-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
The World Trade Center cross was discovered in the debris of the collapsed buildings by construction worker Frank Silecchia who declared “it’s an act of God.” The cross was removed from the debris pile, erected on a concrete pedestal, and placed nearby in a prominent position during the years of reconstruction. During the removal, Fr. Brian Jordan, a Roman Catholic Franciscan priest, blessed the cross with holy water. In june, 2002, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking cleric, and New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan participated in a ceremony at the cross.
Jordan wants the cross to be part of the WTC memorial because most of the victims were Christian and the plurality of those were Catholic, and most of the rescue workers were Catholic.
The efforts of the Catholic Church to promote a random piece of debris to a Catholic icon is a stroke of advertising genius. The media coverage of Jordan’s blessing and the Vatican ceremony is worth millions in free publicity. However, the efforts to include the cross as part of the memorial have failed. The cross will be displayed to a far smaller audience in the museum.
Jordan has been quoted saying the WTC cross “… stands as our symbol of hope, our symbol of faith, our symbol of healing.” The ability of the human mind to associate natural occurrences with familiar objects is called pareidolia. A naturally occurring debris cross, with its simple shape, would not be unexpected. As a matter of fact, several of these debris crosses were found in the rubble.
If the debris cross was a natural occurrence, then its elevation to the level of a Christian icon is a pure fabrication of man, and the motives behind the elevation must be considered. Icons have long played a tangible role in religions whose gods are hidden from our senses. Icons simply highlight the problem of divine hiddenness.
If the debris cross was a supernatural occurrence, then God has the ability to control the physical forces necessary to create and place the cross in the debris field. Therefore, God also had the ability to prevent the 9/11 attacks, and chose not to do so. This leads to questions regarding the presence of evil, which has long posed a problem for Christian apologists, and still does.