Thursday 11 April 2013

The (welcome) return of the Scorzelli ferula

Pope Francis
I am quite happy to see Pope Francis has begun using the Lello Scorzelli ferula again.  It has been used by all Popes at some point since the Servant of God, Venerable Pope Paul VI.

Servant of God, Pope Paul VI
Pope John Paul I
Blessed John Paul II
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Michael, Bishop of Meath
 It is also driving the traddies to distraction.  With each passing day they search for new things to accuse the Pope of.  Over in Rorate Caeli a commentator has a list of about fifty things - the usual black shoes, no mozzetta stuff, but also the distinctly weird, like drinking tea in public.  Apparently the only thing we should see the Pope consuming is the Blessed Eucharist.  Who knew?  They think the cross is Jansenist because the arms go up.  Don't remember Jansen promoting that.

I'm not a massive fan of modern art - the blue square, black wall sort of stuff.  But I do like some of the dramatic such as La Resurrezione by Pericle Fazzini in the Paul VI audience hall.

Scorzelli's cross looks very much like it was inspired by the famous drawing of the crucifixion by St John of the Cross and subsequently Dali's painting.  If you're ever in Glasgow be sure and go to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and see it.

Dali drawing
I always felt that Blessed Pope John Paul II took great support from it, physically and spiritually.  Scorzelli made one specially for him that was lighter to carry.  Pope Francis is using the original one made for Paul.


  1. Is that bishop really using a cross instead of a crozier? Bit cheeky. Or is there some Eastern Rite thing going on?

  2. His Holiness Pope Paul Vi oversaw the introduction of many novelties.

  3. But it is ugly (in an artistic portrayal sense). Sometimes we need a formality in our sacred objects that does not deny the horror of the crucifixion but embraces it in a style that incorporates it into the structure of the liturgy rather than making it stick out in a distracting fashion. Does that make sense? No?

  4. I don't think it's ugly at all. I think this one really is a question of taste. I didn't mind Benedict changing, but to be honest I prefer a crucifix to a cross.