I am currently in Brazil, where I have been watching the papal succession with great inIMG_2514terest. While my Portuguese is still limited, I have been trying to follow some of the press coverage here (while watching CNNI and reading the New York Times as well).

So, I couldn’t helIMG_2522p noticing this juxtaposition. Two images, both accompanying the story from February 2-3 regarding what the outgoing Pope might have known or not known about brewing Vatican Scandals. The first image is from Diario de Sao Paulo, one of the tabloid papers here. This is the image that accompanied Diario’s story. It sort of speaks for itself, furthering the storyline of the Pope’s age and seeming infirmity.IMG_2508

The next image is from the same day’s New York Times, illustrating the same story. Striking difference, isn’t it?

And, we might reflect on what the difference between these two inages means in relation to their countries of origin. The first image comes from a supposedly “Catholic” country. The second from a country that is not.

Why is one more deferential to the traditional iconography of the Holy Father, while the other one is clearly irreverent? As I agreed with a group of graduate students here, this could be the subject of a Master’s thesis!