A Burgeoning Market for Papal Kitsch

Hoodies, t-shirts, aprons—even doggie apparel.

In the wake of the “Pope Francis Effect”, all of these items and more are now available in special Pope Francis editions.

Britain’s Catholic Herald reports that since the election of Pope Francis, sales are up 20% for papal gear:  clothing, key rings, tea lights, and various papal paraphernalia.  And indeed, Catholics With Attitude, a custom printery which offers t-shirts in the U.K. and right here in the United States, has a large assortment of Pope Francis apparel on its website.

And there’s something about papal kitsch that makes a Catholic feel right at home.  That’s why I once bought my husband a gift of The Pope’s Cologne, an aftershave patterned after Pope Pius IX’s private formula.  (Cute gift idea, but we didn’t really like the fragrance.)

It’s why we Catholics like to have our office parties at the Pope’s Table at Buca di Beppo.

Why I proudly wore my Benedict XVI baseball shirt when Pope Benedict came to Yankee Stadium.

According to the Catholic Herald,

Catholics With Attitude, which has offices in London and Glasgow, said its bestselling items were garments bearing quotes from Pope Francis. The strongest selling of all of them carries the words: “Rebel Against This Culture.”

The slogan comes from the Argentine Pontiff’s address at Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the 2013 World Youth Day in July when he effectively called three million young pilgrims to a sexual counter revolution, telling them to reject transient hedonism for the commitment of marriage and family life.

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  • Too bad i can’t sniff that cologne. If I liked it I might have bought it. But since you say you don’t like it, I’ll just stick with my five dollar All Spice. The doggy sweater is funny. 🙂

    • kathyschiffer

      Scratch and sniff websites: The next new thing!

      You could buy it anyway and store it in a prominent place, just for show.

      • tj.nelson

        When the cologne first came out I sold it in the store I managed. The scent was weak and didn’t last – the mixture was also cloudy – I let the Dr. who formulated it know, but I’m not sure if the formula was ever improved. The best thing about it is the label, packaging and the novelty.

    • ashes

      i bought my husband the benedictus this CHRISTmass ..it was not bad…it was citrusy to me

      • I kind of like that Benedict baseball shirt.

  • Karyn

    The Pope Francis stuff looks pretty goofy to me but I like that baseball shirt- even if it is a Yankees shirt.