25 NOVEMBER 2013
Distorted crucifix planned at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Dubai
Agitated parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Dubai, UAE, have contacted this ministry expressing their indignation and concern that the erection of a stylized distorted, truncated, “broken” cross has been proposed by their parish priest and his building works committee.
Fr. Tomasito Veneracion OFM Cap., the Parish Priest issued a letter dated November 22, 2013 to his parishioners in connection with the forthcoming Golden Jubilee of the parish [2015-2016] stating among other things that “a new crucifix will be installed”. Renovation work apparently commenced July 28, 2013.
Below is the proposed “crucifix” followed by Fr. Tomasito’s “theological” justification for its non-traditional design. He has solicited feedback from Catholic laity on his proposed “renovation” at email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theology of the New Altar
Christ freely offered himself on the cross for our salvation, giving his life as a ransom for many (Mt. 20:28) in his final act of love “to the end” (Jn 13:1) so that we might be ransomed from the futile ways inherited from our fathers (1Pt 1:18). He tasted death “for everyone” (Heb 2:9).
But in his death, he has reunited the separation of the soul from the body in the Resurrection, “so that he himself might be the meeting point for death and life” (St. Gregory of Nyssa). Jesus Christ, the “Author of life” who was killed (Acts 3:15) is the same living one who has risen” (Lk 34:5-6). In the Resurrection we must forget the sacrifice of the cross, but it was not possible for death to hold him.
Our figure of the crucifixion shows us Christ’s limbs stretched out as they were nailed to the wood, but the cross now broken, powerless to hold him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him (Rom. 6:9).
St. Mary’s parishioners have pertinently pointed out that THE TABERNACLE has not figured in Fr. Tomasito’s scheme of things.
Categories: Liturgical Abuses