Again, again and again the Holy Father speaks about the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ, Crucified, in the lives of Christians and in the life of the Church. For most of us he came to prominence with his attack Liberation Theology, not because it favoured the poor and downtrodden and was opposed to Capitalism but simply because it attempted to replace Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified with Marxist Dialectic. Any escape from the centrality of the Cross is a denial of Christianity. The celebrations over the weekend, the signs and the words, even the large image on the Cardinalation ring, were all very subtle signs of this, the Crucified. His theology of the Mass, most especially, too, is the emphasis of the Sacrifice of the Cross, hence the welcoming by so many on the blogosphere of the return traditional arrangement of the Eastward, Crucifix facing celebration on the altar of St Peter's Basilica.
In his homily, the Pontiff explained that “in Jesus crucified there is the
greatest possible revelation of God in this world, because God is love, and the
death of Jesus on the cross is the greatest act of love in all of history.”
“On the cardinal’s ring, which I will soon give to the new members of
the sacred college, the crucifixion is portrayed,” he said. “This, dear
brothers, will always be for you an invitation to remember the king whose
servants you are, on which throne he was raised up and how he remained faithful
to the very end to defeat sin and death with the power of divine mercy.
“Mother Church, bride of Christ, gives you this sign as a commemoration
of her Bridegroom, who loved her and gave himself up for her. Thus, wearing this
ring of the cardinalate, you are constantly called to give your life for the
From The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph
"Facing toward the East, as we heard, was
linked with the "sign of the Son of Man", with the Cross, which announces Our
Lord's Second Coming. That is why, very early on, the East was linked with the
sign of the cross. Where a direct common turning toward the East is not
possible, the cross can serve as the interior "East" of faith. It should stand
in the middle of the altar and be the common point of focus for both priest and
"In this way we obey the ancient call to prayer:
Conversi ad Dominum, "Turn to the Lord!" In this way we look together at the One
whose Death tore the veil of the Temple -- the One who stands before the Father
for us and encloses us in His arms in order to make us the new and living
"Moving the altar cross to the side to give an uninterrupted
view of the priest is something I regard as one of the truly absurd phenomena of
recent decades. Is the cross disruptive during Mass? Is the priest more
important than Our Lord?
"This mistake should be corrected as quickly as
possible; it can be done without further rebuilding. The Lord is the point of
reference. He is the rising sun of history."