honorary degree, while, during a pro-Life held simultaneously, several people were arrested, including a priest. To the best of my knowledge, Notre Dame has done nothing to help drop the charges against the “trespassers.”

~Theo


11 posted on 06/25/2014 12:27:51 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
I remember a scandal a few years ago where Obama insisted that the University of Notre Dame remove or hide a crucifix in a room where he would speak — and they did.

It was actually Georgetown. April 14, 2009.

Christ said if you are ashamed of Him, then He will be ashamed of you when you meet the Father. I would not want to be in BHO's shoes on that day.

12 posted on 06/25/2014 1:48:54 PM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: Te贸filo; Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; ...

Ping!


13 posted on 06/25/2014 2:02:17 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: Te贸filo; HiTech RedNeck
I remember a scandal a few years ago where Obama insisted that the University of Notre Dame remove or hide a crucifix in a room where he would speak — and they did.

Yes, I remember that too! There was also the incident at Georgetown (and likely other places).

14 posted on 06/25/2014 2:14:50 PM PDT by maryz
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To: Te贸filo

Oh yes, that.

Good grief.


15 posted on 06/25/2014 3:04:13 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Te贸filo

**Staurophobia**

I’ve never heard of this word.

I pray that my sufferings can be united with those of Christ on the Cross. He died for our sins, and the crucifix is a reminder of that for me.


16 posted on 06/25/2014 3:43:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
I’ve never heard of this word.

It is a neologism I've coined by combining two Greek words: "staurós" ("cross") and "fear" ("phobos").

Use it widely! :-)

~Theo

17 posted on 06/26/2014 5:53:19 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

I love it.

It needs to be widely used.

Who knows, maybe your new word will end up in the DSM as a clinical term for extreme hatred of Christianity, especially of Him Who was crucified and risen.


18 posted on 06/26/2014 9:08:04 PM PDT by Ban Draoi Marbh Draoi ( Gen. 12:3: a warning to all anti-semites.)
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