Here Are Some Great Photos of People Posing Next to a Cardboard Cutout of the Pope
Last September I wrote a blog post about the pope, and to find an image that could go with it I started browsing through Flickr’s Creative Commons library, which is a great place to find images you don’t have to pay for. I didn’t get any particularly good shots of Pope Francis, but my search led me to the Flickr page of Catholic United Financial, an account that has over 6,000 photos—all of them of people posing next to cardboard cutouts of Pope Francis.
Now, I don’t know anything about Catholic United Financial, though I imagine it’s some sort of charity that brings cardboard cutouts of the pope to events. As you scroll through the photos the cutout changes from waving happy Pope Francis to a more serious Pope Francis, so I assume the cutouts get worn out after so much use, but that’s conjecture on my part. I prefer to keep myself ignorant, because adding context to these photos—where they were taken, what events the cardboard pope was attending, why a charity would decide to post them all online—will only detract from the pure joy I get from periodically clicking through that Flickr page.
And for the record, I’m not enjoying these photos on some kind of ironically detached level where I’m pointing and laughing at people in Middle America who like something as old-fashioned as the Catholic Church. The images below are great simply because they show people being happy. Thank you, Catholic United Financial!
See more people posing next to cardboard Pope Francis
Seven Dark Horse Candidates for Pope
Tomorrow, a bunch of men in robes will lock themselves in the Vatican, cease all forms of communication with the outside world, and cast ballots until two-thirds of them agree on who should take over as spiritual leader to a billion people. Catholics, church watchers, and fans of big hats have been discussing, via slideshows, who the most-likely candidates for the popehood are ever since Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation a month ago. Everyone agrees that the next pope, like pretty much every pope in history, will be an old guy who is already a high-ranking member of the Church, but it doesn’t have to be. The new head of the Catholic Church technically doesn’t have to be a cardinal or a bishop or even an ordained member of the clergy. So, there’s a chance, however small, that those old men in robes will decide that in order to restore the reputation of a centuries-old institution that has weathered some pretty dire crises in recent years, they’ll need to think outside of the box. Here are some of the unlikely, but still possible, candidates for pope:
Photo illustrations by Christian Storm
Pros: The Boss was born and raised Catholic and continues to identify himself as affiliated with the Church. No one can deny the powerful Catholic themes of sin and redemption present in many of his songs, and he is already used to traveling the world offering benedictions to hundreds of millions of followers.
Cons: Already has a better job than being pope.
Pros: What better way to reach out to a younger generation who’s lost touch with Catholicism than to elect one of the Millennnials’ most beloved icons? Lena Dunham has touched millions, if not billions of lives for the better and taught a generation how to laugh, how to love, and how to live through mistakes. Her image graces dorm rooms, billboards, and magazine covers all over America—in many places, she is already better known and more venerated than the Virgin Mary. Everyone under 30 idolizes her and follows her every utterance as if it were law. If the cardinals had the courage to make her pope, Catholicism would have swarms of new converts who would thrill at the chance to follow Lena on her next adventure of self-discovery.
Cons: May have had a bunch of abortions.
Why I Feel Sorry for the Pop Who Hung Up on God
They had to carry the last guy out of there in a box. Three boxes, in fact. One of the many perks to being Pope is the way that they don’t simply bury you in one coffin. You get three, your body encased in the smallest as if you’re one of those Russian matryoshka dolls waiting to get sucked up to the kingdom in the clouds. It’s not like Judaism where everyone gets the same cheap pine one.
Nope, they do things properly in Catholicism. Or did, until the most conservative Pope of modern times decided it was time for him to smash the mold. This time around, Benedict XVI will be walking out of there as the first Pope in 600 years to resign. He was elected as God’s representative on Earth—a human tin can at the end of a string through which The Great I Am could communicate just how much gays offended him. Now, the Pope is resigning. Effectively, he has hung up the phone on God. That takes balls. Real balls.
How will his reign be remembered? The short answer is that, bar this final grand gesture, it won’t. Benedict arrived, and like God he saw that it was good, and, like God, he therefore decided to leave well enough alone. Went back to his books. Tried to pretend like all this stuff wasn’t happening around him. Naturally, no one elects popes on modernizing platforms. They may be “progressive,” but that’s only because they’re progressing toward approximately 1831. Still, given the signs of the times bursting like mortars around him, this guy could at least have made some speeches about change—taken a leaf out of Barry O’s book and just bifurcate appearance and reality.
Goddamn the pope is an asshole. He came to London last weekend and drove around in his little Popemobile looking smug as shit while people flipped him off and hurled obscenities at him. Read more
Read the rest at Vice Magazine: Vice Magazine