Shortly before the start of the mass at Sarajevo’s Olympic Stadium, the cross on the Pope’s pastoral staff broke off. Since he was unable to find another one, he taped together the one he had!
This is the first time ever that a Pope’s pastoral staff has been seen with tape wrapped around it. The cross on the top of the crosier broke after a small accident during the course of this morning’s events. The pastoral staff is modeled on the one used in the days of Paul VI.
The master of papal ceremonies, mgr. Guido Martini first tired to search for a replacement one but was unsuccessful given the tight schedule. The solution he came up with was to fix the cross back onto its rod as best he could. The white tape was wrapped around the base of the piece with the cross surmounted on it.
The pastoral staff has been damaged in the past but no emergency adjustments have ever had to be made. When the golden cross shaped stick (dating back to the days of Pius IX) used by Benedict XVI was damaged, the office of papal ceremonies had it replaced with another identical copy. And not one noticed the difference.
BERGOGLIO HOLDS THE PASTORAL STAFF WITH THE WHITE TAPE WRAPPED AROUND IT – (©REUTERS)