Bloggers Banter over Traditions and the Papacy


Francis & Benedict

There are rich symbolism’s in the long traditions of the Papacy but symbolism are nothing if they are not lived! If Christ is not lived! I thought that this Video of the song from  the Fiddler on the roof called “TRADITIONS” told the whole story for me!

In the decades since the second Vatican Council that ended in 1965, the popes have considerably dressed-down, abandoning the more formal attire that their forefathers customarily wore wrapped in tradition and symbolism. Many of the vestments are based on age-old customs.

Benedict XVI honored Catholic tradition and embraced the ceremonial and elaborate Renaissance period. It was his desire to re-connect the church with her Liturgical roots and connect us again with the Church’s traditional liturgy and doctrin. His choice of garb reflected this. “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be, all of a sudden, entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,” Benedict XVI Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum issued Motu Proprio

The new style of Pope Francis is also evident in his wardrobe. Simplicity is now the style. Gone were the ceremonial vestments of Benedict XVI. Rather than wear the new golden pectoral cross he was offered after his election Wednesday, he kept the simple iron crucifix he had since he was anointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992. Wearing it instead of the traditional gold cross former popes would use during their first meet and greet. He also turned down the red velvet cape that Benedict wore when he was presented to the world for the first time in 2005, He choose the simple white cassock of the papacy instead. There were no elaborate details.

Pius XII Red Shoes

Later it was noted that Pope Francis also choose also not to wear the “red shoes” that past Popes have typically worn. This tradition goes back more than 2000 years off and on. Here are Pius VII’s slippers from 1808, 205 years ago: So, it is a tradition. It isn’t a very important tradition. It has no doctrinal significance, of course. But it is a Tradition!

The papal shoes, along with the camauro, papal mozzetta, and cloak (tabarro), are the only remnants of the former red color of the papal garments. St. Pope Pius V (1566 – 1572), who was a Dominican, changed the papal color to white, and it has remained so since.

The red shoes probably date from early Roman times. The Kings of Rome, who were also the Pontifex Maximus (high priest) wore red boots. When the Roman Republic was established the Pontifex Maximus continued to wear red boots. When Christianity became the state religion, the popes became the Pontifex Maximus, and adopted the red shoes.

The New York Times commented on his choice of shoes: “[Francis] wore simple black shoes and an ordinary wristwatch with a thick black band to his first Mass as pontiff…. In an ancient institution where style often translates into substance, Francis, in his first 24 hours as Pope, has dramatically shifted the tone of the papacy. Whereas Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus, was a theologian who favored red loafers, ermine-lined cloaks and erudite homilies, reviving papal fashions from centuries past, Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, appeared Thursday to be sending a message of radical humility.”


I don’t know where the press, even Catholic Press gets the idea that this signifies humility. Radical simplicity is not the same as humility. These things could indeed indicate could a humble disposition but does not necessarily mean one is humble. One can take pride in one’s own simplicity! I am not accusing the Holy Father of pride here just pointing this out. Having said that, In a world of ego, pretensions and materialism coupled with the tendency to assert one’s own self importance even when we’re not!

It was attributed but not documented historically that St. Francis once said: Always Preach the Gospel and when necessary use words! I came across another similar quote years ago that always stuck in my mind: “Be conscious of who you are you may be the only Gospel a neighbor may read!”

There is no doubt an example of radical simplicity is important for our bishops, priests and religious to give us. This must and has already began at the top. Bravo Pope Francis! Let’s hope it filters down the ranks! 

Pope Francis has won over many hearts and minds with his simple style and focus on serving the world’s poorest, but he has surprised  traditionalist Catholics who were grateful to Benedict XVI, for restoring much of the traditional pomp to the papacy. ...Read more at end of this post …

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About speramusposterous

Still Hoping for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary! I am a Secular Carmelite and a Marian Catechist joining with those who love Our Lady of Fatima to help Her win the final Victory for Christo et Ecclessiae (Christ and His Church)! Posts on Speramus' Posterous are not always Fatima related. However, I hope they will be of interest to you and will help you to grow in the spiritual life and continue to "Fight the good fight of faith,and lay hold to eternal life, to which you are also called...." 1 Timothy 6:12. For more posts relating to the message of Our Lady at Fatima and its application for our times please follow me on Blogger http://speramus-hope.blogspot.com or Twitter https://twitter.com/Speramus
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