Thursday, 25 September 2014

Soap Bubble Christians

It's been really quite a long time since I scourd a papal homily for my 'Pope Francis Little Book of Insults', but today's homily from His Holiness is a good resource on how we should not live.

So, let us not be 'peacock Christians, 'soap bubbles Christians' or any kind of Christians who do things to be seen, who live for vanity. It is heartening to hear those words from Pope Francis, at this time when 'truth' seems up for debate at the upcoming Synod. I hope all the Cardinals and Bishops take this as the Synod motto:

“Only the truth gives us peace.”

It would be uncharitable to look for hidden liturgical preference sub-texts in the Holy Father's homily today, concerning those who 'dress like princes', in 'luxurious outfits', who 'strut around like peacocks'. Who is he talking about? I enjoyed Fr Hunwicke's piece today on Cardinal Burke. I also enjoyed this really rather beautiful report on him. I hope it is true. 

God bless the good, obedient, prudent and inspiring Prince of the Church and the Friars of the Immaculate under his wing, while under such punative measures in this current pontificate, we are informed, directly by this current Supreme Pontiff. The Facebook group Populus Summorum Pontificum has some very beautiful pictures, I recommend joining it.


Fidelity Always said...

I believe similar stories to the one about Basil Cardinal Hume abound. He, however, also was humble, and unassuming, and did not stand on ceremony, and to some self-professed was an arch-Modernist who sought to progress the teaching of the Council, and further liturgical renewal, and The New Evangelisation, in loyal communion with the occupant of The See of Rome. He was no soap bubble, but a man of substance, and an example to any Christian, Priest, or Prelate.

BJC said...

Totally off-topic. Don't know if you've seen this Bones. Tina's in trouble again.

fr john said...

you can't really say that card burke doesn't look like a strutting peacock in that photo? honestly now...?

johnf said...

It's a brave person who reveals that he or she is a Christian nowadays. Today's hypocrites are the secular organisations like the BBC, who while castigating the bad Bishops who turned a blind eye to abusive priests, had all the time turned their own blind eye to the abusive practices of Saville, Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris and now DLT.

And we learn that the Labour Party in Islington was soft on paedophiles 'because they didn't want to be thought homophobic'.

And the authorities in Rotheram who connived at the abuse of Young girls by Pakistani gangs.

It goes on and on. And all the time the left are patting themselves on the back because they are sooooo caring. I remember Blair's speech at a Labour Party conference a few years ago, c 2001, where he was thanking God that he was a Socialist.

Fidelity always said...


I don't think anyone is claiming that any organisation, particularly The Labour Party "connived" to cover up abuse. If you wish to maintain that line you rob the Church of one of its legitimate defences that is that "the nature of the problem, and the solutions" have not always been understood by society at large.

Further, one of the major points in the Rotherham Report is that it was concluded by many that "working class youngsters were complicit" as they, mainly girls, like that don't know any better. The overall conclusions in Rotherham, as with investigations of past Church activity, are complex, and long, and seeking to simplify them or scapegoat, is wrong.

Most abuse by Catholic Priests in the western world has been committed by mostly ethnic white Europeans. They, I hope, believed in God.

The current has been labelled by many in the USA, especially, and more so by wealthy Trad Catholics, as a Communist. He is merely preaching the Social Teaching of the Church, which is based on "The Gospel of The Poor".

Left/right labels are nonsense when it come to Catholic Social Teaching, or in fact any teaching, as just as God is neither male or female, he cannot be labelled left or right, he is The Truth, and the lover of all humanity, and he says "what you did to the least of these you did to me"

You damage the Church with this simplistic extremist nonsense, and what I last checked Tony Blair entered into Full Communion with The Catholic Church, and he more Tory than Tories, and richer than most other living politicians.

The Church cannot endorse any one party Political Platform, and clerics cannot actively engage in party politics. The Church says lay people should join Trade Unions, and Political Parties, and evangelise, and witness from within, and be mindful of Church Teaching whenever they vote.

The Bones said...

I think he looks like a Cardinal as celebrant of a Traditional Latin Mass.

You think he looks like a 'strutting peacock'?

So, every Cardinal pre-1970s at Mass looked like a 'strutting peacock' did they?

Fidelity Always said...

Mr Bones

One reason was the liturgy, and vestments, were simplified is precisely because there was an imbalance.

Pope Francis allegedly said, on election, that The Carnival is over.

You can either put the emphasis on simplicity, purity, and a universal language, or on theatrical costumes and excess. You cannot do both.

I would have to say your very choice of illustrations seem to suggest, Christ is the least important focus of Holy Mass. I agree with fr john. Vestments should cover "street clothes", they should NOT become the focus.

The Christ we worship shows us himself as naked on a Cross. Vestments should be used for the intended purpose, and not an adornment. Christ glory is shown by his death, resurrection and ascension not in over elaborate vestments. The Pope probably, was in part, thinking of clerics who parade like peacocks.

The Pope says we don't want Prince Bishops.

The Bones said...

The Pope says we don't want Prince Bishops.

Do you really think - honestly - that clothing reveals what is inside a man?

Do you really think - honestly - that the vestments warn by Popes and Cardinals and Priest before the 70s and 80s were ABOUT THE INDIVIDUALS WHO WORE THEM?

No, they were not. When they are worn now they are not. They are about Christ's glory and divinity, His majesty and His Authority.

Do you think when the Queen opens Parliament she should wear jeans a t-shirt?

Do you really think there should be no ceremony, whatsoever for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

Fidelity Always said...

The Queen is an earthly monarch, and she wears and carries symbols of authority.

Jesus began his life in a stable, and ended it naked on a cross. He said my Kingdom is not of this world. he never lived in a Palace, and he washed the feet of his friends, touched lepers etc.

The priest in in persona Christi - exactly how do over elaborate vestments help emphasise that. It also contradicts your argument that you like the Old Rite for its noble simplicity!

The Bones said...

So for nearly 1500 years, you declare that the Church was 'wrong' in the beauty of the vestments given to priests because of your ideological re-presentation of the person of Christ Who said...

Jesus answered, "And Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven."

The Church has never felt constrained only to preach, through Her solemn Liturgy, the Christ Who came once, in poverty, in His death and as if He is never to come again, as if He is not risen, as if all authority and power has not been handed over to Him.

Rather, the Church, through Her liturgy, has proclaimed Christ as Lord, awaiting Him in His Second Coming, clothed in Majesty and Glory.

Better is it, think you, that nothing in the Liturgy should point to the Divine Majesty?

Best not to prepare the Faithful for He who was, He who is and He who is to come?

The Bones said...

I say, 'you' declare the Church was wrong in Her choice of vestments, because, of course, you cannot point to any Church document that actually does away with the idea that vestments that are worn by sacred ministers should be 'worthy' of the holy liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Bones said...

And why do you think that there is a contradiction between noble simplicity and beauty?

The Bones said...

9 I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire.

10 A swift stream of fire issued forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him: the judgment sat, and the books were opened.

11 I beheld because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke: and I saw that the beast was slain, and the body thereof was destroyed, and given to the fire to be burnt: 12And that the power of the other beasts was taken away: and that times of life were appointed them for a time, and time.

13I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him.

14 And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.

You do know Who this text is referring to don't you, FA?

Fidlelity Always said...

I think the Church assembled in Council, and successive Popes, including a Pope you praise, I assume not ironically, who lives simply, and vests and dresses simply, and rejects living in a Palace, might be saying rightly some things rightly change!

I would say if the vestments are what matter, then you give a clear insight into why you do not like the Ordinary Form, but it says nothing about what is truly the central point, and focus, of Holy Mass.

You cannot always argue because something is a long held practice it must be right: slavery existed for some time before the world, and Church, wok up. I assume that if you want the trappings, you are fasting from midnight the night before, and other such things that the Church, over time, rightly, in my view, and in the view of the Church, rightly modified.

A Traditional Catholic would accept the authority of the existing leaders, based on what has been handed down, to change things, and wouldn't publicly disagree with an higher authority.

I hope you are not really a cafeteria Catholic.

(I am challenging you directly as you write the blog, and you give your highly subjective views, but as I said to you in another context, every thing I have read, over some years, that you have written suggests you are an honest and principled person, and seeker after truth. I don't doubt your sincerity, but I disagree with some of your conclusions.)

The Bones said...

Again, some things 'rightly change' in your opinion, but not in the opinion of the Catholic Church which calls for 'worthy' sacred vessels and, I believe, 'worthy' vestments for the liturgy.

You are a pottery chalice man, I take it?

Bemused said...

The peacock was also a medieval symbol of the church. We might want to get Pope Francis a collection of Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor's stories. She raised peacocks and used the imagery in her stories.

From "the Displaced Person":

"What a beauti-ful birdrrrd!" the priest murmured.
"Another mouth to feed," Mrs. McIntyre said, glancing in the peafowl's direction.
"And when does he raise his splendid tail?" he asked
"Just when it suits him," she said. "There used to be twenty or thirty of those things on the place but I've let them die off. 1 don't like to hear them scream in the middle of the night."
"So beauti-ful," the priest said. "A tail full of suns," and he crept forward on tiptoe and looked down on the bird's polished gold and green design began. The peacock stood still as if he had just come down from some sun-drenched height to be a vision for them all.
The priest's homely red face hung over him, glowing with pleasure. Mrs. Shortley's mouth had drawn acidly to one side. "Nothing but a peachicken," she muttered.

Anonymous said...

Only the best is good enough for Our Lord and Saviour who comes to us in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity! Reparation for the widespread lack of reverence, the utter contempt shown to Christ the King. Blessed Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle . . .

Fidelity Always said...

Mr Editor

To the best of my knowledge the use of pottery chalices was banned, but I could be wrong. If I were to buy a chalice, I would purchase a simple one in silver or gold, but that is not how I normally spend my day!

GIRM says
"It is fitting that the beauty and nobility of each vestment derive not from abundance of overly lavish ornamentation, but rather from the material that is used and from the design. Ornamentation on vestments should, moreover, consist of figures, that is, of images or symbols, that evoke sacred use, avoiding thereby anything unbecoming."

So quality cloth: yes. Good design: yes. Over elaborate ornamentation: No.

The purpose to hide street clothes, although each garment is said to represent something.

But I have never asked for or given directives on vestments, and nor have I designed any. The Church has given directives, and that is why they changed.

My opinion, and liking. decided nothing, and will not decide, anything.

I say listen to the Church, and recognise the changes were mandated by the Pope, and overseen by experts who were appointed by the Pope. An interesting approach, I know. But the Pope, and the Congregation for Divine Worship, individual Conference of Bishops, The Diocesan Ordinary, and their Liturgical Commissions decide such things.

Most seem to go for simplicity, and want to put the emphasis on Jesus himself, authentic worship of God, and the only one's who like liturgical peacocks are the one's who wish to parade like them.

Fidelity Always said...

Mr Editor

The Church, not I, changed the style of vestments and it has done so since the Church was founded.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect Fidelty Always might want to check out how the New Mass was "invented" ....there is a lot of material on the internet about it...Michael Davies would be an excellent start...

No Catholic is BOUND to OBEY OR TRUST any member of the priesthood or hierarchy who contradicts the perennial teaching and tradition of the Church. Some things you don't mess around with ...especially the Holy Mass ..check Pope St. Pius V...

And the vestments at Holy Mass are very important..


Fidelity Always said...

And which Pope, and Apostle of the Church, and promoter of the last Council, as were/are his successors?:

",…but especially contradictory is a notion of Tradition which opposes the universal Magisterium of the Church possessed by the Bishop of Rome and the Body of Bishops. It is impossible to remain faithful to the Tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond with him to whom, in the person of the Apostle Peter, Christ himself entrusted the ministry of unity in his Church."

The Rite of Mass, and vestments, have changed throughout history. As has been pointed out, even now, more than one Rite is in use.

Rites change.

Those that oppose the Magsiterium are wrong.

"The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.”

Православный физик said...

And remember, the Byzantines are even MORE ornate than the Romans.

The vestments used speak to the glory of God, it is a matter of justice that we give back to God rightful Worship, and beauty is apart of this. Ugly does not catechize...

Unknown said...

Why should he wear vestments that represent things he does not believe or even spurns?

Seattle Kim

Unknown said...

F. C. is awesome.

Seattle kim

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