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Full Version: From the Sensible Bond Blog: "Franciscan Conniptions, the Gothic, the Baroque...
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An interesting and thought-provoking piece on the new Holy Father, and the possible problem with his refusal to wear the mozzetta out on the balcony to give his first greeting. The writer is respectful of the Pope and the Papacy, but he expresses concerns as well. Here are a few paragraphs:

..."In the normal Punch and Judy logic of the internet, these observations make me a slavish worshipper of the Pope. Er, no, my firends, no. Not so. I've warned you about tribal logic before. I have my anxieties of course. Reliable sources report that when offered the mozzetta before going out to greet the crowd, Pope Francis said, "You wear it., monsignor. The carnival is over." But a mozzetta is not carnival attire. It denotes jurisdicial authority; in his case, supreme pastoral authority. Did he not like the color? I suggest it is the inconvenient color of the martyrs. If he thought the mozzetta is no longer such a symbol, he only needed to step out onto the balcony with it on and parse its significance for a waiting world. "Dear friends, I wear this robe which symbolises the yolk of my new responsibilities and the blood I ought to be ready to shed for you." Instead of which....Well, he spoke simply and well, but what is this chippy attitude to the Benedictine Polyphony of aesthetics?

Don't get me wrong. I couldn't give a rat's wotnot about lace and ermine myself. And I know it was a tense moment for him, and that some people resort to sarcasm under pressure. Maybe Pope Francis does. But I agree with others. If we lampoon the sensibilities of any wing of Catholicism - if we lampoon the Baroque as pure carnival or turn up our nose at the unwashed Franciscan - we risk creating a narrower Church, not a broader and more welcoming one.

The waiting world assumes blithely that Francis coming from the other side of the world means that he does not suffer from European parochialism. Yes, but what if he brings his own parochialism with him? Catholicism is big enough for the Gothic and the Baroque, for the ermine and for the shabby cassock. It is not, however, disposed to allow one side of Catholic sensibility to turn its own measure of things from counsel into precept. Always beware those who want to turn counsel into precept and impose it willy-nilly. I warn you solemnly."

Link to article
Good article, although I'm not crazy about the digs at Rorate Caeli.
In this context, Francis just strikes me as naive and provincial.