How Would You Act as Pope?
#11
(07-27-2009, 08:12 AM)Melita Wrote: But what's the point of rewarding disobedience and obstinate denial of the Truth? I know that it's important that Christianity is reunited, but doesn't that imply the ultimate dissolution of corrupt teachings, like Anglicanism and Orthodoxy?

Well, when I say Anglicans, I mean the Anglo-Catholic one who are basically willing to accept Catholic doctrine except they feel the Pope is too powerful. As I see it, the key issue that keep Anglo-Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox from ending their schism is their concern that the Pope is too powerful. Some of these issues can be resolved through simple reorganization (i.e. create a Patriarch of All England to represent the Anglicans who return to full communion with Rome). Other issues would require a careful re-examination of the the Pope's role in the Universal Church. Obviously, the results of the First Vatican Council would put severe limits here. What I would think of doing would be signing basically treaties where the Pope is agreeing to respect the honor and authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch (and I'd allow him to keep that title and grant him Patriarch of the East) and somehow try to finnagle it as, since Rome and Constantinople were both capitals of the Roman Empire (East and West), both Sees are equal in their honor, although the Pope has higher authority. Part of the agreement would grant a very high level of autonomy to the Eastern Church if it rejoined and a promise (in the form of a binding document) that, before taking action that could effect the Eastern Church, the Pope will confer with the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Eastern Patriarchs. If they still balk, an Ecumenical Council could be called. If all else fails, there is the get-down-on-hands-and-knees-and-beg tactic, but that would be a last resort.

Quote:I would not feel comfortable giving a blessing to an alter Christus such as my parish priest, let alone the Pope.

Well, if it were a layperson or a Brother/Sister, I would ask them to pray for me, asking God to bless me or whatever.

Quote:Have you seen how "Orthodox" bishops dress? You would appear to be their subordinate.

Or perhaps it will show them that I am not so concerned with appearances.
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#12
A good friend of mine converted to the Church several years ago, having favored Anglicanism for it's "good taste". In a conversation with Dr. David Allen White the English professor remarked effectively: "How do you justify founding a religion on the lusts of a King?"

That's your fundamental problem, nsper.

The Orthodox and the Anglicans split from the Church not because of something the Pope did wrong, but for political or personal reasons. For the Orthodox it was a partially theological point (Filioque) which was a major excuse for a growing non-acceptance of the Pope as the head of the whole church with a power to rule them. For the Anglicans it was the lusts of a King which the Pope would not satisfy.

In each case it was Pride which made these groups leave the Church. They can only return to the Church when they are willing to recant that Pride and submit themselves to the Church and to the Pope in the same way the rest of us are required.

No amount of political maneuvering will fix Pride. No amount of denying the power of the Pope and the Church's beliefs will produce a good end. Evil may not be done that good may come from it.

Regarding the behavior, you have a terribly sophomoric view of duty and decorum and a false sense of humility. The Pope is the head of the whole Church and the vicar of Christ on earth. The office requires a certain decorum and behavior independent of the office holder. Casual behavior in public is unbecoming of the office. The faithful want and need to have that sign of leadership and of hierarchy that comes with the man in the white cassock, the kissing of the ring and the Pope behaving like the intercessor between God and man. If you are the Vicar of Christ, then you like the viceroy to the King, and you are expected to behave like the King would.

Do you think any one of the Sainted Popes (Pope St. Pius X, for instance) would act like you suggest? And he was one who didn't even want the office, yet accepted it all with its dress, decorum and behavior.
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#13
Quote:A good friend of mine converted to the Church several years ago, having favored Anglicanism for it's "good taste". In a conversation with Dr. David Allen White the English professor remarked effectively: "How do you justify founding a religion on the lusts of a King?"

That's your fundamental problem, nsper.

The Orthodox and the Anglicans split from the Church not because of something the Pope did wrong, but for political or personal reasons. For the Orthodox it was a partially theological point (Filioque) which was a major excuse for a growing non-acceptance of the Pope as the head of the whole church with a power to rule them. For the Anglicans it was the lusts of a King which the Pope would not satisfy.

In each case it was Pride which made these groups leave the Church. They can only return to the Church when they are willing to recant that Pride and submit themselves to the Church and to the Pope in the same way the rest of us are required.

Obviously, I am not saying it was the Pope or the Church's fault for the East-West Schism or the Anglican schism; however, I can do what I can to try and welcome them back an convince them they should rejoin full communion. Why should they not be rewarded for finally making the right choice (think of the Parable of the Prodigal Son). Obviously, reunification if they are willing to give a little, but if both sides stand there waiting for the other to at least make a token gesture, well...how long as there been this tragic East-West Schism?

I would be very careful to ensure that I do not violate Catholic doctrine in my negotiations (notice I mentioned having experts with me to advise...I would tell them to figuratively pop me upside the head if I was going down a heretical path). Like I said, I think it would be possible to, while acknowledging the Pope's supreme authority, voluntarily consent to certain binding and authoritative agreements with the Eastern Orthodox to ensure that if they rejoin full communion, they will remain relatively autonomous and not get steamrolled. In the end, with the Orthodox, I can beg and plead for them rejoin, saying tearfully I'll do anything they want as long as it doesn't violate Church doctrine (i.e. Vatican 1).

In terms of Anglican, my goal would not be an en masse Anglican Communion rejoining full communion in the Catholic Church (sadly, between the openly gay clergy, women's ordination and other messes, I fear they are too far gone), but trying to get Anglo-Catholics and their various groups (i.e. the Traditional Anglican Communion) to rejoin the Catholic Church in full communion.

Quote:Regarding the behavior, you have a terribly sophomoric view of duty and decorum and a false sense of humility. The Pope is the head of the whole Church and the vicar of Christ on earth. The office requires a certain decorum and behavior independent of the office holder. Casual behavior in public is unbecoming of the office. The faithful want and need to have that sign of leadership and of hierarchy that comes with the man in the white cassock, the kissing of the ring and the Pope behaving like the intercessor between God and man. If you are the Vicar of Christ, then you like the viceroy to the King, and you are expected to behave like the King would.

Do you think any one of the Sainted Popes (Pope St. Pius X, for instance) would act like you suggest? And he was one who didn't even want the office, yet accepted it all with its dress, decorum and behavior.

Again, you seem to think I'd suddenly be doing bear hugs and football player style butt-slaps when I meet people or something. The Pope would still dress uniquely: he'd be the only person who wears cassock/simar with white piping and a white fascia (sash) and white zuccheto (skullcap). I'd probably wear a wooden pectoral cross.

In terms of meeting people officially, my style would be such:

A) At first meeting them, clasping one or both of their hands in mine and then, either:

If they are comfortable with it, leaning in and kissing them on either cheek (I am American, but I always like the Russo-Franco way of greeting people and if I'm the Pope, I can get away with it). If they aren't comfortable with that (I'd make sure to learn this before I met them), then I'd probably just give a polite bow. If it were a woman I was meeting, especially if it were a Nun, I might kiss her hand as a sign of chivalry and respect, especially if she is a Mother Superior. Regardless of how I greeted them, I would give them a blessing (i.e. small cross on the forehead).

In fact, being the Scrupulous type that I am, a question I would have my protocol person ask people who have an audience with me is how do you want to be greeted.
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#14
(07-27-2009, 07:30 AM)nsper7 Wrote:
(07-27-2009, 07:07 AM)veritatem_dilexisti Wrote: I would go a step further, and wear an A&F t-shirt with tight jeans and sneakers, and go around high-fiving people. I'd keep the bling, though.

Or perhaps I would simply preserve the garb and protocol proper to the successor of St Peter, so that both others and I would be mindful of the dignity of the Petrine office and would act accordingly. :hmmm:

I didn't say I'd walk around being a slob or disrespectful. Like I said, I would probably wear a black simar/cassock and white sash for my Daily Dress. Thus, I would look like very similar to Bishops and Cardinals, although set apart by the use of white, thus promoting the idea that, although the Pope is first among the Bishops, he is still a Bishop. And what would be wrong with not wanting people to kiss your Ring? Like I said, I'd much prefer people hug me or something than the old Ring kissing.

Because the ring kissing has nothing to do with you.  It has to do with the office you hold.  It is the height of arrogance and self-absorbtion when a bishop refuses to let anyone kiss his ring.  If I met Cardinal Mahony, I would kiss his ring.  Now, he may be one of those bishops who pull his ring back and not let me kiss it, but I'd still make the attempt not because I necessarily have any respect for the Cardinal as a person but because I respect the office he holds as a Successor of the Apostles and Prince of the Church.  False humility is not noble. 
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#15
(07-27-2009, 09:38 AM)nsper7 Wrote: Obviously, I am not saying it was the Pope or the Church's fault for the East-West Schism or the Anglican schism; however, I can do what I can to try and welcome them back an convince them they should rejoin full communion. Why should they not be rewarded for finally making the right choice (think of the Parable of the Prodigal Son). Obviously, reunification if they are willing to give a little, but if both sides stand there waiting for the other to at least make a token gesture, well...how long as there been this tragic East-West Schism?

Since prideful bishops became too obsessed about their own authority and refused to accept Peter as the head of the Apostles.

Discussions are needed, but it ends when those who have succeeded the people who made the error and led a dozen generations astray decide to acknowledge the error and fix it. Soft words may help, but gestures which undermine the authority of the Pope are unacceptable.

(07-27-2009, 09:38 AM)nsper7 Wrote: I would be very careful to ensure that I do not violate Catholic doctrine in my negotiations (notice I mentioned having experts with me to advise...I would tell them to figuratively pop me upside the head if I was going down a heretical path). Like I said, I think it would be possible to, while acknowledging the Pope's supreme authority, voluntarily consent to certain binding and authoritative agreements with the Eastern Orthodox to ensure that if they rejoin full communion, they will remain relatively autonomous and not get steamrolled. In the end, with the Orthodox, I can beg and plead for them rejoin, saying tearfully I'll do anything they want as long as it doesn't violate Church doctrine (i.e. Vatican 1).

It's not about doctrine, its about maintaining a proper position. The prodigal son returned and his father welcomed him with open arms, but the father did not go out to find the son trying to convince him to come back by treating him like he were the father, or like they were equals. He waited and prayed patiently, and when the son returned he spared no expense to praise the son and celebrate his return. Yet he never made any gesture that suggested he was anything less than the authority and the father of this fallen away man.

(07-27-2009, 09:38 AM)nsper7 Wrote: In terms of Anglican, my goal would not be an en masse Anglican Communion rejoining full communion in the Catholic Church (sadly, between the openly gay clergy, women's ordination and other messes, I fear they are too far gone), but trying to get Anglo-Catholics and their various groups (i.e. the Traditional Anglican Communion) to rejoin the Catholic Church in full communion.

They may believe most of the Catholic beliefs, but it's more difficult that I think you understand. None of those priests are actually priests, they have no valid sacraments. Even if they agree on doctrine, by returning to the Catholic Church they would have to accept the fact that they did not have valid orders and that their faith was based on an assinine premise, not on Christ. Gesture all you want, but it is not for the Pope to bend over backward to get "full communion" if these people are not willing to acknowledge the problems of the past.

(07-27-2009, 09:38 AM)nsper7 Wrote: Again, you seem to think I'd suddenly be doing bear hugs and football player style butt-slaps when I meet people or something. The Pope would still dress uniquely: he'd be the only person who wears cassock/simar with white piping and a white fascia (sash) and white zuccheto (skullcap). I'd probably wear a wooden pectoral cross.

In terms of meeting people officially, my style would be such:

A) At first meeting them, clasping one or both of their hands in mine and then, either:

If they are comfortable with it, leaning in and kissing them on either cheek (I am American, but I always like the Russo-Franco way of greeting people and if I'm the Pope, I can get away with it). If they aren't comfortable with that (I'd make sure to learn this before I met them), then I'd probably just give a polite bow. If it were a woman I was meeting, especially if it were a Nun, I might kiss her hand as a sign of chivalry and respect, especially if she is a Mother Superior. Regardless of how I greeted them, I would give them a blessing (i.e. small cross on the forehead).

In fact, being the Scrupulous type that I am, a question I would have my protocol person ask people who have an audience with me is how do you want to be greeted.

Given that you wrote that as Pope you would invite people to "pray over" you, or ask for their Blessing shows that you have little appreciation for the subtle distinctions made between people in different positions in the Church.

I never suggested that you'd be acting like a clown, but I did suggest that your view was sophomoric and based on false humility and perhaps a somewhat erroneous charismatic idea of what the Faith actually is.

As the Vicar of Christ, it would not be your position to ask for blessing from people you meet, but to give the blessings and graces that God wants you to give. First, the only people who can give blessing are those Ordained. A layman can wave his hands all he likes but it does nothing, and yet you wrote that you would ask laymen to do this. The whole practice confuses the idea of the priesthood. It may not actually be heretical, but it's such a departure from propriety and tradition that you would be doing great harm to the office.

All that said, it is worthless to do any more than simply point out your immature and silly ideas here. None of us writing here will likely be Pope, and that's probably a good thing for the Church.
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#16
With all due respect, nsper7, if I was one of those monarchs who had the power of veto in the conclave (last exercised by the Emperor of Austria in the 1903 conclave), I'd veto you. Sorry, dude. The last thing the Church is a diminishing of papal protocol.


A few things I have in mind, were I to be elected Supreme Pontiff:

1.) If I was pope, I would not necessarily reinstate the papal crown. I think the best idea, to avoid any impression (however false) of self-glorification would be to, after a few years in office with positive advances for the cause of tradition, decree its use for my successor after I die.

2.) Increased use of the papal We, because it's awesome.

3.) Increase of wearing red. Portraits of late medieval and Renaissance popes show a preference for red, whereas white was popularized by St. Pius V, a former Dominican.

4.) Rather than bother with reinstating the Noble or Palatine Guard, I'd create a new corps, like a foreign legion, which would allow exemplary Catholic military personnel from around the world to serve. They would take the place that the old guard units filled in ceremonies such as the pre-VII papal high Mass.

4.) History will recognize me posthumously as Pope Celestine VI, Celestine the Sacristan. My lifetime focus would be on the liturgy. I really do believe in the maxim "save the liturgy, save the world". My first act would be a revision of the 1962 Missal to allow for a few things (such as allowing the Pope to say high Mass at St. Peter's without necessarily the full ritual with the trumpeters, etc.) accompanied by a new motu proprio which would reinforce the principles behind Summorum Pontificum.

5.) Expanding on point 5, I would write a 70-page or so manual about the principles of good liturgy and compel every seminary in the world to make it part of the curriculum. Bishops would be obliged to convene their priests and deacons together for workshops on the book. Actually, I'd probably hire MagisterMusicae to ghostwrite it for me, but still...

6.) I would arrange regular meetings with Catholic heads of state and other public officials. It'd be a first step on the way to reinstating the idea of the Pope as "the father of kings".

7.) Finally, one thing I do like about JPII and which I disagree with most other trads is his constant traveling around the world, as opposed to the latter's belief that the Pope ought to stay in Rome. The Pope's personal presence in a country has a profound effect that makes him suddenly more relevant and "real" to those people. The medieval popes certainly made frequent travels, especially to France. If I can bring some of the splendour of St. Peter's and the papal court to the poor folks in London, or Manila, or Houston... I think I'm doing my job.



::edited to add:: Also, I wouldn't be too modest to take charge of my public image in the media. All reports and documents coming out the Vatican will be tightly controlled and monitored to avoid these constant embarrassments about the latest thing mentioned in l'Osservatore Romano, being attributed directly to the Pope.  I'll take full advantage of media outlets like EWTN, YouTube, and even podcasting to create a sort of carefully engineered personality cult, as Bishop Fulton Sheen did (and, I dare say, Barack Obama). I'll grant that it might hurt my canonization cause, but a Pontiff must be a shrewd administrator, even a politician.
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#17
Archie, you forgot:

8. I'd start wearing fashionable wigs 'neath my zucchetto and decree its continued use by my successors in perpetuity, the Quo Primum of papal wiggery if you will. 

Always glad to help.  :tiphat:

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#18
I don't know much about a day in the life of the Pope, but if I were the Head Fisherman I would definitely expunge from Catholic memory the hideous papal tiara. I would not stay in my ivory tower all day syllabilizing errors and issuing anathemas (however I might excommunicate a few bishops). I would be out traveling the globe and spreading the Gospel like St. Peter did. I would restore the liturgy. I would call a Third Vatican Council to explain the Second one. I would make sure the College of Cardinals was packed with orthodox men. I would re-canonize St. Christopher.

- Lisa
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#19
Very well your Holiness Pope Lisa. hehe  What about after the ananthemas the Vatican offers dual citizenship for all Catholics complete with passports. Talk about political clout huh.
tim
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#20
(07-27-2009, 07:13 PM)timoose Wrote: Very well your Holiness Pope Lisa. hehe  What about after the ananthemas the Vatican offers dual citizenship for all Catholics complete with passports. Talk about political clout huh.
tim

I would LOVE to live in Vatican City. I'm serious. I'm still trying to come up with a scheme.. 
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