“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)
I 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”.
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?