Monday, June 12, 2017


I am of the school of thought that for Pope Francis to have continued in continuity with Pope Benedict's recovery of the papal wardrobe and more elegant liturgical tastes, that for Pope Francis, given his poverty ideology, it would have been truly a sign of authentic humility, especially the second depiction in the photo below.

But I acknowledge also that many people, especially our t-shirt, shorts and flip-flop culture applaud the pope's nod to the casual culture (disculture) of our day. What about you?

However, in the south, if you go to the poorest black parish, where the poor people there, by the way, have not taken a vow of poverty to show forth some fuax humility or to glorify poverty, as those religious who glory and take pride in the vow of poverty, that these authentically poor folks will dress to the nines when they go to church on Sunday. They give the very best they have to God and sacrifice to make sure they have nice, dignified and stylish fashions for the going to church clothes. They are not poverty ideologues and expect their ministers to wear nice rings, big cars and fine fashions. 

But maybe the first two do look silly on him?
Vatican tailors, cobblers try to adapt to Francis’s ‘papal athleisure’
(Credit: Claire Giangravè.)
Press the title of the Crux article below for the complete article.

Vatican tailors, cobblers try to adapt to Francis’s ‘papal athleisure’

Pope Francis's emphasis on simplicity and frugality is a hit all around the world, but it's produced just a bit of backlash among fashion-conscious Italians, including an exclusive club of tailors     and shoemakers who outfit pontiffs -- some of whom are a little nostalgic for the days when being pope also meant dressing to the nines.


Joseph Johnson said...

As you would probably expect, I agree with your viewpoint in this issue, Fr. McDonald.

Anonymous said...

Francis would look ridiculous in papal finery. He doesn't have the bearing of Pope John Paul or the elegance of Pope Benedict. He can't even wear the white papal house cassock without looking sloppy.

ByzRus said...

Father - I too agree with your assessment. While HH is from a religious order that, among, other things, takes a vow of poverty, he is also a sovereign and as such, should consider adopting some of the dress of his office and predecessors (particularly Benedict XVI). While I'm not advocating a return to buskins, large buckles on shoes, camauros and other types of apparel that, perhaps, are increasingly of their era (the symbolism of the red shoes excluded), there is something to be said for looking the part (e.g. wear a mozetta that doesn't have ermine lining when receiving dignitaries). And while I am also not concerned about him not wearing a silk fascia, or an elaborate jeweled cross, I get my suits tailored to have the desired look particularly when standing and perhaps having my photo taken - he too should endeavor to look more tailored or, at least not travel wearing torn garments. The humility here is what you mentioned with regard to BXVI and more importantly, as a temporary occupant of the office, not opening his successor up to criticism should he 1) not be a religious and therefore not bound to a vow of poverty and 2) should he choose to employ the dress available to his office.

John Nolan said...

Pope Francis would look silly whatever he wears, because the poor man has a silly face. Not his fault, of course; it's simply the cards which nature dealt him.

Anonymous said...

And Benedict's smile with no bottom teeth showing and dark set eyes didn't look "silly"?

And St Pope John Paul II's abnormally spherical head didn't look "silly"?

And Paul VI's gargantuan nose didn't look "silly"?

And, lest we forget, His Rotundness, St Pope John XXIII silliness - his fascia functioned as a man bra! Silly, indeed.

I think you've been paying too much attention to Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks again.

The things some people worry about......

Rood Screen said...

Couldn't he just wear white shorts and a white t-shirt, with white tennis shoes and white socks? He could wear a white baseball cap with "B of R" printed on it.

Anonymous said...

Dialogue - he would need to spell it B O O R

Mark Thomas said...

I don't know whether His Holiness Pope Francis was dressed in regal fashion and/or looked "silly" when he issued the following Apostolic Blessing and powerful, uplifting support:

As UK prepares to mark 50 years of abortion, England’s Catholics march with papal support

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has sent a message to the people of England and Wales in preparation for the Day of Life celebrated on June 18, 2017.

The message, delivered by the new apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Edward Adams, reads:

"Pope Francis invokes the protection of Our Lady, and entrusts to her, the Mother of the Living, the cause of life. He begs her intercession that those who believe in her Son may continue to bear witness to life and, together with all people of good will, contribute to a culture of truth and love.”

Archbishop Adams further added: “The Holy Father, to the praise and glory of the Creator and Lord of Life, gives assurance of his prayers, and imparts to the organizers and participants of the Day for Life his apostolic blessing.”

The message was sent to Bishop John Sherrington of the diocese of Westminster, who is overseeing the 2017 Day for Life.

There are "bishops," "priests," and "ministers," in various non-Catholic religious communities who dress in fine fashion. Many also possess good-looking faces. They look great when they inform their flocks that abortion (not to mention homosexual "marriage) is acceptable.

The world can have said folks.

There are Catholics who dress well, are blessed with Hollywood-like faces...and support abortion. The world can have said folks.

I will throw in with our great pro-Culture of Life Pope, His Holiness Pope Francis.

I will throw in with pro-life Pope Francis who looks "silly" and dresses poorly.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

I would settle for Francis upholding the teachings of the Church and clearly state that someone in objective mortal sin cannot receive Holy Communion without confession and amendment of life.

I would settle for Francis speaking out when entire nations abandon Christ, follow the Devil and permit gay "marriage", instead of remaining silent.

I would settle for Francis not using homilies at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to spew his venom on faithful Catholics.

As for his clothing. The man has the bearing of a clod. Not his fault but look at him. No class, he just doesn't have it. He would look silly dressed nicely because he is a big lumbering, scowling man. He was made for a tab collar and riding a bus, not the throne of Peter. And if Pope Benedict was pressured to resign, he isn't reigning on the Throne of Peter. But would in fact be an anti pope. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets..."

Yes, Pope Francis should wear fine vesture... and sit on a fine throne, surely a seat of honor, and accept greetings while decked out in ermine and silk....

I think he's doing it just right.

Gene said...

Anonymous, it was their hypocrisy, not their dress, that Christ was condemning. Papal garments are for the purpose of giving glory to God and, therefore, represent a pure intent, unlike the Scribes and Pharisees. The personality of the Priest, or Pope, should be diminished by the garments and the ritual. This Pope is all about himself, and his faux poverty and studied humility appear pnony and call more attention to him than to Christ.

Anonymous said...

It's rich to think that Francis is some paragon of virtue and poverty. Example: not living in the Apostolic Palace but living in a hotel. Yes he lives in the hotel BUT he has the entire 2nd floor of that hotel which was totally redone to his specifications and has more square footage than the real papal apartments. And the Vatican has to pay the city of Rome for extra security on the street right next to the hotel. Hypocrite.