H.H. Benedict XVI
As of first vespers on the first Sunday of Advent, the Holy Father began to employ the use of a brand new Papal Ferula. The Holy Father had been using the Ferula of Blessed Pius IX, and previously to his use of the Pio Nono ferula he used the regrettable and deeply ugly Ferula
of Pope John-Paul II. Things keep getting better every day.
The Ferula is a pastoral staff used Liturgically by bishops in the consecration of churches and other events. In the case of the Pope the Ferula has come to replace the pastoral staff of office used by other bishops as a symbol of their power to shepherd the flock of Christ's Faithful, and correct abuses in the body of the Church. The Ferula is then analogous to the royal scepter of kings.