27 May 2014

Wow. Just... Wow.

Updated: Since The subject matter is the Holy Father, and there seems to be conflicting visual evidence, I'm going to remove the photos linked below. I haven't really found anything definitive yet-- if a definitive yes, I would keep the content up and/or put it back; if a definitive no, I would delete the post. I will update as necessary. The reason this placeholder post and link are here still is to preserve the combox discussion. Linked post is here.


St. Corbinian's Bear said...

No malfunction. January 17, 2014, Pope Francis had lunch at the Vatican with rabbis and hid his cross then. It seems to be a habit of his, so as not to offend people with the image of the Crucified Christ.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could set up a 'turkey shoot' type board for the time and content of Shea's response to this one. Or a green chartreuse drinking game?

Fenian said...

A quick google image search for 'pope francis rabbi' shows numerous examples of Pope Francis meeting Jewish leaders (including on this current trip) while his cross is clearly displayed.

sad said...

Bear, can you confirm that? This picture of the event shows the cross: http://www.pressherald.com/news/Pope_Francis__Vatican_hotel_kitchen_goes_kosher_for_a_day.html

thetimman said...

sad, I see images of that luncheon and the cross is indeed visible. fenian, I don't see images from the event pictured on this post that have the cross visible. Any help?

Fenian said...

A picture from the same meeting with the cross clearly visible.


The cross gets hidden when he sat.


St. Corbinian's Bear said...

1. The cross is ostentatiously hidden during the current trip at the official meeting, just as shown in the pictures.

2. In the luncheon, there seem to be pictures with the cross both exposed and hidden. Doing the research, the Bear is apparently not the first blogger to notice this. Giving Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt, let's say he tucked it into his sash at one point so it wouldn't bang against the table, perhaps? That still doesn't mean he accidentally hid his cross at times on the current visit, eh?

3. Looking at video of the event from which the pictures were taken, it is clear that the cross is tucked into his sash when he enters. I suppose he could have put his sash on in a hurry, and accidentally covered up his cross, and nobody noticed, no?

barb kralis said...

Various Catholic folks are wrongly saying on the internet that Pope Francis hid his Crucifix from the Jews last week. Wrong. Francis has done several scandalous things, but I could not believe he would do THAT - hid his Crucifix from Jewish leaders.

Therefore, today I have gone over hundreds of photos of Pope Francis wearing his crucifix. It appears the disappearing crucifix WAS an accident. I am comforted by what I found and share with you below.

When the pope sits down, his crucifix DOES seem to slip down into his cummerbund, as shown in this very recent news
article of his visit to Sicily, Italy : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/22/pope-francis-warns-mafiosi-to-repent-or-end-up-in-hell
The Pope’s crucifix is too short to slip into his cummerbund but when he sits, it seems to be more possible. Here is another photo of Francis sitting during his Dublin, Ireland visit, and the Crucifix slipped down inside his cummerbund, again. http://sandyfordparish.org/wp/?page_id=1503

St. Corbinian's Bear said...

Sometimes when the Bear goes to bars and talks to women, his wedding ring slips off his finger, too.

(Not really, just an illustration -- take it for its worth.)

Fenian said...

As he shakes the hand of Rabbi David Lau the cross is clearly visible.


St. Corbinian's Bear said...

Sometimes it's visible, sometimes it is manifestly hidden. The only two possibilities are that it keeps getting jammed down in there by accident (and I want you on my next jury); or he's deliberately putting it in there for whatever reason, e.g. safety, force of habit, protection against pectoral cross snatchers, etc.

The remarkable thing is not that you can find pictures where it shows; after all, it is more easily pulled out than put in, one supposes. What begs explanation is why it is there in the pictures where it is hidden.

Anyway, I'll answer any other objections at SCB.

As with other things, there is the controversy ("wardrobe malfunction" or deliberate) and the issue of why people would believe we could have a Pope who might hide his cross under certain circumstances.

This is THE interfaith Pope, remember, one singularly unencumbered by tradition. I would love to see a plausible explanation ("accident" doesn't cut it for me, but what ever floats your barque), but I have to wonder about the symbolism, since it seems to be of a piece. Perhaps the most likely innocent explanation is that this is just a habit, because he doesn't like the thing dangling about.

Anonymous said...

I won't get into the subject question, since other folks seem to be delving into the photographic record. I'd simply like to make an appeal to temper our judgments a bit and presume the best. So often the Catholic blogsphere criticizes public Church figures for insufficient courage... and we do so via anonymous posts on websites read mostly by the likeminded.

Bryan Kirchoff
St. Louis

thetimman said...

Well, Bryan, that's what I'm going for by hitting the pause button here. I would love to not only presume the best but also to think I have some reason to presume the best. The conduct of the man in the office has given so much reason to assume the worst. Perhaps that is the continuing story.

Like I said, I think SCB is on to something, but since the pho graphic evidence is mixed and since it is the Vicar of Christ involved, I have to reserve judgement until and unless more comes to light.

Pray for me, too, I'm as confused and discouraged as many of you are.

Bud said...

Here's a video of the entire event. The Holy Father enters around the 1:35:00 mark.

Bud said...


JBazChicago said...

I believe Pope John Paul was confronted with this dilemma as the first pope to enter a Jewish synagogue. He demurely said, "if you wish me to enter as a private person, I will remove the cross, if you wish me to enter the synagogue as pope, I must wear it."

Wake me when this pontificate is over....

thetimman said...

Bud, thanks for the link. I will check it out.

Attempted commenter Jokester: funny. But let's be nice. And, I think you have the material wrong.

thetimman said...

Well, Bud, I watched this video, and though it takes the pontiff some time before he presents a frontal view to the camera, he makes no obvious move to his chest to move the cross.

And the cross is already tucked inside his fascia.

When he stands, a portion of it is visible, and when he sits little or none is visible.

So, I will leave the link up. I was hoping to have been wrong.

I will leave the content as is, though, and simply refer readers to the SCB blog post, out of a hope that it still was somehow accidental. Everyone can have their own take. Mine, as I said before, is that such a wardrobe malfunction (at best) is most unfortunate in this context with this pope.

thetimman said...

One final thought from me, though others may comment as they please:

The pre-tucking of the cross seems very likely, in light of the relative snugness of the fascia, and the later photo which shows the cross visible. It would be difficult for a cross to slip into the fascia when in the act of sitting, but I can more easily see it stippling out when later standing up.

At least that's my expert opinion in physics.

St. Corbinian's Bear said...

I have a new post up where I address the subsequent arguments.

As a criminal defense lawyer, using the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, I am not going to say this was definitely a gesture of some sort. On the other hand, I am certain it was deliberate.

Therefore we have a mystery, but also a scandal.

The Vatican video shows him entering with his cross concealed. Personally, I think there were some people with whom Pope Francis felt he needed to be extra sensitive with, hence the hidden cross during the formal photo op.

I, too, wish there were an innocent explanation.