Papal bling photo caption contest?

“Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. … But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; … [or] were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings“.

— Pius XII, Mediator Dei #62 (1947)

Pope Francis bling ferulasquinting-owl-13434744Pope Francis close up bling Ferulapoker-face-meme-pokerfaceferula nuova papagreat scottpapa frankie relaxIt could have been something like this:

floaty Jesus de campo crucifixSo, take it from Cdl. Rodríguez Maradiaga, smile and just let it happen.

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga golpistaI did not make this up. It exists somewhere in the real world

According to Rorate, at the Solemnity of All Saints (1 November), “at the Campo Verano cemetery, the Pope made use of a new ferula [or crozier]. This one features the Risen Christ in front of the Cross, an arrangement sometimes called ‘Resurrexifix’.” Aside from Pope Pius XII’s admonition above, Fr. Blake is correct to raise “the question of the theology of the image of the risen Christ super-imposed on the Cross”.


To his credit, when he received “it” from Goldlake on October 3, Pope Francis seemed more nonplussed than thrilled. Here’s a video of the… “bestowal.”

papa francesco ferula maradiagaIt’s certainly… unique. Thanks. … No, I can’t say that I’ve ever… had one like this.

Now, I loves me some kitschy Catholic art, but I think we should be able to agree that this resurrexifix exceeds kitsch, staggering drunkenly into the realm of the doctrinally offensive.

I wanted this post to be light-hearted (for a change?), so I will just stop here for the night. However, I will have much, much more to say about what this ferula may or may not mean for faithful Catholics, in an upcoming post.

Suffice to say that I hope Pope Francis stops using that treacly Jazz Hands Tinsel Jesus ferula anymore. It only compounds the foggy, irreverent, imprecise nature of Pope Francis’s teaching witness so far. If he does keep using Rock Candy Jesus, though, maybe it’s a signal that we can expect a new batch of Rosary mysteries for a new era?

Maybe the Glori-lumin-oyful-olorous Mysteries?



About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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6 Responses to Papal bling photo caption contest?

  1. rubyroad2013 says:

    I read your blog faithfully. I do not comment much because you usually say it all! Thanks.

  2. tamsin says:

    Up close, it kind of grows on you.

    But from a distance, it looks like it is magnetic and has attracted scrap metal.

  3. It certainly is shiny. 😉

    The reason it grows on you up close is because the healthy Catholic mind gradually filters out the rock candy and gazes upon Jesus-and-a-cross, which is good, or filters out the cross and gazes upon the glorified Jesus. To do both at once is to render one’s Catholic mind as confused as the resurrexifix is.

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