Monday, April 14, 2014


At hour 2 and 33 minutes in the video of the Mass for Palm Sunday with Pope Francis that I post below again, please watch the Holy Father become his real self or another aspect of his real self. Please contrast that with his self during Mass. During Mass he is extremely introverted, serious,pious and detached from what is going on around him. He doesn't acknowledge the congregation at all. It is almost like the demeanor of priests in the rubrics of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Is this what Pope Francis is modeling? All of us have our raucous, outgoing selves at pep rallies, ball games or festivals. But when it came to the 1962 missal and its predecessors, we were like Pope Francis as soon as we entered the Church. Our pious more contemplative side was to be exhibited not our raucous side.

But with the modern missal and Mass, how often do we drag our raucous style of personality into it and make little distinction between the sacred and profane? Please note too that about about how 2 and 33 minutes he gets on the popemobile and then as it is moving tries to get off before it stops!!!!!

Please compare style of personality with Pope Benedict's 2012 Palm Sunday Mass, his last:

Please note too that during the homily the Holy Father does not refer to the homily script before him, but entirely speaks off the cuff. I listened to EWTN which has a interpreter who knew Italian well enough to know that the Holy Father wasn't reading the script and had to do a spontaneous interpretation and did a good job at it.

But notice how different the Holy Father is at Mass. This is traditional Catholic piety, very individual, not communal and very introspective. THIS IS A GREAT REFORM OF THE REFORM IN CONTINUITY THAT THE HOLY FATHER IS PROMOTING. IT IS VERY EF!


John Nolan said...

A bishop is required to bless the congregation when processing in and processing out. Francis's failure to do this is puzzling, to say the least. It is not 'EF'.

Yes, we don't need or want the grandstanding and glad-handing of Timothy Dolan and his ilk. But this is something else.

Anonymous said...

Francis doesn't look pious to me at all. He looks miserable. He looks like he would rather be anywhere else and just can't wait to rip the vestments off as soon as possible.

The one consolation in all this mess is that I know Francis HATES having to wear that cassock all day, every day. But he is smart enough to know just how far he can go. He knows that all the tourists that flock to see him, and not change their life by the way, wouldn't come to see a limping old man in a cheap suit. Silver linings, silver linings.

Anonymous said...

"But when it came to the 1962 missal and its predecessors, we were like Pope Francis as soon as we entered the Church. Our pious more contemplative side was to be exhibited not our raucous side."

That, Father, is a very good observation.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think if you look at priests and laity at an EF Mass one might think they are miserable too! Maybe you've had too much of the post Vatican II laced koolaide in terms of having a smiley face during Mass?

Yes, that he sat in the popemobile during the procession with palms to the place of their blessing is puzzling and he does look as though he is pouting, but I think he is absorbed in prayer and contemplation. It is odd that he doesn't stand, use miter and bless the congregation. I don't get this. I watched Pope Benedict's last Palm Sunday Mass on a day very much like yesterday's dreary looking weather in Roma, and he stood and blessed the congregation and payed attention to the congregation. Apart from that the two Masses are almost identical and the chasuble of Pope Francis after he changed his cope was a lot nicer than the one Pope Benedict changed to in 2012, in fact it was ugly.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Also there is almost an identical number of faithful at Pope Benedict's final Palm Sunday Mass and Pope Francis' yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 9:04am:

Spot on.

James said...

I'm concerned at the way the media is reading the contrast between Pope Francis's two selves. Some blogs have read his demeanour during the mass as a sign of lack of interest, boredom or 'casual' attitude ( London Independent), claiming that he only regained his energy and enthusiasm once he could play the celebrity again! I expect this style of not-so-subtle attack will mushroom over the coming months.

Mind you, he did look exceptionally miserable at the start of the ceremony. I assumed that he putting on a gruff demeanour in order to dissuade the crowds from applauding at his entrance, which is in line with your view of him consciously adopting a 'pious self'.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Jon have you drunk the laced koolaide too?

Anonymous said...

One thing should be pointed out at least: Piety was once considered a virtue. Now it's not unusual to hear religious ed teachers mocking people who are

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Exactly! Pope Francis is pushing back as mightily as possible in terms of pious demeanor at Mass and promoting pre-Vatican II popular piety or devotions outside or engender during Mass. For example yesterday's Angelus was after the Prayer after Holy Communion and then all was concluded with the Mass Final Blessing and Dismissal by the deacon. Normally when the Angelus follows Mass it is totally seperate.

Rood Screen said...

Whenever a priest celebrates the O.F. Mass with his personality subdued, the congregation is puzzled. But if a priest were to dare celebrate the E.F. Mass without subduing his personality, the congregation would be horrified.

Perhaps the Holy Father is a victim of this contrasting reality. Ours is a liturgically contradictory age in the Western Church.

Pater Ignotus said...

JBS - "Whenever a priest celebrates the O.F. Mass with his personality subdued, the congregation is puzzled."

Where on earth do you GET this kind of universal nonsense? How can you possibly know what happens in a parish in Peoria, Pasadena, or Poughkeepsie, let alone know the mental state of the congregation?

In most of the OF celebration I have attended while on vacation sitting in a pew, the "personality" of the priest has come through clearly. And that is as it should be. We are human beings with individual personalities. "Hiding" one's personality is as oddball a notion as hiding one's face with a veil.

Some priests preach with excited fervor - a personality trait. Some preach with quiet shyness - a personality trait. Some ramp up the fire and brimstone while some approach the task of homilizing with academic erudition and conciliation.

Rood Screen said...

Pater Ignotus,

I never would have thought of the face veil for celebrants. What a great idea! Priestly face veils will surely become the trend of the future, bridging the gap between the iconostasis of the East and the Latin of the West. Until we can get these veils specially made, I suggest we experiment with chalice veils and tabernacle veils, to discover which work best. We'll have to cut eye holes.

Kneeling Catholic said...

Thanks for directing me to this video, Father!

btw, all of you are missing the biggest story, which IMHO was not HH's demeanor, nor the beautiful crozier, nor the beautiful music, nor the Latin Credo, nor Pater Noster! Didn't you see all the friendly reminders given during Holy Communion? The best way to embarrass yourself on Vatican TV was to walk up to an MHC with your hand out. Naturally, I mono-maniacally notice something like that! Earlier, in Pope Francis' pontificate, such reminders seemed only to happen 'indoors' and then seemed to trail-off to not-at-all. Not so today! Outdoors. Frequent.

Check out around 1H: 58m: 45 sec; or 2h; 11m: 32-38s.

btw, Francis' papal liturgies are an improvement in this regard. Pope B XVI did set a beautiful personal example, but now we are seeing real 'instruction of the ignorant'. Of course MSGR Marini is behind this, but Francis is behind MSGR M!

Father, go over there to PTBlog and ask them how they like this aspect of Francicismo!! I would go, but I have been banned :-(