Tuesday, September 10, 2013


These are historic times for the Church and yes there are two popes living in Vatican City, one at the Vatican Motel 6 and the other at a former convent. The two couldn't be more different in personality and emphasis, yet both are orthodox popes but in different ways.

I think I can actually see both residences from my vantage point at my motel six place of residennce that overlooks St. Peter's and its Motel 6 and the other residence for the other pope living there.

But for our Roman Catholic idenity, the true pope, the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, the Universal Pastor and the Supreme Pontiff, is essential. Otherwise, we'd be no more than Eastern Orthodox Christians in schism with the true Church or glorified Episcopalians.

What makes us Roman Catholic is our love for the Bishop of Rome the Pope who helps to bring unity to the Church when we submit to his supreme authority.

Ultimately, the Holy Father unites us in his ministry to the Most Holy Trinity and the Church throughout the world. We are not congregationalists either on the parish level or the diocesan level.

The Holy Father today said at his homily at the chapel of his Vatican Motel 6 place of residence that the Church should not be triumphalistic especially in the liturgy.

By that, I think the Holy Father was referring to that horrible trend in the 1960's and 70's when the Cross of Christ was removed from altars and churches in favor of the resurrected Christ's image.

Many of us don't want the way of the Cross, we want only the joys of the resurrection. Often our Mass, with their happy-clappy music and horizontal relations gone bizerk show this dreadful triumphalism.

The EF Mass is far from that. There is an emphasis on suffering and embracing one's suffering as a share in the Cross of Christ. We are to offer up our sufferings in union with Christ. But all this is really pre-Vatican II humility lost in the rush for renewal and dumping of so much of our humble heritage in the 1960's. Pre-Vatican II liturgy and experience of being Church was far from triumphalistic. The Cross always figured greatly in the Church and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Today we had our first concelebrated Mass here in Rome. We simply prayed for Francis our pope and our Bishop of Rome. No second name for another bishop. COOL!

May it always be so. So be it.


Will said...

Triumphalism? Once again, Francis' comments confuse rather than clarify.

Anonymous said...


John Nolan said...

Father, I hope you take the opportunity of celebrating the EF Mass in St Peter's. I'm told that most of the early morning private Masses by visiting priests are in the Old Rite and the sacristans are geared up for this.

'Triumphalism' is a liberal term of abuse which is used to denigrate the pre-Conciliar Church. You can be sure that Pope Francis was NOT referring to the 1960s and 1970s. In liturgical terms it is used by liberals to describe some of the things Benedict reintroduced to papal liturgies - baroque vestments, Silveri trumpets and the like, which causes much frothing at the mouth over at PTB. To say nothing of prelates in cappa magna. I suspect before long we shall see edicts banning certain items of clerical dress, as in the days of Paul VI.

I love a bit of pomp and circumstance, and the fact that the present Pope is a puritan is not going to turn this particular Cavalier into a Roundhead.

Anonymous said...

I like your take on triumphalism, Father. A great way to confound the liberals.