Monday, June 24, 2013
THE POPE HAS NO CLOTHES BUT HIS ACTIONS ARE HIS ROYAL, MONARCHICAL APPAREL
Pope Benedict was a very humble shy person. He knew the problems of the Church but as he aged he knew he didn't have the strength to govern, what could also be called "rule" the Church as in monarchical times. Govern is more of a democratic term.
I personally think that as he realized his inability to "rule" or govern, he began turning more and more to the traditional, some say pre-Vatican II monarchical trappings of the papacy. He clothed himself in the royal garments of the papacy to hide his nakedness in not being able to actually rule. In other words, he and others knew that "the king had no clothes."
I personally like the trappings of the monarchical papacy, although these are not the foundation of the reason why I seen myself as a papist. Being a papist isn't that superficial for me. I think that Pope Benedict, a humble man, showed his humility in respecting the "monarchical" look of the papacy with its trappings which properly interpreted points us to the biblical imagery the Bible and Jesus use to point to the Kingdom of God. Monarchy in this biblical imagery is very, very benevolent for the true Kingly shepherd does precisely what Pope Francis says all shepherds so do.
Pope Francis is not into the trappings of the papacy and has self-proclaimed himself to be more like the humble Saint Francis who once stripped himself naked of royal wealth but has become one of the most influential saints of all times with broad appeal beyond the boundaries of the Roman Catholic Church by clothing himself in the rag tag habit of a Franciscan.
Pope Francis has reversed "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"
The plot is about a vain Emperor who cares for nothing except wearing and displaying clothes, hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The Emperor's ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.
Is this famous fable what happened to Pope Benedict? Has Pope Francis put a twist on the old fable by himself stripping himself of the papal finery in order to be seen as a strong pope, powerful ruler. Seeing the naked pope, aren't people saying "look at what he's wearing!" This translates into a pope who knows how to rule since he doesn't really care for the wearing and displaying of clothes?
Is Pope Francis in his disregard for the splendors of the papacy positioning himself to clean out the Vatican of its narcissistic corruption and to do so effective, that no pope in recent history has been able to do?
Is he not calling bishops to their proper role as shepherds in their dioceses?
Is he not calling for fidelity to the Pope and the bishops of the Church, to the Magisterium and does he not refer to the Church as Mother?
Has he not pinpointed the greatest threat to the Church, the root of all problems, the devil? The dictatorship of relativism and godless secularism are rooted in the devil.
This pope isn't going to change Church teaching or rearrange the furniture once again. He's going to be a simple pope exercising authority and effectively so more so than any pope since Pope Pius XII.
POSTSCRIPT: I've not printed some comments that I find disrespectful to persons or groups of persons, in particular the Pope. I'm a papist and I'm a priest and I'm not going to print comments that disrespect groups of people or the Pope himself. Keep that in mind. Folks, we're Catholic! Act with charity or your knucles will be rapped!