The document forming the backdrop is a page from the Missale Romanum, the standard source for the prescribed prayers for Masses honoring certain dates or personages.

In this instance, it is modeled on the Mass for a Pontiff, personalized for a speculative Pope Bernard the Great, the first of that name. The date is that of the birthday of Bernard Cardinal Law.

The millstone has a worn, but evident "quarter dress" harp pattern found on many of these implements;

The Latin sentiment rounding the face of the millstone is variously found in each of the Synoptic Gospels: St. Luke 17:2, St. Mark 9:42, and St. Matthew 18:6. The version quoted is Luke's, from the Latin Vulgate;

Those parallel cites converge upon this main sentiment: "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble." New American Standard Bible (©1995);

The bishop's mitre the Cardinal figure wears has had its center torn out, where typically a cross or the OC (Chi Rho) figure might be in a medallion;

The handheld mirror shows through its back, the image of a Papal Triple Tiara, traditionally worn by popes in coronation. The last pope to wear one at his accession to the papacy was Paul VI at his coronation in 1963;

His successors, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI have later set aside this crown in favor of a bishop's mitre, none of them styling his accession to the Papacy as a coronation;

The tiara depicted in this image was that donated by Emperor Napoleon I, for the coronation of Pius VII in March of 1800;

The serpent has the coat of arms of Bernard Cardinal Law in its jaws. On it is inscribed his motto, epitomizing a life of Christian dedication: To Live is Christ.

The priest menacing the doll is a twisted image of Fr. John Goeghan, convicted in Massachusetts for child molestation, sentenced to prison, and killed while there by a murderer sentenced to life, Joseph L. Druce;

The Male Child Doll is inspired by Raggedy Andy.


The Cardinal

H. B. Casanova

Updated Through

September, 2014

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