A Pope Francis gargoyle now watches over Cologne cathedral

webRNS-Pope-Gargoyle1-110818Source: Religion News Service

By Tom Heneghan

PARIS (RNS) — It took about a week for visitors to the massive Catholic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, to notice a small addition to its ornate Gothic entrance — a carved stone figure of Pope Francis leaning forward like a gargoyle.

The new gargoyle is smiling and there’s no water spouting out of his mouth, so it doesn’t resemble the ghoulish medieval drains jutting out from famous old cathedrals around Europe. Instead, the figure is a small decoration, like many other little statues in nooks and crannies all around the building.

Germany’s largest Gothic church, which dominates the skyline of the fun-loving city along the Rhine River, has a tradition of carving surprising statues and symbols to adorn its architecture.

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