What is that? #Synod2018 – UPDATED – EXPLAINED and EXPLAINED MORE


That stick as a witches stang thing isn’t going away.

In my email come photos of the moment that young people gave that stick to Francis.

Not the red, knotted string.   No, big deal?  Maybe not.

The red string on the wrist is something from Wicca, in effect a form of Satanism.

I suppose it is possible to dismiss this.

“But Father! But Father!”, you might be tempted to giggle, “It’s – ha! – just a little piece of string.  What are you?  Some sort of scaredy cat?  Not that I have anything against cats, mind you.  I’m not speciesist, like YOU.  That string…even it is did have to do with Wicca… what of it?  I’ll bet she saw some pop start wear it and that’s why she does too.  But even it she were into Wicca… so what?  All faiths are good and love is never wrong, right?   But you think that Wicca is wrong and that red strings are demonic and … and… that other thing… because YOU HATE VATICAN II!”

Friends.   It could be that this young skull full of mush had no idea that that Wiccan thing is a Wiccan thing.  Or, it could be just what it looks like.   A young person wearing a Wiccan symbol gave a staff that had a sort of Christian image on it while giving every impress that it is a satanic stang.

What alarms me is that he later used it at a Mass.

Is there no one near Francis who investigates things like this?  “Hey, that thing doesn’t look right to me.  Before something blows up, maybe we had better… what do young people say now?  Gaggle it?”

Or, if someone did investigate….

Here is the video of the event when the thing was handed off.  Go to 00:15:00.  You may feel like you are drowning in Karo or Lyle’s.  The reduction of the religion of virtue to sentimentality strikes me as less than optimal.

Photos of the event are HERE.



ACIPRENSA has a story in Spanish about the meaning of the stick thing that Francis had the other day.

It might look just like a “stang” used in satanic rituals, but it was gift from young people intended to be ” Jesus crucified with arms joined by a nail and sculpted in the shape of a bamboo.”  And, “In the torn heart of Jesus on the cross is guarded a small seed, that seed that dies to bear fruit and our hope. And it reveals the secret to make life flourish, love, “said the young woman explaining the meaning of the staff.”

So, when you see it now, repeat to yourself… no, the vestments in Ireland did not have an interlocking trio of sixes… no, the stick thing is not a stang.  It isn’t.  It isn’t.

Originally Published Published on: Oct 3, 2018

For the opening Mass of the Synod, this is what Francis carried, rather than a crosier or a ferula.

First impression…

It looks like a V with a nail through it.




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  1. mitdub says:

    It looks completely sinister. This pontificate and its synods have been, more and more frequently, bringing to my mind the scene in the more recent Robin Hood film where the “bishop” was being “assisted” by the witch to offer their unholy mock mass. But that’s just me I suppose. At this point it seems fasting and prayer are all we are left with. Thankfully, that is more than we can know.

  2. grumpyoldCatholic says:

    Looks like something out of lord of the rings

  3. WVC says:

    Oh for crying out loud . . .

  4. CradleRevert says:

    Poor Monsignor Guido Marini. I can’t imagine the torment of having to endure this nonsense. He is earning his place in heaven.

  5. fr.ignatius says:

    Honestly this frightens me. Who is this man?

  6. majuscule says:

    Some are likening it to a pagan object called a witches stang.

    I have heard that witchcraft is popular with teens. In that case they would know what it is right away while some of us older folk would be oblivious.

    I don’t want to be thinking that.

  7. jaykay says:

    A two-fingered gesture on a stick is what it looks like to yours truly.

    I just don’t get it. The crozier connotes a certain function, that of actually catching a sheep and saving/guiding it, and even though it has evolved in some cases into a highly decorative form the basic function is nevertheless still discernible. And a ferula is what it is, instantly recognisable with its crucifix.

    But this… item… is a nothing. If it’s intended to denote a crozier, then it just doesn’t work – on any level. Such an implement would be for holding sheep at bay rather than catching them! And the Pope doesn’t carry a crozier anyway? It surely can’t be intended to denote a ferula – or if it is, then it’s almost blasphemously inept. Or is it a sort of walking-staff? And the nail serves no function whatsoever, unless it’s a desperately arty attempt to evoke the nails of the crucifixion.

    In fact, the whole thing looks like someone’s excruciatingly failed attempt to be… something or other. Cutting-edge, perhaps? Well, it looks like one could certainly get a cut from the edge of that silly nail sticking through. I hope it doesn’t damage some old vestments at some stage – albeit the chances of such being worn at this, ummm, event are rather remote.

  8. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    Maybe “V” stands for Pope St. Pius V?

    Notably, St. Pius V is probably one of the least favorite popes of the Lavender Mafia. It does not take a mystic to recognize that the Lavender Mafia has major goals for this current “synod”.

    So, it wouldn’t be a stretch for them to show their not-so-subtle disdain for one of the greatest popes in the history of God’s Church.

    St. Pius V, please intercede for God’s Church.

  9. frjimt says:

    he’s showing concern for the environment where he can hang up his cassock & save space at the same time…
    God only knows..trying to be relevant in a relativistic age..
    dominus flevit

  10. Ellen says:

    I don’t know as if I’d go that far in describing it. I’ll just settle for: It’s ugly!!

  11. Fr. Timothy Ferguson says:

    Y, Holy Father, Y????

  12. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    More clarity.

    Maybe that’s his retirement symbol, he can become the Pope Emeritus formerly known as Francis, but just use that weird Y/V symbol.

  13. Fr. Jim B says:

    Gandalf? Is that you?

  14. rhhenry says:

    In all seriousness, can anyone give a charitable interpretation of what it is supposed to be / represent?

    The closest I can come is that someone found a stick and thought, “Hmm. From just the right point of view it looks a little like Jesus with His arms outstretched above His head on the cross.” (See, e.g. the photo with the bishop wearing sunglasses.) “Let’s leave the stick unworked, and then use only one nail through both hands to be artsy.”

  15. juli says:

    Yikes! Isn’t the idea of a Crozier to have something to help the shepherd SAFELY get the sheep in line?

  16. chantgirl says:

    (Unfortunately, my first impression was something wicked about the hierarchy “nailing” the youth.)

    Possibly a robber’s cross?


    The forked cross is supposed to symbolize the tree of knowledge of good and evil from Eden. Unlike what Francis is carrying here, the traditional robber’s cross would have a corpus on it.

    Something Fulton Sheen said about a religion without Christ comes to mind.

    It strikes me that since Bergoglio’s election, Catholics have spent more time speaking about him, and much less time speaking about Christ.

  17. ususantiquor says:

    Perhaps the more determinative question is What is this NOT?
    It is Not the Cross of Jesus Christ. Francis appears in public under an ambiguous, gnostic standard that appears to have no origins in Catholic tradition and makes no reference to it. What are we to think?

  18. JamesA says:

    Very droll indeed, Reverend Fathers. :)
    Honestly, what ?! Do they think this “works” with the young, the wretched official vestments and the weird “crozier” ? Not to mention the watering down of Tradition and Dogma ? Absolutely and irredeemably clueless.

  19. marnie says:

    Fr. Jim B,
    Wonderful comment and exactly what my husband said!

  20. ChrisP says:

    Looks like the world’s worst slingshot. But no doubt it will have some gay backstory……..

  21. APX says:

    A v with a nail through it. Symbolic of plan to crucify Vigano?!?

  22. Q7 says:

    “I am Groot” —?

    [Yes, the comment most of wish we would have made.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  23. bibi1003 says:

    It’s precious wood pierced by a nail, obviously symbolizing the crucifixion of the rainforests.

  24. Fr. W says:

    Maybe we are supposed to pull on one side and make a wish. I have a few.

  25. FrAnt says:

    Come on everyone, it was a gift from the LCWR. One of the sisters from Albuquerque fashioned it from an old tree at the entrance to their labyrinth. The nail (?) was fashioned from a meteorite sent from the cosmos.

  26. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    “He’s got a board with a nail in it!”


  27. JesusFreak84 says:

    1) That is the most well-earned gold star I’ve personally witnessed, and 2) That staff looks like something my druid in D&D would use, though her weapon’s technically a quarterstaff.

  28. Mr. Screwtape says:

    But the marshmallows are missing!

  29. Luminis says:


  30. Daddio says:

    I think Rafiki had one of those in the Lion King.
    Caaaan you feeeeeel the loooooove toniiiiight?

  31. jobina says:

    For a pope who rarely ever mentions the name of Jesus when addressing youth, the fact that he came out without a cross or corpus is consistent with his usual omission or downplaying of Christ:
    Jesus is who I say that he is, and when I say that he is.

  32. crjs1 says:

    It was gifted to the Holy Father at Circo Massimo by a group of young people he met in August. They apparently asked that he use it during the opening Mass of the Synod. As reported by Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Service. [And so?]

    Do we always have to jump to the worst conclusions? [Relax.]

  33. MrsMacD says:

    Well Chris P beat me to the slingshot…

    The head of the man at the top of that, er, staff thing, looks as if he’s been labotamized.

  34. Looks exactly like a witch’s stang, their magic wand. Do a search through images and take a look. Good grief! Like my grandma used to say, “Enough is enough is too much!”

  35. jazzclass says:

    Msgr Marini’s expressions these days are pretty telling…

  36. Reginamater says:

    “with your rod and your staff that give me comfort…”…. Or maybe not so much.

  37. DavidJ says:

    crjs1: If that’s true, that’s an oddly specific request to make with a gift.

  38. fmsb78 says:

    It’s a sling to throw little balls of mercy on people.

  39. The Astronomer says:

    My first thought is ‘that’s the staff the White Witch was holding in the Chronicles of Narnia’s Last Battle scene…or some kinda weird papal dowsing rod.

  40. ThePapalCount says:

    What is that stick? God please. The pope just canb’t stop or help himself. Msgr Marini must throw up every time he has to be present at these things.

  41. Susanna says:

    First thought before reading any comments,
    V for Vigano with his heart pierced… my guess, but actually clueless.

    What in the world will teenagers think? Devastating!

  42. tho says:

    crsj1: When Pope Francis employs such obvious pagan symbols, jumping to the worst conclusion is par for this papacy. We, as Roman Catholics, are tired of being inundated with ambiguous proclamations and symbols.
    Having grown up on city streets, my first thought was that he was overdressed for a game of stickball.

  43. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    The good God has been able to do something with the mess I’ve made of my life several times; and therefore, He must be capable of doing something for and with Pope Francis as well as for the Church (esp. the Church in the West).

    Please, if you’ve read this far, won’t you join me in praying for all priests and bishops, and especially for the Holy Father Pope Francis? Thank you.

  44. Susan M says:

    It’s his new Papal motto. “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

  45. SPWang says:

    They will find the Ring… and kill the one who carries it.

  46. Thomas Stewart says:

    Weirdly, that object strikes me as more “Blair Witch” than “Bishop of Rome”. I don’t know what person, entity, or cause that bizarre bit of woodcraft is meant to symbolize, but it isn’t Christ.

  47. padredana says:

    I found this to be interesting: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/byathameandstang/2016/08/the-stang/


  48. Charles E Flynn says:

    Clearly the slingshot Goliath was working on when David interrupted him.

  49. SemperServusDei says:

    Druid… pagan…?

  50. Livewire says:

    It’s a Francis wishbone! Now who gets the other half. Perhaps Vigano’…I’m on pins and needles or is it nails?

  51. Livewire says:

    That is creepy! I don’t know how you fell upon that, but great job!

  52. MrsMacD says:

    @crjs1 what about if it is a ‘stang’ and the ‘young people’ were witches and they wanted to help the evil one to have an influence on the synod. What if it was a set up? Or a distraction?

    If nothing else it’s part of the Marxist/communist plan to make everything ugly, and that is evil.

  53. Glennonite says:

    The Jesuits that I admire (The Seven North American Martyrs) would use the image of the Crucifix to convert a continent by illustrating the pains that God would endure for love His creation.

    I’m not sure how that would happen with this Jesuit and this…..stick.

  54. maternalView says:

    More of the same. It’s so 1970’s.

    The Church is rich in symbolism and meaning. And those who don’t espouse the Church of 2000 years (the “noChurch” people I call them) do everything they can to deny what is good, true and beautiful. Anything they can do to keep your thoughts off God and his Church they do.

  55. Thomas Stewart says:

    It’s hostile to tradition, ugly where it doesn’t need to be, and may have intended to demonstrate some unremarkable, orthodox idea but the actual expression allows for alternative interpretations and doubt, which he is in no hurry to clarify.

    In short, it’s his entire papacy given solid form.

  56. Thomas Stewart says:

    It makes only the most oblique reference to Christ, is hostile to tradition, ugly where it doesn’t need to be, and may – upon further explanation -technically demonstrate some unremarkably orthodox idea, but the actual expression better suits alternative interpretations and increasing doubt.

    In short, it’s his entire papacy given solid form.

  57. Pius Admirabilis says:

    The Vatican’s Archmage is looking fancy in green! And finally a good photograph of the Magical Nail of Doom!

  58. snegopad says:

    Have tried to sleep over it–but just can t come down of being shocked..
    Druids rot, stick for walking through deep swamps……….
    all these interpretations —THIS is no joke.
    this is serious.
    Jesus Chistus, miserere nobis.

  59. Imrahil says:

    I am sorry about this, but my first association was the German word “Wünschelrute”, which the dictionary gives as “dowser” or “divining rod”. Though I have to say (and can proudly say) that I don’t know how precisely they look, never having seen them “in action” (or in purported action).

  60. Gab says:

    Someone far wittier than I (can’t remember whom) remarked: Looks like the Pope is going to a Quidditch match.

  61. Gregg the Obscure says:

    to me it looks like a crutch for someone who is quite tall and thin. when leftists talk about religion as a crutch, we should refute them rather than capitulate

  62. teomatteo says:

    Clearly a divining rod.

  63. Lepanto ! says:

    In the fullness of time the biological solution will solve this particular problem.

  64. Rouxfus says:

    “V” is for “Vendetta”.

  65. FN says:

    The person who found that image of a “stang” is bang on in my view. I also believe Francis’s story of where it came from, although I’d like to know who those young people were. But the thing speaks for itself. I don’t think this is really a joking matter. Father, you often say, don’t you, “the devil always shows his tail…”? Let us pray like we’ve never prayed before.

  66. Sonshine135 says:

    He forgot his staff and is using a stick from the papal shuffleboard set? The nail just added to the mystique?

  67. Man-o-words says:

    Goodness gracious. So, at it’s best, this is called “Novelty” and has no clear, consistent meaning to anyone (therefore, why have it). It opens the Pontiff up to (hopefully) inaccurate interpretations that are damaging to his (hopefully) pure intentions.

    So, how is this a good idea? It isnt.

  68. Ave Maria says:

    It used to be that the Vicar of Christ would preach Him crucified.

  69. MrsMacD says:

    I didn’t notice the head between the horns, until I saw the photo on another site.

  70. poohbear says:

    If its true it was a gift, and the giver requested it be used at Mass, Pope Francis missed a perfect teaching moment about why its not suitable.

  71. roma247 says:

    No, no, no, it’s not a Stang. It’s an artistic modern interpretation of Christ Crucified.

    And how silly of you to think that the Celtic swirl on the Irish vestments was either a triple 6 or a symbol of BDSM!

    And never mind that hideous alien Monster-ance used at Fatima…

    And the hammer and sickle Crucifix had nothing to do with Communism either.

  72. robtbrown says:

    It would probably come in handy with a campfire, marshmallows, and hot dogs.

  73. DonL says:

    So what man would die in order to follow or protect this thing?

  74. iPadre says:

    This really makes me thing that Paul VI’s ferula is beautiful.

  75. Benedict Joseph says:

    At best another liturgical absurdity. But how many absurdities of any variety can we sustain? When is the tipping point?
    In all honesty this is another facet of abuse.

  76. Clayton says:

    That thing needs to be boxed up and put into warehouse storage along with the Ark of the Covenant.

  77. Arcgap says:

    The stick is the from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the circle on top is missing but the rest is the same. It seems to that this has deep meaning….

  78. Kathleen10 says:

    Why do we doubt the evidence of our own senses.
    That looks exactly like a witches stang.
    Looks like a duck.
    Quacks like a duck.
    It’s a duck.
    In fact, the description on padredana’s comment describes further, that a witches stang is made of ash (can’t tell here if that pope stang is ash), but also is characteristically “adorned” with IRON. Note: the nail

    Do I think that is a stretch? An unfair leap? No. I do not. There is no reason to carry this oddity whatsoever except to aggravate everyone except wiccans. Maybe he is wiccan, I don’t know. He’s carrying the replica of a stang, so again, why do we not trust the evidence of our own senses? It’s as if we’re in relentless denial, denial, denial.
    He knows the Catholic world is ripping apart. He knows the level of upset. Yet he just can’t help himself. He couldn’t just carry the shepherd’s crozier.

  79. MrsMacD says:

    I’ve been gifted many things that I considered inappropriate for my children and didn’t use. If we gift Pope Frances a beautiful set of vestments and a crown and request he wear them at Christmas, will he? Not all gifts are equal.

  80. RCAVictor says:

    A gift from which young people? A group of Wiccans? And since this so-called Synod deliberately targeted ignorant, faithless and “LGBT” youth, how appropriate that they are clueless as to the correct form of the Crucifix. If indeed they are truly clueless…

  81. Ave Crux says:

    It’s the typical ploy: “Don’t believe your lying eyes…”

    Meanwhile the devil is laughing at us as he reveals himself more and more with our doltish cooperation — I don’t believe for a minute that this has nothing to do with what it evidently is.

  82. Amerikaner says:

    How about a group of youth present him with a beautiful, traditional crozier? I am sure some wealthy benefactor(s) could help buy it. A great opportunity to show what youth love and value. Have someone of influence at the synod present the youth group to Pope Francis and take/post lots of pics.

  83. Mike says:

    Is it any worse than the alien resurrection statue in the papal audience hall? The demonic has been the go-style in the Vatican since long prior to Pope Francis.

  84. jbettin says:

    Regina magazine just posted an article from the Wiccan part of Patheos, about the Stang. The wretched thing the Pope is carrying sure looks the same to me. At best, it’s a source of scandal.


  85. Ave Maria says:

    Not buying the update. Sorry.

  86. RichR says:

    Religious art should inform us more about aspects of our faith. When art is formless, it assumes no obvious meaning, therefore it fails to teach us anything beyond what we personally conjure up in our own psyche. We end up making religious art assume OUR meaning instead of letting IT teach us. Cr*p like this is iconic of modern catechesis. Jesus is no longer a God-Man we must conform our lives to. He is our lackey, ready to agree with us and affirm our dignity to the point that we no longer believe in damnation or even a need for redemption.

  87. tzard says:

    I’m probably a huge minority here in that I like a lot of modern art. The problem with this, however, is it’s not good modern art. If it takes a paragraph to explain it, (and much more you still say “Huh?”) it’s not art. If it’s just to supposed to evoke an emotion (as some pieces are) – the emotion here is both unsettling and perhaps comic. It does not direct one’s mind or heart to the cross.

  88. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that that’s not a stang. If the Pope intended to carry a stang, how would the stang look different to what he did carry?

  89. OssaSola says:

    Cernunnos, from the Roman name meaning “horned one.” Often associated with the “Green man” of European architecture…
    Is it me, or does he look extra-sinister with that spanky stick in his hand?

  90. Makes me wonder if those that gave him that stang, I mean that thang, aren’t off somewhere laughing and thinking they pulled a good one on him…and us. I don’t buy the update either.

  91. GordonB says:

    Whatever innocent explanation may exist, it is also clearly a sign that something is amiss. Sure the swirly things do not comprise a 666, but they sure do appear that way. The other thing clearly looks like a stag but it is not. I mean we too can explain away the lighting strikes on the Vatican or that the successor or Peter is not living in the Vatican, or that it wasn’t the Revelation 12 sign in 2017. I for one think we ARE getting warnings — even if they can be explained away as coincidence or a design by a youth… etc…

  92. maternalView says:

    The present crisis has taught me that my gut/instinct was always correct about those priests and bishops who were always skirting tradition and just twisting things enough to get by.

    I don’t believe the use of that stick is an unintentional but kind gesture by the Pope whether it has some symbolic meaning or it’s just a way to obscure Christ’s death. It has a message.

  93. JabbaPapa says:

    Meanwhile, over in the People’s Soviet Socialist Democratic Republic of Canadiastan …


    Canadian universities allow men identifying as ‘female’ to compete against women in sports

    RICHMOND HILL, Ontario, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A sporting organization governing university sports on the majority of Canadian university campuses has approved a new policy allowing biological males who identify as “female” to compete against real females.

    “Effective immediately, U SPORTS student-athletes will be eligible to compete on the team that corresponds with either their sex assigned at birth or their gender identity,” states U Sports’ September 26 “inclusive” transgender policy.

    The policy makes it clear that men only need to identify as a “female,” without surgery or hormones, to compete on a women’s team.

    “U SPORTS’ approved policy does not require student-athletes to undertake hormone therapy in order for them to compete in the gender category that is consistent with their gender identity,” the policy states.

    Gwendolyn Landolt, national vice-president and legal counsel for Real Women of Canada, said that the policy defies all common sense and will leave female athletes squaring off against biologically-male opponents who will have a physiological advantage.

    Well done Radical 4th Wave Feminists !!!

    What a TRIUMPH for women !!!

  94. Fr Richard Duncan CO says:

    If this is meant to be a crucifix, then Our Lord has his arms straight up, as in the Jansenist crucifixes, indicating that mercy is not for all.

  95. Kathleen10 says:

    And what’s up with all these Cardinals wearing sunglasses? They look ridiculous.

  96. polycarped says:

    What poohbear said.

  97. TonyO says:

    Based on the UPDATE:

    RCAVictor reasonably asks

    A gift from which young people?

    A slight mis-spelling there: “A gift from witch young people?”

    Whether the object of disgust was a gift from young people or not, the supposed meaning of it that some un-named young woman attached to it doesn’t actually help at all. Christ’s two arms were not pierced by a single nail, so representing Christ in that way merely detracts from any intelligible pathway of meaning from the artist (or from reality) to us. Similarly, the “torn heart of Jesus” and the “small seed” are not even hinted at by any specific aspect of this revolting object, the implication has to come ENTIRELY FROM THE MIND OF THE VIEWER. This is not how representational art works. Sorry.

    If, on the other hand, it is non-representational art, then explaining it doesn’t work at all, and explaining it in terms of what different parts of it “represent” is erroneous.

    No, those young people were sold a bill of goods by some older adult who either doesn’t know crap about art or intentionally deceived them. And the Pope and his handlers were all out to lunch in accepting such a gift and request at face value. Some time or other we need to get a pope who simply says NO to all the liturgical and artistic nonsense thrown at him by people with less sense than a chunk of wood. True Christian art is redolent with beauty, modern crap is B as in B, S as in S.

  98. mharden says:

    Here is a photo of the Stang being presented to the Pope, by a woman wearing the Wiccan red string bracelet:


  99. majuscule says:

    I would be interested in knowing what kind of necklace or medal the red-string-bracelet wearing person is wearing around her neck. You can see the cord/string/chain in the photo.

  100. Man-o-words says:

    Okay, we know who gave the pope the THANG (a good compromise description now), can we find out who she is, maybe check her instabook, facegram, and twitterspace accounts?

  101. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    “Is there no one near Francis who investigates things like this?”

    It shouldn’t require investigation for Francis to determine that the thing is at least profane and/or sacrilegious. To determine that it is a stang, though, may require research/investigation.

  102. Father G says:

    There are red string rosary bracelets as well as red string bracelets with Saint Benedict medals that are made as alternatives to the red string “evil eye” or “kabbalah” bracelets.
    It’s possible it could be one of these.

  103. bibi1003 says:

    From an 8/20/16 article about the stang on the Patheos website, written by Kelden:

    It may be used to direct energy, to banish unwanted influences and spirits and conjure helpful ones. It is used to mark out and conjure the working circle and stood in the ground it forms the altar and a bridge between the worlds”*.

    Something evil this way comes. I’m going to confession tomorrow.

  104. Elizabeth D says:

    I have always heard of a red string on the wrist as being a Jewish/Kabbalah thing. Often there are seven knots tied in it, for some reason. In the Bible there is a red string involved in the story of Jacob and Esau’s birth. There is also some kind of custom of winding red string seven times around the tomb of Rachel, with some kind of mystical purpose. There is a red string involved with Rahab. On the internet I can find several different belief systems that do this, including Hinduism. Red string on the wrist is a pretty diffuse practice with variable meaning, often having to do with “the evil eye”. Then there are also one decade rosary bracelets that happen to be red: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Set-of-3-Bracelets-Red-Decenario-Pulseras-Knotted-Thread-Cross-Bracel/405264224

    I hate the staff thing, whatever the intention of the giver might have been. I think this was a poor choice.

  105. WVC says:

    If anyone wants to make light of Wiccan and witchcraft stuff, please go to YouTube and watch the new Netflix Trailer for the upcoming Sabrina show. It is, without a doubt, Satanic. If anyone thinks that show isn’t going to encourage youth interest in all things Wiccan (and if one doesn’t understand that interest in all things Wiccan must be alarmingly high for a show like this to be made in the first place) . . . I’ve got a really ugly, non-traditional crosier to sell you.

    Also, Father Z asks, “Is there no one near Francis who investigates things like this?”

    If anyone noticed anything they probably decided to keep their mouth shut since they didn’t want to end up as the papal ambassador to Antarctica. There have been enough examples for everyone to now understand that the emperor is indeed wearing some very fine clothes . . .

  106. JustaSinner says:

    I. Have. No. Words…

  107. Unwilling says:

    Intrusion of such a device into The Holy Place could not be due to ignorance or mistake. It is an example of the ad-rogance of one whose actions transcend Scripture and Tradition.

  108. Pingback: Who is this man? | Catholic News Report

  109. Lisieux says:

    I have a rosary bracelet that looks very similar – blue, not red. I’m not defending the ‘stang’, which is ugly and possibly ambiguous, but I don’t think we need yet go over the top by assuming the donor was a witch.

  110. GordonB says:

    Ok. Fr. Z also posted a front view of the woman with the bracelet and the stag – she is also wearing an amulet around her neck, not a crucifix – I am curious (and lack the skills of digging in to the issue further) if that amulet around her neck is something further confirming her identity as a witch at the ceremony????

  111. Lisieux says: I have a rosary bracelet that looks very similar – blue, not red. I’m not defending the ‘stang’, which is ugly and possibly ambiguous, but I don’t think we need yet go over the top by assuming the donor was a witch.

    Thing is, we shouldn’t even have to be ASKING these questions about the Pope and his accoutrements.

  112. rtjl says:

    Red strings tied around the wrist are associated with kabbalah are they not?

  113. Hans says:

    Our parish in suburban Chicago (smallish by Chicago standards) received a whole display of similar red stringy things as a gift from folks who bring olive-wood religious objects made in the Holy Land (Bethlehem?) for sale. The stringy things, mostly bracelets like this one, are made in China, as I recall; they have been popular with the young’uns. They have a variety of Christian symbols on them. I would suspect that we weren’t the only parish to receive such these items, perhaps even in Italy.

  114. rosula says:

    Nothing to see here. Move on. These pics merely portray the accompaniment of occultists.

    Every sin is to be celebrated. Every sinner gets his own parade.

  115. msgrbarr says:

    Not my kind of art, but really guys. After the debacle of the media debating whether Judge Kavenaugh’s “Devil’s Triangle” reference was a drinking game or a sexual reference (after exhaustive commentary and research turns out it was a drinking game), we all ought to take a deep breath and accept that maybe a red wrist band is just a colored wrist band. Popes have had to endure bad art in their travels all the time. I doubt that he’ll use it again, though it really does look like Gandalf s staff, and that’s from Tolkien, and the first steps are being taken towards Tolkien’s canonization, so that would make the staff good which would make the crozier which references the staff holy…hmmm? By the way Fr. Z, the 666 reference to the vestment design for the Pope’s Ireland trip is a bit of a stretch since they were three trisagions representing the Trinity, a Common Celtic design. What was truly a horror were the pastel colors. What were they thinking? And speaking of thinking I am perhaps overthinking but I’m currently caught up in the news story of the media noticing a piece of paper caught on President Trump’s shoe as he boarded his helicopter today. They were musing whether it was toilet paper or not—in the midst of the Kavenaugh confirmation. Sheesh!

  116. Amerikaner says:

    Looks like a red knot rosary bracelet.

  117. Kathleen10 says:

    Now we can look forward to a few weeks of “The pope didn’t KNOW it resembled a witch’s stang!” and, lots of papal apologists and the relentlessly naïve who will say he didn’t know.
    Come on people. It was not what, 14 days ago he literally said “I am the devil.”
    Apparently at least one of the young ladies is in her 30’s, making her a pretty aged “youth”. Once someone figures out who she is and checks out her social media, here comes the truth, unless it’s been scrubbed already. I’m betting Wicca stuff.
    And how do “youths” get such access to the pope? I bet it’s not easy at all to get the pope to carry one of your sticks, so who are these gals?

    And even if you still want to continue defending this as impossible, ask yourself why a man who is the pope, supposedly a Christian, cannot look at that thing, nor could anyone else around him, and discern not only does it not look remotely Christian, but it is at the least disturbingly odd, pagan-esque, and Wicca-like? It is bizarre for them to claim nobody knew this was the case. This is the level of spiritual discernment and understanding of world religions in charge of our church??
    Ohhh…they believe in Hell and Satan alright, don’t let them fool you.
    I’m anticipating the claims of innocence, which will commence…3…2….1….

  118. Long-Skirts says:


    For neurotic-psychotic
    “Attached” to the old
    We give you a hireling
    To take care your fold.

    No need for the shepherds
    Who seem so much keener
    They’ll tempt you with dreams
    Of pastures much greener

    And say not to mimic
    Past tolerant-barters
    So heads were cut off
    Who could dialogue with martyrs?

    The shepherds tell fables
    ‘Bout a man, hated, hailed,
    Like you just “attached”
    Don’t believe He was nailed!

  119. I am late on this comment, so it seems others beat me to it. It seems this red knotted string on the wrist is a popular Kabbalah practice:


    Could not find any info. connecting it to Wicca. I am still not sure that Catholic should be wearing a Jewish charm bracelet. And the staff thing, well, so much for even secular good taste . . .

  120. MrsMacD says:

    Did anyone notice the absence of an actual cross? Just in case this isn’t what it looks like it is.

  121. MrsMacD says:

    @GordonB; I did a little bit of searching on the internet as I had a similar thought. Wiccans are definitely into stones (and metals), the morion, tourmaline and oynx stones are all used in witchcraft.

  122. Jacinta says:

    I’m not really surprised with this Pope honestly… though it IS shocking, I think that the whole Vigano/Pope Silence/Homo Mafia Sex Abuse thing going on shocks me more, but this just adds to it.
    Its almost like the devil is mocking our stupidity and flying his colors everywhere: all the while half of the Trads are going nuts and trying to analyze and say the Church has been taken over by Satan since Vatican II, the other half are just shaking their heads and continuing their rosaries… which is what we must do!! The Rosary Coast to Coast is this Sunday! Plus the 40 Days for Life is going on! Then the Public Square Rosary Crusade is happening on the 13th at noon! So many ways to join Our Lady in the fight!! Perhaps a better way than sitting at home diving through sedevacantist websites telling me that such and such is Satanic, and Pope John Paul II was an anti Pope…. (telling this to myself LOL)

  123. Spinmamma says:

    At first glance I considered that the red string/beads on the wrist were simply a one decade rosary. However, after much thought and considering the other items I am not so sure. There can be no doubt in my mind that the staff is indeed in all appearance a stang. In fact the infamous “Robert Cochrane,” a British occultist, gave directions on how to make a witch’s stane, and one of the ways is to put a nail or piece of metal between the forks of the stick. The amulet worn by the woman is not very clear, but it looks in shape like a Norse runic amulet. It is most certainly not a Christian symbol. This is beyond disturbing.

  124. Malta says:

    That’s a snake-stick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yIO1J5LQpI. Usually it’s used for vipers, but Francis uses it for bishops who disagree with him.

  125. Malta says:

    @17:33 Steve is here using the “Francis stick” to get a Mojave snake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ulde01Y5rQ. But to get a good Bishop like Burke, obviously Francis has to use a much larger stick.

  126. Livewire says:

    Notice the pinky finger spread for the other three? Isn’t that the same masonic hand symbol pointed out on Prince Harry’s masonic hand symbol as when he net Malania Trump as he stood holding his blazer?

  127. Barnacle says:

    … Il Diavolo non puo nascondere la coda….. We need the Vatican Deplorables to follow Fr. Kalchik’s excellent example and quickly and efficiently chuck this ugly revolting thang into the fire pit.

  128. Markus says:

    Symbolism is a form of communication. The RCC has a rich tradition (and perhaps the longest form) of symbolism. I have studied Catholic symbolism for over 40 years.
    Words have meanings. Symbols have meanings. It appears that many, today, are attempting to change the meaning of words and symbols. Others are ignorant.

    Bamboo has no Christian meaning. THREE nails represents the Crucifixion, not one.

    My first impression was that the “Y” with the nail represented the split in the Church. Last nail in the coffin?

    Perhaps the piece would have communicated more if the nail would have been a wooden spike…

  129. KateD says:

    It’s a magician’s staff, alright, being used to divert our attention from praying for things going on today in the Senate.


    And then pray some more….

  130. Andrew says:

    I’ve been looking at the photo of the presenters: from the way they dress, at first I thought they were some girly looking boys, but upon closer look, they seem to be boyish looking girls.

  131. KateD says:

    As a person who has goats and has used a crozier (which is a heck of a lot easier than reaching down and grabbing the hoof), looking at this thing, functionally? It would be good for holding something down for slaughter. Satan tends to ape God and His Church, so there is likely form and function.

  132. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    A purveyor of Catholic goods headquartered in Saint Louis, MO features red rosary bracelets in their online catalogue. These are hand-made in Medjugorje from German red clay. From the catalogue picture I would say these don’t look like ordinary rosary bracelets made up of individually strung red beads, but are something closer to what we see worn by the young woman in the picture with Pope Francis.

  133. Supertradmum says:

    This is symbolic of the stupidity of Modernism. Once feelings take over from reason, and once so-called local custom takes over from liturgical norms and customs, anything goes. I would not over-think the symbolism regarding the Pope himself, but realise just how dense those around the Pope seem to be regarding symbolism and what so many youth are really “into.” Being so “open” leads to leaky brains…so who are the papal liturgical advisors? Naïveté? No excuses.

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