Authentic Gestures

Courtesy of The Catholic Herald...

Regarding his dramatic gestures during the visit, when he prayed at the controversial Israeli-built separation barrier in the West Bank and kissed the hands of Holocaust survivors, the Pope said the....

“...most authentic gestures are those you don’t think about… mine were not planned gestures, it just occurs to me to do something spontaneously that way.”


Is it just me, or is the Holy Father suggesting that there are times, even as Pope, in which His Holiness has engaged in what could be called 'inauthentic gestures' but that these 'unplanned' authentic gestures in the Holy Land were 'genuinely authentic'?

Or is His Holiness saying that 'the most authentic gestures' are those that people in general do not think about? It is very kind of His Holiness to explain to us what differentiates an authentic gesture from a 'less authentic gesture'.

Are there degrees of authenticity in gestures? The 'most' authentic gestures? Surely a gesture would either be authentic or inauthentic. It cannot be 'relatively authentic'?

One could be forgiven for wondering if His Holiness is saying, 'Oh no, those were very authentic gestures. Of all the authentic gestures that I have made, those were among the most authentic.'

It must be interesting walking around the Vatican Museums with the Holy Father...

'Ah yes! This has to be one of the most authentic Michaelangelo pieces I have seen. They say this was among his most authentic paintings, unlike some others that he painted.'

Comforting, it is, that Fr Lombardi will be able to give us an 'authentic account' of what His Holiness meant by that statement!

Regarding His Holiness's 'spontaneity', I would posit that there is a certain wisdom in not acting on impulse consistently, whoever you are. You might, for instance, as Pope, or in any position, or walk of life, make a terrible gaffe that leads to confusion or spread a degree of error. Perhaps His Holiness has a lofty opinion of Papal infallibility that leads him to think that the first thing that comes into his mind is precisely the right thing to say or do.

Also, why was the message to the Pope of 'the other wall' written in English? English is hardly Pope Francis's first language and neither is it the first language of those living in the Holy Land. Makes for a great picture though, doesn't it?


Celia said…
I think by now we know there's not much point trying to analyse what the Pope says, since all his spontaneous utterances are bedevilled by translation problems/lack of clarity/misreporting, etc.
Gestures are what he does best and to be fair they reach the parts (or the people)that words don't.
@ Celia

Yes, the Jews understood his “authentic gestures” quite well. They celebrated their victory over St. Pius X and his “historic injustice”:

“Pope Plans Gesture Apologizing to Theodor Herzl
Pope Francis reportedly to put wreath on grave to correct 110-year-old historic injustice by Vatican“

Saint Pius X and Theodore Herzl -- Gesture of Apology by Pope Francis?

Genty said…
Rather over-egging it, I think. If a gesture is authentic, leave it at that. Most will see it for what it is. Once you start insisting something's authentic, the doubts begin to creep in.
Perhaps he meant genuinely spontaneous. Even so, I'd have my doubts. This is one carefully choreographed papacy.
Lepanto said…
Can someone who publicly claims humility as in 'I have the humility and determination to reform the Curia' really be trusted to be honest about the spontaneity of their actions?
Anonymous said…
It's all horribly political. Where is Christ Our Lord and the urgent mission he entrusred His Church to save souls?
viterbo said…
Matina is right. As per usual, a vii pope uses his office to slap a pre-vii pope in the face whilst doing a world-wide fawn-fest around those who's entire religion is simply an edifice for denying Christ. Judaism and Islam are two mutal hammers only too happy to pummel Christians out of existence. whatever the authenticity coming from Bergoglio, it certain isn't Catholic authenticity. He even hid his crucifix for a photo op. what a role model. what a soldier for Christ. no sooner had bergoglio left the Church of the Nativity and it suffered a fire. reminds me of the distorted cross dedicated to jpii that fell on that guy who lived on john xxiii street. authentic Catholic signs are there, if we having any inclination to read them.
Adam said…
Lepanto, that was from the Scalfari interview which Scalfari himself admits is not the holy father's words but his own.

I would also caution those against trying to second guess the holy father motives and intentions. We can come, and i know I've done this, very close, or even fall into, the sin of rash judgement which St a Thomas Aquinas says is a grave sin (and thus a mortal sin when committed under the right conditions)
Anonymous said…
Fair enough Adam ...rash judgment can be a grave sin...

I don't see anyone on this blog enjoying the continuous dismantling of Catholicism coming out of the Vatican these days - accelerated since the election of Pope Francis.

Sometimes jumping to conclusions is a reaction to the stress of this papacy.

Everyday is a worry - we don't know what he's going do next ..

This is an awful place to be for any sincere Catholic . ...but this Pope doesn't seem to care about the confusion he is causing or he would rectify it - speaking with the authority of a Pope.

But what do we have?

One day orthodox - next day liberal modernist day pantheist day kissing hands of well-known enemies of the Church both inside and outside..(spare me the St. Francis defense!)..then , the continuous insulting of traditional Catholics.. ...we've had a year of this ...etc., etc., etc.,

We now have PLENTY of evidence of the Pope's inconsistency and unpredictability ...what are we to think?

Jumping to conclusions is not a sin with the evidence we have now of 15 months of a zig-zag see-saw papacy

We'd be fools not to jump to conclusion:

- it is clear for me now - I trust nothing coming out of the Vatican these days.. they are totally unconvincing...

Childermass said…
Regarding the above photo, I'm not sure how authentic "Oh look, a photo op! Stop the car!" is.
Dr. Mabuse said…
Oh, it's authentic. It's the authentic behavior of an authentic publicity hound.