The Joke That Was The Pope

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Pope John Paul II ruled the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 2 decades. As a man intent on improving relations with other religious and administrative bodies, he also became the most well traveled pope in the church’s history.

As a result of this he became a media celebrity and his visits introduced an atmosphere that approached the carnivalesque.

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People captilised on this popularity through officially sanctioned products. Plates, mugs, badges and all kinds of figures, including bobbleheads, were available.

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Caricaturists also had a field day. The postcards reproduced here offer proof of that.

Ditto the response to the Pope Mobile. Though originally developed for his predecessor, it became a matter of personal safety after an assassination attempt and is still linked to him.

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This image is from a 2010 parade in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Perhaps the most curious gadget is the Popescope. It enabled spectators to peer over those who would have otherwise blocked their view.

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Images:

Pope Mobile: http://www.clevelandpeople.com/groups/polish/2010/parade-slavic-050210.htm

Popescope: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/religion/slideshow/Pope-John-Paul-II-s-1987-visit-to-San-Antonio-48679/photo-3425532.php

 

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