Thursday, May 30, 2013


And this new papal tee shirt:

There is no Mass or homily this morning with the Holy Father from the chapel of his place of residence at the Vatican Motel 6 for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi as it will be celebrated this evening in front of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. It will be interesting to see what changes in vesture the Holy Father will make for the Eucharistic Procession after Mass from Saint John Lateran to St. Mary Major for Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. In the past Pope Benedict XVI would ride on the back of a Chevy Pick-Up truck, very southern and a bit tacky. I suspect the truck will remain but the pope will not wear any vesture except his white papal house cassock. Time will tell.

But there is a peculiar statement from the Vatican Press Secretary this morning concerning why the full text of Pope Francis' DAILY MASS HOMILIES AT THE CHAPEL OF HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE VATICAN MOTEL 6 are not posted or available in audio form. What they provide and what I print daily is a synopsis by Vatican Radio. This has displeased many who believe Vatican Radio may not be giving us the complete context of the Holy Father's words.

This is what the Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi had to say this morning in which he also gives us a catechesis on the various level of authority of papal pronouncements with a spontaneous daily homily on the bottom of the list. Implied is the communique is the recent kerfuffle concerning the salvation of atheists and others who are non Catholic I suppose, which caused worldwide consternation and joy at the same time, a most peculiar response to a low level papal teaching. At any rate, here is what Father Lombardi said and taught today:

(Vatican Radio) On account of the great interest expressed in Pope Francis’ homilies at morning Mass, many people have asked about the possibility of receiving the full text of those homilies, and not just the summaries published by L’Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio.

In a brief note, Father Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, has explained the decision to publish partial syntheses of the Holy Father’s homily, rather than the full text.

Pope Francis, he said, wants to retain the familiar atmosphere that characterises the daily Mass, which is typically attended by a small number of the faithful. “For that reason,” Fr. Lombardi said, the Holy Father has specifically requested that the live video and audio not be broadcast.

The Pope’s daily homily, Fr. Lombardi said, is delivered spontaneously, and not from a written text, and in Italian – a language Pope Francis knows well, but which is not his mother tongue. An integral, or official, text, would necessarily have to be transcribed and slightly reworked, given the differences between a written work and the homilies’ original oral form. In short, he said, there would have to be a revision by the Holy Father himself – but this would clearly result in something that differs from what the Holy Father intends in his daily homily.

Father Lombardi went on to explain how the Holy See has resolved the question:

“We must insist on the fact that, in all of the Pope’s activities, the difference between different situations and celebrations, as well as the different levels of authority of his words, must be understood and respected. So, for the Pope’s public celebrations or activities, broadcast live on television and radio, the sermons or speeches are transcribed and published in full. During smaller, more familiar celebrations and functions, we have to pay attention to the character of the situation, and the spontaneity and familiarity of the Pope’s remarks. The solution respects both the intention of the Pope and the nature of the morning Mass, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, the desire to give the wider public the opportunity to hear the message of the Holy Father even in such circumstances.

“And so, after careful consideration, it seems the best way to make the richness of the Pope’s homilies accessible to a wide audience, without altering the nature of his remarks, is to publish a detailed summary, rich in direct quotations that reflect the genuine flavour of the Pope’s expressions. L’Osservatore Romano undertakes this responsibility every day. Vatican Radio, on account of the nature of the medium, offers a shorter synthesis, including some of the original sound, while CTV offers a video clip corresponding to one of the audio inserts published by Vatican Radio.”

MY FINAL COMMENT: Interesting, no?


Gene said...

SO, this Pope needs a keeper?

ytc said...

Every Pope needs a keeper.

Andy Milam said...

Interesting point: "In the past Pope Benedict XVI would ride on the back of a Chevy Pick-Up truck, very southern and a bit tacky. I suspect the truck will remain but the pope will not wear any vesture except his white papal house cassock."

Speaking of tacky....

If, this Pope has finally realized he is Pope, then perhaps it's time to start embracing the office and proper vestments. Just sayin'...

Kneeling Catholic said...

Btw, Father, your 'friends' at praytell have just posted 'How Pope Francis Made Liturgy Boring Again (And Why That’s a Good Thing)' cries for comment!

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Lombardi been publicly disciplined since he outed himself as a memeber of the gay mafia by voicing support for gay unions? Francis' silence on Lombardi after the pro-gay union statement makes Francis lose credibillity.

rcg said...

I think he realised the hazard of letting people interpret his comments after the 'atheists go to Heaven' event. He already knows he is Pope but is playing a game of chess with the bishops while trying to avoid a public smack down. If he needs advice it would be to avoid a semantic fight with a group of people who are very, very good at it and speak directly and not in any code. He has been doing that just fine.