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March 28, 2013

Twitter and Bloggers Banter over Pope Francis and discarding some long held Traditions! What does it mean?

Photo CourtesyMoynihan's E-Reports Inside the Vatican Letter #54
Below some of the bantering over Pope Francis and discarding Traditions banted around on Twitter and blogs. What about it and what does it mean for the future? This is the comment I made to   publisher of Inside the Vatican. Some of my unsolicited thoughts on his Letter #54 regarding the Pope discarding some Traditions. What can be discarded what needs to be kept?

By the way I highly recommend you support Mr. Moynihan’s work by subscribing to his magazine Inside the Vatican or Read Robert Moynihan's Letters at the MoynihanLetters.com. He has done superb work in reporting the event that took place at the Vatican these past months and can use your support!

I responded to him that I like Traditions! I am comfortable with Traditions’ they are a safety net of sorts. They have meanings and make us who we are! I immediately thought of a scene from the Fiddler on the Roof and a song from that movie called Traditions!

The Papa cried out in scenes as each of his Jewish daughters left to be married forsaking old Jewish customs his struggle with God over them breaking long cherished customs! He struggled back and forth yes or no! And finally Papa yelling towards the heavens shook his fist "TRADITION!!" what is wrong with Traditions?

Yes, There are rich symbolism's in the long traditions of the Papacy but symbolism are nothing if they are not lived! If Christ is not lived! I sent him the link here of the song from Fiddler on the roof called “TRADITIONS”

Moving on, In the decades since the second Vatican Council that ended in 1965, the popes have considerably dressed-down, abandoning the more formal attire that their forefathers customarily wore wrapped in tradition and symbolism. Many of the vestments are based on age-old customs.

Benedict XVI honored Catholic tradition and embraced the ceremonial and elaborate Renaissance period. It was his desire to re-connect the church
with her Liturgical roots and connect us again with the Church’s traditional liturgy and doctrin. His choice of garb reflected this. “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be, all of a sudden, entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,” Benedict XVI Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum issued Motu Proprio

The new style of Pope Francis is also evident in his wardrobe. Simplicity is now the style. Gone were the ceremonial vestments of Benedict XVI. Rather than wear the new golden pectoral cross he was offered after his election Wednesday, he kept the simple iron crucifix he had since he was anointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992. Wearing it instead of the traditional gold cross former popes would use during their first meet and greet. He also turned down the red velvet cape that Benedict wore when he was presented to the world for the first time in 2005, He choose the simple white cassock of the papacy instead. There were no elaborate details.

Pius XII Red Shoes
Later it was noted that Pope Francis also choose also not to wear the "red shoes" that past Popes have typically worn. This tradition goes back more than 2000 years off and on. Here are Pius VII's slippers from 1808, 205 years ago: So, it is a tradition. It isn't a very important tradition. It has no doctrinal significance, of course. But it is a Tradition!

The papal shoes, along with the camauro, papal mozzetta, and cloak (tabarro), are the only remnants of the former red color of the papal garments. St. Pope Pius V (1566 - 1572), who was a Dominican, changed the papal color to white, and it has remained so since.

The red shoes probably date from early Roman times. The Kings of Rome, who were also the Pontifex Maximus (high priest) wore red boots. When the Roman Republic was established the Pontifex Maximus continued to wear red boots. When Christianity became the state religion, the popes became the Pontifex Maximus, and adopted the red shoes.

The New York Times commented on his choice of shoes: "[Francis] wore simple black shoes and an ordinary wristwatch with a thick black band to his first Mass as pontiff.... In an ancient institution where style often translates into substance, Francis, in his first 24 hours as Pope, has dramatically shifted the tone of the papacy. Whereas Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus, was a theologian who favored red loafers, ermine-lined cloaks and erudite homilies, reviving papal fashions from centuries past, Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, appeared Thursday to be sending a message of radical humility.”

I don’t know where the press, even Catholic Press gets the idea that this signifies humility. Radical simplicity is not the same as humility. These things could indeed indicate could a humble disposition but does not necessarily mean one is humble. One can take pride in one’s own simplicity! I am not accusing the Holy Father of pride here just pointing this out. Having said that, In a world of ego, pretensions and materialism coupled with the tendency to assert one’s own self importance even when we’re not!

It was attributed but not documented historically that St. Francis once said: Always Preach the Gospel and when necessary use words! I came across another similar quote years ago that always stuck in my mind: “Be conscious of who you are you may be the only Gospel a neighbor may read!”

There is no doubt an example of radical simplicity is important for our bishops, priests and religious to give us. This must and has already began at the top. Bravo Pope Francis! Let’s hope it filters down the ranks! 

More on Holy Thursday Traditions! 
What is the pope teaching us now? 

Pope Francis has won over many hearts and minds with his simple style and focus on serving the world's poorest, but he has devastated traditionalist Catholics who adored his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for restoring much of the traditional pomp to the papacy.

One of the most-read traditionalist blogs, "RorateCaeli," reacted to the foot-washing ceremony by declaring the death of Benedict's eight-year project to correct what he considered the botched interpretations of the Second Vatican Council's modernizing reforms.  Read More.....

Breaking a centuries-old tradition, Pope Francis washed the feet of a dozen inmates at a juvenile detention center he Pope washed the feet of 12 teens from all religions, including two Muslims. Another surprise was that among the 12 were two girls. He dried them off with a cloth made with yarn from the Holy Land. It also contained pieces of a fishing net used by fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.

I have to confess that this was a lot for me to digest.  I believe in TRADITIONS! What about the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist?  Both are in need of attention and reform. Couldn't this have been done at another time? What does this all mean?

The pope told them in his homily:
What does this mean? That we have to help one another. If you are angry at someone, let it. And if they ask you for a favor, do it. Jesus teaches us this, and this is what I do, I do it with all my heart, because it's my duty.”

If we have the real presence of Christ we also must be more like Christ in our actions in regard to our neighbor! If we do not treat our neighbor like Christ we are fooling ourselves. We are living a dream world. Even if we have the perfect priest and the perfect Liturgy. If Christ does not change us we have nothing!  In the end we will be judged with Our Lords words in Matthew 25:41-4 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."

Jesus Christ Crucified Have Mercy upon us! Mary Most sorrowful, Pray for us! Passion of Christ, Strengthen us! Lord, I must imitate you! Lord Help me! Even when I do not understand!

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