Pope Francis’ Preference for Simplicity Leaves Much To Be Spiritually Desired…

… I had the weirdest dream last night. It was about Pope Francis. He was doing something. Something, now in waking hours, I can’t recall but in my dream it annoyed me tremendously. He was probably wearing second hand sweat pants and riding the metro or something. Anyway, I’d managed to forget about it till His Holiness appeared in my news feed and the those irksome feelings crept over me again.

I know this is a completely irrational reaction to have, especially as a Catholic, directed at such a holy man like the Pope. Such a humble man… as we’ve all seen he is. To ad nauseum.

But why ad nauseum?

Every time I read about how humble Francis is I take it personally, as a slight meant to imply that his predecessor was some how not. And every time he shuns the trappings of the office of Pope I spiritually die inside a little more.

How can I love a Pope who doesn’t even want to be Pope? Who doesn’t even call himself Pope but prefers the title Bishop of Rome. Who chooses, of all the chapels in Rome, to celebrate mass here …

aboard the mother ship.

It’s more to me than not wearing red loafers and papal vestments. It’s not a matter of personal preferences for pomp and finery and Baroque ornamentation dripping in gold leaf. It’s not liturgically snobbery. It’s about spiritual poverty and slowly being starved to death.

Those things, things that Francis seems to detest, spiritually feed me. They have meaning, meaning that I need to experience through my senses. It’s just so hard to warm up to someone who feels the things you find important and meaningful to be trivial frivolities.

And what does that mean for a Catholic who wants nothing more than to be faithful and obedient to carry about them these negative feelings toward their Papa? The sense of frustration has me in such a spiritual state that it turn makes me feel resentment. Which fuels the guilt, which stops up the holiness, and fuels the annoyances. And I’m stuck in this bitter cycle where I want to scream, “Would it be too much for your humble sensibilities to throw one a little brocade once and while? I mean you are Pope. I’m pretty sure it’s not a sin to look like one.”

See… the ravings of someone spiritually starving. All this focus on eschewing expensive finery for the sake of the poor. The poor. You know what, as a member of the poor, I can earnestly say that financially poverty is less detrimental than spiritual poverty. Financial poverty won’t kill me like spiritual poverty will. And to be perfectly honest, I find it all rather condescending. Poor people being offended by beautiful chalices and awe inspiring church architecture. Pfffft.

Oh no! How offensive to poor people.

No one is doubting the Pope is a holy man. Like Trappist monks who are highly disciplined in their faith, he may not need all the liturgical riches and finery to be spiritually nourished. But the rest of us, the rest of us regular Catholics who aren’t quite there yet, the ones struggling every day just to be good, need it.

And I get so tired of people accusing me of arrogance and snobbery for stating so. If you want to get technical, it’s a sign of my weakness to admit that I need it. I long for it and hunger for it like a poor starving soul. It’s a big deal. A huge deal for the Pope to put away these meaningful symbols represented in the papal finery. I wonder if he’s aware of how intentionally difficult he is making it for his followers to love him? Or maybe he does and it’s all a spiritual exercise I’m just not getting. Or I could really just be a big fat, shallow snob. I can’t work it out. So I wrote this instead.

I sincerely don’t want my struggles to be a source of scandal or cause anyone else’s affections to wane for our Holy Father. It’s just that I never really know what to think about a thing till I write it all out and sort it over in my brain. So this post is meant to help me find some reconciliation in hopes that I can finally begin to move on.

Because boy, oh man! Lord knows, I really do want to love this guy.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • simchafisher

    Believe it or not, Kat, I feel the same way . . . up to a point. I hate it when people gabble on about how the Church should sell St. Peter’s and buy enough peanut butter to feed the third world or whatever. When I was in Rome, I didn’t have enough money to buy lunch, but I could stroll into any church and gorge on beauty.

    I just don’t quite see where Francis is taking any of that away from us. He’s not personally wearing rich vestments and whatnot. Frankly, he looks like he has kind of tacky taste. This is not a sin; but for someone with good taste and a thirst for beauty, it’s distressing.

    But as I said, he’s not taking any of that away. You’re still free to enjoy all the beauty the Church has to offer, right? Nothing is being sold; nothing is being removed or thrown away. He’s not changing anything; the next pope is free to come roaring back with any amount of ermine he wants, whether for the spiritual significance, or just because he likes it.

    I just can’t shake the feeling that, when people fear that he’s impoverishing us in some way, there’s something else they’re afraid of. Not you. I admire how you struggle to give him the respect he’s due, despite your personal feelings about him. But I see so much rage and disgust from other quarters, it’s hard to believe it’s all about aesthetics, or even about the spiritual significance that aesthetics can bring.

    • simchafisher

      Also, the idea that Francis’ words and behavior are a criticism of Benedict or other past popes? That’s not coming from Francis. I know lots of people find it convenient to spin it that way, but when you hear stuff like that, read closely and consider your sources. There are so many Catholics and others who stand to gain from making it look like there’s conflict when there is none.

      • lindenman

        You’re right, it’s all too easy to exaggerate the differences between Benedict and Francis. But that’s no reason to ignore them or pretend they don’t matter. The College of Cardinals could have elected a Benedict clone if it had wanted to. Instead, it elected Begoglio, and on the fifth ballot, too. There’s no need to read that as a thumbs-down on Benedict’s papacy or even his personal style — like any other pope, he did the best he could with what he had, and managed, in the event, to turn out some great encyclicals. But I do think it’s fair to conclude that the electors thought it was time for a change.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Thanks, Simcha. You helped.

  • Jeannine

    I think that I see what you mean, and I have felt the same way: the beautiful vestments and the grand churches aren’t for the man, the pope, personally. They are for us, the people, to see and enjoy, and they give honor to God to the extent that we can do so. They also show honor for the position of the pope, honor to Mother Church. A wealthy person may live in a beautifully decorated mansion because of a choice to spend money, but the poorest Catholic may worship in a beautifully decorated cathedral–or at least, the poorest Catholic could do that before the Vatican II wreckovations.

    I have to admit that I also see little value to the Pope reducing his security detail and getting a smaller and cheaper car that is less safe.

    Didn’t C. S. Lewis or somebody once say that Thomas a Becket had the right idea by wearing beautiful clothing on the outside for the enjoyment of others and a hairshirt underneath (which others could not see) for himself?

    But I don’t really expect to love every pope! He’s protecting the doctrine of the Church from error. That’s enough for me.

  • AMoniqueOcampo

    Maybe reading Lumen Fidei might help. It was written by both Benedict and Francis.

    As far as Francis’s choices are concerned, most of them are done from his own personal preferences. He’s a Jesuit and the vow of poverty might have a larger extent than say a dioscesian priest.

    And there are days that I question Pope Francis as well. He has a tendency to be blunt and say off-the-cuff remarks that some might take the wrong way.

    I know that you respect him. Sometimes, respect is all we can give to someone. Offer it up to God. Things will get better.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Maybe reading it will help.

    • Ben

      I’m glad he is blunt. Why must we always walk on egg shells? St. Peter cut the ear off of a man! I am glad this Pope is shunning the niceties of old European monarchy, as his predecessors of the last 100 years have done.

  • Carmen S

    I tell you….our Holy Fathers are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. When I say damned in this context, of course I don’t mean it literally, but I mean that some of my fellow Catholics (and those outside the faith who ALWAYS have something to say) are ever prepared to find something disagreeable with these holy men.

    With Benedict and others before him, it was TOO MUCH pomp, enough already with the red velvet capes and gold crosses as well as “all those riches” amassed by the Vatican which “should be sold to feed the poor.”

    So now we have Francis, and whiners like the one who wrote this article are complaining that he’s TOO simple and this emphasis on less pomp and more on the poor make him feel badly.

    Lord, deliver us from all malcontents!

    If the great apostle and first Pope Saint Peter himself returned today to reclaim the throne, you malcontents would rip him for wearing a shabby robe, for smelling like fish and for choosing to be crucified upside down…..

    Please remember–it is the Holy Spirit which chooses these men. Or do you whiners have a beef with the Third Person of the Trinity, too?!

    • SusanL

      Carmen, that was horrible. Go to confession.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I’d like to thank you for your understanding as I sincerely struggle with this and open my struggles up to readers. That’s sarcasm. In case you confuse it with whining.

      Perhaps you might want to also see this, in response to the erroneous and common claims that the pope is chosen by the Holy Spirit alone. ..

      http://thejesuitpost.org/site/2013/03/worth-reading-does-the-holy-spirit-choose-the-pope/

    • Barbara Fryman

      Is this for REAL? When JP II was elected I was afraid to even read on Benedict, but he won me over by his very German behavior. His awkward smile and excellent logic and I would venture that his dress was practical. Why waste what was freely given as a gift (red shoes). This would be rude to a German.

      Our new pope won me because he makes me uncomfortable. He forces me to look at my Catholicity. Am I actually living it out, even at the risk of being taken advantage of? I hate it, but love him for it.

      But when you love someone as a father and some new guy comes along and is not even a shadow of the old, that STINKS. Kat is trying to love the new guy, but doesn’t. That’s okay. She hasn’t put him down or maligned him. She’s borne witness to her own struggle. What the heck is wrong with that?

    • steve5656546346

      Wow!!!

      Where did THAT come from?

    • alexandra cortes

      I agree with you, girl

  • tj.nelson

    Guess what? I feel the same way. I love what he says and does, but I really miss some of the outward expressions of the office and liturgical solemnity. I also wonder if too much attention is paid to the daily homilies – which are pretty much casual reflections on the daily readings. I do love him though – and definitely appreciated the fact that he jumped protocol, avoided diplomatic arrangements by the Secretary of State, and did his own thing and headed to the migrant island to greet the refugees and make their plight known to the world. That I liked.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      The daily homilies kill me. I wish the press would stop acting like they’re dogmas and encyclicals.

      • Gordis85

        The press does not act like they are dogmas or encyclicals. I read the Vatican press statement when it first came out. They explained they would not publish nor broadcast his daily masses at his request.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          the secular press.

          • Gordis85

            Well that is a given.

      • Kelly Mason McClintock

        I could hug your neck! This entire thread has done me more good than you can imagine. I’d stomp on a kitten to do what I have done for YEARS, to to Vatican.va and read the txt of homilies for myself – - flabbergasted – even if Pope Francis does not write them down, surely someone in the Vatican knows how to hit “record” and then transcribe the homilies :/

  • AMR25

    I’ve never needed extra brocade to feel spiritual. A good prayer, a communal prayer, sometimes that is all that is necessary. Much of the pomp and trappings of popery are because of the link to Italian monarchy. Yes, architecture that reflects the grandeur of the Divine I can understand, but there is so much more spirituality in the simple act of kneeling.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      True.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      What the Devil is wrong with Italian monarchy, may I ask?

    • Ben

      It is good to gradually remove the trappings of “traditions of men”, especially the arrogance of monarchy.

  • Rebecca Duncan

    Yeah, that is a terribly ugly church. I don’t believe anyone is helped spiritually or otherwise by ugliness.

    • Faithr

      Wasn’t this chapel built while JPII was Pope?

    • Ben

      Most Anglicans have gorgeous churches, yet is their faith true?

      • Elizabeth517

        Anglicans have gorgeous churches either in purposeful imitation of Catholic churches (the Oxford movement) or from direct annexation from the Catholic Church (the Reformation). Catholic churches have always been the most beautiful BECAUSE our faith is true. We can have both! Let’s not roll over and leave beauty to the Anglicans, shall we?

      • Rebecca Duncan

        Your statement has nothing to do with what I said. I didn’t say anything about the faith being true based on the beauty of the Church. I just said that ugliness is not helpful to people.

  • ModerateMom17

    The media is billing him as the more humble Pope. Are you buying what they’re selling?

    • oeb25

      Eventually even the bozos in the press will catch on that he IS a practicing Catholic, no matter what his personal aesthetic. They will finally figure out that as a matter of fact, abortion, contraception, IVF, euthanasia, gay marriage, women priests ARE NOT ON THE TABLE. Never were, never will be. They have some very thick skulls but in a while even light might seep through there. Then they will start piling on this pope and trashing him too. The more the pope rails against the GayNazi faction which inhabit the corridors of political power/PC “correctness” the sooner the media will start slagging on him as an “out of touch homophobe who means nothing.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I don’t think it’s media billing. I believe he truly desires humility.

      • DeaconsBench

        Lest we forget: the greatest act of humility in human history occurred when God became man—and it continues at every Mass, when He lowers himself to become something we can hold in our hands and take on the tongue. You want humility? There is our model.

        To those who think Francis doesn’t want to be pope: I disagree. But he wants to be a different KIND of pope. If reports are true, and he came close to being elected in 2005, he’s had eight years to think of what might have been, and to think of what he might have done differently. And, at this stage in his life: he is who he is. This is a man who is comfortable in his own skin and needs to do things his own way. He’s not a creature of the Curia. He’s a pastor, and an Argentinian. He brings a different life and career experience to the job.

        Benedict, I think, challenged the Church to embrace and love Her past, reminding us of the rich history and heritage we enjoy. Francis, perhaps, is challenging us to see that this history and heritage is more than the sum of our liturgical parts. It goes much deeper. In stripping away the lace and brocade, he’s forcing us to consider the essentials.

        I don’t blame Kat for finding that upsetting. I think it should make all of us uncomfortable—in a good way.

        • Gordis85

          I agree and thanks so much for giving us your thoughts.

      • Gordis85

        I support him in his desire to be humble…God alone will judge him if he is judged to have gone about it the wrong way…Let the spiritual fruits that Papa Francis’s papacy will bear give witness as well, good or bad.

  • Nan

    To me it seems like he’s making it as obvious as possible that he doesn’t want to be Pope. That pisses me off.

    • kenofken

      If it makes you feel any better, Jesus wasn’t entirely comfortable with his job either….

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Yes, that is part of it too.

    • Roki

      Not sure I get where the whole “he doesn’t want to be pope” thing is coming from. I’d be quite uncomfortable with someone who DID want to be pope.

      Both Ratzinger and Bergoglio said that they didn’t want to be pope, but both Benedict XVI and Francis have deliberately used the office to advance the gospel in the best way each knows how. That strikes me as true humility in both men, even if it’s expressed in very different ways.

      Is it maybe that it seems that Francis doesn’t want the office of pope to be expressed in full awesomeness? That he doesn’t want the pope to be too pope-ish? Is that the objection? That he seems to want the pope to be presented in a more “ordinary” or “mundane” way?

  • Ed Graveline

    Try Lectio Divina. That should fix you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I should probably start with some thing more realistic, like simple daily prayer. I’m a bad bad Catholic.

      • SusanL

        lol. I sure hope that sarcasm, Katrina, as I don’t view you as a bad Catholic. It’s a brave thing to share struggles. It gave me an opportunity to see how others view things. I think that some people need to show a little humility themselves and not “should” all over you.

      • Gordis85

        Perhaps, you may want to consider this a time of grace for your interior life. A time of purification will only bring you closer to Christ and on your knees, in humility, towards His Vicar on earth.
        That is my prayer every day.

  • vox borealis

    Katrina, you nailed my own feelings almost exactly. But remember, as Catholics we are *not* called to like our pope. Follow him, yes. Respect the office and its authority, yes. But we don’t have to *like* him, or agree with or appreciate his manner or style or aesthetic sense.

  • kenofken

    This is the first pope I have any real respect for, and perhaps even like on some level. As much as a man with his title and position possibly can, he’s out there walking the walk and trying to emulate the ground-level ministry seen in the Apostles and early Church.

    It was never about red shoes or soaring cathedrals or Liberace-style vestments or art collections. It was about rolling up your sleeves and serving the worst off in the prisons, the streets, with no fanfare or glory (unless you count martyrdom). It was about the death of ego, and sometimes of ones’ embodied existence on nothing more than faith. A high-wire act over the canyon on a cable as wispy and strong as spider’s silk. THAT was hardcore.

    Somewhere from Constantine onnward, it became all about the finerery and the glorification of the ego and the title, and the fly clothes and velvet ropes and titles and art collections. All done, of course in the spirit of humility. like when Hollywood starts gather in their Escalades to preach for the rest of the world to lower their carbon footprints!

    Before you get too harsh on this intransigent hippie calling himself pope, do your due dillingence for yourself as to what vision of the Church is worth living or dying for? The Bling or the substance? The guys who lead by bling and high style have zero traction in the larger world, where 1 percenters don’t need a lot more mollycoddling and spiritual justification to their runaway greed. The guys like Francis willing to get their needs and elbows dirty to model and walk the real walk, that just might command some respect from the 99% of Catholics whose real world problems lay far removed from the great encyclicals and white papers pontiffs love to lose themselves in in scholarship. The substance of the Gospels, which Francis has been trying to model in every aspect of his papacy, is vastly more powerful, if less sexy, than the style and cultural and literal traddery and pooffery you seem so alarmed at losing. Give both visions a spin in your life for 30 days and see where it inspires you and where it does not.

    • thomasc

      I think you have a point, but that you are wrong about religious art. First, because the alternative to gold on the altar is gold remaining in the houses of the rich: as Dorothy Day said, God didn’t make diamonds just so the rich could enjoy them. Secondly, because if people love something they make it beautiful. God is calling us to flourishing: and both the making and the appreciation of a soaring cathedral is part of that. In the Middle Ages (and afterwards) the people building the cathedral were often the same as the founders of leper hospitals and schools – the three go together, and giving the people of God a beautiful place to pray in *is* helping them directly. The point of Michelangelo’s religious art is that it moves people to prayer, and when it remains in churches it does that. The alternative would be sale to some private collector.

      Also, don’t you believe in the Holy Spirit? Things didn’t just get lost after 330. We haven’t just had seventeen centuries of bling and high style and ignorance of the Gospel. The history of the Church is full of (inept) followers of Christ.

      • Illinidiva

        Francis isn’t selling off the Vatican’s art collection. You can still visit the Pieta and St. Peter’s for free if you ever find yourself in Rome. And I’m not sure what Francis’ footwear choices have to do with this.

    • oeb25

      You’ve been reading too much protestant propaganda.

      • Aloysius Churchgate

        Yes, WAAAYYY too much protestant propaganda. Read a REAL history of the Church!

        • Konrad B

          How odd that what is clearly a gospel based analysis of simplicity and service, you would consider protestant! I would get my head out of the history of the church and put it in the gospels. You might start to understand ‘Catholic’ better.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      You are arrogant, ignorant and vain. You use humility as a club to strike others, but don’t have the least idea of what it means – beginning with the notion that someone beside you might have something to say and that you might be not altogether possessed with the whole truth. Considering that you consider yourself God, I am not surprised that you claim to never have liked any Pope, except one who – in your perception – is trying hard not to look or sound like one. Since the only authority you recognize is yours, anyone who ACTS as though he were vested with authority is going to rub you the wrong way.

      • kenofken

        I make no claims at all to possess the “whole truth.” On a good day, I have just enough to avert disaster. On an outstanding day, I might get some little further insight into truth. I hardly consider myself God. Well, I kinda did back when I could tuck a 90 pound air hammer under each arm and walk up stairs. It turned out that wasn’t immortality, just testosterone and youth. A ruptured disc and the other varied indignities of middle age taught me humility and scaled me back to the man-size scale of Midgard.

        I should explain what I mean by “liking” Francis. I’m long since not Catholic nor even Christian, so his authority, in the sense of doctrine/dogma etc. has no personal relevance to me. My respect for him comes from the fact that he is true to his core beliefs and yet refuses to get drawn into the enormous hubris of power that comes with the trappings of a princely office. He engages his faith at the ground level, like a priest should, and like Jesus himself is said to have done. Just as importantly, it’s authentic to who he is. He’s not slumming like billionaire politicians and Hollywood stars do when they dress down for a day to get their photo mugging with the blue collar set.

        His predecessors, even if one makes the most generous assumptions about them, were not in touch with the world. They were scholarly theologians. They were also pawns and bystanders to a Vatican power apparatus that was positively Machiavellian, and sometimes criminal. Francis refuses to have the world filtered to him through an army of sycophants all maneuvering for his patronage and signature stamp on something. Bully for him.

        Francis is taking the Church back to the fundamentals of its game, if you will. It’s not about the star players and the bling and the big talk and the new stadium and the glory of yesterdays championship rings. There are those things, yes, but none of it means a hoot if you can’t move the ball and win on the field.

      • Ali Ducharme

        the use of mud-slinging ad hominems, whether in what is supposed to be a rational, rather than emotional, debate (or just common life) is not worthy of someone who states publically he follows the Christ, regardless of sect or denomination, as it does not follow the words of the Christ nor the principles and traits of love as put forth by Paul in Corinthians…

        source: The entire New Testament

        I, for one, new to the disciplines of rhetoric and logic of rational debate and logical persuasion, would understandably have difficulty restraining myself from the tempting use of ad hominems…i am, however, as responsible as anyone else, whether they be an academic or a member of clergy or a person of average education, for my thoughts, words and deeds–just because the temptation is there, does not make it right for me to act upon it. And one doesn’t need to be a member of the Church to believe in the use of right actions and words rather than the wrong ones, just as it is not good to use emotional arguments or flawed assumptions on an issue when one is supposed to be using more logical means of persuasion (as an academic pointed out to me one day not too long ago).

    • Gordis85

      And this is why I am grateful to almighty God for Papa Francis. In this day and age, when so many are martyred, so many are fleeing their homeland, so many have nothing to feed their children, there he is…simple and authentic and in love with Christ. An imitation of St. Francis, in love with his Lord.

      Willing to bring Christ to the masses at the risk of his own life. His papal crown is that he wears Christ on his sleeve, in his heart, and in his soul.
      He loves the Church, he loves her people. He wants us to live a truly authentic life in Christ! He will continue to call us to this fact every single day of his life regardless of some who cannot get beyond what he is wearing or not wearing.

      I admire and love Papa Benedict. His style was of a different approach but always too, calling us onward to Christ. Interesting thing is despite missing some of the papal finery, I do not let that distract me from the true message that Papa Francis has been calling us onward to nor do I let it upset me because to be distracted over such is what the devil wants…were I to give in to such, who has time for prayer or charity?

  • thomasc

    Some people do find the splendour of the Papacy spiritually difficult. After all, a lot of it comes from ways of representing significance that we just don’t do any more in the West, which makes it hard for us to understand them sometimes.

    If we can accept that this isn’t a criticism of Benedict (any more than Benedict’s dress was a criticism of JP2), then it falls into place. Like so much about the Faith, this is a both-and position. We sometimes need to be reminded of the glorious nature of the office of the Papacy; we sometimes need to be reminded of the humility and simplicity required of a Christian. We are slow-witted creatures, so God sends us both in quick succession. I agree that the poor don’t need to be told that Christ loves the poor – but I think Francis might have been sent to preach to the rich, here.

    I thought Cardinal Pell’s observation on Francis’ behaviour here was interesting: roughly, he said that this was the first Pope for a while who had lived all his adult life under a vow of poverty that he took very seriously, and he wasn’t about to change his ways at his age.

  • oeb25

    My thought is maybe the pope is just a reverse snob. All I can say is if Cardinal Burke would have been made pope he’d already be well on the way to cleaning out the Augean Stables that is now the Vatican — and he’d have put on the red shoes too. Sucks to the Jezzies. The OLD Jezzies wouldn’t have produced a slacker.

  • Sheba

    Hello everyone. I would like to make a suggestion. The Pope (whoever he may be) is our spiritual father. Each Pope is here to feed us. By faith we can be sure that he will feed us what is good for us. Why? Because Christ, Our Lord said so. Pope Benedict fed us beautifully. Well so is Pope Francis. God did not make a mistake when Pope Emeritus Benedict reigned. Neither has he made a mistake now, with Pope Francis. Trust and receive with joy the message Pope Francis is faithfully passing on to us. God’s goodness is so great. Surely it can not rest on only one Pope. Do not be afraid and trust in Our Lord.

    • steve5656546346

      There have been bad popes: that does not threaten our faith, because our faith is not based upon a human. It is based upon the Triune God.

      The Holy Spirit protects the Pope form formally defining error in a way that would bind the faithful. It simply is not a teaching of the Church that the Holy Spirit takes away the free will of the Papal electors. It simply is not the teaching of the Church that each Pope was the most perfect selection. It simply is not the teaching of the Church that the electors cannot ignore, or even reject, the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It is simply no the teaching of the Church that a Pope’s ever action and word is divinely ordained and perfect–nor that it is impossible for the Pope to make an honest mistake…or even a dishonest mistake.

  • Barbara Fryman

    I read somewhere, I’ll try to find the link for you later, that he does all this for himself. The implication was that he is tempted by trappings of nice things. Also in Argentina there is a terrible problem of clericalism where the priests are often living much better than the people who serve them and sort of act as arbiters of who can and can’t be welcomed in the church. So, he’s fighting what he fought in Argentina.

    I know it’s hard, but I think you are angry that the press holds him up as a foil to B16, and are misplacing your frustrations. That he has a different spirituality is a good thing for a church so large. It may not be OUR thing, but it’s a big church. Perhaps there were a lot of people barely hanging on w B16 who are now being fed through Francis.

    I’ll pray for you. This is tough.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Thank you for offering your prayers. I most certainly need them.

    • SusanL

      I think that different popes can bring in different people to the church…and bring others back. There is a blogger who said that Pope Benedict actually made a difference in converting her from atheism to Catholicism. (It was his intellectualism and logic). Likewise, I have a friend who is Catholic but doesn’t agree with certain nonnegotiables of the Church. She likes Pope Francis. Perhaps he will help her change her mind. My guess is that it would be his simplicity and embracing the poor. It is much easier for some to see Pope Francis’ heart. Pope Benedict has a beautiful and loving heart but it’s harder for some people to see that.

      • Cindy

        God gives us what we need. As it was wrong when many criticized Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for his style of papacy, so it is wrong when many criticize Pope Francis for his. Ultimately, only God knows the gifts and graces he has given to each of these men and whether or not they are submitting to His Will in their use of these gifts.

        • Deborah Velazquez

          Wow! well said

          • Lozzapug

            Well said indeed, except for the right and wrong thing. So hard for us to leave these words to God. “If a pope searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” :) Thank God each pope has his own style and focus. It means we and the Church can all learn and grow.

    • GR

      I think you are right, Barbara. I agree with you. I do think many in the media do try to hold up Francis to B16 as a foil. But I don’t think it is fair then to reject Francis’ approach.

  • Michael

    I’m inclined to agree wholeheartedly, especially your comments on feeling guilty for not being particularly uplifted thus far. The issue of “spiritual taste,” as it were, is an enormous problem for just about everyone who really wants a closer relationship with both God and His Church. So for instance, plenty of folks (myself included) found BXVI’s way of going about things to be absolutely fantastic – “Now _this_ is how you pray with the pope!” At the same time, a lot of other people were really turned off. Now the roles are reversed (and, despite what some other commenters have said about Francis not _explicitly_ criticizing BXVI, that’s the effect of his style, whether he intends it or not).

    So – no easy answers. But the boat you’re in is plenty full! Francis has thrown down one hell of a gauntlet; I’m fairly sure rising to the challenge will bear enormous spiritual fruit for everyone.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I hope so. Thank you for your enthusiasm.

  • Faithr

    I like it all. I like Pope Francis’ style; it’s a change and it’s got a lot going for it. The simplicity, the down to earth quality really speaks to people in our day. Maybe it is something we need right now. But I also appreciate the detail and the grandeur of beautiful vestments and high ritual. It is awe inspiring and elevating. I think though it is dangerous to pin too much of spiritual life on the outer details, whether simplicity irks you or whether all the pomp does, depending on your taste. God is present at the Mass held in the woods in hiding which just a bit of wine and some stolen bread. God is also present when things are much grander and majestic at the high solemn Mass. He is equally present at either. Both are opportunities to forget ourselves and our own personal likes and dislikes. I think we all need to just try to rein in our constant impulse to judge all the time. Sometimes just being open and focused on the main thing (our relationship to God) is freeing.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      The point is he is Pope. Pope. Not a diocesan priest in an impoverished Church. I can’t help but think if his humility is true he will embrace the papacy, ermine and papal apartments and all, and put aside his own personal preferences for humility. The whole “I don’t want to Pope” bit is what makes loving him so excruciatingly hard.

      • SusanL

        Well…he may not have wanted to be Pope. I think that most of them didn’t either but he has taken the role anyways and is looking at the materialism of the world. Look at all the countries who are on the brink of a broken economy. Or who have actually crossed over. Too much overspending. Too much entitlement. To much greed.

        I love the beauty of the Catholic Church…all of the art…the music (older), the incense….all of the things that appeal to all my senses…that bring beauty to my life. At this point in the world…maybe people will be more willing to actually listen to this Pope because he is showing them the way. Not that Pope Benedict didn’t. He most certainly did BUT no one listened to him. There are two contrasts here and perhaps…just perhaps…people, in seeing this contrast, will listen to this Pope and begin to mend their ways.
        Please, God.

      • Faithr

        Well, the Holy Spirit chose him, right? So maybe the Holy Spirit likes that he brings his particular personality to the office. Maybe this is a good exercise in learning to love unconditionally.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          No, the Holy Spirit didn’t choose him or any pope. The Holy spirit protects him from error, but didn’t necessarily select him for the office.

          • Faithr

            I guess I should rephrase things. Hopefully, the cardinals prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide them in their choice. At least that’s what the reports said and the testimony some of the cardinals gave after Pope Francis was elected. So maybe the Holy Spirit didn’t swoop down and have a dove or tongue of fire over Bergoglio’s head but perhaps nudged the Cardinals in his direction as they went through the election process.

          • Andy, Bad Person

            Agreed. We have to trust that the discernment of the Cardinals was fruitful, and that they listened for God’s will.

          • steve5656546346

            Maybe they listened to the Holy Spirit, and maybe they listened to themselves instead.

            We will find out in eternity…

      • Illinidiva

        None of them want to be Pope. Benedict said something similar to what Francis did to the little girl on one occasion. It does seem that Francis has transitioned quite easily into his new role and is even enjoying himself. He looked quite happy yesterday with the refugees in Sicily.
        And one doesn’t have to have personal affection for every single Pope. I didn’t have personal affection for Benedict and didn’t follow events in Rome closely and can respect those that feel the same way about Francis. So you might not watch every single Mass, but might focus on your own parish instead.

        • elizabeth

          Well said! I wholeheartedly agree. I do not think anyone in their right mind would want to be Pope. Look at all the issues the Church is dealing with and how much pressure is put on him when the eyes of the entire world are watching his every move. Who would want do deal with that every day? I think Francis’ response was one of honesty and humility.

          I never had what you call a personal affection for Benedict either. To me, he was too distant from the ordinary person. Growing up and even through college, as I gained a deeper understanding of my faith, I loved JPII, primarily for his ability to connect with the people, especially young people. Young people were excited about their religion and I can see that again with Francis.

          I tend to be conservative and enjoy the traditions of the Church, but am often frustrated with the displays of wealth from the Vatican. Of course I think that the Lord deserves to be praised and honored with the most beautiful things in the world, but isn’t it more about the act itself than the surroundings or the textiles? The early Christians did not have splendid churches to celebrate Mass in or brocade robes to wear. They were hiding in houses or underground to celebrate Mass. We are very blessed today to have the beautiful churches, but don’t people in ornate basilicas and cathedrals celebrate the same Mass as those in simple churches or, for example, dorm chapels?

          I too can respect the views of those that find Francis’ style to not be to their taste. I do think, though, that this new Pope can inspire us to look at our own lives and reconsider how dependent we are on physical things. In today’s materialistic world, that is hard. I’ll be the first to admit that I often enjoy material possessions more than I should. Even if we disagree about how the Church is being led, perhaps we can all agree that some self-reflection never hurts.

      • Konrad B

        Why do you associate ‘Pope’ with external trappings and not great virtues? Embracing the papacy in humility has nothing to do with wearing luxury vestments. Even from a liturgical point of view they add nothing!

        • SusanL

          Actually, it has a lot to do with our senses. Our eyes, our sense of smell (incense), our hearing, our touch…even our sense of taste is affected during the mass. This is all to bring Glory to God and help us with our worship of him.

          Just my opinion.

        • steve5656546346

          Protestants don’t bow with their bodies (typically): they bow with their spirits!

          Problem: we are SUPPOSED to have bodies. We are not angels, and it would be presumptuous to imagine that everything is internal. At the end of time, we are to get glorified bodies: the only religion to teach that.

          It is not the internal INSTEAD of the external: but both. True, there is a place for voluntary poverty! But not as Pope.

          • Konrad B

            So Christ chose voluntary poverty and the Pope can’t follow in His footsteps!! What an odd reasoning!

      • Ben

        A saint should never say that they want to be a saint. That is one major indicator that one, indeed, is not a saint.

        • SusanL

          I think you mean “a saint should never say that they already are a saint.” Am I right? Because we all want to be saints someday. (not necessarily canonized).

          • Kelly Mason McClintock

            Amen, we are all called to be saints – because if we do not end up as saints the only alternative is eternity separated from God. Raising my hand and jumping up and down – I wanna be a saint!

          • SusanL

            Me, too, Kelly!! lol

        • ariofrio

          I think you meant, “A saint should never say that they want to be a Saint. That is one major indicator that one, indeed, is not a saint.” For a saint should always say that they want to be a saint. (And I imagine it’s possible that a future saint might be called to be a Saint and be vocal about it.)

          • Ben

            Yes, thank you :-)

        • Billiamo

          In that case, St Therese of Lisieux is not a saint.

      • kate

        Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York says that no sane man would want to be pope. It is also commonly aid that those who want the office never get it. Pope Benedict did not “WANT” to be pope. However, both Benedict and Francis were chosen to be the Vicar of Christ. So I think that thought should assuage some of your fears. Trust in the Holy Spirit! … Just because Francis is not embracing ermine and papal apartments doesn’t mean he is not embracing the papacy. All those things (red shoes, and twenty-roomed apartments) are ephemeral, and mostly derived from the historical Church. This is not to say that they do not have a place in the Church, or that they are somehow bad. It’s just to demonstrate the an ermine cape is not strictly NECESSARY to the exercise of office of the Supreme Pontiff. …Another recommendation: Ask God to show you beauty in simplicity. I traveled through Europe this past semester, and it is easy to be drawn in by the Baroque architecture and stained glass windows. But that is not the Catholic faith. … Look to the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith. A simple piece of unleavened bread becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Yet it still remains under the appearance of bread. Thisnot to say that ornate beauty isn’t important (it has its place), but incredible beauty can be found in the simplest of things, if only we choose to open our eyes and our hearts…. Lastly, pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance for Pope Francis. And TRUST that God’s promises are true: And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

      • KathleenBasi

        Except that the people who most want position of authority are frequently the worst equipped to use it well.

      • KMJohnson

        Well I don’t think it’s “I don’t want to be Pope” at all…..that seems to me to be a mis- statement. Here is a man bringing himself, as all authentic creative leadership does, to his office.

        Folks in Jesus’ time wanted Jesus to be other things too, to represent to them what they needed in him: zealot; exact follower of the law; healer in his own town; person who refused to speak to women or touch the outcast leper or the hemorrhaging woman or a man who refused to let sinners wash his feet in Simon’s house. But, it seems to me that Jesus was true to his mission as he saw it from the Father not true to a vision of who he should be according to standards of his day or the thinking of his compatriots.

        Does it not depend upon what an individual’s definition of Pope is? How we see the simplicity of this man?…..I don’t want Francis to conform his idea of Pope to mine any more than I wanted JPII or Benedict XVI to bend to my personal and individual preferences for what I think the Church in all its depth and vastness should be. I want him to create for himself and me a version of Pope that bears his stamp, his following of the Father, Son, and Spirit.

  • Amelia Wreford

    As a recent convert from Anglicanism, I understand your desire for more beauty and transcendence. The parishes I go to are plain, to say the least – one of them is actually an old, garage-like hall, since the actual church is being demolished, and it is a far cry from the liturgical life of my old Anglican parish. But then I realised, it’s okay to be poor. We tried to beautify our worship space as much as possible, even though it is a far cry from Chartres Cathedral.

    Poverty shows that one is completely loved by and completely relies on God alone. That’s not to say that outer beauty is not important or does not convey it’s own equally important message (the glory of God), but as St Jerome said, sometimes beauty that is unadorned is the most adorned of all. Pope Francis, or even his namesake St. Francis, might not be richly decorated, but surely the things they have said and the things they have done are as beautiful as any ancient church.

    • Kelly Mason McClintock

      Sounds nice and poetic about poverty showing one is completely loved until you actually are poor. I have enough poverty, I do not want the pope struggling they way I struggle.

      • Amelia Wreford

        I’m talking about holy poverty, freely chosen. Of course, anyone who is in material poverty not of their own choosing may try and improve their lives, and as Christians we are obliged to help them.

  • John Martens

    “But the rest of us, the rest of us regular Catholics who aren’t quite
    there yet, the ones struggling every day just to be good, need it.” I am a regular Catholic who does not need liturgical pomp, so I would not generalize too much on this issue, but I understand that there are liturgical needs which differ from person to person. I do not understand why your needs cannot be met by a local parish which offers the sort of liturgy you need on a daily basis. If the Pope eschews the outward trappings of finery, that speaks to me as a Christian who yearns for the simplicity of the early Church. If you yearn for a more ornate liturgy, look to the Pope for his teaching and to your finest local parish for all that you need in terms of vestments and liturgical ornateness. There is a place for both, though I am happy to have a Pope who offers an outwardly simpler Mass.

    • Gordis85

      God bless you Papa Francis! Live for Christ! Lift Him up for all the world to see! Go against the tide of expectation and may your reign inspire many to seek the Lord while he may still be found! Amen!

  • Aloysius Churchgate

    Right on Kat! Love it! You hit the nail on the head. As I am fond of saying, poor people need beauty too, which is why Churches are open to EVERYONE! A poor, homeless man can come to a beautiful Church and feel like a member of the King’s court any time.

    • Martin

      But we’re not talking about churches here, rather some clothes, shoes, etc. He’s not going to tear down churches and replace them with wooden huts now.

  • John Gerardi

    Unfortunately, I think we get the Pope we deserve. What percentage of bishops in the world truly “embrace” the burdens and symbols of their office? How many bishops let you genuflect and kiss their ring, wear proper episcopal vesture, appreciate truly beautiful vestments, or have the Ratzingerian approach to the liturgy or beauty in the liturgy? Maybe like 5% of them worldwide (and that’s extremely generous)? We were spoiled for 8 years with a Pope who was more traditional, more conservative, more “liturgical” than 95% of the rest of the bishops on planet earth. Francis is, unfortunately, a return to the reality of what the Church unfortunately is right now.

    I will say this in the Pope’s favor: I don’t mind him not living in the papal apartments. After the Vatileaks scandal, which took place right smack dab in the middle of the papal apartments, I think getting away from there was an understandable idea.

    • SusanL

      A priest just told me recently that the Pope has requested that Priests and other religious scale down on the fancy cars and iphones and such. He is concerned with their sense of materialism. Perhaps that is why he is doing what he’s doing.

  • Mark Mitchell

    I think you should give him some time. How often has a man been elected Pope when his predecessor is still living (rhetorical question)? It may be very difficult to fully embrace the symbolism of the Petrine Office when the man you are replacing (who you love and respect) is living and no more than 100 yards away. The fact that his first encyclical was a collaboration between both Benedict and himself tells volumes.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Thanks for saying it.

  • Harry

    You need to take into account that there are a high number of people – Catholic and non-Catholic, rich and poor – who will find the Pope’s choice not to dress up in liturgical finery to be spiritually fortifying. I can sympathize with these people to a degree – rich liturgical symbolism is all to the good, but I don’t think that necessitates dressing up in the equivalent of half of Fort Knox. Personally, I really can’t stick the over-the-top dress of the Papacy in ages past – you know, being borne about in a litter with a ridiculous crown encrusted with diamonds atop their heads. It just looked like a weird aping of European monarchical forms – nothing about it says “Slave of the slaves of God.”
    That said, it is obvious that many others take the opposing view and find much to love in a rich form of Papal dress. But you can’t please everyone. We’ve had two popes who liked to dress richly, and now we have one who doesn’t. Not to sound too harsh, but you just have to deal with it.

    • Br Gabriel Mosher OP

      But, that is part of the point, right. The pope wasn’t Aping. He was the arbiter between Princes. He granted the Holy Roman Emperor his authority when he was crowned by the Pope. He is the vicar of Christ. He is subject to no earthly authority. This was very important message to communicate in days since past. However, it is still very important to communicate that message today.

      Not everything that the Pope is and does has a spiritual dimension. Quite a bit of it has a secular dimension. We forget that he is a Head of State and a Soverign. He has an obligation for our sake to fit the part.

      But also, in the liturgical symbolism we must remember that Liturgical signs do not look backward to Christ’s earthly life. They are signs of the future glory. They are signs of Christ Triumphant.

      Also, to eschew the patrimony is to do be very disrespectful to all those how gifted their money, time, and art to craft the finest of materials for the use of the Holy Father. There seems to be lacking the gratitude that should be joined with humility.

      • Harry

        Shouldn’t the representative of Christ act as a living rebuke to wordly standards of glory and power? A sign of contradiction? Why didn’t Christ think it necessary to come down with a legion of angels in order to show his glory? The image God Himself has given to us of his own self-revelation is a tortured, dying man nailed to a Cross – THAT’S Christ triumphant. THAT’S eternal power and glory.
        You want to make a nice crown for the Pope? Fair enough. But let’s not loose sight of the utterly scandalous image of God at the heart of our faith.

        • Konrad B

          Well said

        • steve5656546346

          You seemed to have missed the point: according to the Bible, Christ will indeed return in power and glory–not on the cross. And yes, he will have legions of angels. And in Revelation, we find that even the saints have crowns (in some sense) that they throw down before Christ.

          This is the paragraph you seem to have missed: “But also, in the liturgical symbolism we must remember that Liturgical signs do not look backward to Christ’s earthly life. They are signs of the future glory. They are signs of Christ Triumphant.”

        • Ben

          Simply, AMen!

        • James Kohn

          this is a false dicodomy. Christ is King over all, we have ways of representing this reality that speak symbolically. Saying and showing that those who represent him old an office from the King and are adorned as such is a contradiction to a world bent on egalitarianism.

          • Samuel Okechukwu

            Spirituality is about Simplicity. The greater you are, the more humble you should be. Money and the things of life are good but when we attach so much importance to them we loose the very meaning of life ..God blesses us with good things in life so we can use it to take care of his creation ….and not to parade our ego……. Leadership is about good character and compassion for the less privileged and abandoned and voiceless ones in the society …and not about the expensive clothes the leader wears / expensive mansion . It seems we have lost our true senses of value. We came to this world with nothing and we are leaving it with nothing. The fact that you are Pope does not mean that you are no longer an ordinary person.

            Its a Pity that the many Popes who have gone before him have not fully expressed the simple values that Jesus lived and preached. Pope Francis is showing us what it means to follow Jesus in simplicity and poverty of heart. To use the things of the world as if we do not need them. We can be what we are in spite of it. You can be Pope without answering the name Pope. Our Pastors today are so far away from their sheep because they live in their world of false ego and riches given to them by their congregation… Its hi time they come out of their cold shelves and identify themselves with the sufferings of their sheep else they will face the whip from God in judgement.

            The Church must go out to the Streets to meet and touch all lives with the love of Christ. Pope Francis is doing what is normal for a good leader, yet many are criticizing him of being too radical.

            God has no favorites – everyone is welcome into his Great family as Pope Francis tried to explain…

            ..what ever religion or belief you profess…even atheists Our admittance to heaven is based on just one thing….”How much have you loved?” – ,….ie….How well did you take care of humanity…..those entrusted to your care while you were on earth. ( as a husband, a wife, a pastor, a youth. etc……Were you a good shepherd over your family / sheep?….a Shepherd who daily lays down his life for the sheep.

            We need more Simple Popes and leaders like Francis so that the world may know who Jesus really is…

            Well done Pope Francis….I admire your courage of being yourself in spite of who you are.

          • James Kohn

            -
            Im not talking about spirituality. If you would like to talk about that you can
            talk with the most spiritual being ever created, Lucifier. Im Catholic, humility might be complimented
            to some degree by simplicity, but simplicity does not define ones humility. “Parading the ego”, how is it parading
            anything in recognizing the office that Christ gave us? Did Mary when she visited Elizabeth shout I
            am truly nothing unworthy and deserve to be down trotten or did she proclaim
            all generations will call Her Blessed for what the Lord has done for Her? Of course it’s the later. There is nothing simplistic in that statement. The vestments are important because first
            they speak to the office that the High Priest Christ bestows on his
            priests. They wear the vestments because
            they act Inpersona Christi. Second the
            vestments tend to be glorious because the focus is not on the person, but what
            the person represents (Christ), and covering himself takes away the temptation
            for a person to look on the priest as a regular man, but focuses on the divine
            office given by Christ for the salvation of souls. Theres nothing egotistical about that, it
            just takes an ability to realize that its not about the priest but the office
            to begin with. These posts have mainly
            been dealing with liturgical importance not whether or not when the Pope is out
            and about he wears anything particularly, even if the things from the past
            speak non verbally to a truth of the faith, which in submitting to that truth
            humility is realized. But when a person is the Pope, he no longer just
            represents himself, but he is standing in a living office not by his own
            merits, but by grace, and must recogneize that it is not for him to treat the
            office as a play thing.

            “Its a Pity that the many Popes
            who have gone before him have not fully expressed the simple values that Jesus
            lived and preached.”

            -
            Name one

            “Pope Francis is showing us what it means to follow Jesus in
            simplicity and poverty of heart. To use the things of the world as if we do not
            need them.”

            -
            And we offer the very best to God, sacrificing that which
            could have been used for our betterment,
            for his glory.

            “We can be what we are in spite of it. You can be Pope without
            answering the name Pope.”

            -Which presumes when asked whether you accept the title you
            affirm it because it’s a matter of truth.

            “Our Pastors today are so
            far away from their sheep because they live in their world of false ego and
            riches given to them by their congregation…”

            -
            Where do you live?
            Everywhere I go the church is in debt and the Priests make under 20K a
            year, hardly luxourious. And it’s the same
            with the Bishop, some might indeed live in a nice house but that’s there
            choice, to look on it as being a shame for hoarding wealth is a joke. The house was probably given as a gift to the
            Bishop out of love for him and the office he partakes in.

            “ Its hi time they come out of their cold shelves and identify
            themselves with the sufferings of their sheep else they will face the whip from
            God in judgement.”

            -
            We agree Bishops and priests need to get out and preach, but so
            do you and I as the laity who are the ones given this task because we have to
            most freedom and ability to do so. A
            priests primary task is to offer the sacrifice of the sacred liturgy, if he
            fails this it doesn’t matter how many mouths were feed or people clothed.

            “The Church must go out to the
            Streets to meet and touch all lives with the love of Christ. Pope Francis is
            doing what is normal for a good leader, yet many are criticizing him of being
            too radical.”

            -
            I don’t accuse him of being radical, its more a matter of there
            is a time and place for both things, and to identify the papacy as merely a
            social justice hub misses the point of why Christ came and established the
            church to begin with. Things like
            helping the poor flow from the purpose which is the salvation of their soul,
            and Peter is held to account for this primarily.

            “God has no favorites – everyone
            is welcome into his Great family as Pope Francis tried to explain…”

            -
            “If you love me you will keep my commands”. “Not everyone who
            says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom, but those who do the will of my
            Father”. Sure everyone is invited, but the otherside of the coin that gets
            ignored out of inconvenience is that many choose to forgo the cross, the
            expectations Christ has for us, including those you partake in his holy
            priesthood, in favor of doing things that will make them feel good.

            “..what ever religion or belief
            you profess…even atheists Our admittance to heaven is based on just one
            thing….”How much have you loved?” – ,….ie….How well did you
            take care of humanity…..those entrusted to your care while you were on earth.
            ( as a husband, a wife, a pastor, a youth. etc……Were you a good shepherd
            over your family / sheep?….a Shepherd who daily lays down his life for the
            sheep.”

            -
            But sheparding his people doesn’t forgo the office that one
            holds and the things that are applicable to the office. Plus anyone who is saved is only saved
            through the Church, that’s a Dogma. Don’t
            create false dicodomies here. Sheparding
            includes teaching the hard truths and accepting the roles give to you and not
            forgoing them out of personal likes or dislikes.

            “We need more Simple Popes and
            leaders like Francis so that the world may know who Jesus really is…”

            -
            Im guessing you have missed the past 2000 years

            “Well done
            Pope Francis….I admire your courage of being yourself in spite of who you are.”

            -
            “A priest is not his own” as Ven. Fulton Sheen would always say
            and wrote a book about. The person is
            not greater than the office which is a divine gift bestowed for the salvation
            of souls. If Francis wishes to live
            simply fine, its better either way that he wont have layers of Bueracracy to
            deal with as other Popes have had to work through. But to pretend that the office is his to
            pursue at his will overstates his authority.

    • Kelly Mason McClintock

      The Pope is a monarch. The Vatican is a sovereign nation ruled by Pope Francis.

    • James Kohn

      part of having the vestments is to get the focus less on the person and more on the office that is being fullfilled

  • Tammy

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! My friends and I have discussed this repeatedly, and while we love and pray for Francis, we deeply miss Benedict, and the respect and honor he commanded for his office.

  • Roseanna Hatke

    I agree 100%. I want to love him, as I did Pope Benedict. But when does such public humility, (which intentionally or not slams good Pope Benedict and others who went before) become pride? When do we start thinking “Ha, I am more humble than you are!”? When do we start bragging that we got these shoes at Goodwill so that makes us “better”? Pope Francis is just making loving him really difficult.

    • SusanL

      I don’t think that Pope Francis has crossed that line of thinking. I strongly suspect that there are other reasons for what he does.

  • Roseanna Hatke

    PS When he did not show up at that concert, he lost me. That was rude and there is nothing that could excuse it. The people there were undoubtedly very excited about a chance to be with the Pope, the musicians practiced extra hard, the cleaners cleaned extra well, etc. For him to just not show up, without explanation, was unkind and thoughtless, and yes, sinful. I would expect better manners from my own children.

    • JustDoingMyBest

      From what I read, he did give an “excuse”. He said urgent matters that needed his attention came up and he could not attend. I believe him, and it’s not my business to know what those matters were. I trust they were “urgent” and that he was telling the truth.

      Once the concert organizers knew this, they should have removed his chair instead of making a statement with the empty chair sitting there. THAT was rude, imo.

  • Mynamedontwearitout

    Oh I *SO* understand these feelings!!! I was esp. upset with the Holy Father’s comments regarding food waste a month or two back. I researched them to see if somehow the mainstream media had twisted his words, as they did good Pope BXVI. They were not. I cannot give away my leftovers. Even the homeless on the street won’t take a half-eaten sandwich.

    I think the Holy Father needs to find some middle ground for his personal sanctity, and soon. There has to be a way to utilize the symbols of is office effectively without causing they papacy to appear out-at-the-elbows, or worse, Protestant in character. I shall now duck and cover, as making these opinions known has caused me in the past to receive some of the nastiest replies and hate mail.

  • Gemma L Rivera

    I don’t know if I can be charitable with this post. That I am commenting about it is a start but I hope you don’t mind that I’d be frank. You are not a snob at all, quite the opposite – petty and of superficial faith. That you would love this Pope if only he would wear finery – my gosh, my golly, where do we go from here?

    I myself think that he need not be severe with his vestments or that he ditch his ugly miters or please chant a bit at Mass or at least sing the Our Father with us. I have a few quibbles. But to dwell on that and miss what this poverello from Argentina has been doing for the Church in 4 months? Those quibbles are nothing for the gift that he is and continues to be!

    How does a blogger on this site misinterpret his favorite assignation as Bishop of Rome as somehow not wanting to be Pope? He did not desire to be one for sure, but like the Marian devotee that he is, readily & joyfully accepted God’s will – to be the Successor of Peter. With the enormous challenges that confront the Church, he has been nothing but an authentic witness of Christ in carrying out his Papal duties. Too bad you are not seeing the lovely genius of this Pope. It is an exciting time in the Church and you are missing it.

    • Illinidiva

      I agree completely with this statement. I’ve noticed over the past few months that certain more traditionalist sites have been so focused on the externals associated with Francis and how they differ from Benedict that they’ve missed the message. It seems that the focus on the Pope’s vestments and his inability to chant are keeping people from focusing on his message. For instance, here is another story about Francis’ black shoes rather than a story about his trip to Sicily and powerful homily about the globalization of indifference.

      • steve5656546346

        And this message was? Typically we don’t even get full texts because he talks off the cuff.

        • Illinidiva

          Have you read Francis’ beautiful homily from yesterday? That might give you a clue.

          • Kelly Mason McClintock

            Where is the txt of his homily? They are not available at Vatican.va.

          • Illinidiva

            The fact that you missed his visit to Lampedusa yesterday proves my main point. And yes the full homily is there under homilies on the Vatican site.

    • SusanL

      Well, you were correct. You weren’t charitable. Holy cow! You’re missing what Katrina and some of the others were talking about.

      Katrina was being honest and not disrespectful to our Pope.

      There is beauty in the vestments, in the liturgy and they were there for a reason. It’s not that things cannot be changed for another reason. It’s that some people yearn for the beauty. It brings them closer to God.

      You know, I think that there is a real danger in being “frank” on one’s own blog. People “should” all over you.

      • Illinidiva

        And I think that what the commentor above is getting at is that overly focusing on liturgical differences might make it difficult to focus on Francis’ message. I’ve read some blogs where commentors have gone back and forth about Francis’ choice of vestments or disregard for X rubric or Y rubric… Literally back and forth. And not a peep about his homily on that occasion.

        • SusanL

          I agree that we need to focus on his message. You’re right on that. What peeved me was the attitude of Gemma. I think that she missed what Katrina was saying and struggling with.

          • Illinidiva

            I think (hope) that this has nothing to do with Francis’ choice of shoes and more to do with preferring Benedict over Francis. That is fine. You don’t have to personally like the Pope.

          • SusanL

            I love the Pope. I love both Benedict and Francis. I was thrilled when Benedict was chosen and I grew to love Francis. (I didn’t know him before).

          • Illinidiva

            I was referring to the main author.

          • SusanL

            oh. ok. lol. It said that you were writing in response to me.

        • Ben

          To be concise, Papa Francis reminded a crowd to chant the name of Jesus, and not his own name. This is the essence of the humble pastor from Argentina. ANd it is the genuine message of Christ and the early Church. He has been a godsend to a church mired in crisis after crisis.

      • Gemma L Rivera

        So, “honest” is okay and “frank” is not. If that is the wage of trying to get to the heart of the matter, I’ll take it. What is it about beauty that I don’t get? I have as much yearning for it as anyone, if not more. You don’t like the Sancta Marta chapel? Francis holds mass at the other Basilicas too! The chapel at the Apostolic Palace where B16 used to say Mass daily isn’t any better.

        What is so disappointing about this nitpicking is that there were so many events during the last 5 days and all the blogger can talk about is the externals in the celebration of the Eucharist? Why not start a discussion on Lumen Fidei or migration?

        She keeps on harping about Francis not wanting to be Pope which is an outright lie – the Pope knows he can resign if he doesn’t think he can do it! And he’s showing he’s more comfortable at exercising his primacy than any other Popes I know (not around during J23). If a blogger cannot see that Francis, by favoring Bishop of Rome title, is trying to position the Church for possible reconciliation with other Christians churches, don’t think she should touch this topic with a ten-foot pole.

        I loved Pope Benedict, love his writings – he’d be made a Doctor of the Church in no time. But I am a Catholic first before a Papist. In his last few years B16 was no longer reaching his audience – saw the Synod of Bishops processing on the anniversary of V2. They were all in their best finery. But where was the crowd? There was barely any audience! If a tree fell in the forest and no one hears it, did it fall? Would it matter if you are all decked in the finest vestments and no one sees you?

        Now, that Francis is bringing a renewal in the Church – he’s reaching out to more people, some reports bigger than JP2 crowds. And some of us here resent him for this? We should all be so thankful and do our part in the New Evangelization. We should be out there spreading the Word among secularists, instead we’re waging our own little wars here.

        Alas, we have seen our enemy, and it is us. So help us God.

        • SusanL

          i didn’t say that being frank was not all right. Just dangerous on the blogger’s part. “Petty and superficial faith” was not, in my opinion, accurate nor charitable. Katrina was talking about her struggles. She talks about the things that spiritually feed her through her senses and, you know, she’s not wrong.
          I love both Francis AND Benedict. I think that they are the right men for the right time. We needed Benedict at his time in history and now we need Francis. Two different styles but different points in history; albeit, very close points in history.

          All I’m saying, Gemma, is just take a minute and step back. You’re a sincere, God-loving Catholic. Katrina (and other bloggers) often take the courageous step that I don’t want to take and that is to put their struggles out there in hopes of working through them. Perhaps, on our part, we need to hear what they’re saying and, in charity, offer our thoughts on the matter.

          Hey, I am way too quick, myself, to get mad and put out my two cents. I’m sorry if I offended you. *sigh* I’ve got to work on that.

      • OL

        They are a reflection of Our Love For God how do you think The Catholic Church created such Beauty Music Literature Art Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. These things do inspire in there proper place. We look up to God and give him reverence as the Great Cure Did in Ars. By spending Money on His Church GODS HOUSE

      • Gemma L Rivera

        Let’s try this again. Thought it posted last time, or was it deleted?
        So, “honest” is okay and “frank” is not. If that is the wage of trying to get to the heart of the matter, I’ll take it. What is it about beauty that I don’t get? I have as much yearning for it as anyone, if not more. You don’t like the Sancta Marta chapel? Francis holds mass at the other Basilicas too! The chapel at the Apostolic Palace where B16 used to say Mass daily isn’t any better.

        What is so disappointing about this nitpicking is that there were so many events during the last 5 days and all the blogger can talk about is the externals in the celebration of the Eucharist? Why not start a discussion on Lumen Fidei or migration?

        She keeps on harping about Francis not wanting to be Pope which is an outright lie – the Pope knows he can resign if he doesn’t think he can do it! And he’s showing he’s more comfortable at exercising his primacy than any other Popes I know (not around during J23). If a blogger cannot see that Francis, by favoring Bishop of Rome title, is trying to position the Church for possible reconciliation with other Christians churches, don’t think she should touch this topic with a ten-foot pole.

        I loved Pope Benedict, love his writings – he’d be made a Doctor of the Church in no time. But I am a Catholic first before a Papist. In his last few years B16 was no longer reaching his audience – saw the Synod of Bishops processing on the anniversary of V2. They were all in their best finery. But where was the crowd? There was barely any audience! If a tree fell in the forest and no one hears it, did it fall? Would it matter if you are all decked in the finest vestments and no one sees you?

        Now, that Francis is bringing a renewal in the Church – he’s reaching out to more people, some reports bigger than JP2 crowds. And some of us here resent him for this? We should all be so thankful and do our part in the New Evangelization. We should be out there spreading the Word among secularists, instead we’re waging our own little wars here.

        Alas, we have seen our enemy, and it is us. So help us God.

        • Illinidiva

          Lumen Fideli was really B16′s work. You can really pick out the few parts that Francis wrote in there. This is why I don’t think that it is getting more attention. The fact that traditionalists bloggers seem to be ignoring Lampedusa is odd. I expected whining about the liturgical choices.. Heck, there were even Eucharistic Ministers!! However, nothing.. This makes me quite sad. :(
          As for Benedict, I’m sure that he was a nice man, but I never warmed to him. I think that this is not only his personality, but the type of people he enabled. I just find people like Raymond Burke and some of the other types that he appointed to the Curia to be misogynists and bigots, not to mention the fact that the blogs, etc. who sang Benedict’s praises could be anti-Semitic, etc. I don’t know. This was just another get better friends scenario. Also, he screwed up the Mass translation and was going to make everyone take Communion on tongue next, which would exclude most people in the U.S. from getting the Eucharist.

          • Gemma L Rivera

            Lampedusa was a lovely celebration. It was a solemn & joyful at the same time, sacred and yes, artful service that belies bias against Novus Ordu Mass. Marini was even there & Ganswein a concelebrant.
            I still have to finish reading Light of Faith and I think I could pick out the few parts that Francis contributed.
            Give everyone a chance – even Burke has his role to play in the Church. Pope Francis said “no one is useless”.

          • James Kohn

            the more you talk the less there is to wonder. We dont talk much about Lampedusa because quite frankly its not a big deal. Second Eucharistic Ministers are only Bishops, Priests and Deacons, you are looking for the term Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. We have come to expect flatness at his liturgies and quite frankly have better things to do then worry about whether he wants to be liturgically emancipated (his words) or not. If he does something out of line we will call him on it whether or not he OF crowd berates us for being pharisidical or not. Chairity is loving the other enough to tell them when they are headed in the wrong direction. Third that Burke is a Bigot, a misogynist and seemingly connected to antisemitism is a mental construct that only you yourself can put together. You must really fear that he is not afraid of the so called trappings of the office, that he wears things when he is asked to. How is he he a bigot? Come on spiritear of VII use that noggin of yours. On the anti antisemitism aspect show us where these bad guys are anti Semitic. The post on Patheos a while back was refuted but the so called anti Semite himself because the Patheos blogger had an agenda against trads that dont tow the line in the church of nice. Please latin scholar tell us how he screwed up the translation. Thats the problem you dont know latin and they do. They dumbed down the sacred thinking people couldnt comprehend it. If this is true please request a refund at your school, the translation is 1000x better now that it actaully attempts to translate not just paraphrase or outright reword the Latin NO text. If you wish to hold hands and eat snacks in a profane way you have 23 hours outside the mass to do so. The sacred liturgy is the representation of the once and for all sacrifice of Christ to the Father, not the representation of the last supper. That it has a context in which we eat the sacrificial victim speaks to the action itself. Considering that communion in the hand is an indult because of disobedient bishops and clergy originally and is not actually the normal means of reception your whining is pointless. Why can people not open their mouths, must they feel him in their hands first? JPII made it clear that the handling of Christs body and blood was a privilege of the clergy first and foremost, and that EMOHC should not be used unless absolutely necessary. If one cannot kneel thats ok they can stand, but as an act of reverence because that is truely the Body, Blood soul and divinity of Christ, we kneel just as scripture tells us. Instead of parading around with false understandings all you need to do is actually read the councils

          • Illinidiva

            ” We dont talk much about Lampedusa because quite frankly its not a big deal.”

            Yes, I know. The Pope criticizing the developed world for its lack of empathy toward migrants at a time when the EU and U.S. are both debating immigration reforms is not a big deal. What is totally a big deal is the amount of Latin used in Francis’ liturgies or the fact that an elderly man with diminished lung capacity cannot chant.

            “If he does something out of line we will call him on it whether or not he OF crowd berates us for being pharisidical or not. Chairity is loving the other enough to tell them when they are headed in the wrong direction.”

            I’m so glad that you are more Catholic than the Pope.

            “Third that Burke is a Bigot, a misogynist and seemingly connected to antisemitism is a mental construct that only you yourself can put together.”

            I don’t think that Burke is an anti-Semite, but I do think that he is a misogynist who thinks that women should be submissive to men and that their only roles in society are as brute mares and maids. He also is a bigot who said that the DOMA ruling fostered murder in American society. As for the anti-Semitism, that is prevalent and barely concealed on many traditionalist blogs. In fact, another blogger on this site who likes the Latin Mass figured out that Bergoglio’s main critic in Argentina was a Holocaust denier.

            “Please latin scholar tell us how he screwed up the translation. Thats the problem you dont know latin and they do. ”

            Rather than interpreting the meaning of the wording, the new form was frankly just done using Google translate. This would be like translating Shakespeare word for word into another language rather than trying to preserve his iambic pentameter.

            “Considering that communion in the hand is an indult because of disobedient bishops and clergy originally and is not actually the normal means of reception your whining is pointless.”

            In my thirty years of attending Mass, I’ve never seen anyone receive Communion on the Tongue. Most Americans under the age of fifty likely learned how to and practiced receiving an unconsecrated host with their hands when preparing for Communion. They would all have to learn how to receive it via tongue, which I’m assuming is not easy. Having someone put a foreign object in your mouth without choking or spitting it up would be difficult for most people. And I don’t think that most Catholic Americans would attend the special sessions to learn how to receive the Eucharist via tongue.

          • James Kohn

            “Yes, I know. The Pope criticizing the developed world for its
            lack of empathy toward migrants at a time when the EU and U.S. are both
            debating immigration reforms is not a big deal. What is totally a big deal is
            the amount of Latin used in Francis’ liturgies or the fact that an elderly man
            with diminished lung capacity cannot chant.”

            -
            If immigration is made completely unattainable or is hindered by
            means that are against the faith then we agree. Yet the Church teaches that
            every country has a right to decide who can and cannot come into the
            country. For instance if you pull the
            things that happen here in Mexico you will be immediately sent back no if ands
            or buts no matter the family situation.
            Choosing to break laws is not a way of gaining sympathy. Wait in line and ask for more efficient, less
            regulatory legislation to be passed to make the process easier for those who
            want to come here. If he cant chant then
            fine, we found this out later and are fine with it. I don’t want him dying when he is chanting,
            common sense makes that clear.

            “I’m so glad that you are
            more Catholic than the Pope.”

            -
            So if he says something unorthodox we should just mind our own
            business while it leads people into scandle…come on. I have no worries that he will do so. Plus canon law gives laymen authority to be
            critical with just reason. Take your
            meme of more Catholic then the pope and come up with something original and
            thought out

            “I don’t think that Burke is an anti-Semite, but I do think that
            he is a misogynist who thinks that women should be submissive to men and that
            their only roles in society are as brute mares and maids. He also is a bigot
            who said that the DOMA ruling fostered murder in American society. As for the
            anti-Semitism, that is prevalent and barely concealed on many traditionalist
            blogs. In fact, another blogger on this site who likes the Latin Mass figured
            out that Bergoglio’s main critic in Argentina was a Holocaust denier.”

            -
            Well then im thankful we are not all considered anti-Semites. Second
            the so called Holocaust denier is not so, he himself has stated numorus times
            he is not so, and wrote a response to the calumny that was written against
            him. Perhaps you wish to continue to
            speak falsehoods of his character. But still you give nothing for your notion
            that he is a bigot, why that a mother should act as a mother? This is not a thing to be mocked or
            belittled. A mothers primary vocation is
            to being a mother not to a job, it’s the same thing with the man. It seems like
            you were asleep at the wheel during JPII’s papacy where he himself went over
            this again and again. Submission is not
            be be used as weiding over the other, but allowing oneself to be of service to
            the other, as the Man gives himself completely as Christ did for his Bride, so
            too the man completely gives himself over to the wife, even to death. The destruction of DOMA fredefines marriage as
            what it is and what its final purpose is.
            Your inability to foresee the consequences only bespeaks of your own
            ignorance.

            “Rather than interpreting the meaning of the wording, the new
            form was frankly just done using Google translate. This would be like translating
            Shakespeare word for word into another language rather than trying to preserve
            his iambic pentameter.”

            -
            Now you just make things up, please give us your sources, oh
            wait you cant because you are more interested in falsehoods to cover your
            ignorance of the matter.

            “In my
            thirty years of attending Mass, I’ve never seen anyone receive Communion on the
            Tongue. Most Americans under the age of fifty likely learned how to and
            practiced receiving an unconsecrated host with their hands when preparing for
            Communion. They would all have to learn how to receive it via tongue, which I’m
            assuming is not easy. Having someone put a foreign object in your mouth without
            choking or spitting it up would be difficult for most people. And I don’t think
            that most Catholic Americans would attend the special sessions to learn how to
            receive the Eucharist via tongue.”

            - I know its such a hard thing to receive Christ on the tongue…too
            hard…physically impossible for the older people, and for the youth not as cool
            looking…spare me. Stick your tongue out,
            He is placed on your tongue, unextend your tongue and move on. Not hard at all. How is it difficult to receive things. You put forks into your mouth everyday, a
            forgien object… come on you can do better than this. I don’t really care about Catholic Americans
            and what their polls say, I only care about what Catholics faithful to the
            magestarium believe. Again no special
            class is needed to stick your tongue out, you just created a new level of
            buracacy to confuse others…way to go!

          • Illinidiva

            ” immigration is made completely unattainable or is hindered by
            means that are against the faith then we agree. Yet the Church teaches that
            every country has a right to decide who can and cannot come into the
            country.”

            And I’m starting to think that Pelosi, etc. aren’t the only cafeteria Catholics. Catholic social teaching is very liberal. While the laity has prudential judgment over the specific details of the laws, the Church teaches that the laws should be compassionate toward immigrants.


            want to come here. If he cant chant then
            fine, we found this out later and are fine with it. I don’t want him dying when he is chanting,”

            Yeah.. The main point I have been making five or six times is that the message Francis has been sending is more important than the liturgical rubrics.

            “So if he says something unorthodox we should just mind our own
            business while it leads people into scandle…come on. I have no worries that he will do so. Plus canon law gives laymen authority to be
            critical with just reason. Take your
            meme of more Catholic then the pope and come up with something original and
            thought out”

            I cannot stand hypocrites who live in glass houses.

            “so called Holocaust denier is not so, he himself has stated numorus times
            he is not so, and wrote a response to the calumny that was written against
            him. ”

            I read the initial blog post in Spanish and it was Holocaust denial. This has been reported on the web quite extensively through numerous sources.

            “why that a mother should act as a mother? This is not a thing to be mocked or
            belittled. A mothers primary vocation is
            to being a mother not to a job, it’s the same thing with the man. It seems like
            you were asleep at the wheel during JPII’s papacy where he himself went over
            this again and again.”

            So a woman’s job is to make sammiches and have nineteen kids ala the Duggars. She is essentially separate from the “adult” male society and not allowed to participate in social, commercial, or political life. She has no skills to earn a living and is completely dependent on her husband. If he leaves her, she ends up in poverty.

            And I was 23 when JPII died so I wasn’t really listening to his teachings. I did appreciate the fact that he said women aren’t subservient to men.

            “The destruction of DOMA fredefines marriage as
            what it is and what its final purpose is.
            Your inability to foresee the consequences only bespeaks of your own
            ignorance. ”

            I don’t see how allowing a gay couple to file their taxes jointly is the end of civilization.

            “Now you just make things up, please give us your sources, oh
            wait you cant because you are more interested in falsehoods to cover your
            ignorance of the matter.”

            And the fact that you don’t know the difference between transcribing and translating speaks to yours.

            “He is placed on your tongue, unextend your tongue and move on. Not hard at all. How is it difficult to receive things. You put forks into your mouth everyday, a
            forgien object… come on you can do better than this.”

            Yes. I totally let other people put objects in my mouth all the time. Frankly, there would be a lot of spitting up and choking on Jesus if the indult were ever lifted. But I guess that is cool as long as the precious 1950s rubrics are followed.

          • James Kohn

            And I’m starting to think that Pelosi, etc. aren’t the only
            cafeteria Catholics. Catholic social teaching is very liberal. While the laity
            has prudential judgment over the specific details of the laws, the Church
            teaches that the laws should be compassionate toward immigrants.

            -
            Again cite me the source that tells me that we need to provide
            any and all people with citizenship. Please
            Im begging you show me. No one on either
            side of the issue is saying we should not be compassionate towards immigrants, that’s
            another false assertion you set up to confuse others. Compassion is necessary because they are
            people, but that does not at all entail granting citizenship. Again refute the assetion from Church
            teaching that the governments of the world can make prudential decisions in
            regards to who is a citizen. Ande if you
            cant then stop the foolish notion that Catholic teaching is liberal in the
            modern sense. Please go to the
            compendium of the social teachings of the church and read it then come back and
            argue. The problem is you have not done
            your homework, you just repeat talking points put forth by progressive or
            conservative catholics, im not interested in that, im orthodox in my faith
            because I have gone out of my way to learn the social teachings and dogmatic
            teachings. Its one thing to say abortion
            is an intrinsic evil because it is the voluntary murder of an innocent and
            therefore it is intrinsically evil, and it is another thing to say if you don’t
            give someone amnesty because there family is in the country you are evil
            because a decision was made by the person in the first place to violate laws
            that created the situation. A Catholic
            can disagree on the later because its not an intrinsic evil like abortion,
            sodomy and contraception. Again don’t put
            words into my mouth making me seem non-compasionate about the situation, if
            there is a way to streamline the immigration issue it should be undertaken, but
            blanket amnesty is another issue all together, and no compassion is shown in
            allowing people that violate laws, that are just, to forego the consequences of
            their decisions.

            “Yeah.. The main point I
            have been making five or six times is that the message Francis has been sending
            is more important than the liturgical rubrics.”

            -
            Yet if one is able to follow the rubrics set forth by Holy
            Mother Church it is to their benefit because they observe the obedience that
            they are called to observe in the first place.

            “I cannot stand hypocrites who live in glass
            houses.”

            -
            Antoher meme, please put forth an argument, not a glum sigh.

            “I read the initial blog
            post in Spanish and it was Holocaust denial. This has been reported on the web
            quite extensively through numerous sources.”

            -
            Then no worries post the sources here and go back to the Dawn
            Eden article scroll through the comments to the person you are talking about
            who gives his actual take on the matter.
            When one reads his account he doesn’t deny that the holocaust happended,
            hes talking about extent which considering that records were destroyed with the
            innocents is not a for sure matter. Go
            back and read the whole post and talk.

            “So a woman’s job is to
            make sammiches and have nineteen kids ala the Duggars. She is essentially
            separate from the “adult” male society and not allowed to participate
            in social, commercial, or political life. She has no skills to earn a living
            and is completely dependent on her husband. If he lives her, she ends up in
            poverty.

            And I was 23 when JPII died
            so I wasn’t really listening to his teachings. I did appreciate the fact that
            he said women aren’t subservient to men.”

            -
            So you put forth no arguments you just mock people with large
            families and commited mothers to the first vocation they are called to. What difference does it make if the Duggers
            have 19, 100, or 2 kids, they are open to life and the will of God and part of
            that is accepting the graces and trials inherent in fulfilling the will of the
            heavenly father. If the mother wished to
            have a job as a CEO of a major company great, all for that, but any Mother or
            Father must necessarily realize that their first vocation is to be a
            parent. When judgement day comes and
            they stand before the Lord he will not ask them if they felt great esteem for
            their undertakings in college and as a CEO but he will hold them accountable
            for being the primary educaters of their children in the faith and life. If he leaves her then 1 Timothy 5:8, make no
            mistake about it he is responsible for the decisions he makes, just as she
            is. Even if he were to die and she would
            find herself in poverty guess what the church and her members are called to help
            the widow and the orphan because they cannot support themselves. Something called solidarity and subsidiarity,
            might want to look it up. Again this
            notion of subservience, you misunderstand submission. Mary submitted herself to the will of God,
            was she less then human in doing so? Was
            she wrong in being submitted to Joseph.
            Submission is not a way of ruling over the other, that’s a false notion
            that you keep perpetuating. It’s a matter
            of putting ones trust in the other, and the other is then expected to live up
            to the call that God has given them. Go
            back and read all of Ephesians 5, don’t pull one line out of context. The Husband is to be just like Christ was to
            the Church giving himself over completely, even unto death. No such call for the wife, which do you
            prefer. It is the husband who must be
            accountable for the family ultamatly, but that doesn’t mean they are not of the
            same importance, just that they fulfill different roles in the family, which is
            obvious socially and biologically.

            “I don’t see how allowing a
            gay couple to file their taxes jointly is the end of civilization.”

            -
            Its not about filing taxes it’s a bigger picture. Its about slowly changing minds on issues
            including what does marriage mean. The
            end goal is to make it mean absolutely nothing.
            For istance Masha Gessen in 2012w came out at a conference and flat out
            challenged the notion that the equality push really is not about wanting the
            same standing in regards to marragige, rather it is about diminishing and
            eventually destroying the institution of marriage and redefining the traditional
            family. Further more if it’s a matter of
            taxes I don’t see why we must put ourselves under a tax system in the first
            place at the federal level. Mind you
            there was no income tax before the 1900’s.
            Being an accountant I recognize that the whole tax system is a fraud, a
            list of lobbiers demands started first under Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson
            who encouraged lobbiests to come to Washington and set up a tax system with a
            million rules and distinctions. There
            should be zero differences in whether a person is single or married as far as I
            am concerned with the code. It’s a neutral
            issue. Its more about getting the camels
            nose under the tent using federal force and moving from there like with the
            chaplin situation now which is a direct effect of Domas undoing.

            “And the fact that you
            don’t know the difference between transcribing and translating speaks to yours.”

            -Again no argument just symantics. For instance the 9th Sunday in
            Ordinary Time in the Latin reads the following: “Deus, cuius providentia in sui dispositione non fallitur te supplices
            exoramus,ut noxia cuncta submoveas, et omnia nobis profutura concedas.”
            If we take that to google as you propose that was done we get:” O God, by whose providence in his or her disposition is not at fault we
            humbly beseech thee, as decreasing all banned, and all of us profitable for us.” The 1973 now obsolete icel read: “Father, your love never fails. Hear our call. Keep
            us from danger and provide for all our needs.”
            And now for the 2011 translation fix: “O
            God, whose providence never fails in its design, keep from us, we humbly
            beseech you, all that might harm us and grant all that works for
            our good.”

            It reminds me of that old sing along song….”one
            of these things is not like the other…”
            so your response is that its probably not friendly enough or that people
            cant understand the hard words with many syllibles, tough the collect, the
            readings the antiphones are not said to the people but to God, that’s where you
            fail to understand that the things that are said have zero…count it zero to do
            with you or me particularly but to give glory to God through the sacrifice of
            this Sun present at the mass.

            “Yes. I totally let other
            people put objects in my mouth all the time. Frankly, there would be a lot of
            spitting up and choking on Jesus if the indult were ever lifted. But I guess
            that is cool as long as the precious 1950s rubrics are followed.”

            -
            Again why is it so hard to receive him on the tongue? No arguments again, just bemoaning of
            traditional practices. Quite frankly if
            he is placed on the tip of the tongue and you unextend the tongue into your
            mouth no spitting, hair raising or choking occurs. One wonders if when you were a child and your
            mother placed the bottle in your mouth all you did was choke and spit it all
            up. Come on you’re a grown up you can
            handle something being placed. The
            priest doent even touch the tongue. Keep
            making up scenarios that do anything but show reverence for Christ in the Most
            Blessed Sacrament.

          • SusanL

            Wow. I’m going to forgo most of the above with the exception of Communion on the tongue. I’ve been in the Church for going on 12 years and that’s how I take it. It’s not as hard as you might think. It’s really easy, in fact. Just my two cents.

          • Illinidiva

            Considering I remember having to practice taking Communion before I made it when I was a kid, I doubt that is the case. I don’t think that most Catholics would have been willing to relearn something like that because that was Benedict’s security blanket.

          • SusanL

            I’m not sure I understand. What was Benedict’s “security blanket?”

            It’s really no problem taking Communion on the tongue. That’s the only way I take it. I came in late to the Church as an adult so …I’ve done both but prefer on the tongue.

            Peace. I’m not looking for a fight.

          • Illinidiva

            I read a really interesting book by John Thavis called Vatican Diaries that had a very nuanced approach about Benedict. It did seem like he considered the Church and old-time traditions a sort of “security blanket” and tended to retreat to them when he felt under siege. I think that this was a mixture of his childhood WWII experiences and his personality.

      • http://ubuntulinuxtipstricks.blogspot.com maco

        “There is beauty in the vestments, in the liturgy and they were there for a reason.”

        Yes, and that reason is that past popes had more than a little vanity–one of those seven deadly sins.

        • SusanL

          And what do you base that on, Maco? That’s pretty cynical. Read the rest of what I wrote.
          “some people yearn for beauty. It brings them closer to God.”

          I come from a Protestant background. We didn’t have all of this beauty. Oh, we had some, yes. The churches are full of Protestants who truly love God but when I crossed over, I was amazed at all the beauty that I saw in the liturgy, the vestments, all of the things that are visual and all the other things that appealed to my senses. I truly feel God there. So for you to say that past Popes were more than a little vain and that’s why we have this beauty….I’d like to know where you got that from.

    • OL

      I think you may have missed the point of the Post. The article is more about The Authority Of The Pope then Pomp and Finery which are Symbols. I actually Love Pope Francis as I loved Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II but I see the Logic. The Pope is Christ Vicar On Earth and symbolism was important to GOD in the first testament for instance GOD demands his House be Beautiful it is biblical you can read it. We have to be careful about distinguishing between materialism and true reverence. We can also sound Like Judas.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

        At least someone got my point.

        • OL

          I understand completely excellent article, you were charitable and like myself questioning what many are.

  • Illinidiva

    I didn’t even know that the red shoes meant anything until March. I just thought that Benedict was a bit of a clothes horse and the not-Guccis were stylish and comfortable. I can empathize with those who might not feel warm to Francis; I was a bit disappointed when Benedict was elected. In contrast, I am simply in love with Francis. I just find his personality very warm and spontaneous.

    I think that the whole thing should remind us that the Church will not always put someone in charge that we personally like but that shouldn’t affect our devotion to Christ and his Church. Is what the Pope wears really that distracting that you cannot concentrate at Mass in your own local parish?

    • James Kohn

      no one is talking about the local parish here.

      • Illinidiva

        We’re talking about the fact that somehow Francis’ shoe choice is such a big deal that it caused the blogger to lose faith. My point being that most faith is transmitted at the local parish. I’m not sure how fixation on the footwear of a stubborn elderly bachelor keeps one from worshipping at a local parish.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          Just to be clear, I didn’t lose faith. And it’s not about the shoes, as I clearly noted in the article.

  • http://www.parafool.com/ victor

    If you’re wondering where he eats and preach, and other papal facts (la la la!) just repeat to yourself “He’s just a Pope, I should really just relax.”

    • JohnE_o

      That takes me back! Thanks

  • Michael O’Keefe

    Katrina, I agree with you. Especially about the media implied observation that Pope Benedict was not humble or sensitive.

    It helped me to remember that he belongs to a religious order founded by a military man. Military men tend to not worry about finery much. When I was an altar boy, I remember a priest referring to one of his brother priests as “useless as a jesuit in a sacristy on Holy Week”. It simply isn’t part of his tradition. So, I look at the still shots of the Good Friday services at St. Peters and see him bowing profoundly among the finery, and I live on that for a while. I also attend Mass at a church run by a religious order with a great tradition of music and art. Remember, he hasn’t banned it, he just doesn’t use it :-)

  • JohnE_o

    ” It’s just so hard to warm up to someone who feels the things you find important and meaningful to be trivial frivolities.”

    Well, gosh. let me introduce you to this thing called “Life” where you don’t always get what you want….

    • SusanL

      Like charity, for instance.

      • Gordis85

        NO, but some harsh realities when one is not in control.

        • SusanL

          She was in control. This was very much in control. John’s post was out of line.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

        I love you, Susan.

        • SusanL

          lol. Love you, too, Katrina.

  • Christine Hebert

    I love Pope Francis. He speaks to me in everything he says. I can get my finery locally. I don’t pay much attention to where he says Mass, or the fact that as Bishop of Rome he prefers that title. Ignore the “mothership” which I agree is quite ugly! Our new Papa is still human and maybe HE is uncomfortable with the finery. Some people are.If he is the best Pope he can be by serving where he is comfortable, we should not be put off by that. Listen to his words and ignore the trappings, Kat. He really is holy and an example for us. I don’t think that he thinks any less of B16 than you do, either. They are just different from each other.

    • steve5656546346

      A good post, but Christ didn’t come to make us comfortable: we are to take up our cross.

      Have you ever had a job where you were not comfortable with all of the duties? All that have worked have experienced that. So what is the solution? To do our job fully: including the parts that we don’t like. No, especially the parts that we don’t feel comfortable with.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Everyone keeps saying that… get my finery at a local parish. Which I do. St. Ann’s in Charlotte couldn’t be a more lovely parish with a more devout and wonderful priest. The point is, my parish priest isn’t the POPE. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ, our leader. Leaders, by the nature of their office, are expected to represent that status.

      • Andy

        I think that the status of the Pope is to be the last – the first shall be last and the last shall be first. He is a servant of the people of God for me first, just as Benedict was. Each serves in a different way.

  • Sr. Theresa Noble

    Every pope is different, bringing new gifts and fresh insight on Gospel values to the Church. To love Francis is not to diss Benedict. Diversity in the Church, even among our popes, is an invitation to let go of our individual preferences and points of view and trust that the HS is in charge.

  • Woody Nicholson

    Personally, I, thus far, am enthused by Pope Francis and his following the footsteps of Christ Jesus.

  • M.B. Ryther

    What I love about your posts, Katrina, is that you’re able to put my own feelings into words that I cannot. As usual, very well thought out and stated.

  • Russell Grigaitis

    If we have a pope that “wants to be pope”, we have a problem. Pope Benedict didn’t want to be pope, but like Pope Francis he gave up his personal “wants” for the Will of God.

    There is no animosity between Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict. Their papacies show two very different ways to interpret their office, both of which are of great value. This is the same with many Bible verses and the problem with many vernacular interpretations: we only get one or two aspects of the original, and miss all of the other aspects. With the contrast between the Papacy of Benedict and the Papacy of Francis, we get a glimpse at a few of the different aspects of the papacy, all of which are important and must be taken into consideration to get the “bigger picture.” It is only when they are seen as contradictions and not complements that there appears to be a problem.

    The possible view of “contradiction” may prove very beneficial. It appears that the world prefers the way they interpret Francis contradicting Benedict. What will happen when they realize there is no contradiction?

    • terentiaj63

      I agree. I don’t want a Pope who has campaigned for the “job.” However, once elected and having consented, he needs to be the Pope. I’m not talking about vestments or shoes or where he lives. My concern is that Pope Francis won’t acknowledge himself as Pope. He apparently wants to be the Bishop of a single diocese, Rome. This is shown by his signature on Lumen fidei, Shown by his lack of understanding that his every word is reported and that when there is no record of what he says, his teachings can be twisted and used to hurt the Church. Francis is a holy, humble man with much wisdom that we all need. He is the Vicar of Christ, not just to Rome, not just to Catholics, not just to Christians but to the whole world.

      • Gemma L Rivera

        What? Have you actually looked at the cover of Lumen Fidei? It says Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the Bishops, Deacons, Priests & Lay Faithful on Faith. He signs it Francis or Franciscus and no PP # after it because he’s the first one. Why are we spreading untruths here?

        • terentiaj63

          He could have used PP without a number. This is not the first time he has chosen not to identify himself as Pope. He seems to prefer to identify himself as Bishop of Rome. The night after his election, he said that the conclave’s task had been to “give Rome a bishop.” Yes, one of the titles is Bishop of Rome but there are other titles like Pope and Vicar of Christ. He does not use these. If you have examples of Francis referring to himself as pope, please post the links. I would be greatly comforted.

      • Russell Grigaitis

        “Pope” is not an official title. His official title is: “Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God.”

        The first title listed is “Bishop of Rome.” This is because Bishop of Rome means much more than just being bishop of a single diocese, but bishop of the entire world. Of course, the last title listed is one of the most important, “Servant of the servants of God.”

  • Harry

    Don’t agree with this post, it’s cool how honest you’re being. Good to see a lack of groupthink in the Catholic blog-o-sphere.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Thank you.

  • RoyMix

    I have a deep and unshakable dislike of the luminous mysteries, they take the focus off Mary, they tend toward the amorphous like the Kingdom of Heaven, they are not voiched by the saints, or more importantly Mary herself.

    But every Thursday I try and recite them, though I try to say the other 15 decades on Thursdays too, because it is an act of humility. Embracing something I find aesthetically unpleasant is a very good way to remove my ego from my prayer life and it teaches me to submit to authorities outside my own flawed person.

    Or at least that is what I like to tell myself.

  • SocraticGadfly

    Who says financial poverty and spiritual wealth are mutually exclusive? Jesus, with camels and needles’ eyes, pretty much said they’re complementary.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Not I. I dislike how one is touted over the other as more important. Not enough attention is given to spiritual poverty anymore.

      • OL

        You were very honest and astute in your observation of Stripping The Church Of Her Beauty. The Pope is Highest on Earth according to Christ his Vicar. The Spiritual Poverty brought On By The Social Worker Mentality is at the heart of The Problem

  • oregon catholic

    I remember when I posted before the papal election that I hoped the new pope dressed more like St. Francis after reading a column in which you went on about the papal finery. Your reply was tart and arrogant – telling me that “no I didn’t really want that.” So, maybe it’s karma? Because yes, I really did want that as so many others do as well and we’re really quite happy to have more substance and less form.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      So you would be pleased as punch if the Vicar of Christ wore a tattered brown rough-spun habit or stripped naked in the middle of St. Peter’s? honestly? really truly?

      • OL

        There is such a thing as False Humility I am Not Accusing Pope Francis of It But The Church must be glorified according To GOD. It really is the Press playing up the Poverty Card. In Fairness to Pope Francis, He may be speaking of The scandalous behavior of many in the Church with regard to money.. Because Benedict XVI even stated maybe we should be a smaller HOLIER Poorer Church. Many corrupt within the Church are selling Christ for MONEY.It does not mean that The Beauty of The Church should be stripped. We need to get out Of Politics. When Catholic organizations take money from the Government they placate them. As we see in Georgetown University. Having Pro Abortionist Speak there etc.

      • oregon catholic

        You mean sort of like what an itinerant preacher in Galilee around 2000 yrs ago might have worn? Really, truly.

  • Bruce Davis

    Your problem is that you are so far from your heart which is the home of spirituality. Find your heart and you will discover Christ, simplicity, compassion, service…what the church should be about…Thank God for a Pope who lives the wisdom of the heart….there is yet some hope for a very ill church….

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Ooh, since you’re busy reading hearts, can you do me? I’ve always wondered what I’m thinking and feeling.

    • James Kohn

      more gobbly gook to make man feel good…titanic is sinking, keep the band playing

  • Guest

    We had 30 years of Bl JPII , which is exactly what Pope Francis seems to be giving us more of, but more watered down.. Did it revive us? Did it energize us? Did it transform us? And can Pope Francis transform us?
    I dont think so.. Reform was already underway- a strict reform- although slowly moving. I dont see Pope Francis as a reformer, I see him as a “cleaner upper” without force and without claiming authority.

    Its very sad ineed… We must pray for him and transform the culture ourselves. Evidently its not going to start from the top and trickle down, its going to start at the bottom and work its way up..

    No easy solutions… but to pray and move on…

  • Liz

    We had 30 years of Bl JPII , which is exactly what Pope Francis seems to be giving us more of, but more watered down.. Did it revive us? Did it energize us? Did it transform us? And can Pope Francis transform us?
    I dont think so.. Reform was already underway- a strict reform- although slowly moving. I dont see Pope Francis as a reformer, I see him as a “cleaner upper” without force and without claiming authority.

    Its very sad ineed… We must pray for him and transform the culture ourselves. Evidently its not going to start from the top and trickle down, its going to start at the bottom and work its way up..

    No easy solutions… but to pray and move on..

  • clarisse

    I don´t quite understand how spiritual poverty is related here to the lack of pomp. Wouldn´t we agree to say that for christians is quite the contrary? Yes, there are beautiful churches made by men to try to show God how they love him, by giving “Him” their gold and money, but here´s the thing: those are the most valuable things for men, not for God. Of course, God can be found in every beauty, but it´s for men to learn to find beauty in the face of every neighbour rather than in a piece of man-made thing, no matter how big or shiny it is. Maybe men forget the Church is mankind, and also every man. Francis is our leader to follow Jesus, and his message is not only made of words. Life, freedom, love, joyful service, that´s the message we received from Jesus, and Francis reminds me of it in everything he does and say.

  • Thomas J. Ryan

    I submit that Benedict was actually more humble. If you ever met him prior to becoming pope, you’d find him to be very shy. Being in the limelight was probably torture.

    • OL

      I do thinks so I Loved Benedict XVI the most and Of Course Pope Pius XII that was a humble Man. I do not know enough about Pope Francis I will always love The Holy Father.

  • echarles1

    I know how you feel. I like the trappings of the papacy too. However, you had B16 and now other Catholics have Francis. The Pope as one man cannot be all men to all men (St. Paul tried but even he knew he did not reach all). There are plenty of popes to go around! So enjoy this pope for what he is. Another time, another B16 will come around.

    • James Kohn

      this notion that the Pope has to be his own man, do as he wishes…rather in the spirit of the council…did the Popes before VII go off on tangents singing I did it my way? Humility is also accepting the roles we are placed in along with the things that come with the office

  • Michael Brooks

    I think what is happening is that Pope Francis is showing us what we are doing to our own Souls, ie; negatively stripping the Granduer of God through the influences of Worldly ways, and by doing what he does, he may be putting us through a long thorough Ignatius Retreat, to get us to look deep within ourselves.

    • Michael Brooks

      We want all that Pomp, but we ignore that which is trying to spring out of ourselves, ie; we are squashing the Holy Spirit within us, and the Pope is trying to re-ignite the Fire.

  • Charles Mac Kay

    I know exactly where you are coming from. I feel the same and I am glad you said this

  • Julia

    I think what frustrates
    me the most is that I constantly have to defend Pope Emeritus Benedict to
    people. I was too young to understand Pope John Paul II (and too under
    catechized). I came to a deeper understanding of my faith with Pope Benedict,
    and love him. But I’m constantly going against people who somehow think that
    Pope Francis is more of a Pope than Benedict. And it’s just not fair. I want
    people to see Benedict how I see him, and it frustrates me when they’re not
    willing to even try. It hurts when someone you love is insulted especially, in
    my case anyway, by other people that you love.

    That’s where my trouble began with Francis. I like his strong stance on things,
    but I can sympathize with your frustration that liking the beautiful churches
    and vestments and honor given to the Church and to her vicar on earth is
    somehow wrong. I revel in that beauty. It inspires me.

    But he is a Jesuit, and a Jesuit will do as a Jesuit does. He will live in
    poverty. He will reject much of the finery of the church. I’m grateful
    that he came out with such strong cases against the devil, ‘gay marriage’, and
    the like. He is all Catholic, but he’s not like me. Jason Bach created a
    wonderful cartoon on the situation http://www.jasonbachcartoons.com/catholic-06.html (second
    one down).

    I think, overall, what we have to remember is that the devil will always try to
    split the Church. He can pit us against one another. He can take the real
    target of our frustration and put it on to someone else. What I’m actually
    upset about is the reaction of my family, friends, and the media towards Pope
    Benedict. I’m upset that they’re discounting all the wonderful things he did,
    and the strides he made for the church. But I find myself taking it out on Pope
    Francis, finding it harder to connect with him. That’s the division the devil
    wants. That’s what I’m combating right now in my own life. I will continue to
    love and defend Pope Benedict, but I will try my hardest to do it with his own
    merits, and not against Pope Francis. Overall, what I have to
    remember is that Pope Francis is not against Pope Benedict. He’s not
    saying that Pope Benedict was wrong by reinstating
    the Extraordinary Form of the Mass or wearing his red shoes. That
    criticism comes from other places.

    A long comment with maybe very little significance. But thanks for posting
    yours. It gives me courage to know other people are struggling.

  • Dale

    The “mother ship” where Pope Francis was photographed as he celebrated Mass is the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta. This is the building in which the Pope is living, and the residence where bishops often stay while visiting the Vatican.

    It is a simple chapel, which wouldn’t appeal to many worshipers. However, perhaps those who stay at the Casa Santa Marta don’t need fancy adornments for religious enrichment. You can get a better look at the chapel in the following video. The chapel is shown between 1:14 and 1:27

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/casa-santa-marta-where-the-next-pope-will-live-the-first-weeks-of-his-pontificate-english-9310.html

  • Rachel

    I agree :(

  • DavidMares

    “In the Christian life, even in the life of the Church, there are old structures, passing structures: it is necessary to renew them! And the Church has always been attentive to this, with dialogue with cultures . . . It always allows itself to be renewed according to places, times, and persons. The Church has always done this! From the very first moment, we remember the first theological battle: was it necessary to carry out all of the Jewish practices in order to be Christian? No! They said no! The gentiles could enter as they are: gentiles . . . Entering into the Church and receiving Baptism. A first renewal of the structures. . . . And so the Church always goes forward, giving space to the Holy Spirit that renews these structures, structures of the churches. Don’t be afraid of that! Don’t be afraid of the newness of the Gospel! Don’t be afraid of the newness that the Holy Spirit works in us! Don’t be afraid of the renewal of structures!” – Pope Francis

  • dukemx

    Katrina – don’t get too upset if the Pope is off the rails so to speak. The Church has survived the Pontiff kissing the Koran so I’m sure it will survive this one. Also God has a way of turning the most unlikely people around at the last moment. Remember Blessed Pius IX was considered quite liberal before he realised how wicked and treacherous the worldly forces are. I would guess that His Holiness is in for a rude shock very soon when he sees that the devil does not play nice nor fair. Pray for him, for me and the whole world because collectively we all have it coming for such a wicked present.

    • Ben

      This Pope has set himself apart by identifying and criticizing the “cult of money” and the “dictatorship of the economy.” He has assaulted the world by attacking its hyper-frivolous love of materialism. Perhaps many Ayn Rand devotees are aghast by this, but our Faith is neither conservative nor liberal. Either we are Christians, or we are not.
      He eschews the materialism of the economic systems and the clothing styles. Look at his noble life style in Argentina for clues. God bless.

    • Illinidiva

      So is Koran kissing worse, better, or equal to wishing Muslim immigrants a blessed Ramadan?

    • OL

      Are you Sure Pope John Paul II Kissed The Koran?? I heard that was Photo Shopped.

  • Hugh_Oxford

    I think it is wrong to criticise the author for their concerns, but I think it is fair to say that we can infer no criticism of predecessors in Francis’ modus operandi.

  • OL

    Great Article.not to quote my least favorite President, But I hear your pain. I was born after the council new mass etc. But I stated the same thing a while back. Every time I hear how Humble Pope Francis is, I cringe because it is over the top, The word itself is loosing its meaning and It does seem that its a swipe at Pope Benedict XVI, (who we all know was “Truly” humble!) As if he were smug. I was also looking for answers to the dilemma since I am Catholic, I do Love The Holy Father. I was wondering that perhaps Pope Paul VI giving up the crown worn by his predecessors is a symbol of an ongoing problem facing our whole culture. and maybe this problem stems from the rejection of The True Meaning Of The “Pope”.Vicar Of Christ. Christ is a King he never denied that. Be not afraid of the office you hold. The Pope is The Highest on Earth and I believe The Pope must obey Christ and accept the Kinship. Christ Crown. This symbols are important. Rejecting the Papacy is at the Heart of our rejection of any Moral Authority. Its obvious now. An incident occurred in my own Family with My Mother and her Granddaughter to make a very long story short I her Aunt stated You must respect your Grandmother. as she cursed her out using the most fowl language, and she said, She has to respect me we don’t come from that generation. I then said you sound Trashy.Her mother supported her decision. I was shocked and made my dismay heard from every mountain top horrified. Grandma deserves no respect. a 15 year old brat is her equal. This breakdown of the Family may have to do with the Denial of The Authority of The Pope.Interesting Theory tied into this.Our Lady The Blessed Virgin Mother Of God Requested that the Pope and all the Bishops of the world join together in consecrating Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.What would this entail?? The Holy Father would be doing something extremely “unecumenist”!For he would in fact be asserting the Authority of the Bishop of Rome over a land and church that presently deny his authority and jurisdiction! A consecration, which is the setting aside of something for a sacred purpose, can be performed only by someone who has authority and jurisdiction to do so! A great many “liberal” feathers would doubtless be ruffled! See here the ineffable wisdom of Our Lady, who recognizes the Authority of the Vicar of Her Divine Son, and desires that he make use of it, even though that Vicar himself acts as if he does not possess such authority! One is reminded of St. Joan of Arc on her Divine mission to get the lawful King of France to act as a King! And, of course, by finally carrying out Her request, the Pope would be turning his key to let loose the flood of graces promised by Our Lady, with the following results:Russia would be converted, in the only sense in which Our Lady can mean the term; that is, it will become an officially Catholic nation. The errors, subversive What we are talking about is the healing of Christendom’s most difficult schism.

    The the disease of “Sameness” all Religions are the same, we no longer have to Respect Parents Elders Country under the specious banner of equality is just plain stupid, Just curious I feel lost. I see this as False Humility Sorry! Pope Take Back Your Crown.

    • OL

      Not that I think Pope Francis has false Humility but the Press and forces against The Church are looking to bring her down. Like Judas.

    • Illinidiva

      First, Francis would like to achieve greater reconciliation with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Doing something ridiculous like consecrating Russia in order to satisfy some crazy Catholic traddies who believe in Fatima vodoo would upset delicate politics.

      And I’m not sure how having a rebellious daughter is the same as Francis wanting a simple papacy. Francis still looks like the Pope; he isn’t wearing jeans to his audiences. He is definitely exerting his will.. The man clearly knows that he is in charge and gets what he wants. Geez.. Just ground your kid already and don’t compare it to the politics and statecraft Francis is using to convey his message.

      • James Kohn

        achieve greater reconciliation for what purpose so we as people feel better…the reconcilliation will come as Christ desires. You call Fatima vodoo, I mean really? only 50,000 saw the sun dancing on the exact day they were told it would happen, the crippled and ill were healed and conversions were immediate…vodoo, you act foolish when making this statement. Mary asked that Russia be consecrated to Her Immaculate heart, not a vodoo thing a command in which she promised that Russia would then be converted, not because of ecumaniacism but by his grace. Why are you so afraid to offend the Orthodox they are schismatics! They are not saved by their Orthodoxy no more than Old Catholics are saved by their Old Catholicness. Unity is not sought by the Catholic Church for she is unity

        • Illinidiva

          The fact that traddies are so fixated on this suggests they’ve watched too much Unsolved Mysteries. And really also suggests an incomplete understanding of faith.

          • James Kohn

            yep so keep side stepping and building the city of man…thanks diva. Incomplete in that I want the whole of the faith to be seen not just the bare basics?

      • OL

        You misunderstood, The fact that The Pope is not Respected today even by his own Bishops may have a trickling Down effect. Of Respect for Authority. Lets be Honest Many Bishops do not Obey The Pope and disrespect Him. I happen To Love Pope Francis that was an analogy about Respect for Elders. The Church Is supposed to lead not follow our dreadful Culture. Which Pope Francis will do. He is a very Holy Man The Article is about placating to much to the world.

        • Illinidiva

          Ohh.. I think that all the bishops are a bit scared of Francis. Apparently, he has some bite under the nice grandpa persona. It makes appearances in public or semi-public settings ever so often. He is well aware of the type of power he has.

          • OL

            Actually it was Pope Francis who stated that a Homosexual Network was operating withing the Vatican they were very powerful, Catholic Universities continue to Thumb their Nose at The Holy See even though its against Canon Law Author and Georgetown University Graduate Peter Blatty had to file a suit against Georgetown University. What are they afraid of??? Pope Bendedict XVI is the one that got rid of Marcial Maciel The Priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum .Also admitted now the language used in Vatican II documents was meant to confuse. ambiguous I do not blame the Popes but The Bishops continue teaching Heresy and have remained in Office. At Least Benedict has appointed some very fine Bishops. The Whole Opus Dei thing is weird, Pope Francis has been open about corruption HOMOSEXUAL NETWORK with a lot of power..So Homo Bishops continue and Archbishop Lefebvre who now is cleared due to the facts being exposed, was excommunicated. Very strange. I say our Popes need to be Popes stop kissing up to The Jews Muslims and Other Heretics that’s the truth. .You cannot mix Truth with Era The Assisi Meeting was a scandal To The Catholic Church and Christ. Also The Host being sold to Satanical Priest. Seems that they were more afraid Of Archbishop Lefebvre.

          • OL

            Actually it was Pope Francis who stated that a Homosexual Network was operating withing the Vatican they were very powerful, Catholic Universities continue to Thumb their Nose at The Holy See even though its against Canon Law Author and Georgetown University Graduate Peter Blatty had to file a suit against Georgetown University. What are they afraid of??? Pope Bendedict XVI is the one that got rid of Marcial Maciel The Priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum .Also admitted now the language used in Vatican II documents was meant to confuse. ambiguous I do not blame the Popes but The Bishops continue teaching Heresy and have remained in Office. At Least Benedict has appointed some very fine Bishops. The Whole Opus Dei thing is weird, Pope Francis has been open about corruption HOMOSEXUAL NETWORK with a lot of power..So Homo Bishops continue and Archbishop Lefebvre who now is cleared due to the facts being exposed, was excommunicated. Very strange. I say our Popes need to be Popes stop kissing up to The Jews Muslims and Other Heretics that’s the truth. .You cannot mix Truth with Era The Assisi Meeting was a scandal To The Catholic Church and Christ. Also The Host being sold to Satanical Priest. Seems that they were more afraid Of Archbishop Lefebvre.

          • Illinidiva

            1. You do know that the “gay lobby” includes traditionalist priests.. correct?

            2. SSPX is reactionary, misogynist, and anti-Semitic. Francis has been ignoring them; there is no place for them in the modern Catholic Church. They can go be their little cult.

            3. Calling other people’s religions heretical is offensive. And there will definitely be more Assisi meetings. In fact, Francis’ rabbi friend was in Rome a few weeks ago and there is some talk that Skorka might accompany the Pope to the Holy Land next year. Their books and their TV dialogues are quite fascinating so it would be interesting if that continued.

          • OL

            I am sorry but many Catholics were offended with The Toe God and what many viewed as Heresy. Pope Benedict XVI has tried to Bring The Society of Saint Pius X back into the Fold and has made great Progress. I know very little about them but Archbishop Lefebvre did have an excellent Reputation.I do not attend the SSPX although the Holy See has stated that we can attend their Mass. I see all this FAKE ecumenism as a problem. It confuses people Mohammed was a FALSE Prophet. It was originally, according to Belloc A Catholic Heresy. The relations between Muslims and Christians are worse not better. Pope Francis will do his best as Pope Benedict XVI did. Christ promised The Gates Of HEll would not prevail upon his Church. The Catechism of The Church has not Changed there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church The interpretation is of course has always been Christ wants all to be one. How that is accomplished remains to be seen since we are Human and not capable of understanding The Mystery Of Salvation in its totality. But The word subsist was inserted to placate other Religions and confuse practicing Catholics. The Ecumenism to many looks MASONIC.

          • Illinidiva

            1. SSPX is anti-Semitic and misogynist. And while I’m all for lost sheep returning to the Church, they must admit their sins and repent. Sinners don’t get extra special attention and handholding like the SSPX did. Francis is just ignoring them, which is how one should deal with people acting like two-year-olds. Frankly, this is an area where Benedict was ill-served by his advisors and it blew up in his face.

            2. As for ecumenism, that is a huge part of Vatican II and Nostra Aetate. Mohammed wasn’t a false prophet and Islam was a significant upgrade from the religions and tribals practices in Arabia during the 7th century. Offshots of the religion, like Sufism, are very peace loving.

          • OL

            Mohammed was a False Prophet and What could be more Anti JEWISH then Islam, and Misogynist?? ISLAM.!!! Pope Benedict was about The Truth it did not blow up in his face The Truth is the Truth whether in Season or out of Season. Just accusing everyone of Being anti-Semitic is Silly its lost all true meaning Arabs are Semitic. The Crucifixion did Not Blow up in Christ Face as The Truth Pope Benedict stated served those interested in the Truth well. Its ignorant to sate that The Popes Teaching on Ecumenism Blew up in his face. Pope Benedict is considered The Greatest Theologian and to Quote Father Rutler one of our Greatest Popes perhaps the equal of Pope Gregory The Great.Pope Benedict’s writings are amazing I am sure they are not going to be appreciated on The Today Show The View or Entertainment tonight. But False ecumenism blew up in the faces of those who support it. As demonstrated in the raging seething world of the Middle East itself.Pope Francis is NOT ignoring SSPX or anyone he is about the Truth. Supports Pope Benedict’s Teaching On TRUE Ecumenism I doubt you are privy to Pope Francis’s relationships with groups such as SSPX. Sorry you cant lie!!!

          • OL

            Hilaire Belloc predicted the future rise of Islam in his book The Great Christian Heresies. This prediction always fascinated me since at least during the last century Islam seemed asleep and quite inconsequential to the West. His prediction was certainly correct. In fact Belloc, writing in the first half of the 20th century summed up the West’s thinking on Islam as follows: “Millions of modern people of the white civilization-that is, the civilization of Europe and America- have forgotten all about Islam. They never come in contact with it. They take for granted that it is decaying, and that, anyway, it is just a foreign religion which will not concern them. It is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilization has had, and may at any moment become as large a menace in the future as it has been in the past.” (emphasis added) In his book Belloc classifies Islam as a Christian heresy. It is important to observe the similarities in christianity and Catholicism specifically in order to understand the differences between it and Islam. Belloc states “It began as a heresy, not as a new religion….It was a perversion of the Christian religion…an adaptation and a misuse of the Christian thing.” Unlike all the other heresiarchs “The chief heresiarch, Mohammed himself, was not, like most heresiarchs, a man of Catholic birth, and doctrine to begin with. He sprang from pagans. But that which he taught was in the main Catholic doctrine, oversimplified. It was the great Catholic world – on the frontiers of which he lived, whose influence was all around him and whose territories he had known by travel-which inspired his convictions.” “Thus the very foundation of his teaching was that prime Catholic doctrine, the unity and omnipotence of God.” “But the central point where his new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation.” “He taught that our Lord was the greatest of all the prophets, but still only a prophet; a man like other men. He eliminated the Trinity altogether.””In other words, he, like so many lesser heresiarchs, founded his heresy on simplification…Simplicity was the note of the whole affair; and since all heresies draw their strength from some true doctrine, Mohammedanism drew its strength from the true Catholic doctrines which it retained: the equality of all men before God–”All true believers are brothers.”

            “The Mohammedan movement was essentailly a “Reformation,” and we can discover numerous affinities between Islam and Protestant Reformers- on Images, on the Mass, on Celebacy, etC.”

          • Illinidiva

            Yeah, the SSPX thing blew up in Benedict’s face because his advisors forgot to tell them that one of the SSPX bishops was a crazy person who denied the Holocaust, admired Hitler, and praised suicide bombers. I remember the controversy surrounding that four years ago.

            And I’ll take Francis at his word about Catholic traditionalists, that came up in his book.

          • OL

            Sorry your wrong SSPX disciplined that Bishop who speaks badly about The SSPX,Pope Francis is not against Traditionalist at all. He is trying to unify the Body Of Christ not separate into Groups. Pope Benedict XVI was a great Pope playing the Racist card is silly because it loses all meaning.

          • OL

            Hilaire Belloc predicted the future rise of Islam in his book The Great Christian Heresies. This prediction always fascinated me since at least during the last century Islam seemed asleep and quite inconsequential to the West. His prediction was certainly correct. In fact Belloc, writing in the first half of the 20th century summed up the West’s thinking on Islam as follows: “Millions of modern people of the white civilization-that is, the civilization of Europe and America- have forgotten all about Islam. They never come in contact with it. They take for granted that it is decaying, and that, anyway, it is just a foreign religion which will not concern them. It is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilization has had, and may at any moment become as large a menace in the future as it has been in the past.” (emphasis added) In his book Belloc classifies Islam as a Christian heresy. It is important to observe the similarities in christianity and Catholicism specifically in order to understand the differences between it and Islam. Belloc states “It began as a heresy, not as a new religion….It was a perversion of the Christian religion…an adaptation and a misuse of the Christian thing.” Unlike all the other heresiarchs “The chief heresiarch, Mohammed himself, was not, like most heresiarchs, a man of Catholic birth, and doctrine to begin with. He sprang from pagans. But that which he taught was in the main Catholic doctrine, oversimplified. It was the great Catholic world – on the frontiers of which he lived, whose influence was all around him and whose territories he had known by travel-which inspired his convictions.” “Thus the very foundation of his teaching was that prime Catholic doctrine, the unity and omnipotence of God.” “But the central point where his new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation.” “He taught that our Lord was the greatest of all the prophets, but still only a prophet; a man like other men. He eliminated the Trinity altogether.””In other words, he, like so many lesser heresiarchs, founded his heresy on simplification…Simplicity was the note of the whole affair; and since all heresies draw their strength from some true doctrine, Mohammedanism drew its strength from the true Catholic doctrines which it retained: the equality of all men before God–”All true believers are brothers.”

          • OL

            SSPX Disciplined The Bishop who stated that he did not believe The amount of Jews died that was reported. He was making a statement about Freedom of speech in regard to Saying anything about Israel Or Jews. This has been stated by many people He was forced to step down He never stated he admired Hitler that is a lie Archbishop Lefebvre actually had Family Mother and Father in a Concentration Camp they suffered under The Nazis, That’s just a lie. You can not have a dialogue with a Liar and that was Pope Benedict’s XVI point. When you have FALSE ECUMENISM!

          • OL

            Hilaire Belloc predicted the future rise of Islam in his book The Great Christian Heresies. This prediction always fascinated me since at least during the last century Islam seemed asleep and quite inconsequential to the West. His prediction was certainly correct. In fact Belloc, writing in the first half of the 20th century summed up the West’s thinking on Islam as follows: “Millions of modern people of the white civilization-that is, the civilization of Europe and America- have forgotten all about Islam. They never come in contact with it. They take for granted that it is decaying, and that, anyway, it is just a foreign religion which will not concern them. It is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilization has had, and may at any moment become as large a menace in the future as it has been in the past.” (emphasis added) In his book Belloc classifies Islam as a Christian heresy. It is important to observe the similarities in christianity and Catholicism specifically in order to understand the differences between it and Islam. Belloc states “It began as a heresy, not as a new religion….It was a perversion of the Christian religion…an adaptation and a misuse of the Christian thing.” Unlike all the other heresiarchs “The chief heresiarch, Mohammed himself, was not, like most heresiarchs, a man of Catholic birth, and doctrine to begin with. He sprang from pagans. But that which he taught was in the main Catholic doctrine, oversimplified. It was the great Catholic world – on the frontiers of which he lived, whose influence was all around him and whose territories he had known by travel-which inspired his convictions.” “Thus the very foundation of his teaching was that prime Catholic doctrine, the unity and omnipotence of God.” “But the central point where his new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation.” “He taught that our Lord was the greatest of all the prophets, but still only a prophet; a man like other men. He eliminated the Trinity altogether.””In other words, he, like so many lesser heresiarchs, founded his heresy on simplification…Simplicity was the note of the whole affair; and since all heresies draw their strength from some true doctrine, Mohammedanism drew its strength from the true Catholic doctrines which it retained: the equality of all men before God–”All true believers are brothers.”

  • Ben

    (As I write this, I am personally a devotee to the Byzantine divine liturgy and the Latin Mass.) What is more important? Genuine faith or beautiful buildings? A true heart or elaborate robes? Let’s remember that many Episcopal parishes are quite stunning architecturally, and many Anglican choirs intone solemn hymns. But when it comes to the Christian Faith, they do not adhere to it fully.
    It is dangerous to attach to much devotion to “traditions of men” and not the truth of God. To externals and not the vital internals. Our High Altars and Byzantine icon screens (iconostasi?) could disappear tomorrow. The Cathedral of Chartres and Notre Dame could crumble to the ground on the morrow. We could be reduced to celebrating holy Mass in the woods upon a makeshift altar (perhaps roughly carved from a tree trunk), and that would be just as valid.
    If your faith relies solely on Latin chants and red shoes, I will pray for you. Please pray for me as well, as I am a sinner in need of God’s grace.

    • steve5656546346

      You pose false choices: between internals and externals; between faith and beauty.

      True, sometimes we can’t have both, but that is an unfortunate situation.

      • Ben

        I personally prefer more traditional forms of worship. Though the church I attend wth my fiancee is beautiful, the liturgy is a regular modern Catholic service; pleasant hymns, but not profound, But I am disturbed by the notion that some might base the strength of their faith solely on externals. Again, I have my own issues and seek God’s forgiveness.

  • Kelly Mason McClintock

    You have put into words what has been making me feel like a VERY bad Catholic for a few months now. Thank you!

  • Andrew Michalak

    your spiritual life depends on the pope acting the traditional role? Get centered intimately with Jesus and let the man live his spirituality how he wants.

  • mensageira22

    Wake up people he is the false prophet all this false humility is all a facade.he is not called the false prophet for nothing.

    • Illinidiva

      So Francis’ whole life has been a false prophecy? He was like this even with the cameras off.

    • OL

      That’s too Scary for Me. Christ said the Gaits Of Hell will Not Prevail Upon His Church

    • Nan

      I don’t have to like him or his behavior but he’s still the Pope. Vicar of Christ on Earth. Not a false prophet.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Lemme take a wiiiiiild guess here. You’re not Catholic.

  • GR

    I totally can understand the desire to have the pomp and the appeal it can have. But really? Should we really look for our spiritual food in the vestments and pomp? Something just does not sit right with me when I hear some folks look to anything outside of the sacraments, prayer, and works of mercy for spiritual food. I also think the Holy Father is certainly enjoying his pontificate. It was under B16 that I came back to the Church. So I will always have a special place in my heart for him. But can’t we accept and love two people who seem to have very different styles and interests? Neither one is wrong in how they approached their pontificate. Both have their own beauty. It just might require a little effort on our part to open our eyes to it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I’m not looking for spiritual food in the **vestments**. Please re-read what I wrote. Thanks.

      • OL

        I understand completely they misunderstood or are twisting what you said. They are symbols of our Love Of God and also distinguish The Pope From another Leader. GOD demanded his House be Beautiful its Biblical Pages and Pages of The 1st Testament are dedicated to this.

      • GR

        Sorry if I misunderstood. But when the essay reads:

        “It’s more to me than not wearing red loafers and papal vestments. It’s not a matter of personal preferences for pomp and finery and Baroque ornamentation dripping in gold leaf. It’s not liturgically snobbery. It’s about spiritual poverty and slowly being starved to death. Those things, things that Francis seems to detest, spiritually feed me.”

        and

        “And I’m stuck in this bitter cycle where I want to scream, “Would it be too much for your humble sensibilities to throw one a little brocade once and while? I mean you are Pope. I’m pretty sure it’s not a sin to look like one.””

        It gives the impression to me that material pomp and the titles the Holy Father chooses to embrace are source of angst.

        Certainly, I can understand the beauty and appeal of some good Baroque ornamentation. And certainly I don’t think there is anything wrong and sinful for any of Francis’ predecessors to embrace the full regalia. I also liked B16′s style. But I get uncomfortable when I hear what sounds like people criticizing the Holy Father that he is not providing for his flock because he is eschewing the more superficial aspects of the papacy.

  • Stuart

    Well, he is the Bishop of Rome, just as Patriarch Bartholomew is the Bishop of Constantinople. Referring to himself as the Bishop of Rome will go a long way towards ecumenism, and dare I dream, reunion with the Eastern Orthodox Church.

    • Nan

      They still don’t believe in the primacy of Rome, nor in the filioque.

      • OL

        Well they better according To Sister Lucia she stated before she died in an Interview He who is with The Pope is with God He who is NOT with The Pope is NOT with GOD.

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

        They still believe in divorce and in contraception too.

    • James Kohn

      ecuminism has one purpose…to see that all come back into the Catholic fold, thats it, period. I dare to dream that we stop cow towing to the schismatics and heretics and proclaim Holy Mother Church as who she is!

      • OL

        RIGHT!!!!!

  • Jeremy Zipple

    Some of y’all are in desperate need of some historical perspective, so might I recommend John O’Malley’s brilliant new scholarly treatise on the counterreformation *Trent: What Happened at the Council*? It’s a quick read that’ll give you a spectacular, behind-the-scenes intro to the scandalous decadence and raw power games that defined the late medieval/early Renaissance papacy and Roman curia — and, trust me, you’ll lose any desire to recover much from that era. More importantly, as you read, a profound sense of gratitude to the Holy Spirit will well up within you for giving us the popes we’ve had of late, Francis not excluded. And perhaps you’ll also get a sense that for much of our church’s history, popes were viewed as episcopal leaders who deserved our respect and deference, but who, by no means, were to be construed as the Lord himself. This phenomenon of clinging to the Roman Pontiff’s every word — and placing in him all our hopes and aspirations for the Church (rather than, say, the Holy Spirit) — is an entirely modern phenomenon.

    • OL

      I met John O Malley a long time ago He was a Friend Of My Fathers BEST Friend John Rao. Nice Guy!!

      • Jeremy Zipple

        nice! He’s a brilliant historian, and as you say, a great guy, too. An excellent storyteller, too, which makes arcane history come to life. Pretty much everything he’s written is worth reading. *The First Jesuits* is another good one, especially for understanding why Jesuits (including our Pope) are the way they are.

      • Jeremy Zipple

        Nice! He is indeed not only an outstanding scholar but also a really lovely human being.

  • Ramon Maldonado

    The Bible tells us the poor will always be with us. I know people who have made almost a career out of being poor. I have very mixed feelings about Pope Francis.

    • OL

      Just said that Great!!!

  • Flunking_retirement

    I agree entirely with what you are saying. Not that I doubt Francis is ever bit as tough as he will need to be, but I have never been a fan of double knit vestments, and Benedict was such a breath of fresh air for those of us who rather like a bit of pomp and circumstance with their Popes.

    Why are modern Catholics so afraid to act like Catholics ??!

    I for one am not embarrassed nor will I beg forgiveness for growing up and learning my catechism under Pious XII. That to me, is how a Pope should act. Long Live the Pope!

    • OL

      Right On. The Pope is The Highest on Earth and he needs to stop apologizing for being Pope.

      • Notquite Archimedes

        After all, it’s not like he was born in a stable.

        • OL

          “Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or the people may riot.” While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Judas Complains, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.] She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
          The criticism by Judas, over the value of the perfume that is “wasted,” Is very telling. Couldn’t that have been used for the poor. Christ knew Judas intentions.The Judas Question lives on. True Beauty inspires Civilized behavior as well as making the Divine visible. Our Love For Christ and his Bride should always be revered and VISIBLE. Great Artist, Writers Musicians Painters etc. have “educated” & inspired The Faithful. The Catholic Church built Western Civilization.. Pope Benedict XVI The biggest problem today is an absence of beauty.
          The Pope explained, “The complete absence of images is incompatible with faith in the Incarnation of God. God has acted in history and entered into our ‘sensible’ world, so that it may become transparent to Him. Images of beauty, in which the mystery of the invisible God becomes visible, are an ‘essential’ part of Christian worship”

          Where there is Truth there is beauty.
          All beauty comes from God. There is no beauty that does not come from the Father through Christ, Himself the embodiment of all beauty. St Augustine, in a famous passage from the Confessions, addresses God as Beauty personified:

        • OL

          Benedict XVI and Beauty in Sacred Art and Architecture

          In an historic meeting with artists in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI summoned the Church and the world to engage in “an authentic ‘renaissance’ of art.” The Second Fota International Liturgy Conference was convened the same year to examine just how to do so. Architecture, painting, sculpture, furnishings-all have an indispensable role to play in raising our hearts and minds to God. Developing the themes set out in Benedict XVI and the Sacred Liturgy, this second volume in the series examines the fundamental principles that guide the Church in determining which works of art are truly “signs and symbols of the supernatural world” (Sacrosanctum concilium 122). Pope Benedict XVI’s extraordinary combination of theological depth and cultural breadth makes him one of the most important voices in this discussion. The essays contained here draw on the richness of the Pontiff ‘s thought to suggest how the Church might overcome the “new iconoclasm” of the post-Conciliar period in order to contemplate the face of Christ more clearly. The authors address questions both practical and theoretical, and their proposals are as commonsensical as they are bold. Benedict XVI and Beauty in Sacred Art and Architecture promises to sharpen our Christian understanding of beauty, and to inspire the elevation of liturgical art from the mundane to the celestial-from the banal to the sublime.

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      Why are they afraid? Because they are social climbers, eager for the acceptance of others and to be found in the “in” crowd. Really, some haven’t outgrown middle-school recess yet.

  • Ann

    If the Lord sends rain, then it’s rain I like.

  • ethaba

    Get thee to a Latin High Mass woman!!!

  • Mary Andersen

    Yes yes and yes. I completely agree Kat. You have expressed my thoughts exactly. I sooo want to love him like I love our Papa Benedict who I miss so much. I am so proud of our beloved Church, and the “trappings” of the Vatican and the Papacy are so much a part of that. The richness of all of that is spiritual food for us and give us some idea of the Heaven that awaits us, surely. It is one of the differences between us and the Protestants, our beloved fellow Christians who have no religious art in their Churches and homes because they view it as idolatry. Jesus said “the poor will always be with us”. Not wearing red shoes doesnt feed them does it? Now I must read the comments because no doubt there are some answers there for me too. Thanks as always for your wonderful thoughts Kat. I hope Pope Francis will hear them.

    • Illinidiva

      I don’t think that Heaven is full of gold and stained glass windows.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

        Why not?

        • OL

          They never read the Book Of Revelation. You must be able to distinguish between GODS House and a shack. Why doesn’t Obama move out of The White House. When Kennedy’s Wife spent money fixing up the White House no one criticized her.But suddenly The Pope must downsize himself to look like EVERYONE Else. According to scripture GOD Demanded his house be Beautiful Christ says you will always have The Poor with You When Judas says that the Perfume and Oil used to wash Christ feet could have been used for The Poor. Symbols as long as they are Symbols are important. They were important to GOD

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            Oy, don’t you know that in the rich Western countries churches are supposed to be “simple” and homes, fit for maharajahs?

          • OL

            LOL Why doesn’t Obama Live in a smaller HUMBLER HOME?? GOD must live in a shack?? Our President it was reported spent 4 Million Dollars on a 2 week vacation in Hawaii Tax Payers expense. His last Vacation was even MORE expensive.

        • Illinidiva

          I see it as more of a place of complete peace and spiritual fulfillment.

    • OL

      I miss My Benedict I loved him great mind. Very Deep and Profound Holy Man. Brilliant Theologian and CAT LOVER!!!!

  • northface

    I am finding all the humility rather ostentatious. I think for my own peace of mind I’m going to stop reading all of the reports coming out of he Vatican.

    • OL

      I have to say No Offense to Pope Francis But hearing HUMBLE HUMBLE HUMBLE is getting on my nerves By The Press. Can they find a thesaurus and use another word its beating a Dead Horse Like Obama’s CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE etc. Its way over the Top!!!

    • josmart

      It seems like every act of humility is accompanied by a press release.

  • JohnMt427

    I think some people here are missing the point. The grandeur and beauty of the traditional rites and vestments point to something above ourselves. In this case, the awesome mystery and power that is the sacrifice of the Mass and the office of the Papacy.

    These things were not meant to be tampered with at whim. When a pastor over-rides centuries of tradition to replace it with something of his own liking and tastes, it becomes (to use a term often used by Pope Francis) “self-referential”. It then starts pointing towards the individual — his likings, idiosyncrasies, and personality. As opposed to what the traditional rites and vestments did — overshadow the individual personality of the pastor so that we can concentrate on the mystery that is before us. Unfortunately… it appears we are going in the opposite direction (and I don’t think our Holy Father intended for this at all). But lately, it’s all about *him*. *His* way of doing things. *His* individual style. *His* individual personality, that seem to have dominated the Papacy.

    Our sacred rites and traditions are there to feed us spiritually by being above and beyond all that. Both because they’ve been imbued with so much meaning and beauty over the centuries, and because they represent a great part of our patrimony that go well beyond one, two or three Popes….

    So I too cannot help but feel a bit starved and deprived. And I think a lot of people can legitimately feel this way too, while still having a great deal of love and respect for Pope Francis.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I think most people are missing the point.

      • OL

        They are its a symbol of Love. The Wedding Ring is a symbol. Pope Benedict XVI stated that the biggest Problem facing The World Today was an absence of Beauty how profound how true. The Beauty of The Church expresses our reverence. We are not communist. Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy Jewish man who buried the body of Jesus Christ after the Crucifixion.They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.,Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They buried Jesus in an unused tomb that Joseph may have intended for himself, where it was protected by a heavy stone rolled against the opening.

    • oregon catholic

      I wonder how much of the corruption in the Vatican started from a self-referential focus on the trappings of wealth and power and importance?

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I think you’ve made a very good point. I think there’s a balance that needs to be achieved. I’m not sure any single person can perfectly balance the two.

  • gromeri

    I feel the exact opposite: I was impressed & relieved when our new pope turned down the red Prada shoes. A simple thing that meant so much, to me and countless others. As was recently noted on this same site, an atheist writing for Esquire who was finally impressed by a pope said: “It was one thing to hear Benedict XVI talk about the poor — on a golden throne draped in ermine. It’s quite another to hear it from a guy on the minibus who pays his bills.”

    Trappings of wealth may ‘impress the senses’ & make for a beautiful church but the hypocrisy–especially in our present age with such rampant inequality and global poverty–is relevant and becomes a tragic shame for leaders who profess to follow Christ. Imagine Christ, who told his apostles to have one pair of sandals, delighting in red Prada shoes, ermine stoles, etc etc…it’s the kind of thing that makes my heart ache and surely makes the heavens weep.

    Holding external trappings to a higher value or virtue than the internal man or message is kind of sad, for a christian, and perhaps precisely why it’s so important to bring us back to the simplicity, relevance and priority of the Word. Or, to paraphrase, what does it profit your stole if you lose your soul?

  • gromeri

    I feel the exact opposite: I was impressed & relieved when our new pope turned down the red Prada shoes. A simple thing that meant so much, to me and countless others. As was recently noted on this same site, an atheist writing for Esquire who was finally impressed by a pope said: “It was one thing to hear Benedict XVI talk about the poor — on a golden throne draped in ermine. It’s quite another to hear it from a guy on the minibus who pays his bills.”

    Trappings of wealth may ‘impress the senses’ & make for a beautiful church but the hypocrisy–especially in our present age with such rampant inequality and global poverty–is relevant and becomes a tragic shame for leaders who profess to follow Christ. Imagine Christ, who told his apostles to have one pair of sandals, delighting in red Prada shoes, ermine stoles, etc etc…it’s the kind of thing that makes my heart ache and surely makes the heavens weep.

    Holding external trappings to a higher value or virtue than the internal man or message is kind of sad, for a christian, and perhaps precisely why it’s so important to bring us back to the simplicity, relevance and priority of the word. Or, to paraphrase, what does it profit your stole if you lose your sole?

    • Mary Cambridge

      For the 99,999th time..Pope BXVI red shoes were NOT Prada. They were made by an Italian cobbler, Adriano Stefanelli. He said that he does not charge for them..he gave them as a gift.

      I’ll give you one thing..you are outdoing all the people who are “more Catholic than the Pope” and who claim in comboxes to be able to see into other peoples’ hearts and minds. You actually know what God Himself thinks, and what makes Him weep.

      • gromeri

        and i’m not even Catholic…go figure. but I can read, and the Bible comes in several languages.

        • Mary Cambridge

          Before Joseph Ratzinger became the Pope, he walked to work everyday, lived in a modest apartment and also paid his bills. As a young priest, I believe he used a bicycle to get around. The vestments that he wore as Pope were not his personal property. I believe that most of them were “recycled”..as in, they were already available.

          And no one here is holding the external trappings to a higher value or virtue than the internal man or message. Well, except people like you, who are convinced that Pope Francis is a better man because his shoes are brown, and he wears simpler vestments.

          I, personally, have no problem with the simpler choices made by Pope Francis. I do, however, have a problem with people using Francis as a stick to beat Benedict, because it is a total crock.

          • OL

            Love Papa Benedict!!

          • gromeri

            Honestly, it’s not meant to be a stick it to Benedict, though he truly exemplified pomp. It is meant to be a sick of it to all popes, bishops & other ‘spiritual leaders’ who feel inclined to be treated as kings when what their people need is a shepherd. Just fyi, the very title of this article puts external trappings above the message itself. I think Francis is reviving the principles of the first christian communities, and Jesus, and this makes some uneasy…as it did back then. But forgive me for offending you regardless.

      • OL

        The Popes have had the Same Shoemaker its traditional But Liars will jump on to The Entertainment tonight Mentality. Pope Benedict was a very humble Pope and I am sure That Pope Francis is also just seems the Media is using these silly things as a way to smear Pope B16.

  • Mary

    This doesn’t directly respond to your post, but may help anyway. An OP that I highly respect was explaining that the rejection of the papal ‘trappings’ wasn’t as much about humility as it was about creating community. It’s not like it was actually cheaper to stay in the guest house, since they did have to change things there for him to stay permanently, but it allows for the creation of community. Think of him saying mass for the workers. The recent meal he provided for Rome’s homeless when all said and done is a puny way to provide for their bodily hunger, but the community that was created between the men, the servers, and the pope and cardinal who greeted them is a wonderful way to provide for spiritual hunger.
    When you think of how fissured our church has become, this effort to create community centered in Rome, both for the pope to take part in and for the world to see, is quite something.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Thanks for that thoughtful reply.

  • Henry Boneset

    You are stuck on fluff and are afraid of substance.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Yes.. exactly. That’s me… scared as a kitten, said the woman who was asked by her husband to chose between him and the Catholic Church. Last I checked, I’m still Catholic and I’m still single.

      • Jim Englert

        You may not be scared, but I’m confused.

        Unless he has died (in which case, my sympathy and heartfelt apologies for intruding like such a clumsy and stupid oaf) — if you are Catholic and HAD a husband, then you HAVE a husband. Right? So, what’s the “single” bit?

  • CT Catholic Corner

    Well said Katrina, I feel exactly the same as you. I hate when any Catholic ‘seems’ to shun so much of the beautiful parts of our Catholic faith and I find I have not yet come to love this pope as I did/do Benedict.

  • Aljoz

    We can recall that Pope John Paul II exteriorly held to many of the
    traditions of the office of the papacy. He did this well, while also
    remaining very much himself. He was a very charismatic man, and he
    continued to be so throughout his papacy. He was great with the youth,
    relatable to many, etc. He seemed so down to earth, while his
    theological writings were often of great depth.

    Pope Benedict
    XVI had a great appreciation for symbolism and presented the rich,
    symbolic patrimony of the Church well–even that of the papal office. He
    was clearly a humble man. Compare him to the rich and famous in
    Hollywood, and you’ll find some HUGE differences. Pope Benedict had the
    authentic understanding that we learn of St. Francis: that we should
    give God our very best. St. Francis would advocate to give God his very
    best in chalices, church architecture, etc., while for the Christian
    person, he advocated living simplicity, poverty, love, etc. Pope
    Benedict was a man of simplicity. He was not a largely charismatic man,
    but more of a quiet man of thought. People came to him for his
    depth–his philosophy. He never became inauthentic and tried to display
    himself as a man of great importance. He displayed the papacy as an
    office of great importance, while he knew that the man who was pope was
    merely a quiet, thoughtful man who was never meant for the great lights
    of fame and fortune. He did not want to be pope at the beginning. He
    accepted in humility. He would have preferred stepping out of all
    possibility of lime-light and dedicating himself to prayer, thought,
    writing, and simplicity for the sake of the Church (much like a monk).
    Look how his is living now. He himself says that he lives like a monk.
    There’s great proof of that humility. He stepped down from the papacy to
    assume that task when he recognized that he was no longer able to live
    out the tremendous tasks of such an important office. In humility, he
    stepped down and, desiring to do the will of God, he entered into that
    silence that he had long desired from the start.

    Then, there’s
    Pope Francis. Pope Francis is one who has witnessed more of a scene of
    clericalism. He sees that there is in this world a view of the
    priesthood as something glamorous rather than holy and glorious. By the
    way he embraces Pope Benedict XVI and refers to the humility, depth, and
    holiness of the Pope-Emeritus, I’m sure that Pope Francis does not
    reject the ways of Pope Benedict, seeing himself as of greater humility,
    simplicity, and holiness by the way he carries out the papal office. I
    don’t think that’s the issue. We might be tempted to believe that Pope
    Francis is not upholding certain practices of papal symbolic tradition
    because he believes that they are mere examples of corruption and
    flaunting of the man who is pope, but I think Pope Francis is guarding
    against the belief that the Church is all about that corruption. I think
    he is trying to give a witness to the world that the papacy, the
    priesthood, and the Church hierarchy on the whole is not an office of
    fame and fortune (as some perhaps wrongly believe). I think he is trying
    to give a new image to the papacy, which does not depart from the
    papacy of the earliest ages–nor does it even depart from the papacy of
    Pope Benedict XVI. By his actions, Pope Francis is not saying that
    beautiful architecture, gold chalices, etc. meant for the glory of God
    are somehow evil. Not is he even saying that the sacred vestments, laced
    albs, symbolic red shoes, etc. of Pope Benedict XVI are all expressions
    of pride and vanity. But, I think he is trying to counter the
    criticisms of the media as they say, “Ah ha! The Pope is wearing
    beautiful red shows and lace albs, etc. See! He’s all about money and
    power!” Which is obviously ridiculous and a huge misunderstanding of
    these traditions. He is trying to give a clear image of the ideal of the
    papacy. That ideal is that the Pope is chiefly a man of holiness. A man
    who humbly allows Christ to shepherd the Church through Him. He is a
    man who must have a life of interiority, which remains always at His
    core. He must always be centered on Christ. When the Church realized
    these ideals not being lived out in the priesthood due to clericalism,
    the Church began the Gregorian Reform. The Gregorian Reform was very
    monastically-influenced. I believe that Pope Francis is beginning to
    help everyone (priests, seminarians, laymen, and even the media) realize
    the ideal of the priesthood. He’s teaching by example, and he seems to
    be giving more of an exterior display of what the Gregorian Reform was
    all about. Clearly, Pope Francis is influenced by the religious life.
    That’s exactly what the Gregorian Reform was doing. I believe that Pope
    Benedict XVI also lived that Gregorian Reform, but he did it with such
    humility that it was never seen. The media only ever saw his great love
    for tradition and symbolic beauty, but they always misunderstand this
    and try to play it off as a thing of vanity and pride, which leaves any
    good priest or bishop (like Archbishop Jorge Borgolio) who knows of Pope
    Benedict’s humility and who appreciates the movements of the Gregorian
    Reform seen in our day–who knows the ideals of the priesthood–to be
    sorrowful or perhaps somewhat frustrated with this. Thus, he takes what
    Pope Benedict had in solitude and lives it out exteriorly (not only in a
    more hidden way–which I’m sure he still does) but also in public way.
    And, he would do this not because he wants to flaunt his great
    simplicity but because he desires to live with simplicity, and he wants
    the world to know that every Christian (even the Pope) is called to and
    must live this simplicity. Pope Benedict XVI would have likely done the
    same as Pope Francis. He would have kept the same public simplicity even
    when acting as Pope, Bishop of Rome, priest, etc. However, where Pope
    Francis has more of a determination to reform the clergy, Pope Francis
    had more of a determination to reform the reforms that misunderstood
    symbolic tradition. That isn’t to say that Pope Francis isn’t at all
    interested in the reform of the reform, and it isn’t to say that Pope
    Benedict didn’t want to reform the clergy (of course he did! He did
    afterall order an investigation of the Curia and stepped down from the
    Papal office… perhaps at least partially to have a more able Pope
    further take up the task due to Pope Benedict’s aging, etc.). Just
    because Pope Benedict XVI wore nice, Roman chasubles, laced albs, etc.
    doesn’t mean that he was a vain, prideful man who flaunted the papacy
    and soaked up the lime light desiring fame and fortune (far from it!),
    but just the same: just because Pope Francis doesn’t wear nice, Roman
    chasubles, laced albs, etc. doesn’t mean that he views those things as
    vain, examples of pride, lime-light loving, etc. (of course not!). Just
    because Pope Benedict didn’t wear plain black shoes doesn’t mean that he
    didn’t live simplicity and humility himself. Likewise: just because
    Pope Francis doesn’t wear the red, papal shoes doesn’t mean that he’s
    necessarily more humble, more simple, etc., nor does it mean that Pope
    Francis condemns those symbolic traditions.

    In summary, Pope
    Francis is more publicly displaying a counter-clericalism, while Pope
    Benedict XVI more clearly displayed a counter-rejection-of-tradition. It
    may have appeared to some as though Pope Benedict supported
    clericalism. And, it may appear to some that Pope Francis supports a
    rejection of traditions and symbols of beauty. Neither does.

    One
    might say that Pope Benedict had the proper balance, and you could
    clearly see that if you knew more about the liturgy, the office of the
    papacy, and the man who was pope. However, Pope Francis sees that most
    people just don’t get it. That’s why they give a bad name to such a good
    pope as now-Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI. So, while Pope Francis might
    not always come out to be as much of an advocate of liturgical ideals,
    that’s not what he’s trying to get across to people. Perhaps we need a
    pope like Pope Francis for a while just to teach the media something
    about their false ideas of the Church hierarchy being founded on
    clericalism. Yes, it would perhaps be nice if Pope Francis made some
    more clarifications on this, and it would be nice if Pope Francis could
    find some time in his full schedule to move forward with some pope
    Benedict influence in the reform of the reform, but it’s not as much of
    an interest of his (liturgical history and development isn’t going to
    grasp the attention of every Catholic–not even every priest or pope for
    that matter… also, just because it isn’t as much of an interest for
    him doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love and appreciate the liturgy), but
    countering any image or existence of clericalism
    seems to have his mind pretty occupied right now. He’s going to continue
    living the simplistic life that he loves and probably needs right now
    in order to keep himself more focused on the matter that’s closest to
    his heart at this time.

  • rodlarocque1931

    Good post — I feel the same way. I feel that Pope Francis’ humilty comes across more like pride, considering Pope St Pius X hated all the pomp and finery too but submitted to it in obedience to his office.
    Actually the whole crisis in the Church can be summed up in prideful popes doing whatever they want rather than being obedient to tradition.
    Thus the post Vatican II popes changed the mass to become more protestant, in contradiction to the teachings of Trent, disobeyed past teachings on religious tolerance and now worship with heretics and pagans, JP2 kissed the Koran, Pope Francis waves the rules for foot washing at Holy Thursday Mass, and the cononization requirements for John XXIII etc etc.
    These popes are drunk with their own power and are true revolutionaries, which as Pope St Pius X said , are no true friends of the people.

  • Roseanna Hatke

    The “not Prada” shoes were a gift. How do you think that shoemaker felt when the Pope turned down his gift? In the WWJD vein, I think Jesus would have graciously received the gift, accepted it for what it was….a gift from the heart, worn it once, and eschewed all the media buzz, which undoubtedly hurt the man who gave the gift. Pope Francis will grow into his calling, but in the meantime a lot of hardworking, faithful, not homeless, people will be deeply hurt when their gifts and their very labor is rejected.. Oh Goody, he fed the homeless and it is all over the news. What if he fed some of the middle class Romans who are barely getting by? Or those from the villages (and I know many personally) who have no priest? Too bad, not an MSNBC photo op. Remember the woman with the perfumed oil? Jesus did not reject her gift….Judas did.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Isn’t it curious that churches in poor countries are often built as palaces for the King of Kings in their tabernacles, with generous use of marble and even gold. Yet, in the richest country in the world, churches are often built as bad theaters and the tabernacle is hidden away, with stingy use of linoleum and heavy-duty carpet. While one is a feast for the poor, the other is a retch for all.

    And, of course, in rich countries marble and gold are reserved for homes, but churches must be “simple”.

    • OL

      That’s so True Yes The Cure Lived Simply but spent a lot of money on his Church its GODS HOME. This is biblical The Host must be in Gold Plated Chalice. Did any of anyone every read GODS instructions on how his house should be built its biblical going back to the 1st Testament. Respect For The Church Love. The symbols inspire Us to be better rise above.

  • Frank Fox

    Spiritual poverty is not knowing and loving Jesus and his teachings. It is not about ceremony and dressing up. If people loved the person of Jesus that should surely be enough.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Hmm… Any chance we could have a Potpourri of Patriarchs one of these days?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Highly possible. Why it hasn’t been done sooner is outrage!

  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    It seems to me, the Media conflates the person with the Office.
    The Media likes to use inappropriate analogies such as those of personality cult, celebrity, and business metaphor, assuming the Church is simply ‘an institution’.

    The problem comes when Catholics fall into the same trap, and think he’s simply the CEO.

  • Tess208

    I have always thought that Pope Francis is more likely to engage in self-deprecation than disapproval of all things regal. I continue to be impressed by him-and his predecessors. I think Michael Voris’ idea of saying an ADDITIONAL decade of the Rosary each day for our clergy, including the Pope is a great idea.

  • OL

    I don’t agree but you do put forth some excellent observations with regard to The Church. I believe The Author was very Charitable and just questioned Certain aspects of The Faith that many have. We live in a complex world and these questions are legitimate. She meant no disrespect. I do not believe it was wrong for Her to express her point of view. I think Charity is important The Author was Humble & Charitable.

  • Kayla Steves

    Pope Francis is not as charismatic as Pope John Paul II. Perhaps that’s the primary reason why not all Catholics like Pope Francis. But I think we should give Pope Francis a chance to lead us.
    __________________________________________________________________

    writing a business
    plan

  • Joe of St Therese

    I’m working on a post on my blog similar to this one, your thoughts echo mine. My biggest problem with Pope Francis is that the person of Cardinal Bergolio refuses to disappear. He is imposing himself on the papacy, rather than letting the papacy form him. In addition, it seems that he’s imposing Religious Life on the Universal Church, when we’re not all called to that particular charism. Even for all their faults, JPII and Paul VI never imposed their personalities to this degree that Pope Francis is doing….I believe he’s truly humble personally, but true humility isn’t forced…He’s not the Bishop in a no name diocese anymore. He’s the Pope, is it too much to ask that he acts like it, and the personality of Cardinal Bergolio disappear?

    • Jim Englert

      Sorry, but Papa Bergoglio would need to live and lead a long, long time before he could possibly even begin to stamp the papacy with his personality to even a small degree of the stamp left by the Wojtyla personality.

      I don’t know how old you are, but if you were alive (and of mature age!, as I was) in 1978, you would have little doubt of this.

      Pontificates differ. There have been many popes in the mold you prefer. In my lifetime, the names Pacelli, Montini, and Ratzinger come to mind. But intertwined with the stamped, there are stampers: Roncalli, Wojtyla, and, yes, Bergoglio.

      You are perfectly entitled to your preference. It’s simply disingenuous, though, to presume that Karol Wojtyla fit that mold.

  • Bernie

    I agree with you for perhaps slightly different reasons. It is very common today to descend to the lowest common denominator as an attempt to appeal to others. I am not saying that the Pope is anything but sincere in his presentation of humility and poverty, but the whole word is directing itself to the vapid average. Nothing is special anymore. Decorum and sophistication are passé.

    Those trappings of the papacy did not start during the reign of B16, but have been handed down from the past. They represent the dignity and respect due the office and the officeholder, not the wealth and excess that today’s social sophists attach to them.

    Perhaps the greatest works of art in the history of the world were created in the Catholic West, motivated by the desire for praise and worship of our Creator. They represent the best that men can offer their God in a fallen world, in the tradition of Abel and Abraham.

    In this day and age where everything and everyone is the same, we need truth and beauty more than ever. We need something to look up to that commands respect because it is deserved. We need reminders that there are ideas and philosophies that are greater than others. Because those regal attributes of the papal office represent that, I don’t see how it is fair or right for one pope to remove them since they are not really his to remove. Those trappings are not his, they belong to the office, and since he signed up for the job, so is he.

    When he writes his first encyclical, he will surely (hopefully) use the pronoun We, indicating that he is speaking in concert with those who held the office before him. He is the pope, and he should act like it.

    • Jim Englert

      So you have it all figured out, do you? And allow not the slightest crack in your mental armor through which Pope Francis might raise for you a question, an actual question.

      Better to leave Francis of Assisi on/in Giotto’s frescoes than to allow him to strip once again, and to throw his splendid robes at our feet.

      You are not-the-pope, and you should act like it.

  • Abdul

    This pope practices what he preaches. His actions may have caused discomfort to the likes of Ms. Katrina Fernandez but have made many others, regardless of race or religion, followers of this Christian Pope.

  • http://ubuntulinuxtipstricks.blogspot.com maco

    I’m an ex-Catholic. I’m happy to see him staying true to his vow of poverty. He is the pope, yes. That means he is to hold up the standard to which Catholics should strive. That’s Christ’s standard: helping others well above personal comfort or extravagance. He’s doing exactly what the Catholic Church needs and being exactly the example it needs.

    The religion I went to figured this out a few hundred years ago. We have no steeples, no artwork in the room where we worship, nothing special about our buildings (I know one that rents a room in a dance studio), no fancy-dress, no pastors.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      There’s no sure thing as an ex-Catholic… just a non-practicing one. You’ll always be Catholic. With that; come home.

      • http://ubuntulinuxtipstricks.blogspot.com maco

        Wrong. I’m a Quaker. I have fully recovered from Catholicism. I do not believe the junk the Catholic Church teaches. I do not believe in that the Church needs hierarchy. I do not believe in a distinction between minister and laity.

      • christine

        The indelible mark….

        • Jim Englert

          No, the Church has always taught that it is possible to leave.

          And for those of us who remain, we should recognize that there are those who experience Catholicism as an indelible scar, if it is an indelible anything.

      • Jim Englert

        Your reply here seems a bit patronizing, or matronizing!

        Love the open arms of welcome.

        But far better to accept people as who they think of themselves as being. Best to avoid thinking of others that involves I-know-who-you-are-better-than-you-know-yourself (especially when you don’t know that person at all).

        Of course, there is such a thing as an ex-Catholic. In fact, it’s a pretty un-Catholic thing to say that there’s no such thing as an ex-Catholic

  • EdwardHu

    Whether Pope Francis intends or not…he’s way over exposed.

    I wonder if it’s Lombardi or the lay PR fellow Burke….but many incidental aspects of his life are all over the press…when he gets up, what he likes or not likes to wear…next the Pope will be telling us to take the stairs more and the elevator less.

    He risks paradoxically becoming a mere superficial Pope and a symbolic one at the same time.

  • alexandra cortes

    DUDE, are you serious? Francis is the REAL DEAL and you’ve probably never had to suffer real poverty or gotten down and dirty in a third world country and seen how the Church belongs to the “simplicity” you’re criticizing in this BOSS of a man…

    “But the rest of us, the rest of us regular Catholics who aren’t quite
    there yet, the ones struggling every day just to be good, need it.”

    …is what you say, huh? Ever hear this lovely quote by a lovely man *cough*Jesus Christ*cough*?

    “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13

    What makes you a “regular Catholic” anyway? Who says you’re even Catholic, dude? You sound more like a whiny Republican than someone who loves the Savior who died like a criminal without even clothes on his back. Francis was bold enough to travel to the favelas this week in Rio de Janeiro (for World Youth Day) with no bulletproof windows and inspired hope in the people who are the backbone of the Church: THE LATINAMERICANS, like Francis is from Argentina. Face it, Catholicism in North America is dead because you’re all so spoiled and pampered and so hypnotized by culture trends and technology and waste your time arguing about social issues like homosexuals and abortion when the pink elephant is that the POOR in underdeveloped countries are the most faithful. In the poorest countries is where you’ll find PACKED churches. And if you knew anything about anything you’d know that in Latin America *most* churches are fucking littered with gold and all that shit you’re looking for, anyway. That’s the kind of culture Francis comes from, fool.

    But you’re talking like an arrogant dope and anything cool you might have said on your blog now means nothing to me because of this post. You’re going to lose A LOT of readers because you just gave away your ignorance. I feel bad for you, man. Pray a lot. Watch World Youth Day on TV and just pray.

    • christine

      Who is arrogant? Oh my. Take a chill pill. Personally I love kindness as a teeny,tiny way to show the face of Christ.

      • alexandra cortes

        bitch, *please* You don’t know the difference between kindness and speaking your mind, it must be done no matter what, no mattter how rough and tough and dirty you must play, it doesn’t matter if it’s not “kind” the way you think kindness should be. Jesus Christ was no diplomat and he never asked us to be, he asked us to speak the truth at any cost, with compassion, yes, but with conviction. chill pill my rear-end, c’mon. didn’t you hear the Pope yesterday say to “make a riot, make a scandal” with burning faith? if we don’t stand up, even if it’s with tough love, and speak the truth in our minds we are being hypocrites. y’alls just scared to be confrontational, but it’s because you’re bottling up the drive and the emotion needed to evangelize. st. paul was the same way, in the gospel, he shook people up wherever he went and you wouldn’t call him “arrogant” would you?

        I’m defending the sacred actions of the Pope of the People, if you want to hate on me, fine. that’s *your* problem but I know I’m taking real, ’cause I know what it’s like to suffer and be poor and you can swallow all the chill pills you want, but you all’s the ones with the problem and you do need to watch World Youth Day. I’m out. Jesus real.

  • ClareClare

    Katrina, THANK YOU for writing what so many Catholics are thinking. I happen to know several highly educated, good priests who are positively devastated every time they read about Francis’ oh-so-wonderful simplicity in the media. (And I can’t bear it either!)

    But I keep reminding myself that this is the fault of the MSM, not of Francis. Those who so despised the orthodoxy of Benedict, will do anything they can to “pit” his successor against him, in an effort to undo as much of Ben’s good work as they can. Fact is, Francis is trying to show the world a life of simplicity, NOT because he wants to stress that he is different from Ben, but because he wants to show BISHOPS that they ought to eschew the “perks of the job,” and instead lead a holy life as true pastors of their flocks!

    (One wonders whether they’re listening? A certain retired archbishop from the West Coast gushes publicly about how “low-church” Francis is… conveniently forgetting that for years, he himself regularly tooled around his own diocese in a chauffeur-driven limousine–equipped with its own fax-machine.)

    Anyone who thinks that Francis feels anything other than pure awe toward his predecessor is, like the MSM, living in an alternate reality. Listen to their exchange at their meeting in Castel Gandolfo–Francis spoke much like a little boy who was meeting his hero! youtube.com/watch?v=9aylAmChAaY

  • Chris Moore

    Think back to the first pope, Peter, a fisherman with little more than his nets. Think of the 72 sent out without a spare shirt or money. The papacy started to change with John Paul I who refused the triple tiara, John Paul II travelled and kissed the ground wherever he landed, Benedict XVI held an impromptu press conference on the plane before landing in Scotland admitting the crimes of the church in the abuse scandal. Francis is taking the next steps in returning to the simplicity and poverty of Peter, if not Jesus himself who lived among lepers, sinners and the poor. We do not need palaces or princes in the Church. Jesus is the only prince, the prince of peace, he is the one we follow. The Pope simply shepherds us with his bishops towards our heavenly home. Pomp and circumstance, red slippers and red copes are unnecessary earthly trappings and have no place in Christ’s Church. Pray for an in filling of the Holy Spirit, ask and you shall receive, re-read today’s Gospel, and may God bless you on your spiritual journey.

  • JohnE_o

    Wow – seriously?

    Okay here’s the thing – the pages and pages of demands were written by the Priests who – not coincidentally – were the ones who were going to be the people making use of the finery. Apply a little common sense to that picture and see if that suggests anything to you.

    About the Curia and the Pope’s safety – well stranger things have happened, eh?

  • michicatholic
    • Jim Englert

      Thank you SO much for sharing this. If this is our future, joy abounds.

  • michicatholic

    What I posted below was a normal Catholic mass in Haiti. Get a grip.

  • michicatholic

    2/3 of the Catholic population in the world is now in the Southern Hemisphere. We are in the minority and will be for the foreseeable future. Take that anyway you want, but it’s important that we all learn to deal with it. This is 21st century Catholicism.

  • Jim Englert

    Fair enough expression of spiritual struggle.

    But can you understand, and acknowledge, that there are those of us whose love of the Church is no less real than yours who have felt very similar struggle now for four or so decades?

    And that at least part — however small a part — of the enthusiastic response to Pope Francis has something do with the sense that there is some resolution to that struggle beginning to be offered?

    A spiritual experiment: Recall the feelings and thoughts grounding your reflections here. Imagine them bearing down on you incessantly — day after day, with increasing intensity — for the next forty years. Imagine your love for the Church diminishing not even a tad, but a sense of spiritual impoverishment enveloping you. Imagine multitudes surrounding you, gloating [I first typed 'bloating' -- a not utterly inapt typo!], because they perceive that you’ve had things going your way in terms of spiritual sustenance for a decade or so.

    Might you not then rejoice in the sudden appearance of someone who carried some resemblance to Popes John Paul and Benedict?

    Or are your spiritual struggles such as to blind you to the fact that other people, other Catholics, have other struggles, no less real, and no less faithful, than your own?

  • Yeriel

    Go there read, decide for yourself and pray to Jesus, I hope this site is wrong
    t h e w a r n i n g s e c o n d c o m i n g . c o m

  • Stephen McCluskey

    The Mass is the Mass–even if it’s celebrated on a table set up on the hangar deck of an aircraft carrier. Anything beyond that is superfluous.

  • Judiciously B

    Ms. Fernandez, you say “How can I love a Pope who doesn’t even want to be Pope? Who doesn’t even call himself Pope but prefers the title Bishop of Rome.” You love Pope Francis, because it is commanded of you from our Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember, this man was elected by the Cardinals selected by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II. (I am not aware of any Cardinals remaining from Pope Paul VI that were in conclave, but if there were, my mistake.) The conclave was guided by the Holy Spirit just as it was when Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were elected to the papacy. On another note, there would be no “crying room” if there were men who wanted to be Pope; anyone should be wary of any person “wanting” to be Pope.

    I do not seek an answer to this question myself, but you may want to ask yourself if the uneasiness that you are feeling is directed toward Pope Francis or to yourself? (We never know how the Holy Spirit will work within us.) While virtually impossible to have a conversation with Pope Benedict XVI, if you were to say go to him with how you are feeling, what do you think he would tell you?

    I wish you peace and that distractions such as a Pope of a different “style” than his predecessors will not distract from you fulfilling your mission as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    -B

  • Nicholas

    Katrina,
    I must say that I emphasize with you. You’re feeling precisely the way I felt as a neophyte Catholic back in 2011 (yeah . . . I’m still a neophyte by any measure:).
    I had come to the Church on the heals of reading Thomas Merton, Fr James Martin, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese (my most beloved saint!), St. Francis and more than one South American advocate of liberation theology (not the Church’s position but I was drawn to LT via my youthful passion for the social gospel).
    THEN I met the Church and I began to hear that the priorities of the Church must revolve around the exclusion of the GLBT community and a deliberate and ongoing alignment with the Republican Party here in the states. Worse, I saw women religious here in the US attacked by the Church in what resembled an inquisition of faithful servants fulfilling one of the primary roles of the Church in the world – to serve the Poor.
    I was turned off by the pomp and circumstance of Pope Benedict – though, like you, I respected him and made it a point to read his work (finding him, btw, a brilliant theologian and loving his ability to draw me away from many of my more romantic notions of faith and TO more orthodox positions which I hold to this day).
    So, I know how you feel.
    That said, the notion of rightward adjustment on the part of Pope Francis . . . well . . . would be a sad thing after so many years of neglecting such central issues.
    Surely it is undeniable that the culture of violence about which Pope John Paul II spoke so eloquently is fostered and promoted by – even owes its existence to – the capitalist-consumerist culture of our age. This is the greatest of all evils. The notion that profit is (or even should be) the primary driver of human behavior is anathema to the Christ message. We might even characterize that notion and the economic organism that it has created as the anti-Christ.
    Finally, though, I must come back around to say that I hold the Church in great veneration – so, too, the papacy itself (though I’m not at all frightened of a more open process of governance – one that really does return the pope to his original role as the “Bishop of Rome”). And I must acknowledge the importance of a strong, orthodox and conservative voice in the Church – just not a voice that controls the conversation any more than we on the more progressive side of the Christ message should exercise undo control.
    Blessings and HUGE thanks for your frankness.
    In Jesus & Mary,
    Nicholas

  • karlcm

    This is not meant to accuse you of anything, but simply some questions that arose in response to you’re blog post.

    You want to love this pope, which is admirable and honest, but you’re putting conditions on him to do so?

    I like that you’re worried about symbols. I agree symbols are powerful
    to feed our spirituality, but instead of looking at this particular
    papacy as taking away symbols you like or as a statement against his
    predecessors, maybe it could be looked at as giving new symbols to other
    faithful who are also spiritually hungry but haven’t been satisfied.
    The symbols that have been most profound to me is meeting people where
    they’re at instead of talking down, it is bringing people in community,
    especially those who have left or been forgotten, it is simplifying the
    liturgy, not to water it down or eliminate rituals that might feed some
    (fyi I do prefer more traditional liturgies), but to emphasize what the
    liturgy is really about: the people and their relationship to God. Once
    that foundation of community is strengthened then all the other
    symbolism find their meaning again. Without community, those symbols
    mean nothing. This is not to diminish those symbols that you find
    nourishing, but it goes beyond just what has been seen the last few
    papacies. You say it’s “not a sin to look like [a pope]” but why is
    what a pope looks like limited to only what has been experienced in
    relatively recent time?

    It
    also might be relevant to mention that many great popes didn’t want to
    be pope, the primary example being Gregory the Great. I’m more scared
    of anyone who wants the position. And what’s wrong with the title
    Bishop of Rome? It goes
    back much further than the title pope.

  • Gabriel García Jolly

    I see your point, Katrina, but now you know how an average, young gay Catholic, or a re-married divorcee, felt struggling to love Benedict XVI (who was just as spiritual, humble and hard-working as Francis, yes).

    • Illinidiva

      Yes.. It is actually good for traditionalists Catholics to feel a little uncomfortable about a pope for once.

  • jb3g

    Ms. Fernandez, I share your pain. In fact as little as a year ago, I felt it exactly. Every time I went to Mass and listened to the words of the new translation and thought about the process by which they were imposed on the people, my spiritual depression deepened. Every time some new liturgical innovation pushed back the goals of Sacrosanctum Concilium, I felt distanced from the Mass I had known for all of my adolescent-adult life.

    Fortunately, for me, the pain has lessened. As our faith teaches us, suffering can be transformative. In March, I got the person I wanted for Pope 8 years ago, and the suffering I felt during those 8 years has made me a deeper, more committed Catholic. I know that my faith is not tied to the person who sits in the chair of Peter. I know that Christ still comes to us (all of us) in the Eucharist. Keep the faith.

  • Hans Michael

    Katrina, I don’t think Christianity is a good fit for you. Trust me, you would have been annoyed to death with Jesus’ humility.

  • Pastor Michael Gabby

    I must says that those qualities of Pope Francis that Katrina Fernandez
    seems to be most critic of are those qualities that I find most
    attractive. He is humble – he is a man that doesn’t put on the trappings of his office.

    The reality of our times – and possible of all times – is that
    holiness – humility – is not judged on what a person says (or
    believes) – but rather it is judged by what a person does. Thomas
    Becket (St Thomas of Canterbury) may well have worn beautiful clothes
    on the outside and a hair shirt underneath – but Thomas Becket was
    canonized not because of his acts of humility – but rather for
    “dying for the faith.” Unlike Francis of Assisi who by word and
    deed showed his humility.

    I must stay that I personally prefer the title Bishop of Rome to that
    of Pope – it doesn’t change who the person is – does it? My perspective is that of a Lutheran pastor.

    Pax et Bonum

  • Mike Jones

    Seriously…., to have him look like a Pope….. That’s the whole point. Maybe it is not good that the Popes have been so dressed in finery. Maybe it is Katrina that could shift in terms of what spiritually nurtures her. Maybe from writing this she will. It would be valuable for her to research why the Catholic church needed church buildings and what priests wore to be so much about finery. And then to ask why woman religious were asked to be so unadorning in their attire.

  • Michael Fiztpatrick

    I liked your article except the part when you write.”No one is doubting the Pope is a holy man”
    What proof do you have of his holiness? Why in recent times people has
    this “papolatry” that automatically converts any Pope in a saint despite
    the evidence? How can a Pope be a saint if he openly violates
    liturgical norms? how can a Pope be a saint if he openly violates the
    universal law of the Church (ask the Franciscans of the Immaculate) and
    they list could go longer…

  • Melati

    Katrina
    Pope Francis may not want to be a Pope as he thinks he is not worthy enough. But God thinks otherwise!

  • Deb Bridge

    I, actually, would fear the man who WANTED to be pope ….. what would that agenda be???

    That being said, I have long missed the church of my childhood when there was a sense of sacred mystery when I walked into a church building. That sense of being drawn to the mystery of God stayed with me through 6 years in a Franciscan convent. From the age of 30 or so on I found that no one in church every really talked about God — it was ALWAYS about church politics — I continued to say that I was, by heritage Catholic, but my real search was for God — and it was with great sadness that I found my encounters with God were found outside of the church. (But great joy when I came to understand deeply what Carl Jung meant when he replied to the question about believing in God witht he statement “I have no need for belief for I KNOW God.”)

    When the news was announced about the new pope, I actually had this weird, physical reaction that I could only describe as hope —– but it remains a cautious one at that, for I am wary of how and why the media portrays anyone the way that they do.

  • Dennis M. Woytowich

    Having read this sad commentary ( I think “shallow snob” is about right with a strong emphasis on the shallow part,) and several of the other comments here, I can’t help but feel that the whole point of what I think Francis is trying to do has been missed. After the triumphalist, 30-year papacy of JPII, “Rock Star”, who honed the cult of papal personality to such an extent that his admirers were hectoring for the appellation of “The Great” before his corpse was cold( his response to the whole clerical child-rape crisis notwithstanding.) Nothing would satisfy the frothing of his fan club but the unprecedented acceleration of his cause for sainthood without any of the normal sobriety and even-handedness that time might bring. Something to which Benedict XVI, the place holder pope,complied. What is shocking, especially to traditionalist, about this new pope, I believe, is not his much lauded personal humility ( I believe most recent occupants of this office have been personally humble men, or at least they convinced themselves and others that they were.) Rather what is so unsettling, I think, is that it seems Francis has a humble vision of the papal office itself. In preferring the title of Bishop of Rome vs. other titles that are of feudal or imperial origin, by requesting others to pray for him and by stunningly asking “who (he was) to judge?”, more is suggested than just a personal humility or embrace of a simple day-to-day lifestyle. Rather there seems to be a sense that there is a real need to ratchet down the whole “pope as God’s spokesman on earth” thing that ultimately distorts the Church’s effectiveness, is the most significant stumbling block to Christian unity and does violence to the radical equality of all the baptized which is foundational to the Church’s evangelical mission. As for the implication that Francis’ behavior somehow highlights the inadequacy of his predecessor’s behavior, I would say that’s about right and it’s about time. It was Paul VI who signed the documents of Vatican II not as “Supreme Pontiff” (a title arrogated by the popes from the Roman emperors) but rather “The Servant of the Servants of God.” This signaled the renewed ecumenical and collegial emphasis promised in so many of the council documents many of which have been marginalized and sidetracked, especially in the past 30 years. Francis seems to have something other than a continuation of that program in mind and indeed that may seem quite “unlovable” especially to those on the right, but I think it offers some hope to those who would like to see a Church more in dialogue with the world and not isolated from it in some self-righteous cocoon of pomp and circumstance for those needing a good show. Get a copy of the film “The Cardinal” and put it on a loop or go to a renaissance fair; that might help with your withdrawal! Let poor Francis alone!

  • Martin

    Then love him and stop making excuses. I hear what you’re saying but oh my, what a rant and a rave about what? Pope Francis is preaching a simple message of loving the Lord and our neighbor, that’s it! Stop making it about other stuff. He is the right man for the church, at this point in time. If you truly believe in the perfect guidance of the Holy Spirit, then this is the right man, at the right time, for the right reason. Try rather and spend time praying/meditating on what this all means for YOUR spiritual growth and how it can help you carry on on the road towards the Lord.

  • Martin

    I’m actually so very excited for the Catholic church and where we’re heading. we’ve been through a VERY rough patch lately and Pope Benedict, thank the Lord, bore a lot of that on his shoulders. To see 3 million youth on the beaches of Copacabana was amazing! One of my most “anti pope” friends is actually now sitting up and excited about that Pope Francis doing. Please don’t get stuck in “things”, they’re just that. See the Lord’s hand in all this okay? See His amazing work. See him working in people’s hearts…in a world that really needed it. We’re in exciting times!!

  • Stu

    I’m late to responding to this but it really hits home in my opinion. At my parish, we still cling to an older tradition of bowing to the priest as he processes into Mass and on the way out of Mass. When our current priest first encountered this practiced, he confessed that he didn’t care for it and it made him feel uncomfortable. But he also realized that we weren’t bowing for him but rather for Christ, who he represented (Alter Christus) as carried out the Mass. So, in an effort of humility, he suppressed his personal pride on this and embraced the role he had to carry out.

    I too long for the Holy Father to embrace the very rich symbols of his office and rather than eschew them, use them to teach the faithful what they mean and why they should be important to us. I think of Saint Jean Vianney and Saint Francis of Assisi who live complete lives of poverty, yet when it came to the liturgy, our highest form of worship, they spared no expense. And look what they accomplished.

  • JOAO RODRIGUES (PHD)

    Don’t look at the Popes or the pomp but look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Mother Mary was a very good mom but only His mom. (JR)

  • Timothy Reid

    This post is several months old, but I just found it tonight.
    Are you serious that you cannot accept that the Pope is the Pope unless he’s wearing fancy stuff? You say you want to love this Pope. Love him as he is, not as you would have him be. When one’s spirituality rests on brocades and lace and only being seen in the most ornate of worship spaces instead of Santa Marta, it sounds like that’s some pretty shallow spirituality.
    I also looked on the side of your blog and you have some very snide comments about guitars in church. Is that really necessary??? It’s things like this that give off the elitist, arrogant impression to the rest of the world that the Catholic Church is a wealthy, exclusive club that only very classy people belong to.
    We’ve had JPII and BXVI. I’m sure you dined on their spirituality and holiness plenty. You sound like you need a healthy portion of Francis and his Jesuit approach to the new evangelization. Read his apostolic exhortation and you might get some nourishment from that. I’m only 30 pages in, but it’s really good so far.

  • James Tetherson

    It’s true, you’re a bit fat shallow snob who has difficulty loving the pope because of how he dresses. You said so yourself. So far removed from the teachings and life that Jesus lead that it cannot be doubted that you would side with his nemesis on Judgement Day.

  • Timo Sim

    May the Lord be with you in these difficult times and let you experience His Grace without all the things you think you need to love Him and Pope Francis.

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ EvaUlian

    I moaned in the Pre-Francis days because the Church was too superficial and hypocritical at times… but I accepted the Church as it was. Now that the Church is no longer a white sepulchre, it’s your turn to moan… but will you accept the Church now? We have to be Catholics all the way or none at all.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X