The bronze Ferula of Paul VI. is simpler than the one recently used by Benedict XVI and shows a representation of the Crucified. Benedict XVI has used since November 2009 a crosier constructed especially for him which was given to him by a Roman charity. Previously, he held since Palm Sunday 2008,a golden staff of Pius IX. (1846-1878), which has a golden cross. In the first three years of his pontificate he used also the ferula of Paul VI. and John Paul II
The Ferula is a staff that takes the form of a cross. Unlike the pastoral staff of the bishops, it is not in the form of a crook. It is has been used by the popes since the eighth century as insignia. Paul VI took up again the Ferula after it had been used since the fall of the Papal States in 1870 only rarely. He commissioned the Italian artist Lello Scorzelli with the creation of a Ferula. This Pope Montini first used for the final service of the Second Vatican Council on 8 December 1965. John Paul II took up this Ferula. It became a kind of trademark of this pope.
Cathcon- some would take this as a sign of denial of the post-Conciliar crisis, whose existence had been accepted during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. No cure will be possible if the symptoms are denied.
It remains to be seen whether the new Pope will take up the programme of the reconciliation of Tradition through the Council, which was the hallmark of Pope Benedict. It led to the unfortunate side-effect of the Council being used a test of orthodoxy, cited in isolation from the other Councils.