Saturday, 16 March 2013

I really like his public style

It seems Francis is less keen on Marini than he is his stole.
 The Italian press has reported that moments after Pope Francis was elected, he told Msgr Marini, the papal ceremoniere, "Quella roba se la metta lei, Monsignore. Il tempo delle carnevalate è finito": "put those robes away, Monsignor. Carnival time is over." Now this isn't a sentiment I disagree with entirely. I think that beauty has its place in Church, and that place should be limited to the glorification of God and the raising of the souls of the faithful to a plane in which they might better communicate with the Almighty. Beauty being used to glorify an individual is not a very pleasant idea for the Catholic Church. Some of course will argue that the Pope dressing in the finery of choir dress is in fact a glorification of the office rather than the man, but I'm not sure that holds water.

However, the style of this remark seems to be somewhat at odds with the public style of the man we've seen thus far. The sentiments match, but saying this to the holy man that is Msgr Marini in front of several other priests, seems to have been calculated to embarrass him. It seems this remark has been confirmed by certain other officials who were present at the time, presumably in the Room of Tears.

His attitude to Marini seems also to be shown in the fact that his Inauguration Mass on Tuesday will be orchestrated by the Fransiscans of La Verna rather than the house team. 

It seems that in the past our Holy Father has been a man of courage. If this comment was indeed made, it was made in semi-private, with only a few others there. A courageous act would be to make up with Msgr Marini in similarly semi-public circumstances and it would be in keeping with his humble personality.

Like I said in my previous post, the only time the rags of St Francis of Assisi would be replaced with finery was when he was in the liturgy: the source and summit of the Church's life and mission.

He hasn't had time to establish anything more concrete than style yet, but if his style carries through into actions then we will have a fine Pope. We've had good popes and bad popes in the past, and we will have good and bad popes in the future. This man could be either, just like any man only a few days into his pontificate might be.

PS Cardinal Mahony's twitter seems suddenly to have become deeply distateful on Marini related matters.

As always, comments very welcome in the box below.

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