Pope’s Blessing


Benedict XVI blesses the faithful on Christmas Day. Vatican watchers have observed that Benedict chooses to wear much more traditional vestments and papal regalia. Check out the tall miter.

Shawn Tribe tells us that the pope’s is wearing a cope embroidered in gold that was John XXIII’s together with a mitre of Pope Benedict XV… the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing will be given with the papal cross, namely [that with] three arms [or bars] that dates back to Leo XIII.

Why does Benedict XVI wear all the old fancy gear? Does he just like dressing up? Does he like to display the power and pomp of his office? In fact, it is all part of his commitment to what he calls ‘the hermeneutic of continuity’ that is to say, that the Church today is built on the past, and what we do today, liturgically, pastorally, politically, spiritually, is empowered and enabled by our faithfulness to the past. This is not to turn the clock back. The Pope is not one of these arch traditionalists who want to return to the 1950s. Instead he believes that the past rightly informs the present, and that there must be a continuity in the tradition so that the faith that we have received from the apostles can continue to thrive.

So, in wearing vestments and using a crozier from three earlier popes Benedict XVI makes visual the continuity of his office and the continuity of his teaching.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06624317806947588259 Rachel Gray

    Lovely pictures, Father! I bet B16 wears the traditional gear not just to show our continuity with the past but because it’s beautiful and grand-looking and we ought to have lots of that in the Church when we worship God. No doubt when I eventually get around to reading his book “The Spirit of the Liturgy”, I’ll find he says something like that. :)

  • Anonymous

    The old vestments and regalia are also works of art, beautiful pieces worked with great skill and devotion. Not to use them would be a real shame. And happy Christmas Father Dwight.Angela

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04298493682961935337 Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ

    Beautiful post Fr…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02790738673074885191 Oliver Hayes

    The tables have been turned! If the pope really was an “Arch-Traditionalist” he would be dressing in sixties style vestments. What a great number of the ageing trendies fail to realise is the church has moved on…

  • http://www.libertyforlife.com C

    What nonsense – the Pope is a demonstration of the old fish hat from Philistine times and the worship of Mithras the mythical son of the sun god who died and rose on the third day know as “the Son of God”, “the Saviour”, “the Lord of Lords”, “the Good Shepard”, “the way the truth and the light”, “the redeemer” and “the Angel of Light”. Mithras’ disciples were baptised in his blood which magically washed away their sins and obtained them a ticket to nirvana if they simply believed. Perhaps Catholics should learn more about the 13 catacombs below the Vatican where the Illuminati are indicted in another sort of sacrifice… or the ET skulls that were found when they renovated the Vatican’s library… any idiot that thinks they can obtain some benefit from murdering another being in a bloody sacrifice as got to be insane… The Truth Will Set You Free and the Vatican’s evil empire is about to implode.