cardboard pope francis

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Here Are Some Great Photos of People Posing Next to a Cardboard Cutout of the Pope

Last September I wrote a blog post about the pope, and to find an image that could go with it I started browsing through Flickr’s Creative Commons library, which is a great place to find images you don’t have to pay for. I didn’t get any particularly good shots of Pope Francis, but my search led me to the Flickr page of Catholic United Financial, an account that has over 6,000 photos—all of them of people posing next to cardboard cutouts of Pope Francis.

Now, I don’t know anything about Catholic United Financial, though I imagine it’s some sort of charity that brings cardboard cutouts of the pope to events. As you scroll through the photos the cutout changes from waving happy Pope Francis to a more serious Pope Francis, so I assume the cutouts get worn out after so much use, but that’s conjecture on my part. I prefer to keep myself ignorant, because adding context to these photos—where they were taken, what events the cardboard pope was attending, why a charity would decide to post them all online—will only detract from the pure joy I get from periodically clicking through that Flickr page.

And for the record, I’m not enjoying these photos on some kind of ironically detached level where I’m pointing and laughing at people in Middle America who like something as old-fashioned as the Catholic Church. The images below are great simply because they show people being happy. Thank you, Catholic United Financial!

See more people posing next to cardboard Pope Francis

So my friend was in our school’s library this morning getting some coffee when he looked back to see the pope chilling in one of the aisles of the library.
As you can probably tell, this is not the real pope, but a cardboard cutout of the pope that my school has and brings to literally every school event (including my grad retreat, where they literally just propped him up at every meal, meeting, game, group photo, etc.). For Halloween, the principal moved him from the display case in the front of our school into his office and propped him up by the window so when you would walk by, all you saw was the pope staring at you through the blinds.
Last week the pope somehow went missing, but nobody really questioned it, we kinda just figured he was in some classroom somewhere. So this morning when my friend saw him in the library, staring at him from the shadows, he asked our principal why the pope was just chilling in the shadows in the library. Our principal looks at him and, without questioning the reason for the pope’s whereabouts, he says “Oh, I was actually looking for that.” He left the pope there all day and never spoke another word of it.

Quite frankly, I don’t even know why we have a cardboard cutout of Pope Francis in our school, we just do, and nobody really questions it.