27 comments

  1. It’s all about regaining the tradition that we lost with Vatican II, and cleaning house of all the heresies and abuses we see in the Church today: women’s ordination; abortion supporting “catholic” politians; bad bio-ethics; etc. It’s about a return to the Faith of Jesus Christ as founded on the Rock of Peter. It’s about the Holy Father having people to support him in this great task. The picture shows the ceremonial tradition we’ve lost over these last 40+ years. Makes me sad to think about that actually. “Instaurare Omnia in Christo”

  2. Alllllright! Do the Red! A cardinal’s Red symbolizes his commitment to have his own blood shed for his church if necessary. The blessings to the Church keep coming under Benedict XVI.

    Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera is a great supporter of the Tridentine Latin Mass, has celebrated it, fostered it, promoted traditional religious Orders, and visited the institute of Christ the King in Gricigliano, Italy. He is very much like Archbishop Raymond Burke.
    God Bless the Pope for choosing two great men for major positions in the Curia….but there’s still some housecleaning to do.

  3. An pray tell me (2) how much did the “over-the-top” vesture cost? Does the money come parishioners who are not millionaires and yet who do their best to help the Church? Nobody can make me believe that Jesus ever asked for such extremes …..

  4. Michael,
    The money does not come from parishioners. Cardinals get most of their wardrobe from benefactors, including family and friends. Authority and hierarchy is not ipso facto evil as you seem to suggest.

    The Church which Christ left for us is in the form of hierarchical monarchy with Him as King and His Mother as Queen. Prelates form the court. Red is the ranking color of Cardinals- it represents not only the dignity of the office, but also the candidate’s readiness to sacrifice his life for the sake of the church.

    We can only hope that a cardinal, bishop or priest is worthy of the symbolism of martyrdom. I have no doubt some would sacrifice their lives, as befitting of the color.

  5. Friar Rick, there is little in St. Peter’s that isn’t “over the top.” When Luther first saw it, all he felt was envy and all he saw was decadence. The TRUE meaning for Catholics is quite different. The gifts of art, architecture, jewels and assorted finery is an expression of love by the people for their Church (which was God’s priceless gift to us).

    So we can’t really send the Michealangelos to Sotheby’s to raise funds to build condom factories in Africa. The things of the Church are the “property” of God now, and it’s not for sale.

  6. Trust me, I love the Church’s pomp and ceremony, especially done well. This particular photo is of the magna cappa, or grand cape, which was used by the Cardinals horseback to cover the horse’s rear in case…. well, accidents happened, which would not be very in keeping with the circumstances. I don’t think the Cardinal was riding that day. That’s the kind of excess, that just doesn’t fit the reality anymore.

  7. Friar Rick,
    I think the DSM-V might add the disorder “Cappaphobia” A condition of fear arising from a few harmless yards of silk… I don’t get it. How about the Swiss Guard? Should the Pope fire them after 500 years of service and just hire a Blackwater security detail in business suits with concealed Glocks? Personally, I prefer the Pope’s attackers impaled on a pike.

    Pomp aside, the Magna Cappa serves another important purpose. Being bright red, they allow us poor parishioners to beckon the wearers from afar when we really need them. You can pretty much guarantee that any prelate who wears a Cappa Magna won’t spout heterodox opinions and heresies: to a man they are orthodox and faithful to the Magisterium.

  8. I think we can agree to disagree… the prelate who wears the Cappa Magna is not following the directives of the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI who ended their use. I don’t see that as faithful to the magisterium.

  9. I agree Friar Rick, Those prelates are definitely not heeding Paul VI’s directives. But I think this falls under the third “D” of Catholic teaching: dogma, doctrine, and discipline. Dogmas and doctrines of the Church are pretty fixed-either you’re with the Church or against it.

    But disciplines-the way the Church as visible institutional organization operates-does change, sometimes it even reverses prior papal styles or directives. The 1970’s was a time of rejection of authority and symbols of authority thus the Church in some ways sold out to the secular culture. As a result she lost a great deal of her monarchical splendor. But that era is dead and gone and under Benedict XVI the reinstatement of a hierarchical symbols as a reflection of Christ’s will for His Church is coming back in force. So Magna Cappas are again “in” and wearing them does demonstrate a “third D faithfulness” to the Magisterium.

  10. Adrienne,
    Swiss Guard salaries are known to be quite low – they also guard the Vatican and see to the Pope’s security. So please don’t mix things. In the picture we’ve got a huge waste of money.

  11. It sounds like, Friar Rick, that you’re afraid of what this sort of thing represents…Grandeur. As a friend of mine put it, ‘moderns’ have “made a fetish of ‘informality’ as against ritualism & formalism. They think informality & casualness are somehow more ‘authentic’ & ‘natural’ when in fact they just provide a cover for moral & spiritual laziness.”

    Pope John Paul II had this problem – I’m not saying he was morally & spiritually lazy – where he was rather “casual” for Christ’s Vicar on earth; too casual. Now it’s causing a shock for some because the current Pontiff is returning to ritual and form proper to the Church.

  12. I am soooo glad you don’t think JPII was morally or spiritually lazy. I was worried there. But I see that you think he was too casual. I must admit I’ve never heard that criticism of him before.

  13. Elizabeth,

    It also causes me a shock to see how much money is wasted on *grandeur* by the Vatican and by some priests especially when the whole world is in crisis …. might be interesting to carry out a survey among the poor and see what they think of this return to waystage …. Brrrrrrrrr!

  14. The money will either be spend making hideous vestments (I’m thinking of the stupid tie-die ones), or ones that have been used from previous centuries. I believe this particular one is of Spanish custom – I may be wrong. Furthermore, it is fitting, given the Cardinals high position.

    Accusations of this good Cardinal’s disobedience to Paul VI are totally…Out of place. Non-sequitur. Why get hung up on his red dress? Or is it not the dress, but what it represents that some of you take offense from? Why can’t we be warm and welcoming in a spirit of inclusiveness? This hatred for and fear of outward expressions is pathetic and hilarious. Instead of an intelligent discussion on the Cardinal’s thought and accomplishments (or failings) some here have thought it a good thing, something wonderfully edifying, to dis the man who was put in charge of making sure that you are being fed spiritually, and that worship worthy of the name be given to God.

    Have a beer and chill.

  15. Tony, please remember to watch the word count of your comment… under 100 words and the “accusations”.
    To the topic at hand.
    1. Why is the the fact that the Cardinal is wearing something that was purposely abolished by the Pope totally “out of place”. Are we supporting Cafeteria Cardinals now?
    2. Why is the questioning of a Cardinal’s use of a vesture which highlights privilege and extravagance rather than Gospel and service an unintelligent discussion? I’ve been accused of many things but unintelligent is not one of them.

  16. I meant no insult. I was generalizing the comments so as to keep my response as short as possible. Thank you for encouraging concision our comments. Its hard stuff.

    I do not know why Paul VI “abolished” the use of that particular vestment, or if he even did; but apparently, Benedict seems okay with it and has allowed it’s use. (And whatever the Pope allows is okay.) If he has not, then the Cardinal, or whoever organized its use should definitely be shot in the foot and dragged through rocky terrain by a horse every leap year.

    One could extend your criticism (not found in your original post) of ornate vestments to…just about any vestment or Church that is elaborately decorated and beautiful. It is not opposed to Evangelical poverty to wear clerical dress like that, or to wear lace, or for the Holy Father having begun wearing the lovely garb of his good predecessors, having even commissioned replicas of those which one of the Tridentine popes wore. What is opposed to Evangelical poverty is when such luxury is lived in, when it is translated into the ins and outs of every day life – and of this many well meaning and basically “good” Catholics are guilty…Myself included, not that I’m basically good or anything.

    But has it occurred to ANYONE here that this man is rather short? Perhaps it is not the vestment you are all thinking of? 😉

    So much for a short post.

  17. Once again, as I have said in an earlier comment. I have no trouble with ceremony, liturgy, beauty…including beautiful vestments. I had a field day in Rome buying stuff for the parish. However, Pope Paul VI and the Council talked about a noble simplicity and avoiding excess that smacks of ostentatious. That’s the concern. And yes, the Cardinal is quite short… probably my height!
    PS…. watch the word count.

  18. A definitive meaning of what exactly is nobly simple has yet to be arrived at. Perhaps that is not really possible though.

    I can’t wait to see the Oy Vey when the tiara makes a comeback, along with the sic transit gloria. 🙂

  19. Jesus said, “You will always [forever] have the poor with you. Take care of them as a spiritual work of mercy.” He never said it was our job to remove poverty in the world. It was to help them in their poverty while preaching the Gospel. I’m not required to give ALL of my money to the poor, so why does the Church have to? The Church IS the LARGEST giver of alms to the poor – probably over 10% “tithing” if we were to check the numbers. It is not the Church’s overall job to “bail me out” when the going gets tough…that’s my job. I will use the support system they offer if need be, but I will also lift my heart to Heaven when I see the beautiful things the Church as to offer in Worship to all God has given us. I’d rather take a survey to see if they believed in God.

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