Cross of St. Peter
- "Inverted cross" redirects here. For the gymnastics move, see Rings (gymnastics)
The Cross of St. Peter or Petrine Cross is an inverted Latin cross traditionally used as a Christian symbol, but in recent times also used widely as an anti-Christian symbol (a meaning which is not valid with respect to traditional conventions of Christian symbolism).
In Christianity 
The origin of the symbol comes from the Catholic tradition that Simon Peter was crucified upside down, as told by Origen of Alexandria. The tradition first appears in the "Martyrdom of Peter", a fragmented text found in, but possibly predating, the apocryphal Acts of Peter, which was written no later than 200 A.D. It is believed that Peter requested this form of crucifixion as he felt he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner that Jesus died. As such, some Catholics use this cross as a symbol of humility and unworthiness in comparison to Jesus.
According to Roman Catholicism, the Pope is Peter's successor as Bishop of Rome. Therefore the Papacy is often represented by symbols that are also used to represent Peter — one example being the Keys of Heaven, another the Petrine Cross. During Pope John Paul II's visit to Israel, he sat on a chair with the Cross of Peter cut into the back. The inverted cross is also one of the traditional symbols used by Petrine Orthodox Sebomenoi.
Anti-Christian imagery 
The Cross of St. Peter has sometimes become associated with anti-religious imagery, as it is used to represent the opposite of Christianity by inverting its primary symbol, the Latin Cross. As a result, the symbol has become popular within anti-religion groups and among some extreme metal musicians, notably black metal groups. In films such as The Masque of the Red Death, Rosemary's Baby, Exorcist: The Beginning, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Ghost, The Devil Inside, Paranormal Activity, Constantine, Devil and The Omen, inverted crosses are often displayed to represent Satan.
In Catholicism, the Petrine Cross is not seen as Satanic. The distinction between a Cross of Peter and upturned Crucifix is sometimes obscured, leading to confusion about the acceptability of each symbol. This was seen when controversy arose over the aforementioned Papal visit to Israel; pictures of Pope John Paul II sitting before a Petrine Cross were widely circulated on the Internet in an attempt to prove that the Catholic Church is associated with Satanism and the Antichrist.
|Part of a series on|
|In the New Testament|
|Confession · Denial · Vision
Liberation · Incident at Antioch
Epistles: 1 Peter · 2 Peter
|Cross · Tomb · Quo vadis?
Primacy · In Islam
- "John Paul II". Mostholyfamilymonastery.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "John Paul II and His Inverted Cross". Blessedquietness.com. Retrieved 2011-04-27.