Body of Pope John XXIII hauled out for the world to see.
June 3, 2001 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Body of Pope John XXIII hauled out for the world to see.

No offense to those of a Catholic persuasion among us, but i find this creepy.
posted by o2b (18 comments total)
Yikes! Uhm... He looks pretty good for a dead guy?
posted by ZachsMind at 4:41 PM on June 3, 2001

"The dead pope’s face has been covered by a wax mask put on after the original set of three sealed coffins were opened earlier this year..."
posted by register at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2001

this photo from 1963 is even more creepy.
posted by palegirl at 5:07 PM on June 3, 2001

I'm a lapsed Catholic, but I have to admit that I'm still fascinated by their bizarre fetish for dead stuff. I particularly love reliquaries, those ornate containers designed to hold bits of dead saints like toes, fingers, hearts, and so on.
posted by MrBaliHai at 9:00 PM on June 3, 2001

“It made me think of Madame Tussauds [Wax Museum],” he told Reuters Television. “It could have been handled better,” he said, adding that a cleansing solution would have given the dead pope a more natural look.

Thats' what you get by dealing with amateurs. If they really wanted to do a good job they should have called on the professionals .
posted by lagado at 9:23 PM on June 3, 2001

Lagado: before I clicked I was hoping that your link wasn't going to go here:

great link, thanks!
posted by machaus at 10:09 PM on June 3, 2001

Gawd. Catholics accept this, but not a naked black female Jesus in an otherwise obscure art exhibit? Totally fuXored sense of priorities and taste, if you ask me.

Since Catholics now seem to think they can control the image of Jesus anywhere in the US, can I chime in and protest that this offends my Christianity?
posted by dhartung at 10:27 PM on June 3, 2001

> ... this offends my Christianity?

Then you must love that bloody-corpse-on-a-stick image most Cats hang around their necks.

"Beatification requires one miracle attributed to the deceased’s intercession, and in the crowd Sunday was Sister Caterina, an Italian nun whose recovery from illness was certified by the Vatican to be that miracle.
“I’m really emotional,” said the nun, interviewed on Italian state television.

I'm sure she is. Married to a god and cured [of what?] by a dead guy.

I'd bet she's an incurable romantic, though, miracles be damned.
posted by pracowity at 11:20 PM on June 3, 2001

Dead waxed skin in a modern crystal coffin.
Hoodoo at the Vatican crossroads.
The mummy returns, and the crowd lusts...
Nearer my God To Thee.

really bad SOC drivel from
a sleepy Opus Dark

posted by Opus Dark at 12:11 AM on June 4, 2001

Oh Jesus.
When I read that, I thought, When did Pope John XXIII die?, seeing that I thought he was the current pope. Then I realized that he's been dead for thirty years (and, by the way, looking very un-dead and not a bit decomposed), and thus waited for the lightning to strike and kill me.
posted by GirlFriday at 7:43 AM on June 4, 2001

I second, third, and fourth Dan Hartung's comments. It does seem pretty spooky to have this dead-for-38-years pope carted around in public view. And the more I read of the article, the more everything about the ceremony and the beatification and the idolization and everything offends my sensibilities of what Christianity should mean--what it was meant to mean. Has Catholicism been reduced to mysticism and superstition? Or am I just now realizing it?

But really, more than anything, I'm just plain surprised so many people can go along with this kind of thing so seriously. But hey, give the people what they want, right?
posted by daveadams at 9:50 AM on June 4, 2001

People can now go and pray at the 38-year old corpse? For what purpose?

Now granted, I'm not Catholic and never have been, but I have a pretty good working knowledge of the Bible and I haven't even seen anything that says "Pray in front of corpses" or even to support the idea of laying a body in state immediately following death, let alone four decades later. I can find quite a few passages against such an idea, though.

So the Vatican isn't even following its own book on this one, and it's not the first time. This is the point where I always want to ask Catholics -- whose word is more important, God's or the guy in the hat's?
posted by Dreama at 10:22 AM on June 4, 2001

There's more than a little irony here. John XXIII was very big on brining the church into the 20th century. (If I'm not mistaken, he was the one who Mass to be celebrated in languages other than Latin, and allowed folk Masses, etc.) The whole Vatican II thing, I think it was. Now here he is being paraded around like some Holy Relic--one of the most obvious symbols of the old, archaic Church.

If I was a conspiracist, I would suggest that the current, conservative Pope is saying "in your wax-masked face" to the ol' Liberal.

But I'm not, so I won't.
posted by jpoulos at 10:40 AM on June 4, 2001

whose word is more important, God's or the guy in the hat's?

The guy in the hat is God's representative on Earth, so he gets to amend or supplement the Bible.
posted by kindall at 10:42 AM on June 4, 2001

I was surprised to see this because I was at the vatican late last year and went down into the catacombs underneath where they have all the vaults...there were a fair number of people praying in front of John XXIII, but what I remember now was how massive that vault was, and what an amount of work it must have been to get him outta there...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:46 AM on June 4, 2001

I'm with jpoulos: when John XXIII was elected Pope, it was believed that the old man would simply serve out his few years in relative obscurity, leaving the other cardinals to do their politicking for the next election. Instead, he transformed the Church; had he lived longer, we might even have seen a different attitude towards issues such as contraception, given the attempts made by the inventors of the Pill to make it appear "natural" enough to placate the Vatican. There's a logistical reason for this -- too many people were visiting his tomb in the crypts, and it's safer to have him installed in St Peter's -- but the glass coffin is definitely representative of the kind of Catholicism he tried to transcend.

Additionally: it'd be nice if they could dig up Pius XII, so that we could throw rocks at that bloody fascist collaborator.

The guy in the hat is God's representative on Earth, so he gets to amend or supplement the Bible.

To study and teach both the Bible, and the work of the Church. Which isn't necessarily amending it.
posted by holgate at 11:11 AM on June 4, 2001

anyone ever pull a wish bone?
posted by clavdivs at 5:29 PM on June 4, 2001

anyone ever pull a wish bone?

Yes. And I also didn't attribute any significance to the result.
posted by daveadams at 7:44 AM on June 5, 2001

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