New Pope, New Baby Jesus

Christmas 2009
Christmas 2010

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2012
Something you may have missed. For some reason, I prefer the Baby Jesus of Pope Benedict XVI. You know, I mean, not every parish can afford a Baby Jesus with a Halo, but...if there ever was a parish that could, I'd say that parish was St Peter's Basillica, Rome.

Please, Pope Francis...bring back the Baby Jesus with the Halo! He is the Lord, after all! I would suggest that if any pictures offered a neat summary of the continuity/contrast in the theology of the two Popes then this is the two. As goeth the Vestments, as goeth the Liturgy, so goeth the Lord Himself! Someone in the Vatican clearly wanted a 'more human' Jesus, One less divine. Whoever it was who asked for a 'more human' and 'less divine' Baby Jesus needs a stiff word in his ear.

Or maybe this is a 'PR Baby Jesus' dreamt up by someone in Pope Francis's PR team, who refuses gold out of 'humility' and 'simplicity'. I'm pretty sure it won't have been the Master of Ceremonies. So why, at Epiphany will we be recalling and commemorating the day upon which the wise men from the East fell to their knees to adore the King of Heaven and Earth, offering to the Child myrrh, frankincense and, wait for it...gold? Maybe that event was a parable and should be understood as such.

It seems like such a small thing, but it is often small things that convey quite well the divinity as well as the humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and down the centuries the Church has used these little things to show the two natures of Christ (God and Man) very well. I wonder where the more divine Baby Jesus statue is? Gathering dust somewhere in the Sacristy? I wonder if the Vatican forked out good money on a 'new' Baby Jesus that made them feel more 'comfortable' instead of using the perfectly good one they already had!? Whoever it was in the Vatican who decided that the Lord God, who made Himself totally vulnerable for us by coming as a Babe in Bethelehem, needed to 'drop' the Halo...

SHAME ON YOU!

Christmas 2013

Please, Your Holiness, bring back the Baby Jesus statue venerated under both Pope Benedict XVI and Blessed Pope John Paul II! In the name of all that is Holy, please take away the communist Christ and bring back the Lord Jesus!

Comments

Pelerin said…
Sorry Laurence but I have to disagree with you! I love this year's figure of the Baby Jesus and thought that last years 'halo' looked more like arrows in His head.

I don't think we ought to read anything into the change of figure. I imagine there are probably rows of them somewhere in the Vatican all probably donated over the centuries and waiting to be chosen each Christmastime.

Incidentally I went into Westminster Cathedral today and see they have a new set of Crib figures this year. Forgot to check if there were any halos!
The Bones said…
Sorry, but as you can see that is simply not the case.
Physiocrat said…
That sort of thing is sold off cheap after Christmas at places like Lidl. Good time to buy Christmas lights and decorations. And stollen cake.
The Bones said…
Lidl Baby Jesus!
Lynda said…
The previous statue was more symbolic of the Faith.
Annie said…
It looks like the "Hugs and Hold" Doll sold at Toys R Us (was $12.99; now $9.48).

No gold to affirm Jesus' divinity which - counter to modern sensibilities - *was* recognized not only by the Holy Family but by everyone who showed up that night (you know, the lowly shepherds, the wise men - those, so we are told, who represent us). Our Lord's divinity *purposely* was revealed to mankind at His birth but that Revelation has been ditched (as too elitist?) from our barrio baby.

Of course, as we no longer have to believe in Jesus to get to Heaven, presumably it no longer matters who He/he is.



viterbo said…
out with the true and in with the new. the new statue looks like it belongs in toy box.
viterbo said…
p.s. notice that like the pope, the new babe gives no blessing.
Hermit Crab said…
The differences are indeed remarkable and significant.

You have been very observant this last week or two.
Fr Mark said…
If you can be certain about anything, it's that Pope Francis didn't get personally involved in picking which Baby Jesu was used.

That's the job of the sacristan or MC so blame Marini-II if you have a problem with it....
Katalina said…
This is just the pope's own personal preference liken his liturgies but I agree that any state of the Child Jesus should have a halo on his head and giving a blessing that is usually the way they are made, I have a modern prayer book with a picture of him and he had a halo and was giving a blessing with two fingers. He could have used the regular one out of obedience.
africanflower84 said…
Communist Christ?! Really? Don't you think that's taking things a bit too far?
Jackie Parkes said…
Love this baby Jesus!
Jackie Parkes said…
Maybe you prefer the resurrected Christ to the crucified? :)
Genty said…
I rather think it was Francis who would have been given the say-so and opted for the poor and defenceless image rather than the divine.
He might have been second-guessed but I doubt that as he seems very hands-on with anything to do with the liturgy and its accessories.
Lynda said…
Can't have one without the other.
It seems to me that this is the perfect ecumenical World Council of Churches “Prince of Peace” baby. They don´t like halos too at the WCC. Their Christmas Message 2013 merely showed the silhouettes of three birds. (link below)

The Pope and the WCC referred to the “Prince of Peace” in their Christmas messages.

“Prince of Peace, in every place turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue.””
http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=53686

“Most of all, we have issued an invitation to all people of good will to join us in the pilgrimage to Just Peace throughout the earth. We intend to move together, and in our common journey to display unity and love for one another.
We are inspired by the shepherds and the wise to seek the Prince of Peace in unexpected places, even in what might be seen as the “wrong” places.”
http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/general-secretary/messages-and-letters/christmas-message-2013

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/pope-francis-apostolic-exhortation-challenging-and-inviting-1

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-message-to-the-10th-general-assembly-of-the-world-council-of-churches
Fr Mark said…
Gently - you may think what you like but the fact is that you don't know whether Francis had any say over what Baby Jesu statuette was used. You over-willingly ASSUME that he did so as to nit-pick and make negative interpretations of it's supposed doctrinal meaning. It's pious navel gazing used in attempt to undermine this papacy.
Lynda said…
The reasonable presumption, without more information, is that, at the least, whoever was responsible for the change thought it would be acceptable.
Anonymous said…
The new baby Jesus doesn't even look like a human baby, never mind divine. It's the arms and hands. No new baby holds their hands like that, they throw their hands out like the old baby Jesus. Bring back the old one!!
Physiocrat said…
As a firm believer in the cock-up theory, I would suggest this explanation. Last year's baby was dropped and broken when they were putting it away but they didn't realise until lunchtime Christmas Eve and then had to rush round the local toyshops before they closed for the holidays, and finding only one still open, had to take the only one they had in stock.
viterbo said…
physiocrat:

would that I had your firm beliefs.
Physiocrat said…
viterbo - the inability to organise a drunken binge in a brewery is widespread. It is not a matter of faith but observation and experience.