The Vatican recently denounced celebrities who wear bejeweled crosses as fashion items. An editorial from the Vatican news agency Fides asked, "Is it consistent with the Gospel to spend millions on a copy of the sacred symbol of the Christian faith [when] people all over the world suffer and die of hunger?"
Although the Vatican singled out Hollywood celebs such as Jennifer Aniston and Cher, the edict could have been directed at many baseball stars, including Barry Bonds, who wears a diamond-studded crucifix in his left ear. Some players concur-with the church's stance. 'T see so many people wearing crosses, and they have no clue what it means," says Royals pitcher Paul Byrd, a vocal Christian who doesn't wear a cross. "It's not a religious tiring but a fashion statement." Adds White Sox infielder Tony Graffanino, who also forgoes a crucifix, "I worship the man Jesus Christ. I don't need a good-luck charm to do that."
However, others think the Vatican is overreaching its bounds. "Right now," says Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who wears two small crosses around his neck, "I think the church has some other things they should be concerned with." Rockies catcher Bobby Estalella, who wears a prominent crucifix, agrees: "This was given to me by my grandmother. I wear it for good luck, and I never would stop wearing it, no matter what the Vatican says." Bonds, who homers and walks religiously, refused to comment.