This is my opinion on this controversy. In the first place, a cross or crucifix is not Jesus Christ. We do not worship a cross or crucifix. I wear a crucifix only as a reminder of God's love for me, but I do not worship the crucifix. God is who I worship.
The cross worn around the neck does not make one a Christian. After all, Adolf Hitler was raised Catholic and wore an iron cross. That iron cross did not make Hitler a Christian. Christians receive something that no other persons in the world receive. We receive the Holy Spirit and the graces that God gives us is what makes us a true Christian.
So, was Pope Francis wrong in hiding his cross when he visited the Chief Rabbi in Jerusalem? Has anyone ever wondered why the Jews find the cross so offensive? Some commenters under my last thread said that the Jews find the cross offensive because they rejected Christ. Others say that they consider the cross an idol. Are they certain of that? Is it not possible that many Jews find the cross offensive because they associate it with Nazism? After all, the Nazi soldiers wore the iron cross on their uniforms and even place the cross next to the swastika. (See the photo below.)
|World War II Nazi flag of Germany|
The Nazis murdered more than 6 million Jewish people, and this is the flag they saw during World War II. These are the same symbols they saw on the uniforms of the German Nazi soldiers who wore both the Iron cross and the Swastika. Naturally, many Jews would find these symbols offensive just as many African Americans would detest the Confederate flag of America. Would you blame them?
The Neocatechumenal Way was there together with the Jewish Rabbis on a retreat to also commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. When the Catholics hid their cross, it was not to deny Christ, but to show respect to the Jewish people. Christ loved the people more than the cross on which He was crucified on. And if we are to follow in Christ's footsteps, we would also love the people more than a piece of jewelry.