(715) 535-2571

(715) 535-2571

Holy Family - St. William

106 N. Ellms Street
Wittenberg, WI

Mass Times

Sundays at 8:00 AM

Thursdays at 8:30 AM

St. Anthony

430 Swanke Street
Tigerton, WI

Mass Times

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM

Saturdays at 4:00 PM

St. Mary

725 NE 7th Street
Marion, WI

Mass Times

Sundays at 10:30 AM

Wednesdays at 8:30 AM

This week’s question: “Why is Pontius Pilate named in our Creed?”

This week’s question: “Why is Pontius Pilate named in our Creed?”

This great question shows that you’ve prayed the Creed attentively (not just plowing through the words). As such, I’ll attempt to give an equally attentive response, and, as always, it will be a pleasure to do so. So, as always, thanks for asking!

The Creed – actually for Christians, there are different forms of the Creed (Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Calcedonian Creed, and Athanasian Creed) – is a memorizable, shorthand version of the Truths of our Faith. It’s a little like an acorn in that it’s small and compact, yet when we study it and allow it to open up, we eventually find that it contains a huge majestic tree. When a person is baptized, she is given the Creed (which should be memorized) as a way to know the Faith into which we are baptized. Because it is meant to be short and memorized, there is no extra ‘fluff’ inserted; every word is crucial.

There are five persons named in our Creed. Three of these Persons are God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), one is the Mother of God (Mary), and the fifth – as you’ve pointed out – is Pontius Pilate. So, you may be saying, “I can see why we mention God the Father; I understand why we identify God the Son; I get the need to name God the Holy Spirit – those three are God. But why Mary and Pontius? Are they so absolutely indispensable that they must be in the Creed?”

Here’s the thing: what makes Christianity so very different from every other religion in the history of the world is our faith in the fact that God became man in the One Person Jesus Christ. Think about it … of all the million billions of persons in the whole history of the world, our faith centers on One single Person. Not only that, but this One Person entered human history at one single moment. Everything hinges on this one time and place and the particular individuals involved. Another way of saying this is that Christianity is not primarily a philosophy or a way of life; rather, Christianity is first and foremost a Church who connects us with the Person Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

We mention Mary in the Creed because she is the particular woman through whom the Son of God came to us. It was her DNA that developed his particular human characteristics. We mention Pontius Pilate because he is the particular person in our history who oversaw the crucifixion of the Son of God – an actual historical fact that changed both the meaning and the fate of the entire universe. Christianity is based on these historical factual events – and that’s why these particular historical real persons are recalled in our Creed.
Thanks for another great question. If you have further questions or insights into this one, please share them via our “Three Parish Catholic Family” Facebook page. And keep those questions coming! May God bless you this autumn and always!

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St. Anthony Catholic Church
PO Box 106
430 Swanke St.
Tigerton, WI 54486

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Phone: (715) 535-2571

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