Cologne Cathedral now has a gargoyle of Pope Francis! It’s not a water-course gargoyle, but rather an indoor architectural detail. It appears on the main portal, right above King Solomon. He is kindly smiling.
Pope Francis at Cologne Cathedral
22 responses to “Pope Francis at Cologne Cathedral”
Yet another sign…
St. Francis of Assisi pray for us.
Is this a joke? If not, it’s definitely papolatry…
I think that you misunderstood my question. What my question was intended to mean is whether gargoyles were erected after the construction of a cathedral… My apologies if my question wad too vague.
Strictly speaking, a gargoyle normally refers to a sculpted figure (often but not always a grotesque figure) that acts as a drainage spout.
That said, medieval churches and cathedrals often abounded in a variety of sculpted furnishings where contemporary figures could be remembered or satirized, such as the capitals/dosserets of columns/piers (more typical of Romanesque than Gothic), bosses at the junction of ribbed vaults or, even more typically, the misericords of seats in the choir. And, after decay or acts of iconoclasm (whether in the Reformation or the era of Revolutions and world wars), there’s a long tradition of replacement.
I think that you are justifying this addition with a generalization. Was it a common practice to add sculptures of incumbent Popes during their pontificate?
I thought I was answering your question, which was phrased as a general question. It seems now that you actually have an objection rather than a question.
But it is not clear what you are objecting to.
At first it seemed you were concerned about modern additions to medieval structures.
Now it seems you are concerned about popes.
But you also seem to be concerned about reigning popes.
Or are you just concerned because you don’t like Pope Francis?
If it is the last, then no answer will help you.
I’m not concerned about popes or incumbent popes… I’m concerned that this is not an appropriate addition to this magnificent cathedral. That’s all I’m asking.
I wonder what he thinks about this. Are there other “gargoyles” of popes on the cathedral?
Other representations of His Holiness appear at this time of year, less permanent than in stone. On November 5th the Pope is traditionally burned in effigy at Lewes in Sussex (UK) as part of the Guy Fawkes Day celebrations
Actually the figure is not so much a gargoyle as a very small corbel figure decorating the canopy above the statue of King Solomon. It was a replacement for a worn and damaged figure as part of the continuing repairs from age and WWII bombs. From the time of the building of medieval cathedrals these were usually lighthearted figures of contemporary persons, personality types, and fictional characters. As cathedrals around Europe continue to be renewed and repaired they have come to include astronauts, Darth Vader, football stars, and in another place at Cologne, since the 1960’s Nikita Khrushchev and JFK in perpetual conversation.
Am I the only one who thinks that looks creepy?
Creepy doesn’t begin to describe it. The maker of this thing makes his point, shows it. Gee, why is Bergoglio bent over like that?
it actually depicts him doing what he says Christians should be doing: bending down to help someone in need as the Good Samaritan did to help the wounded man by the roadside and as he does every year when he washes feet on Holy Thursday. Gee, why do you think Pope Francis is bent down like that? Care to share your true thoughts with us? You surely have an opinion…
How about a figure of Pope Pious X, “Restore all things in Christ.”
His bending over never gave me the impression it had to do with the Good Samaritan. I also never really have any thought to his position.
As others have pointed out, there is a rich tradition of carving the faces of kings, bishops, popes, deans, the local craftsmen etc into the fabric of medieval cathedrals. Sometimes they were done reverently, sometimes less so. This is just the latest example.
Apart from that, the phrase “storm in a tea cup” springs to mind.
View from the Pew
Regarding: the image of Francis of Rome.
– In the statues current placement it is nice that people who are short in relation to the statue’s elevation might see the face of the good archbishop which captures his wide open smile often seen in photographs. Were the statue more erect I imagine (never having been there) that one would need some distance from the statue and a telescope to see whose face is represented.