Rorate Caeli

The return of the Sedia Gestatoria?

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

LAUDETUR IESUS CHRISTUS!

Anonymous said...

Hoooray! Wonderful! It would be even more wonderful if the Holy Father had restored other signs of his monarchic power, like the tiara!

Crouchback said...

Great...but lets "Modernise" it slightly. The weight could be taken on some sort of lift system like at a auto repair garage. But the machinery could be hidden by teams of Bishops as if they were lugging the Pope around, it would give them something to do, as they don't seem to be doing anything else. And it would sure put them in their place, and let everyone see who the real boss is...!!!Can't wait.

Anonymous said...

"It would be even more wonderful if the Holy Father had restored other signs of his monarchic power, like the tiara!"

AMEN, AMEN!!!

servusmariaen said...

I would gratefully welcome the return of the sedia gestatoria but I'd much more have the holy father wear the triregnum on occasion. That is MUCH more symbolic of the papal office.

Anonymous said...

FIRST I AM THRILL THAT THE SEDIA GESTATORIA MAKING A COME BACK- HOWEVER I WILL BELIEVE WHEN I SEE IT; THEN AGAIN WHY SHOW OUR HOLY FATHER HAVE TO WALK AROUND AT HIS AGE. THOSANDS WANT TO SEE HIM AND I AM SURE HE WANTS TO SEE THE FAITHFUL.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Extraordinary! I am in amazement! Who would have thought this could even be considered?

John McFarland said...

I will be in favor of the Holy Father's being carried around like a preconciliar pope if and when he starts acting like a preconciliar pope.

When Pope Paul was abandoning the dignity and responsibility of the papacy, it was only fitting that he also abandon the sedes, a prime symbol of that dignity and responsibility. The current Holy Father and his successors should only get it back when they earn it back.

Anonymous said...

Rome, 8 septembre 2009 (Apic) Benoît XVI “n’a jamais voulu utiliser la ‘Sedia gestatoria’“, cette chaise à porteurs autrefois utilisée par le pape lors des audiences publiques, a confié Silvano Bellizi, ancien porteur pontifical, dans une interview accordée à L’Osservatore Romano et publiée le 8 septembre 2009. Il avoue que certains de ses pairs avaient espéré que l’usage du trône pontifical - abandonné en 1978 - serait rétabli sous le pontificat du pape allemand. En effet, si Jean Paul Ier u "

I copied/pasted this from a French Catholic website… I speak fair French, so I thought I'd read it. This article says the opposite to what you post. Below is my rough translation:

"Benedict XVI has never willed to utilize the Sedia Gestatoria, the chair carried by porters which was used by the Popes for their public audiences, confides(says) Silvano Bellizi, an old Pontifical Porter in an interview accorded to L'Osservatore Romano and publlished on September 8, 2009. He acknowledged that certain groups had the hope that the use of the Pontifical throne, abandoned in 1978, would be rehabilitated by the German Pope. Last used bby Pope John Paul I."

Not a very hopeful piece.

Probably printed to squash any hope for it, not to anticipate it's return.


I posted the above comment on www.orbiscatholicus.org yesterday. Since I speak some French...as well as fluent Japanese, Korean, and fairly good Italian and Spanish, I thought I'd translate an article I found on a French site.

This article refutes this speculation about the Sedia. That's why it's so harmful to run with hopeful news about Catholic Tradition when there is really absolutely nothing to back it up with. Or when the opposite occurs!! All the weeks of hopeful posts explode in your face.

With regards to the Sedia, seeing is believing. Don't anybody hold your breath waiting for this one!!

Dan Hunter said...

Its going to happen!

Anonymous said...

The sedia is an imperial style. Peter needs no imperial style. And in an age of gigantic video screens in the Piazza, there is no need for a sedia to make the Holy Father more visible. Indeed, the vehicle he rides in does a much more acceptable job of making him visible. Granted, they should give it a more dignified name and accouter it better.

Forget the sedia. I'll settle for the return of the fanon.

Iakovos said...

Who knows, but I doubt it. Benedict XVI is a Pope of the Vatican Council II (in the very best sense of that phrase)-- as St. Pius V is recognized as the Pope of the Trent Council, although there were others. For B VXI, this means in part, that his hand and his heart in such V II documents as the Church in the Modern World, Gaudiaem et Spes, Religious Liberty, and high alert then as he is now for the unity of the Orthodox with the Bishop Rome and better relations with Eastern Churches already in communion, I doubt that he would allow himself to be carried above the earth in such a pompous late medieval, Renaissance style. Isn't he more dedicated to the Servant of the Servants of God as was his predecessor? I think so.

dcs said...

The current Holy Father and his successors should only get it back when they earn it back.

Who gets to decide when he earns it?

Iakovos said...

And on second thought, wouldn't this by a symbol of a throw back to the Ultramontaine thinking of a part of the Church of the West, for example, the Lefebrists and other papal-hard-line monarchists? Perhaps.

Jordanes said...

Interesing rumor, but I agree with those who are taking a "believe it when I see it" approach. It just doesn't sound like Benedict XVI. It's also a good point that there could be security issues in this age of terrorism, and for that reason alone I think it most unlikely that we'll ever see the Sedia again.

Now the Tiara, on the other hand . . .

John McFarland said...

Multilingual Anonymous, you should be ashamed of yourself for bursting everyone's bubble. But don't worry; there'll be another one inflated by this time tomorrow, if not two.

Listen to Iakovos, all you spiritual if not literal members of the Ratzinger Fan Club or whatever they're calling it these days. Like all those without incentives to portray the Pope as "conservative," Iakovos can see that he's nothing of the sort. The "right" has to consider him conservative because otherwise, under its faulty understanding of infallibility and indefectibility, there'd be no Church. The "left" pretends to consider him a conservative because nothing's easier than playing the heroic dissident against a Pope who mostly agrees with you and certainly won't discipline you unless, like Hans Kueng, you absolutely insist on it.

Of course Iakovos has his own agenda as one of the tiny band of Orthodox ecumenists, and misreads the Pope in his own way. I see no evidence that the current Holy Father accepts the "two lungs" ecclesiology of his predecessor. He just wants to have another exercise in unity by vagueness like the joint declaration with the Lutherans, with both Catholic and Orthodox then going on about their business, except for anniversaries of the great event every twenty five years or so.

Jordanes said...

I don't see any need for a "conservative" or a "traditionalist" Pope, just a faithful and orthodox one.

As for Iakovos, whether you agree with his opinions or not, nevetheless he's an Eastern Catholic, not an Eastern Orthodox.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer to see Traditional Mass being freely celebrated and without obstacles of any kind around the entire world. If something more must return, I would prefer the tiara. Nevertheless, those who think the sedia is against Vatican II are wrong: Pope Paul VI used it until the end of his pontificate and also Pope John Paul I during his brief pontificate of thirty three days.

JS

J.G. Rathkaj said...

I doubt that the reintroduction of the sedia is imminent. but it would have been nice if it with at least several other items of the old holy roman court had survived the post 1968 abolishment. Guiding principle could have been the papal court in its rather simplified form in the transitional period of 1965-1967:
http://www.ina.fr/economie-et-societe/vie-sociale/video/I04154742/ceremonie-des-rameaux-a-rome.fr.html

Anonymous said...

If Pope Benedict's ability to walk is deteriorated over time, I can see that he might allow its use again. Otherwise I doubt that the rumors are true at this time.

Anonymous said...

"I will be in favor of the Holy Father's being carried around like a preconciliar pope if and when he starts acting like a preconciliar pope.

When Pope Paul was abandoning the dignity and responsibility of the papacy, it was only fitting that he also abandon the sedes, a prime symbol of that dignity and responsibility. The current Holy Father and his successors should only get it back when they earn it back."

A thoroughly disgraceful comment directed at the Vicar of Jesus Christ and unbecoming from a member of the Mystical body of Christ no matter how much you think it is justified or merited.

Anonymous said...

John Paul II did aay with the Sedia, not Paul VI.

I read an article that John Paul II in the beginning of his reigh was too "macho" to allow for people to carry him in the Chair.
That, in addition to the fact that he had no love of Catholic tradition or traditional liturgy or accessories of the Papacy was another.

John Paul II gave up most of the mozzettas and stoles Popes wore early on in his papacy because he cliamed they made him "hot". So he never wore them unless he absolutely had to. It's also the reason why, especially in the later part of his reign, all the cheap, ugly, papal polyester chasubles etc. came into fashion.

With Parkinsons (very late stages) there is often nerve damage in the skin, where even a sheet feels heavy and unconfortable.

Anonymous said...

"I would prefer to see Traditional Mass being freely celebrated and without obstacles of any kind around the entire world. If something more must return, I would prefer the tiara. Nevertheless, those who think the sedia is against Vatican II are wrong: Pope Paul VI used it until the end of his pontificate and also Pope John Paul I during his brief pontificate of thirty three days."

JS


And also the Tiara.

dcs said...

It's also a good point that there could be security issues in this age of terrorism, and for that reason alone I think it most unlikely that we'll ever see the Sedia again.

Ah, but using the sedia during a procession inside St. Peter's, for example, wouldn't be any more of a security issue than the Pope's current practice of walking on foot. Popemobile outside, sedia inside.

Gideon Ertner said...

"He just wants to have another exercise in unity by vagueness like the joint declaration with the Lutherans, with both Catholic and Orthodox then going on about their business..."

And you know... how???

Have you completely forgotten that the CDF was not at all amused with that precious declaration of Kasper's, and shortly after its signing issued a clarification that the Lutheran doctrine of salvation was incompatible with Catholic teaching?

Have you completely forgotten who was head of that dicastery in 1999?

Iakovos said...

Thank you, Jordanes:

"As for Iakovos, whether you agree with his opinions or not, nevetheless he's an Eastern Catholic, not an Eastern Orthodox."

This is true. Though the following is a clumsy definition and one not much appreciated by Eastern folks on both sides of the Pope, it is perhaps more accurate to say I am an Orthodox Christian in communion with the Pope of Rome.

It is from this perspective that I would not want to mislead John McFarland -- my previous posts here on this topic were not intended to stir and "left" or "right" take re the present Pope of Rome: in fact, my intention was to convey my disapproval of bringing back the significant symbol of a universal monarch papacy.

Sac said...

I don't think that this will happen nor do I think it would be prudent. Even with every bit of emphasis given to the reason being that people could better see the pope, the press would go crazy with the change. We have not even seen the camauro for a few years and even then, not in the right context. Also, there is the published talk that he gave to the former sedia bearers and their families.

I think that this is one of those things that has been killed off by John Paul II, much the same as the papal coronation by Paul VI and John Paul I. this even more though, if John Paul II, when he was so sick and unable to walk towards the end of his life did not use the sedia but instead was pushed around in something akin to a library cart, I cannot imagine that a healthier Benedict XVI, almost 5 years into the papacy, would suddenly be able to bring it back.

I think that we in the traditional Catholic world have to be willing to concede - hard as it is -that certain things are permanently lost.

More realistically, I think that a modified papal Extraordinary Form (sans Papal Court) would be the final frontier that this papacy could reach as far as restoration of the papal ceremonies and protocol.

Jordanes said...

Well, personally I'm not averse to symbols of "a universal monarch papacy," since that's what the Pope is. The Tiara and Sedia aren't exclusive of the Vicar of Christ as Servant of the Servants of God.

Mar said...

A short anecdote was doing the rounds at another website some time ago and it went like this:

I have it on very good authority from a source high in the curia that yesterday the pope drank tea, and later gave a blessing to a group of the faithful. Among the group blessed was a little girl named Ariana, who is known to her little friends as "Ara".

"Tea", followed by "Ara"... This clear signal, coming directly from the Pope himself, must not be ignored! Can there now be any doubt whatsoever that the Holy Father intends to restore the Papal Tiara?

Anonymous said...

Jordanes , you are right.
Formally, the Patriarch of Lisbon can also use the tiara.

http://missatridentinaemportugal.blogspot.com/2009/08/os-previlegios-dos-patriarcas-de-lisboa.html

http://www.patriarcado-lisboa.pt/

JS

Anonymous said...

This is good news, but I agree with those who yearn for the tiara. When Paul VI laid down the symbol of his ruling authority, I think that he and subsequent pontiffs chose to cease to rule. They lead by example, and teach, but they have in a sense abdicated any intention to rule. Maybe they think this helps with eucumenism, but it does not help in running the Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

This is part of the problem with abandoning things for decades, their return shocks or bothers people to the point of questioning the Holy Father's reasons. Thank God for this strong, faithful Holy Pope. May he bring back more that just the Sedia, (the Tiara, maybe the Silveri Symphony during Mass, the Flabellum) and the many other things that have incorrectly been considered taboo for too long. He is just the Pope to do it...Erase the stigma, so future Pontificates will be more at ease not being the "first one" to pull something out of the closet of museum. What an example and demonstration of the Hermeneutic of Continuity. Is a few times a year really going to ruffle so many "ostrich" feathers? For all those who say they are just outward symbols and therefore be disregarded forever, if they truly believe that, then they should not worry anymore about these simply outward symbols than the pastoral staff. Leave it to the wisdom of the Pontiff. Who are we faithful to tell the Holy Pope he is not being humbled or that something from out Catholic Faith should be done away with.?

Pablo said...

I understand Cardinal Ratzinger was the first to trash his clericals and wear a European suit; dress slacks, white shirt, tie, tailored coat at Vatican Council II.

Priests around the world have no longer prayed "Clothe me, Lord", after this example. Death and destruction have been the result.

Perhaps this is a mea culpa from the Pope as he now is face to face with Satan, in his capacity as the Holy Father. Or even more powerfully, perhaps Saint Michael has paid him a visit.

Can the Pope converse with angels, good ones or fallen ones?

We all need symbols. Talk is cheap. May this symbol help reset the path our Priests and religious have been on the last forty or so years. I think it is one of many more to come. When we are surrounded by solid Catholic symbolism, it will be hard for lay priest and priestettes to tell the Faithful things such as “Don’t pray the Rosary in Church, it’s old fashioned, and no longer needed”, as is the case in many Churches.

The Holy Father has remarked that the most hurtful things to him are the curses hurled at him by those who are from the house of those that love him. Some of the remarks even during this subject are very harsh, and curses. The Devil knows he curses and is truthful about admitting it. Many of us who have achieved holiness will always deny we do so.

Pray the Holy Father have the courage to restore that which was destroyed after Vatican II. The list is long. The Tridentine Mass isn’t Latin, it is Christ crucified, anything else is not. Christ crucified.

Ave Maria, Purissima!

*

Iakovos said...

Jordanes wrote: "... personally I'm not averse to symbols of "a universal monarch papacy," since that's what the Pope is."

I don't think the Roman Popes since John XXIII to present any longer regard themselves as monarchs. That title and its late medieval and Renaissance baggage, from what I see has been discarded in what I also see as a proper renewal of the Papacy as Peter, the Prince among and with the apostle Bishops, then and now. Let us say, for example, the Papacy of St. Gregory the Great.

Also, recall that the Eastern Catholic Churches never have regarded the Papacy as a monarchy, and, they of course still remain in communion with the Pope of Rome.

Anonymous said...

The Pope has already given us his view on the matter: "So long as the Church is in pilgrimage on the earth, she has no ground to boast of her own works. Such self-glorification could become more dangerous than the Sedia gestatoria and the tiara, which are more likely to elicit a smile than a feeling of pride"

Joseph Ratzinger, quoted in Messori, V. The Ratzinger Report, Ignatius, 1985, p.13

Jordanes said...

Iakovos said: I don't think the Roman Popes since John XXIII to present any longer regard themselves as monarchs.

You're mistaken. The website of the Vatican City State says the Bishop of Rome is the absolute monarch of the principality of Vatican City. This remains the law whether or not the Bishop of Rome has a formal coronation or wears the Triregnum or is carried about in the Sedia Gestatoria.

Also, recall that the Eastern Catholic Churches never have regarded the Papacy as a monarchy, and, they of course still remain in communion with the Pope of Rome.

I'm not convinced that the Eastern Churches have never recognised the papacy's monarchic status.

There's also an important distinction to be made between the Pope's status as a temporal prince, in which he is undoubtedly a monarch, and his role within the Church, in which it can truly be said that the Pope as Vicar of Christ, "lives and reigns with Christ for a thousand years," and, as it were, "sits upon a throne, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel."

Jordanes said...

"So long as the Church is in pilgrimage on the earth, she has no ground to boast of her own works. Such self-glorification could become more dangerous than the Sedia gestatoria and the tiara, which are more likely to elicit a smile than a feeling of pride"

Well, Pope Benedict certainly likes to smile. So, does this mean he would never consider bringing back the Sedia and Tiara, or that he might consider it?

James Peters said...

It is easy to become over-, or under-whelmed by such rumours. But surely it's important to remember that, like many liturgical actions (and I realize that this is not a liturgical matter) the point of using the sedia gestatoria is functional rather than monarchical. It enables people to see the pope, as Paul VI realized.

As for him, poor man, he became so crippled by arthritis as he grew older that conveyance by the sedia was the best way of walking long distances without seeming disabled. He suffered agonies trying to cover up the symptoms because he wrongly believed that they would derogate from the dignity of the papal office. Pope John Paul II, thanks heavens, put paid to such anxieties.

More to the point, I think it would help the Holy Father to be carried considering his age and the strain put upon him by long papal events. The majority of pilgrims would love to see it back in use.

Anonymous said...

I bet if polled the quiet, nonconfrontational people who we here little or nothing from within the Church would not mind seeing it a few times during the year and have no issue with it. It is the minority with the agenda that makes all the loud noise..Even if only for indoor Papal audiences it would be good to see again...

i said...

"... monarch of the principality of Vatican City." The pope, that is.

This much may be true in its obviously limited way.

Angelo said...

The use of the sedia gestatoria goes back to apostolic times when
St John the Apostle & Evangelist, due to his advanced age, was carried aloft when visiting various places so that the faithful
might see him.

And don't forget that Our Lord entered Jersusalem on Palm Sunday seated on a donkey -- the Cadilac of the ancient world.

Jordanes said...

"This much" certainly is, not "may," be true. This is what the Vatican City State website says, under "State Departments":

"Vatican City State is governed as an absolute monarchy. The Head of State is the Pope who holds full legislative, executive and judicial powers. During a sede vacante (between the death of a Pope and the election of his successor), these powers are exercised by the College of Cardinals. The Pope is elected by the Cardinals who are under eighty years of age. He becomes Sovereign of Vatican City State the moment he accepts his election as Pope."

Jordanes said...

And don't forget that Our Lord entered Jersusalem on Palm Sunday seated on a donkey -- the Cadilac of the ancient world.

Somebody told me once (I have no idea if it's true) that in the ancient Middle East, when a king approached a city in peace, he would ride a donkey, but when he came to a city in war, he would ride a stallion.

Pablo said...

"...seated on a donkey -- the Cadilac of the ancient world..."

The donkey was ridden by the poorest of the poor.

And for his reward, the donkey was given that no matter what his color, the hair on his back and across his shoulders is off color, that they form a cross... as Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem, Jesus had to clutch this cross on the donkey's back to keep Him ever mindful of His purpose.

Because the cow gave our dear Savior warmth at His birth, the purple flower of alfalfa causes a euphoria when the cow eats it.

Our Lord rewards even the animals for their Charity, also us, as when He rewarded Pope Saint Gregory the Great with the Papacy for one small act of Charity Pope Gregory did.

God bless the Holy Father and all his Priests and Nuns.

*

Dan Hunter said...

It will happen.

Anonymous said...

From a humbled lay person, if so, many thanks and Blessings to Pope Benedict XVI. It simply should be.

Anonymous said...

By all means bring it back before they need to roll out that silly push cart that JPII used. The horror.

Anonymous said...

The Pope is an emperor, a universal king. Imperial symbolilsm is proper. Of course, republics are fundamentally unCatholic but I'll let that go for now.

Peter Karl T. Perkins
Monarchist League of Canada

Iakovos said...

Jordanes -- please, my friend: Don't pretend to be so obtuse: monarch of Vatican City is such a far distance from the pope as monarch that was experienced by Western and Byzantine Christians from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, it's almost laughable to continue to post "monarch of Vatican City" as proof that the Holy Father of Rome is, or has been for at least the last 100 years (or more) anything like a true monarch, plus, the fact that at least the last five Popes have with deliberate purpose, distanced themselves from that title and behavior -- Deo gratias.

Jordanes said...

Don't pretend to be so obtuse:

Please watch your tone, Iakovos. You might also be a little more gracious in admitting when the facts have been shown to contradict your assertions.

monarch of Vatican City is such a far distance from the pope as monarch that was experienced by Western and Byzantine Christians from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, it's almost laughable to continue to post "monarch of Vatican City" as proof that the Holy Father of Rome is, or has been for at least the last 100 years (or more) anything like a true monarch

You have been shown that the Holy Father IS a true monarch. It doesn't make a whit of difference that his temporal territory is now just a single square mile while formerly he reigned over a significant portion of Italy. Nor does it matter that he doesn't press any claims of supremacy over the other Christian princes of Europe as the medieval Popes did. The fundamental law of Vatican City State says he is an absolute monarch, and he is recognised as such in international law. These facts are undeniable. If he's not a true monarch, then no one is or has ever been one.

plus, the fact that at least the last five Popes have with deliberate purpose, distanced themselves from that title and behavior -- Deo gratias.

As have all European monarchs. That they are not ostentatious about their sovereign status does not make them anything other than sovereign princes.

Mr. Perkins said: Of course, republics are fundamentally unCatholic but I'll let that go for now.

Thomas Storck would disagree with you about that.

John McFarland said...

So, Iakovos: am I correct in suspecting that your communion with the Pope doesn't involve your recognizing his doctrinal and disciplinary primacy -- that is, is it conciliarist communio: union without faith or obedience?

The Pope's absolute monarchy over Vatican City is a different matter than his role as monarch of the faithful. I'd bet twenty-five cents against my life (or would, if it wasn't a sin to bet on a sure thing), that the Holy Father has NEVER in his entire life characterized the papacy in its religious character as a monarchy.

James Peters' remarks are interesting, but I would note that a very high percentage of the Popes over the centuries were old duffers, many of them, I would guess, with ailments that would put Papa Montini's in the shade; but they didn't mothball the sedia.

No, Pope Paul's abandonment of the sedia is of a piece with the kind of Pope he wanted to be: low key, low profile -- and, above all, low responsibility. He transformed the Curia into a bureaucracy that he couldn't control, because that's the way he wanted it; and so it has stayed.

This, of course, is of a piece with previous remarks of mine that someone described as "disgraceful." I'm afraid I must demur. I'll stop pointing out the horrific abdication of responsibility by the conciliar popes when the fact is common knowledge. What they do is to shirk their duty, and a substantial part of what they say is a rationalization of their shirking. Consider collegiality. Consider the tendency to talk as if the Church is the handmaid of the New World Order. You can't learn the integral and and unadulated Faith from those who will not -- that is, for all practical purposes refuse to -- teach it.

Mr. Ertner, as regards the Joint Declaration, I'd suggest that you go look at it on the Vatican website. Is the clarification you're thinking of the Appendix to the Declaration? I hope not: the idea that that unholy mess is a clarification would be a joke in questionable taste.

I think the way it happened is that after it was first publicized, Cardinal Ratzinger came out with serious criticisms of the draft, referring to the Council of Trent, of all things. But the next thing I heard, it had been adopted, and not a squeak, as far as I can recall, about the criticisms. (But then the Panzerkardinal had a way of fading in the stretch. Like that French catechism, or the second pronouncement of the CDF on liberation theology.)

I may have the chronology and the politics wrong; but be that as it may, Cardinal Ratzinger was right the first time: the Declaration as it appears on the Vatican website can't be squared with the Council of Trent.

If you want a quick and dirty account of just how horrific the Declaration is, Google up Fr. Peter Scott of the SSPX's District Superior's letter of October 1998. As the sedevacantist Bishop Sanborn said to an interviewer recently, "if [the Vatican] can do the Joint Declaration, they can do anything."

***

"So long as the Church is in pilgrimage on the earth, she has no ground to boast of her own works. Such self-glorification could become more dangerous than the Sedia gestatoria and the tiara, which are more likely to elicit a smile than a feeling of pride."

Who is this Church? The spotless bride of Christ? She does not boast, except in the Lord. Then who? Who is this proud Church that the humble Josef Ratzinger looks down on?

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"Thomas Storck would disagree with you about that."

Who on earth is he? Never heard of him.

I must needs agree that republics are no incompatible with the Catholic Faith provided that the citizen recognises that all the civil power comes from God. However, the very constitution of repubics tends to encourage the heretical view that all power comes from the people. It may not follow of logical necessity but it follows owing to the nature of the institution.

As a Canadian royalist, I of course take the view that the American Revolution was an unjust rebellion led by an oath-breaker and traitor. I certainly wouldn't have hesitated to hang Geo. Washington had I had the chance. Sadly, he survived. But while this is true, I'm only writing it to infuriate my American friends on this list. Wny? Because, NOTHING has been happening lately in Church news and it is becoming truly boring.

Anyway, I like Americans but I don't like the U.S.A., esp. its constitution. For one thing, you Yankees need our adversarial system of British politics. Canadians were astounded recently to find Americans angry over some politician who called your President a liar. It's not cricket for Americans to do that because the President is your head of State. Americans have this wonderful civility when it comes to that, and I really admire them for that. Up here, it's the exact opposite. Had a Conservative *not* called a Liberal leader, even a P.M., a liar, people would wonder what was wrong with him.

P.K.T.P.

P.S. Nothing here was meant to be taken seriously. I'm just having some fun. We need some news from Rome. Anything will do.

Anonymous said...

On Iakovos's comments:

While Jordanes is right that the Pope is a Sovereign of the Vatican City State, he is not only a monarch of that institution. This is unhistorical thinking. The Pope rules both the spiritual and the temporal institution of the Church, and he is therefore a monarch of a body which parallels a state: the estate of Holy Church. The crowns on the triregnum stand for temporal authority, spiritual authority, and universal primacy.

The older view of the state is not one grounded in territory but in people. The Church is a temporal kingdom whose subjects are the faithful. They owe allegiance to a local sovereign and also to the pope as temporal rule of the Church. So the Pope is an emperor in that sense. Ideally and properly, the local Catholic state recognises the prerogatives of the Pope in civil law, and the Church recognises the preregatives of a Catholic ruler.

The old symbolism stressed this. The Vatican City Flag and the Flag of the Holy See are NOT the flags of the Catholic Church and should therefore never 'frame' the Altar with the national flag (regardless of what indults might allow). Instead, the processional cross is the equalivalent of a 'flag' for the Church: it parallels the national flag as a symbol of spiritual sovereignty of Christ.

Today, not many countries are officially Catholic. But this would be the ideal even if none were: and faithful should think of their duties in those terms, regardless of what civil law says. From the Catholic point of view, therefore, the Pope is both a spiritual servant of servants and a termporal emperor. Over Vatican City State, he is also the local temporal ruler. It is a lesser consideration and not a necessary one.

P.K.T.P.

Gideon Ertner said...

McFarland,

You can accuse the Holy Father of not being determined enough, and for what it's worth, I agree with you. But you absolutely cannot accuse him of being unorthodox and merely wanting oecumenism for show. As Cardinal he always spoke out against futile oecumenical endeavours, even if he could have done so more forcefully. You must remember how many enemies he had, and still has, within both the upper and lower levels of the Church. He can't afford to say everything he would like to say.

As for the 'boasting' comment, as I recall it was meant as a condemnation of Liberal self-importance.

Criticizing someone when you are not in his shoes and do not have to shoulder his responsibilities is always cheap. If you one day become Pope and face the challenges and responsibilities that our present Holy Father is facing now, and still think he was grievously wrong, please by all means continue your criticism. But as it is now, think twice and remember that you will be held accountable for every useless word you utter.

Anonymous said...

"
This, of course, is of a piece with previous remarks of mine that someone described as "disgraceful." I'm afraid I must demur. I'll stop pointing out the horrific abdication of responsibility by the conciliar popes when the fact is common knowledge. What they do is to shirk their duty, and a substantial part of what they say is a rationalization of their shirking. Consider collegiality. Consider the tendency to talk as if the Church is the handmaid of the New World Order. You can't learn the integral and and unadulated Faith from those who will not -- that is, for all practical purposes refuse to -- teach it."

This a terrific quote which I posted from a contributor. He speaks the truth about the Conciliar Popes and the corruption of the Church since.

It isn't disrespectful etc. to call out a Pope for what he is, or what he has/had done to the Church.

Ecumenism, INter-Religious Dialog, Justice and Peace, Gaudium et Spes, the Novus Ordo, are all malignancies in the Catholic Church which is killing the Church.
The Conciliar Popes(Paul VI, John Paul I (even though in office only 1 month), the disasterous 26 1/2 year reign of John Paul II, and now Benedict XVI are nothing to be very respectful about, considering the way they have lead/are leading the Church.
A Pope who would repudiate much of the last 40+ years since Vatican II would be a Pope worthy of true respect and devotion...as in the style given to pre-Vatican II Popes.

I hardly considered the insipid and habitual "Giovanni Paolo, Giovanni Paolo!!!" or "Benedetto!!!" clap,clap, clap- clap -clap) respectful.
It was/is a circus. IN the style of post-Conciliar Popes....who have of course no use for the dignity of the Sedia Gestatoria.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ertner:

Mr. McFarland's remarks may have sounded a bit harsh but they nevertheless sounded correct to me. We must be constantly on our guard against attributing more to this Pope than he has earned. We must, in good conscience, make fair assessments. I'm willing to bet that McFarland would agree that this Pope is a substantial improvement over the last one. Nonetheless, in terms of œcumenism, this Pope has done things which no pre-conciliar pope would do or even dream of doing, like pray with Muslims in the Blue Mosque.

I think it a fair assessment to judge that Benedict XVI, as Fr. Ratzinger, was a liberal peritus and a close associate of Rahner. The student rebellions of 1968 or some such event at that time began a process of re-thinking for him, and he is not today the Fr. Ratzinger of that time--at least not in all respects. But nor is he another Pope St. Pius X; nor does he follow in every way the approach of any of the pre-conciliar popes when it comes to relations with other religions.

The imperial Roman symbolism of the pre-conciliar popes stood for certain firm positions and these are not quite all of Benedict XVI's positions on things. So I think that McFarland has a point. Let's be honest. If St. Pius X were given a choice between praying in a synagogue or mosque, on the one hand, orbeing martyred, on the other, he'd take martyrdom. That's quite a difference, don't you think?

P.K.T.P.

Iakovos said...

Okay, good folks, and those Triumphalists and Ultramontainists among you, I concede Monarch as an honorary title only, not in actu and certainly no longer in existence by design. All the historical back-story on the Pope and a papal monarchy does not change the present that in practice he is not nor does he desire to be a monarch. I couldn't agree more with Cardinal Newman said to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant -- this kind of statement also applies to the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope of Rome: The Bishops of Rome up until the 11th century more or less, that is, for the first 1,000 years of the Church, did not resemble neither an imperial monarch or a leader whose authority subsumed the jurisdictions of the other four Churches. The way of Council and a rough and ready counciliar spirit was the order of the day much like the council of Jerusalem where singular and important decisions were debated, vix., Paul's argument with Peter, or St. Athanasius slapping a Arianist bishop at that council. But, as the rednecks and others say around here, they got'er done. Only later does the Pope of Rome -- long recongnized as unique and special among the other sees, become an idea of "Papacy" with autocratic universal jurisdiction. Seen in this light, it should be equally clear to see why Vatican II was so remarkable in its boldness to return to this "fresh air" of the earlier and more vibrant Church of spiritual life, of a pastoral mood to save should, rather than the more immediate of past centuries of fighting on the ropes in stead of the center of the ring.

John McFarland asked me:

"am I correct in suspecting that your communion with the Pope doesn't involve your recognizing his doctrinal and disciplinary primacy -- that is, is it conciliarist communio: union without faith or obedience?"

Answer: No. I do sometimes wonder how his universal jurisdiction is to be interpreted. The second part is an oxymoron: how could there be union with the Bishop of Rome without faith? Obedience, on the other hand, is a whole other topic, from its etymology to its application and understanding over the centuries -- too large for me and this posting.

Finally, one of the many, many "Anonymous" bloggers here (why don't you guys just make up a fake name? It would be a lot more interesting and easier to respond to you), quoted the clear remark of Cardinal Ratzinger of how the Papacy has been viewed not just in the past 40 years or so, but, as I pointed out, the understanding of the successor of Peter first in Antioch and then in Rome, that is, the first among equals that existed for at least a 1,000 years.

C. said...

Bringing back the sedia would not be prudent. The world will say that the Pope being carried by the labor of brainwashed slaves. Interviews with the exclusive league that has the honor of performing the function will only serve to reinforce the charge of brainwashedness. This move would make this Pope a laughingstock, a Sarah Palin-esque symbol, the butt of late-night talk hosts. It would effectively freeze and personalize the work of this pontificate, including Summorum Pontificum, risking the success of ongoing projects. The next pope, as one of his first acts, would find it compelling to eliminate the sedia in order to escape the media vise.

The time for restoring the sedia is not now. It is very suspicious that Bertone is said to be behind the move to restore the sedia.

Anonymous said...

C.,
In my opinion you care too much about what the world thinks.

Should the Pope actually start to behave as a monarch proper and use the Sedia then who cares if the enemies of the Church mock him.

Choose pious Catholics to carry the Sedia, men that live their faith and can stand up for it - even shed their blood for her.

I suggest you turn off your television and pray, fast and do penance as many of the good Popes through out history ask us (present tense).

These are the acts that are pleasing to God and strengthen our Holy Father.

-Jerry,TOSF

Jordanes said...

Okay, good folks, and those Triumphalists and Ultramontainists among you, I concede Monarch as an honorary title only

Not good enough, Iakovos. It's not an honorary title only. It's real, both temporally and spiritually.

not in actu and certainly no longer in existence by design. All the historical back-story on the Pope and a papal monarchy does not change the present that in practice he is not nor does he desire to be a monarch.

It's not up to him. The most he could do is to alter the fundamental law of the Vatican City State (and all that takes is a motu proprio), but even that wouldn't remove his kingly status within the Church.

I couldn't agree more with Cardinal Newman said to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant -- this kind of statement also applies to the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope of Rome: The Bishops of Rome up until the 11th century more or less, that is, for the first 1,000 years of the Church, did not resemble neither an imperial monarch or a leader whose authority subsumed the jurisdictions of the other four Churches.

Jesus also did not resemble a monarch. Do you also deny that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords?

What do you mean by "whose authority subsumed the jurisdictions of the other four Churches"? After all, if Peter does not give his assent to their jurisdiction and patriarchate, then they have no jurisdiction and patriarchate.

The way of Council and a rough and ready counciliar spirit was the order of the day much like the council of Jerusalem where singular and important decisions were debated, vix., Paul's argument with Peter, or St. Athanasius slapping a Arianist bishop at that council. But, as the rednecks and others say around here, they got'er done. Only later does the Pope of Rome -- long recongnized as unique and special among the other sees, become an idea of "Papacy" with autocratic universal jurisdiction.

You're going to have to clarify what you mean by "autocratic" universal jurisdiction. The Pope's universal jurisdiction, which he has always had, is not "autocratic" in practice, though the Pope's authority and jurisdiction is such that he could act in a way that seems "autocratic." The view of Church history that the Papacy didn't always have universal and immediate jurisidiction is contrary not only to the historical record, but also to the doctrine of Vatican I, which binds the consciences of all Catholics, whether Eastern or Western.

Seen in this light, it should be equally clear to see why Vatican II was so remarkable in its boldness to return to this "fresh air" of the earlier and more vibrant Church of spiritual life, of a pastoral mood to save should, rather than the more immediate of past centuries of fighting on the ropes in stead of the center of the ring.

Ah. You said "vibrant." A modernistical shibboleth. Gag.

Obedience, on the other hand, is a whole other topic, from its etymology to its application and understanding over the centuries -- too large for me and this posting.

You don't need to write a series of scholarly monographs on the etymology, application, and understanding of "obedience." The Church has specific teachings on what "obedience" means and doesn't mean, when it is mandatory and when it isn't, and when and under what circumstances disobedience is mandatory.

the understanding of the successor of Peter first in Antioch and then in Rome, that is, the first among equals that existed for at least a 1,000 years.

Your view is erroneous. The Bishop of Rome has NEVER held that he is nothing more than "first among equals," but has continually acted and taught that he is more than that -- nor has the Catholic Church ever taught the "primus inter pares" opinion.

i said...

Jordanes -- This part is over for me now. Peace.