Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Papal Staff of Pope Paul VI

At the Lateran Basilica
On Low Sunday, when Pope Francis took possession of the Lateran Basilica as the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, he chose to use the well-known staff or ferula of Pope Paul VI, designed by Italian sculptor Lello Scorzelli (1921 - 1997) in 1963 and used for the first time at the Closing of the Second Vatican Council on 8th December, 1965.

The return of this ferula, which had ceased to be used by Pope Benedict in 2008, has occasioned a reaction on some websites. We have no idea whether Pope Francis intends to use this staff regularly, occasionally or usually. We should just wait and see.

The Blessed John Paul II made exclusive use of the Scorzelli staff, but in 1990, Scorzelli made a copy of it to present to John Paul, which the Pope used from that time onward.

Surprisingly, however, Pope Paul did not use that particular Scorzelli staff exclusively. He also made use of three others, which are shewn in photographs at a previous post in our Papal Retrospective: here. We cannot say whether these three other staffs were also designed by Lello Scorzelli.