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Perth Archbishop says Rosary fad 'a problem for society'

Archbishop Barry Hickey has told the West Australian newspaper that while wearing rosary beads as a fashion accessory is an empty gesture and some Catholics would be offended by it, "the fad is more a problem for society than for the Church".

He observed that the phenomenon is an "ego statement devoid of meaning".

The article in which he was quoted - published today - did not expand further on his view that the trend led by celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham is a reflection of society's malaise.

But he did go on to criticise the exploitation of rosary beads.

"Despite all the talk about pluralism and respect for diversity, the religious symbols of more than a quarter of the population are being trivialised and commercialised."

The paper says that Perth's King Street boutique Luxxe is currently out of stock but owner Tessa Bontempo said customers often ask for rosary beads.

Saints Clothing store stocks a Fiorina piece made of semi-precious stones priced at almost $600.

"The rosary beads are really in . . . but I think jewellery is an individual thing," owner Requel Saint said. "It's a personal statement."

WA jewellery designer Belle Bijoux is set to add rosary beads to her next collection.

"I think they will definitely take off here, they are really funky," Ms Bijoux said.

Her current range has pieces inspired by Buddhist beads.

Fashion fad for Catholic icon cursed (The West Australian/Reuters 19/11/04)

Rosary fashion prompts catechisis push in UK (CathNews 18/10/04)
Rosary Fad Prompts an Effort at Catechesis (Zenit 15/10/04)
Sacrilege or height of fashion? (The Sunday Mail 17/10/04)
More about the Rosary (Catholic Church in England and Wales)

Japanese young adults wearing rosaries as fashion statements (CathNews 14/7/04)
Japanese young adults wearing rosaries as fashion statements (Catholic News Service 12/7/04)
Jesus Chic Is Latest Fashion Trend (Fox News 10/5/04)
Crucifix fashion makes Pope cross (CathNews 23/5/02)

19 Nov 2004