Sunday, December 7, 2014


Traditional Catholics (in the best sense of  these words) have from day one felt uncomfortable with the breach in style of Pope Francis' papacy compared to Pope Benedict. At times Pope Francis appears to want to be the "anti" Pope Benedict.

By style, I mean divesting himself of the trappings of the papacy that Pope Benedict organically restored or maintained. Here I mean beautiful vestments of an ornate, papal quality (not necessarily Roman or Gothic), the mozzetta and choir dress.

I also suggest that Pope Francis could have maintained the small "t" traditions of restoration of Pope Benedict, the manner of altar decoration, kneeling for Holy Communion, distributing Holy Communion to a select group, a consistent use of Latin for certain parts of the Mass no matter where that Mass is celebrated.

I am convinced that for Cardinal Jorge Borgolio to have taken on the trappings of the symbolic "kingliness" of the papacy that intentionally point to Christ the King and His Kingdom, would have taken much, much more humility for him personally than just doing what he always did as the Archbishop in Argentina. The European tradition of the "court" in the redeemed sense is far better and more appealing than the "dictatorships" of Latin American countries with their leaders' hypocritical  proletariat dress  and the personality of the cult of Peronism of Argentina.

I think Pope Francis could have simply been himself in every other way, especially is personal touch with the proletariat and his emphasis on social justice and the Church as a field hospital and there would have been less divisiveness in his papacy than there is now. Pope Francis has proven to be a lightning-rod for division and polarization and these are not good things for a Pontiff!.


Anonymous said...

My problem with Pope Bergoglio started the moment he walked out onto the balcony. Four things struck me immediately and a fifth was discovered soon after on an internet search:

1) The new pope took the name "Francis". I am a huge fan of St. Francis of Assisi, but I have seen his name distorted for many years as the hippie saint who was nothing but gentleness and communing with the animals. I sensed a name that pandered to the crowd.

2) Jesuit Cardinal. Enough said.

3) Completely glazed look in his eyes as he walked out. I'll cut him some slack on this one, because such a moment has to be overwhelming

4) Asking the crowd to bless him. OK--he asked them to pray that GOD would bless him, but it just looked like an overreaching show of false humility.

These were all just what my instincts told me. Five minutes after his introduction, an internet search gave me the final nail:

5) Cardinal Bergoglio's resistance to Summorum Pontificum as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

As regards #5, let me quote Cardinal Ranjith:

“The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on the Latin Liturgy of July 7th 2007 is the fruit of a deep reflection by our Pope on the mission of the Church. It is not up to us, who wear ecclesiastical purple and red, to draw this into question, to be disobedient and make the motu proprio void by our own little, tittle rules. Even not if they were made by a bishops conference. Even bishops do not have this right. What the Holy Fathers says, has to be obeyed in the Church. If we do not follow this principle, we will allow ourselves to be used as instruments of the devil, and nobody else. This will lead to discord in the Church, and slows down her mission. We do not have the time to waste on this. Else we behave like emperor Nero, fiddling on his violin while Rome was burning. The churches are emptying, there are no vocations, the seminaries are empty. Priests become older and older, and young priests are scarce.”

The record of the Catholic Church in Latin America speaks for itself. The eschewing of the trappings of "kingliness" have little to do with my concerns about the Holy Father, may God's direct him.

John Nolan said...

When his election was announced, my first thoughts that as a) an Agentinian and b) a Jesuit (considering what the SJ has been for decades): 'Would the last person to leave the Church please turn the lights out?'

The jury's still out.

Gene said...

John Nolan, LOL! You're killin' me! Funny, but sad.

Supertradmum said...

Well, it is sinful to be a sede, imo, but I think that this New World Pope has not the savvy Europeans and Americans need. Americans, despite being "replublicans" are still formal about certain things and respect rank, despite protestations.

However, a South American in Europe is bound to have different criteria, most likely with an anti-colonial attitude so many of those in ex-colonies have-a hatred for anything which smacks of those old days. I see it here in Malta, with the great hatred of Latin-no TLM here scheduled at all even after 2007, and a perfect antipathy towards the Brits.

This type of reaction can be expected in this Pope, imo.

Well, the Cardinals voted him in, and God allowed this...that is all we can say at this point and still be humble lay people. I did write a while ago on what it means to have a Jesuit Pope, however...

Anthony said...

Why is it 'sinful' to be a sedevacantist?In all due respect,even Jorge Bergoglio in this statement,says'the seminaries are empty,the churches are empty,the clergy is getting older.'So,even he and I(sedevacantist)agree,the last 50 years have been a sad,heartbreaking,disaster.What has vatican 2 done but literally,little by little,chip away at & destroy the church?I am not being smug or arrogant.It blows me away that no one can see before vatican 2,the Catholic Church was 1000 times more active,healthy,certain, and Western society itself was a reflection of the church.Please,do not think I am being sanctimonious.This crisis tears at me personally and the damage it's caused seeps though every crack in our culture.

Gene said...

I agree with Anthony 100% except I am not a sedevacantist yet.

Православный физик said...

I do tend to agree with this analysis.

Surely the Pope has a right to adjust his dress as he sees fit, but to ditch everything on day one was down right insulting to many Catholics/Orthodox or anyone who sympathizes with tradition.

As a result, for ditching the trappings (which are of course more than just externals, they are signs which point to something greater), many think in their minds, if he can do this, then what else is he willing to change?

I agree with what anon said at 11:02...but I have one thing to add in addition...

6. Maundaygate I, when he had no authority to wash women's feet, he did so as Abp of Buenos Aires, and he continued this as ponttiff. He could have easily done this before Mass (or after) and NO ONE would have given him flack for it...but the disregard for the rubrics of Holy Mother Church, shows us, what good are the rules if no one follows them? (Now, I know the logical flaw in this, but it was a huge deflating to those of us trying to promote good Liturgical praxis)

What got me suspicious was the lauding by Cardinal Mahony of Pope Francis, when he's a cheerleader, one should question where one stands 9/10 times.

I pray for Pope Francis, but I'm not going to lie, he makes it difficult sometimes with his various actions to do so.

Ryan Ellis said...

Getting back to Fr's point, I think he is correct. If Pope Francis had been a mozetta-wearing, Roman Canon saying, incensing Latinist, we'd all cut him a lot more slack. As it is, we view him with the highest level of suspicion, and rightly so. He has earned no benefit of the doubt, to say the least.

Gene said...

To this point, I view the Pope as a Peronist/Socialist who views the Church as a tool for the advancement of Socialist/egalitarian ideology. Doctrine, dogma, theology are parenthetical considerations which often get in the way of "social gospel" and are, therefore, best spoken of tongue-in-cheek. Like all liberals, he will say all the right doctrinal things and pay lip service to the Creed while leaving much doubt as to whether he really believes any of it. This is right in line with Kasper, Cupich, and many other Cardinals and Bishops, as well as Priests like Ignotus who taunt us with their unbelief while never really owning it. Of course, they deny it…but, then, any evasion, obfuscation, or falsehood is acceptable for the purpose of the greater good…the advancement of Socialist/humanist agenda.

Anonymous said...

A change of "style" from one pope to the next makes little difference in itself. Something more fundamental than mere style is involved here. It's more about character than style.

What was offensive in the balcony appearance, and on subsequent similar occasions, was the arrogant imposition of personal idiosyncrasy on an auspicious occasion of public and even historic rather than merely personal significance.

What was insulting was the apparent intent that this personal arrogance be regarded as humility.

JusadBellum said...

Right, it's ascribing to trifles a causality that isn't there. Like the movie "the Jerk" who thinks the sniper is shooting at the cans and not at him.

People are abandoning the faith and thus the Church not because of the pomp and ritual but because of the moral crisis of our time (helped along by Marxists and various other socialist secularist hedons).

It's not the trappings of conservatism that drove people away from Catholicism but the Pill and subsequent wholesale capitulation to the main premises of the sexual revolution (that the thing that matters is our individual pleasure not fidelity to God's plan).

Reading the signs of the times incorrectly can make people attack the wrong things.

This works both ways. Just as it wasn't Latin Mass or the dogmas that drove Europe to apostasy so too it's not merely the Latin Mass that will save us. There has always been a keenly felt need for a personalized encounter. We see this in the Divine Mercy devotion, the Rosary, Eucharistic adoration and other fine spiritual insights that preceded Vatican II.

We could have kept Latin and become a much more heart felt Church. We didn't have to risk tossing the baby in order to empty the bath water....