Yeah, today’s Halloween. It’s a special time of the year (except for the raccoons who come to visit me throughout the year; they show up each night expecting treats, and they’re always wearing masks, so every night of the year is Halloween for them, I guess…)
And apparently, even the folks in the Vatican are into dress-up this October. During the Youth Synod, Pope Francis was seen walking around looking like he was preparing to play Quidditch. His staff (called a Papal ferula) looked nothing like a traditional bishop’s crozier, and certainly nothing like the trademark Crucifix which adorned the top of St. John Paul II’s ferula.
Observers can be forgiven if they sensed some sort of Wiccan flavor to the staff he was carrying. It looked far more like a stang of the type favored by those practiced in the dark arts than it resembled anything Christian. “Not so!” we were assured by Vatican staff (the administrative sort of staff as opposed to the ceremonial walking stick sort of staff). The new, avantgarde and oh-so-fashionable staff was a gift from “the youth.” If you look closely (really, really closely) you can almost–if you squint just right–see what might look like a Y-shaped Crucifix.
Taking a shot or two of the local chianti might aid the identification process.
Not only are we laity having trouble with the funny-looking staff, the Papal staff is having trouble with the staff as well…