Rorate Caeli

Bergoglian Milestones: The return of the Scorzelli staff/ferula

Saint John Lateran, April 7, 2013
(Tip: reader)

[Augustinus: as noted by a reader, the "First Eucharistic Prayer" was also said in Italian rather than in Latin.]
[Homily - full text]


  1. Each Roman Pontiff can emphasize his own special concerns, and this image of the suffering Lord is well within the scope of Roman Catholic teaching.

    I remember first seeing it in the hands of Pope John Paul II (though I believe it goes back to Paul VI), and as a young Catholic with zero formation then, it struck me as a very powerful image.

    Benedict XVI has said of images of the suffering Christ (my paraphrase): here we see the "hidden" God at His most hidden, as "made to be sin", though He is spotless...

  2. It just proves that you CAN turn the clock back. Especially when it means back to the 1970s...

    Actually, for those with Divine Mercy devotion, I think it was particularly unfortunate to restore this Crucifix today for the following reason:

    Jansenist crucifix
    Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638), the bishop of Ypres in West Flanders, initiated a reform movement within Catholicism that shared elements with Calvinism. One of the tenets was a belief in predestination in which the grace of God is required before a soul could be converted and saved. This results in fewer saved souls. The crucifix associated with this belief positions the arms of Christ so that they are straight up rather than spread out in an inviting gesture.

  3. Ricardo Costa5:15 PM

    It's more one of Pope Francis' humblings. He believes if he's get hidding all the golden artifacts used by majority last popes, Saint Francis ill get very happy there in heaven.

    Pray for him!

  4. In today's Mass for the Possession of the Chair of the Bishop of Rome, in addition to the reintroduction of the modernistic bent crucifix, another novelty was that the roman canon was said in Italian, and, not in Latin.

    With very mass that he celebrates, Bergoglio makes very clear his preferences and intentions.

  5. Lautensack5:36 PM

    I do not understand why this ugly staff was not declared a relic of John Paul II and given to Cracov.

  6. EirePaul5:54 PM

    @Lautensack. What a shame to refer to the crucifix as an "ugly staff" This particular pastoral staff goes back to Paul VI not John Paul II
    The wounds of Jesus must surely bleed more with all the horrible and negative thoughts that are expressed in His name!

  7. Patrick6:00 PM

    The Skorzelli staff was hideous when Paul VI first introduced it and it is just as hideous today. As for "this image of the suffering Lord is well within the scope of Roman Catholic teaching" -- so what??? There is good art and then there is questionable art. Rome is full of religious kitsch that is well within the scope of Roman Catholic teaching but it manifests a spirituality that is certainly questionable and suspect at best -- just like the Paul VI staff. This twisted cross has been the cogent symbol of the outrageous twisted mess that Paul VI and his successors hovered over, tolerated and abetted. Benedict XVI made a feeble effort to put on the brakes and his new ferula was emblematic of that attempt. This reversal today speaks volumes. Bergoglio has been, is and undoubtedly will continue to be a disaster and is a major part of the problem that the Church now faces, not the solution.

  8. Ligusticus6:01 PM

    There was more than one Scorzelli ferula around, in the last decades, I think.

  9. Ivan K6:08 PM


    Do you have a direct spiritual link to the wounds of Jesus, so that you know that they bleed at a faster rate when someone makes an aesthetic judgment of a work of craftsmanship? Does that mean that any staff, no matter what its aesthetic qualities, causes Jesus's wounds to bleed when criticized?

  10. J.G. Ratkaj6:10 PM

    in the foreseeable future the few remaining liturgical decorum and legacy of the Ratzingerian Papacy will vanish completely and denounced as personal nostalgic preference of an old bavarian (voices like this Iheard and read could already be registered). His pontificate will be regarded as mere "conservative" intermezzo, the last breath of old Rome in the ongoing liturgical revolution of the las 60 years. Those naives who predicted the "biological solution" of the revolution in Church were grievously mistaken.

  11. EirePaul6:14 PM

    How sad and how so unchristian the thoughts and views expressed

    May God bless us all and forgive us our sins!

  12. Tonius6:17 PM

    With post-Vatican II changes, what is the significance of the change? Why all of a sudden would the post-conciliar popes reject the traditional papal crosier,
    representing their papal office, a symbol that goes back to Sacred Scripture and the earliest art found in Roman catacombs, to take up a symbol that has confused and scandalized many of the Catholic faithful?

  13. It is a painful image of our time. It is Jansenistic. However, it serves as a continuity with other popes in our time and ergo, a symbol for many.

  14. Ligusticus6:31 PM

    Mr Ratkaj, it's years already that I think that most novatores since 2005 have been equating in their mind Benedict XVI and Mary I of England, per analogy..

  15. C'mon, we all knew this was going to happen...

  16. Lynda6:46 PM

    Eire Paul, I don't think you are addressing the point that is being made - Tonius outlines it well. Not every image of Our Lord and Saviour crucified is in accordance with the Deposit of Faith.

  17. Barbara6:49 PM

    I thought it was only sin that made Our Lord suffer so much for our sake. I think we can critcise bad Christian "art" - though, EirePaul without offending Him.

    I think, though, the point of the post is another one...

  18. Introitus7:00 PM

    We all knew things had to get worse before they could get better. This pope received his religious and priestly formation in the 1960s, and the next pope will be a product of the 70s. It will be decades before todays ordinands become papabile.

    At the very least, Francis' treatment of the Novus Ordo is more honest because he embraces all of its most common excesses: licit and illicit. This papcy might be the nail in the coffin for the "reform of the reform," but that only means the Extraordinary Form becomes the only serious alternative to progressive liturgy. In fifty years' time, when the liberal hegemony has to break because there are no more liberal priests and bishops, then the restoration can start with the only opposition coming from the world, just as it was in the first centuries of the Church.

  19. Unfortunate, but not surprising. Yet another repudiation of poor Benedict.

    The "Piero Pallium" will probably be back soon; as will the garish "Piero Vestments" of the John Paul II era, and the early years of Benedict XVI. Who could forget this "tie-dyed" number:


    The hope espoused by some folks, that the Holy Father would "grow into" a more traditional "ars celebrandi," and an appreciation for the symbols of his office, seems, sadly, to be misplaced.

  20. And as for fortune, and as for fame
    I never invited them in
    Though it seemed to the world they were all I desired

    They are illusions
    They are not the solutions they promised to be
    The answer was here all the time
    I love you and hope you love me

  21. Anonymous7:26 PM

    EirePaul, when your criticisms are not rooted in traditional moral theology, you come off as being "holier-than-thou."

  22. Anonymous7:29 PM

    It is a shame, though not altogether surprising, that this horror has been revived. It is also untraditional in the corpus on the cross.

    Just to gloss Neri's remarks: not only did Jansen not found any sort of movement (Jansenism arose after his death and based itself on some of the prelate's work) but also there never was any such thing as a Jansenist cross. It's a complete urban legend that crucifixes had their arms in a narrow pose (or that priests would do the same with their arms at the "Dominus vobiscum"). I'm a 17th-century French specialist, incidentally.

  23. Question? How does this "evangelize" anyone in today's youth?

    I'd wish Rare Caeli would do an indepth report on what Evangelization means for this pope since the New Evangelization started with JPII. Is the cross the same to show continuity of message? Because as a "youth-twenties-something" this cross is not welcoming to the eye. Sorry, just my opinion.

    Also, I've always found the warm wood cross that entered the church with the priest more....inviting. Are all priests in all parishes supposed to switch to this metal one? Thanks for any answers.

  24. It seems that the Pope has changed his Fisherman's ring. It looks different and is of gold color. I noticed it when I was watching the live stream from St. John Lateran. The quality of the image is not perfect.

  25. Anonymous7:58 PM


    Benedict XVI used the Skorzelli Staff as late as 2008. Does that make him a Jansenist Reformer of the Reform? Ridiculous.

  26. This particular crucifix is not one I particuarly like, but I completely agree with what EirePaul said about some of the comments lack basic Christian charity.

    I also find the linking of this crucifix with Jansenism to be rather amusing considering that some who post here seem to regard Paul VI and John Paul II as being liturgically liberal. Whilst how we worship is assuredly important (I confess to liking a well-celebrated EF), His Holiness would appear to be focussing on the poor and this can only be good. His recent statement regarding the sexual scandals is heartening and I pray it will be followed up with action.

    Perhaps some of us would do well to prayerfully read, and reflect upon, Matthew 25 and Christ's clear requirements for entering the Kingdom. None have to do with how we worship.

  27. Morgan, Like you, I find a wooden cross more appropriate, but as to your question: Parish priests will not be expected to start using crucifixes similar to that carried by HH Francis I; there was no rush to use crosses rather than crucifixes when Benedict XVI began to use one.

  28. Jerome8:24 PM

    So now, do we really want to see His Holiness the Bishop of Rome celebrate in public the EF liturgy?
    If it's to see hideous vestments and other "humble" novelties...

  29. Hank Igitur8:31 PM

    If anybody still had any lingering doubts about where Liturgy is headed under Bergoglio they are now definitively resolved. The rose coloured glasses can also be put away in the drawer. Apologists and positive spin doctors, face reality of what we all see with our own eyes day by day. Get out your tin hats and sandbags.

  30. Won't have one in my home.8:31 PM

    The staff IS ugly. And something about is evil looking. Regardless of who "it goes back to".

  31. Without trying to appear clever I predicted this on I think day 2 or 3 of this papacy. It's all so tedious. Never mind, give it a while and he ll probably dispense with carrying a staff at all, in the name of all this humility he's blessed with.

    I'm fed up and depressed by the whole sorry chapter, it's going to be one thing after another. If the nearest SSPX centre were not nearly 1.5 hours away by car I would start worshipping there.

  32. Depite the banishment and reinstatement of the CCC*, which I'm truly sad to see, I will say that this Pope's homilies are a lot more refreshing than those of JPII and B16 in that they are not verbose and not laden with academic jargon and subtleties that fly above everyone's head.

    The homily for Divine Mercy Sunday that was linked to above was good at reaching out to people who feel drowned by sin and the reality of forgiveness. It was short and to the point, no sappy language.

    *CCC = Creepy Crooked Crucifix

  33. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Jansenism is a very pertinent topic at the moment given the reversal of direction in the liturgy which will be a result of Pope Francis' obvious predilections. The pseudo synod of Pistoia called for most of what transpired in the Church after VII and was inspired by Jansenism. It called for a vernacular liturgy among other things and was condemned by the Pope of the day.


  34. I agree Pope Francis' homilies are quite good.

    Benedict XVI's homilies, if I remember rightly, were both simple and learned, as the man.

  35. Charles9:41 PM

    The modern artist Lello Scorzelli, who designed this staff and other pieces of modern art, was heavily pessimistic due to the influence of Marxism on his personal philosophy. His work represents a very negative view of the Church that diminishes the Church's confidence in itself.Its excessive focus on suffering is masochistic as depressed artists make depressing art.

  36. Gregorian Mass9:42 PM

    Just saddens me...I am tuning out more and more to this Pontificate. His wonderful sermons will fall on the deaf ears of many. Francis is teaching us we can all do what we want.

  37. GQ Rep9:44 PM

    It's back to the 1970's and a repeat of Paul VI everyone.

    Bare bones Calvinistic altars are around the corner.

  38. "In fifty years' time, when the liberal hegemony has to break because there are no more liberal priests and bishops"

    Are you sure that Pope Francis will not replenish the ranks of liberal bishops (and priests)?

  39. Thank God I have access to a Byzantine Parish. If I lose that, I will - without hesitation - attend Greek Orthodox liturgies.

    Before anyone starts screaming, please note that the latest Code of Canon Law makes this perfectly legal:

    Canon 844.2 "Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ's faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid."

    (The SSPX objected to this statement, but in one of the great ironies of our era, their own parishoners have successfully used it to obtain nullification of "excommunications" by local Roman Rite bishops!)

    1. Just don't try and go to communion in an Orthodox Church. The priest at the ambo will ask you if you are orthodox. He may ask you if you have fasted from Saturday night, confessed Saturday night and attended vespers. If not, no communion. Also, if a man, and he does not know you, no communion unless you are married.

  40. I have ALWAYs detested that saggy distorted lumpy looking cross. It screams we are back in the 1970's and we are free to throw out anything before. It should be seen as an attempt by Francis to move us back to that pivotal moment in his identity...he was ordained in 1969. BUT we are a people of tradition not year zero of the revolucion 1969.

  41. Then there was Pope Francis' benediction from the Lateran loggia: sans mozzetta, sans stole and, due to the stiff wind, sans zucchetto.

  42. Ma Tucker10:36 PM

    Gorgeous sermon. Thank you Pope Francis.

  43. A beautiful, clear, fully Catholic Homily.

  44. JP Casey11:04 PM

    There appears to be quite a bit of ill-will towards Pope Francis here. I, for one, have not yet made up my mind. But rather than focussing on the ferula, how about reading the beautiful homily the Pope delivered today on the feast of Divine Mercy.

    For those that have described the ferula as a scrap of "bent metal", "ugly staff", etc, I invite you to contemplate a drawing of the crucified Christ by St John of the Cross, to which the Paul VI/JP II ferula bears a striking resemblance, if it was not directly modelled upon it.

    Finally, while it may be well and good to reminisce fondly upon the liturgical revival that our beloved Pope emeritus Benedict orchestrated, maybe by going back to basics, we are reminded, as Christ did the Pharisees, that liturgical splendour is only valid when it is orientated towards the glorification of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. And what better way to glorify and honour Christ through a proper disposition and purity of heart, as opposed to through the splendour of liturgical vestments alone. With so many traditionalist aesthetes living in direct contradiction to the Church's teachings, clinging on to the aesthetics when the heart does not follow somehow rings hollow...

  45. Modre Nebo11:13 PM

    Pope Francis is a contraversial figure. One sees various articals contradicting each other. The test of his papacy would be his dealing with tradition over the time. The other time unexpecting event may force him to say tough, resounding " niet" to his collaborators and risking martyrdom, rather than submit to their demands.He does unerver me however.

  46. I like his sermons, too. I'd like them even more if he would draw out certain points in regard to the sacraments as channels of grace for us poorly-catechized children of the "Spirit of Vatican II."

    Of course, he did briefly reference "the sacraments" during the homily at St. John Lateran. But it would be helpful if he would elaborate a bit. Speaking about the love, mercy and patience of God would have been a good opportunity to point out that Our Lord loves us so much that He wills that His sacrifice on the Cross be re-presented every day on our altars, and there, at every Mass, we have the opportunity to unite ourselves with Him, and bury ourselves in His wounds; or that He waits for us with the medicine of His mercy and love in the confessional, always ready to listen and forgive.

    While the Bishop of Rome has everyone's attention, a simple reminder of the truths of the Catholic Faith would be a blessing for many.

  47. Gratias11:51 PM

    Back to Paul VI does not sound promising. Our duty will be to preserve the TLM at all costs so that future generations may still have it. Hope it is not back to the catacombs, but it just might be needed.

  48. As Yogi Berra said, it's deja vu all over again. Seems like Pope Francis is behind the wheel of the DeLorean in the Back to the Future movies with the clock set to 1967.

    Time to break out your old copies of Herder Correspondence, Concilium, the Dutch Catechism and I-DOC dossiers; let's all relive the Silly 60s and 70s all over again under the glorious leadership of Pope "St. Francis the Humble."

    No doubt the staff in Msgr. Marini's office are totally freaked out as they see the future is leading us right back to the discredited past. Hang on to your seats, we're in for a bumpy ride.

    I will be running--not walking--to the nearest Byzantine rite Catholic parish I can find. Ad orientem, my friends, ad orientem, before your heads explode!

  49. Incredulous12:29 AM

    This is bad art, not Jansenism.

    Firstly, Pope Francis is a Jesuit. The Jesuits and the Jansenists have always been mortal enemies, and I challenge anyone to show me anything that the pope has said or written which even savors of Jansenism. If anything, the problem for the Jesuits has been that they opposed Jansenism to a fault, such that they have held as suspect even the theologically orthodox Thomist position.

    Second, if the Modernists have shared some of the same liturgical proclivities as the Jansenists, it is not because they share a similar theology regarding Grace. Indifferentism and universalism, not predestinarianism, are the great heresies of today.

    As an aside, Neri's formulation of the problem with Jansenism is deficient. That Grace precedes faith is de fide dogma that every Catholic must accept. The contrary is the condemned heresy of Pelagianism. The error of Jansenius (as with Baius, Calvin, and Luther before him) was not in affirming the primacy of Grace, but rather in denying that man's will is truly free to either accept or reject it. Furthermore, the question of the number of the elect is only indirectly related to the controversies on Grace, and has been debated at length even by orthodox theologians.

    It is truly sad that clergy of the pope's age seem to believe that more '70s-style liturgy and art will reverse the decline of the Church in the West. If one is concerned with the Church being perceived as out-of-touch and out-of-date, taking us back to the most ridiculed period in living memory can hardly be the solution. Felt banners and folk music are not going to bring young people into the Church. This sort of shallow, greeting-card sentimentality in liturgy and theology alike is not nourishing to the soul, and when it is also dressed in trappings which are neither fashionable nor able to be excused from fashion on account of being timeless (wherein lies the true genius of the Old Rite), it does not even entertain the senses. Down this road lies nothing but irrelevance and (were God to allow it) extinction. Frankly, the rigorous pietism of the Jansenists would be preferable.

  50. with respect from someone who is not a traditionalist, i am wondering how more conservative catholics and traditionalists read pope francis's mention of romano guardini.

    perhaps this is more enlightening than offering interpretations of the scorzelli staff. pope francis may have simply intended to remind us that it was john paul ii who designated the second sunday of easter "divine mercy sunday" -and the staff will be back in the closet tomorrow morning, not to be seen again.

  51. Make mine LATIN12:46 AM

    My two year stint in various Byzantine churches showed inconsistance in the pews just like a Novus Ordo. some people standing, some sitting, etc. There was no visible pro-life activity in one. Another had the priest's son show up in shorts to assist him and his wife was in pants and dressed like she was on her way to a yard sale. NO THANK YOU!

  52. As soon the Paul VI vestments made their appearance, I figured it would only be a matter of time before this ugly monstrosity made its appearance.

    In the seventies, one of my fellow seminarians as Ecône used to refer to the Paul VI staff as the "Twisted Lizard."

    The next step: re-organize the Sistine Choir and put it on the road as a St. Louis Jesuits tribute band.

  53. Anonymous12:51 AM

    I've known bergoglio from the late 90s. I in no way claim to know him deeply, but from my experiences I can say he is (looks like) a spiritual person,who spends great time in prayer and meditation. I've seen him. But his idea of the church is quite different from many here. I heard him once, and I wasn't alone, but with a large group of lay people and some young priests too, the true traditional church is found in the gospels. Nothing else. I conclude from this that any other form of "traditionalism" is quite frankly non desirable and even an obstacle. The best expression is "evangelical catholic" which describes him well. No wonder he had such strong connection with Protestants an evangelicals in buenos aires.
    Argentinian Guy

  54. This crucifix is "horrible" not because of the supposed portrayal of Our Lord, but because it depicts Our Savior in an indignant position, hanging from the Cross (and a crooked cross for that matter), with curved knees, which is contrary to the facts, because a support was placed at the feet to avoid that happening. But additionally it portrays Our God as a horrific cadaveric figure.
    This staff was introduced by Paul VI, as a substitute for the original one, a beautiful one in gold I believe, studded with precious stones, that he gave away in a hipocritical gesture to U Thant, then Chief of the United Nations, to be sold for the poor (another gesture of humbleness). It was hipocritical because he continued to receive money from the Vatican Bank, by scamming Italian savers through the Ambrosian Bank.
    JPII continued to use this dreadful staff during his extensive pontificate, and likewise he immitated Paul's gesture of kissing the land of the countries that he visited, a pagan gesture, because the only blessed land worthy of this gesture is Jerusalem, where Our Lord died.

  55. I personally am pleased to see the return of this ferula! Christ was crucified, and there is something about this particular staff that conveys the reality of that sacrifice much better than some calm looking gold Jesus placidly affixed to a cross with baroque ornamentation.

  56. I never liked that staff. It shows a Christ twisted and defeated, not a triumphant Christ who has destroyed the power of death and crushed the serpent's head.

    "Suffering Lord", yes. He did suffer. But we must view his suffering through the lens of the resurrection. Thus his suffering was a triumph, not a defeat. So why not a proper crucifix with Christ looking triumphant?

    If that horrible staff must be dug out of the netherworld of the Vatican archives, perhaps it could have been used on Good Friday. But for heaven's sake, not after Easter!

  57. Ora et Labora2:11 AM


    Pope Francis: The List (What Pope Francis Has Done)
    Praytellblog ^ | March 30, 2013

    Posted on March-30-13 3:42:00 PM by NYer

    What Pope Francis Has Done

    · After his election, he came down from platform to greet the cardinal electors, rather than have them come up to his level to offer obedience.
    · He appeared on the loggia without the red cape. (The BBC report, unconfirmed, is that he said to his aide, “No thank you, Monsignore. You put it on instead. Carnival time is over.”)
    · In his greeting he referred to himself only as “bishop,” not as "pope."
    · He referred to Benedict as “bishop emeritus,” not “pope emeritus.”
    · He appeared without the stole, only putting it on to give the blessing. He then took it off in public (!), as if he couldn’t wait to get it off.
    · He asked for the people’s blessing before he blessed them.
    · He doesn’t wear red shoes.
    · Or white stockings.
    · Or cuff links.
    · He rode the bus back to the residence with the cardinals rather than take the papal limousine.
    · When he went to Mary Major to pray, he declined the papal Mercedes and took a Volkswagen Passat.
    · On his way back from Mary Major, he stopped at his pre-conclave hotel to get his luggage and pay his own bill.
    · Though he has taken possession of the apostolic palace, he continued to receive guests at St. Martha’s House rather than the palace.
    · He drank Argentinian tea in public when receiving the Argentinian president – protocol is that popes are seen publicly consuming no food or drink except the Eucharist.
    · His first Mass with cardinals was celebrated facing the people. (Pope Benedict started this way, but then did a “reform of the reform” and celebrated at the old high altar in the Sistine Chapel facing away from the congregation. Apparently this has been reversed.)
    · He doesn’t chant the prayers, he recites them – but this could be because of an impaired lung or his singing ability.
    · The wall of candles between celebrant and congregation, another of Pope Benedict’s “reform of the reform,” was moved away with three candles on each side of the altar.
    · At his inauguration Mass, photos show that the candles were originally set up across the front of the altar, but by Mass time they had been moved to the side.
    · The crucifix on the altar was a small one at his first Mass.
    · He wore his own simple miter from Argentina, not the papal miter.
    · He preached from the ambo without miter – rather like a simple parish priest. (The concelebrating cardinals gradually realized what was going on and had to remove the miters they had started to put on after the Gospel reading.)
    · He brushed aside the prepared Latin homily and preached in Italian without text.
    · In general, less lace.
    · His hands are folded during the liturgy, not the pious (some say prissy) way with palms together.
    · He didn’t genuflect at the Supper Narrative of the Eucharistic Prayer – is this really because of bad knees?
    · He asked the cardinals not to wear their red cardinals’ robes, but black.
    · He stood on the floor of the Clementine Hall to greet the cardinals rather than sit on the throne on the platform.
    · He called them “brother cardinals” rather than “Lord cardinals.”
    · He bent to kiss the ring of a cardinal who kissed his ring.
    · At his meeting with over 5,000 journalists, after Archbishop Celli introduced him, he got up to walk over to him (popes don’t do that) and thanked him.


  58. Haec nox est in qua primum patres2:14 AM

    Perhaps the Apostolic Lord chose to use this staff for its crucifix, not for its aesthetic value? He is, after all, a Jesuit.

    Dr. Timothy J. Williams: QUI EX PATRE FILIOQUE PROCEDIT.

  59. Ora et Labora2:15 AM


    · He didn’t bless the journalists like popes do, since not all of them are Catholic or believers. Instead he prayed for them in silence, then simply said “God bless you.”
    · After the meeting with journalists, he waved away the papal limousine and walked to the Vatican residence.
    · When he saw the papal apartments he said, “There’s room for 300 people here. I don’t need all this space.” He has yet to move into the apartments, and some wonder whether he will.
    · At Mass Sunday at the Vatican parish Sunday morning, he gave the Kiss of Peace to the deacons and Master of Ceremonies, not just the concelebrants. This is breaking the rules – but perhaps also a nice show of support for MC Marini, who must be reeling from all the sudden changes.
    · The deacon didn’t kneel before Pope Francis for the blessing before the gospel (as they did for John Paul II and Benedict XVI).
    · He doesn’t wear the dalmatic. Pope Benedict revived the practice, not foreseen in the reformed liturgical books, of wearing this deacon’s vestment under his papal vestments.
    · He doesn’t distribute Communion as the missal foresees of the celebrant, but is seated while others do so.
    · He listened to the words of the Patriarch of Constantinople seated on an armchair rather than the throne that is customarily used in the Clementine Hall. When he thanked Bartholomew I, he called him “my brother Andrew.”
    · He has simplified his coat of arms, keeping the miter rather than tiara (as Benedict also did) but removing the pallium from it.
    · He is wearing a second-hand pallium.
    · He has chosen a simple ring, re-using a ring once made for Paul VI’s secretary.
    · Pope Benedict recently began wearing a fanon under the pallium for big feasts, but Francis did not wear it as the inauguration Mass.
    · He undid Pope Benedict’s decision that all the cardinals would come up to pay obedience to the Pope at his inauguration, and decided that six representatives would be enough.
    · Rather than being seated while they came up to pay him obedience, he stood and greeted them informally.
    · Contrary to protocol, he has given a phone call to the Jesuit superior general, the people holding a prayer vigil outside the Buenos Aires cathedral, and the guy in Argentina who sold him his daily paper (to cancel his delivery).
    · When he met the Jesuit general, he apologized for not keeping protocol and insisted on being treated like any other Jesuit with the “tu” informal address, rather than “Your Holiness” or “Holy Father.”
    · He is not celebrating Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper in St. Peter’s Basilica (he hasn’t yet taken possession of his cathedral, John Lateran), but in a juvenile prison.
    · He celebrated an unannounced Mass at St. Martha’s with hotel workers, Vatican gardeners, and people who clean St. Peter’s square. He showed up before Mass and sat in the back row to pray a bit.
    · In his official photograph, he signs his name simply “Franciscus” without “PP” (“pontifex pontificum”) used by previous popes.

    May the Good Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us, we are in deep trouble.

  60. Ora et Labora2:49 AM

    I have also noticed that Francis is not wearing his Papal ring.

    I stayed up for his Papal audience last Wednesday April 3 2013 and I noticed he was wearing his silver ring he wore as bishop.

    The only thing I could find mentioning the fact that he is not wearing the Papal ring was this blog :

    Scroll down and you will find it under the title:

    "This Is How God Is" – At First Audience, Francis "Steps Outside"

    And you can see it clearly on this
    Youtube video titled

    Pope applauds women at audience

    I'm not focusing on Francis applauding women I have not problem with that I am only focusing on the fact that he is not wearing the Papal Ring.

    Watch second 0:42 to 0:48

    It is my personal opinion that Francis doesn't want to be Pope and if didn't want to be Pope why did he accept the papacy the second time around???

    He should have said NO as he did in 2005.

    I think this is a valid question and I hope my comment gets publish.

    Mary Help of Christians pray for us!!!

  61. Christophoro3:21 AM

    How did I know this would happen, purely a matter of time, he is very very very rapidly turning th eclock back to the ugly 70's.
    EP in Italian as well, expect more of that Latin to dissapear from Papal ceromonies.

    The traditions are history.

  62. Is it the custom for the Pope to always say the Canon in Latin for his first mass? I always assumed it was done in the vernacular in the Novus Ordo Missae?

  63. Alexander4:42 AM

    The latest farce from the Lateran has confirmed my worst fear about our new Holy Father: he is unbalanced, or "non è giusto"--not right--as the Italians say. He doesn't act like a Pope, probably didn't want the job, and should have declined his election "out of humility." The cardinal electors have foisted a disaster upon the Church, the damage from which we can only speculate this early in the pontificate. When the hypnotic honeymoon with the press ends, it will all become apparent.

  64. Lopes4:43 AM

    "...some calm looking gold Jesus placidly affixed to a cross with baroque ornamentation."

    How can I say...

  65. John Paul The Third5:17 AM

    They will argue later that The Papal Ring is not even worn by St.Peter,and so does with the Tiara.I don't know that the splendour of liturgical vestments could mocking God until now.Correct me if I'm wrong,Err Oh, so the previous priests and the previous Popes dressing for themselves, and not for God? Do they go to the washroom,take a bath,and do their sleeping while dressed with the splendour of liturgical vestments as well?

    Therefore,is that means that every Pope in the future will be crucified according to St.Peter as well for the sake of humbleness?

    The Revolution of 2013 is started with Bishop of Buenos Aires;Cardinal Bergoglio at last. Not to be over sarcastic: Is it as a sign of gesture from His Holiness Pope Francis to resign within a few weeks by doing so? So,now The Papacy will be reconstructed of its true supremacy and true humbleness,turning to be Presidency style, is it?

    By the way, Scorzelli Staff is matching with His Holiness Pope Francis that received empowerment of Protestant ministers through 'laying of hand',reminding me of my No.1 favorite Pope; Blessed John Paul II, yes, even though he has kissed Quran.

    John Paul The Third

  66. Louis E.5:22 AM

    Ted,the "liberal" concept of priesthood as nothing special does not attract vocations...only men who view the priesthood with "conservative" eyes are attracted to it.Francis may not make them bishops,but his successors will have no one else to choose from.

  67. Anonymous6:28 AM

    "Oh no! An ugly crucifix! No red shoes! Pope Francis is a modernist!"

    You are getting too wrapped up in particulars. He is saying Mass reverently. He loves and preaches Our Lord. He is focusing on prayer, love of the poor and his diocese, which seems to be the forgotten diocese. The people of Rome love him. Mass attendance is up, especially in Hispanic and Latino communities, as it likely is in Rome.

    Give him some time before you condemn him. He is far from a heretic and seems to be a holy man, just as Benedict is. Let this papacy unfold.

  68. Thank you Parepidemos for answering my question about will my local parish priest now have to emulate the Pontiff on his choice of entrance crucifix.

    At least that's one less thing to jangle my nerves at this point as I await how these points start to slide down to the local churches.

  69. Katerina7:18 AM

    Argentinian Guy:

    Thanks for very revealing insight!

    This is called "primitivism" as you probably know.

    Grew popular in the 50's in progressive European countries and getting a boost from Vatican 2. Lay "Liturgists" often promote this idea of being "authentic" to the Gospel. It's the "excuse" for not kneeling, for plastic chalices and wooden ciboriums, for the laity using Orans, and a zillion other things we think of as liturgical abuse but may become liturgical norms...!?!

  70. Lost Soul7:26 AM

    What's scary to me is not that he doesn't WANT to be Pope. Rather, he does not seem to BELIEVE he actually is Pope!

    It's one thing to use "Bishop of Rome" and "Shepherd" in talks, to eschew the ring, then the zucchetto, to not sit on a raised chair. All that is sort of appearance.

    But to omit "PP" from his official signature!!! When we change our name, our formal identity on an official document, that has many implications. Isn't that rather ominous?

  71. Lautensack8:39 AM

    Before getting too worried one should not forget that the 'New Liturgical Movement' started already in the last years of John Paul II, when much of the papal liturgy was like a bad Broadway show.

    I assume that the current Pope's utter disinterest in liturgy and beauty and his phony 'shabbiness' (and one wonders how much money will be spent on new simple-looking vestments rather than given to the poor) will be seen by the ageing priests who do not care about liturgy at all as sign that liturgy is not really relevant.

    However, I hardly believe that any seminarians or young priests will be encouraged by his example not to use Latin or not to have a preference for versus orientem.

    I also believe that the Pope's liturgical preferences, apart from his deplorable taste in vestments, are not 1970s or 'progressive'; he wants it as quick and plain as possible, cutting corners wherever possible (and this includes giving up some progressive favourites like the 'Offertory Procession', something his predecessor never dared do). The 'progressive liturgists' will rejoice about a lack of lace and ugly shoes, but otherwise they will probably not find much to praise in the papal liturgies either.

    So I assume that, the liturgical style of Pope Francis will be seen pretty much universally as dull, unattractive and not worth copying. This development is a shame and a lost chance for Evangelisation (and probably nothing to endear him to the Orthodox), but do not believe that his liturgical style will be taken too serious enough by the young clergy (to whom belongs the future) to cause problems.

    If there will be a 'Generation Francis' like a 'Generation Benedict' it will probably focus on Evangelisation or on Charity, but hardly on badly done liturgy.

  72. Gratias8:46 AM

    From out here on the vast open spaces of America (E.E.U.U.) we thought that mutually enriching bridges would be built brick by brick through the hermeneutic of continuity of the VC2 texts.

    Looks like it will be hermeneutics of discontinuity and Protestantism for all. We shall resist this at every turn.

    What the few of us do now is very important, for the real mass must be passed on to future generations, and every individual counts in this Holy Quest. The Holy Grail now has now become the humble Latin Mass. 4813 We too can ply the Humility card.

  73. GQ Rep10:18 AM

    The two squat stumps that pass as candles in black iron candlesticks is all we'll see on the altar from now on. Back to the tastes of Paul VI.

    But at least he didn't allow for altargirls, washing the feet of women or Muslims, etc.

    Has anyone else noticed this Pope Francis' papal cassock seems of a cheaper, thinner material that Benedict's? You can see his black pants thru the material. Slovenly appearance.

    I'm getting sick of his constant referrences to the poor...and to simplicity real fast.

  74. As for Latin: I doubt Francis does know Latin quite well. He studied at technical school when he was a teen ager to become a chemist technician ("perito chimico" in Italian). You don't study Latin in technical schools in Europe and S. America (their school systems are much like ours). He started Latin entering seminar, and studying such a difficult language at that age can be problematic (I know by experience). And Greek...
    Besides, if he has never celebrated in Latin, but always N.O. Masses in Spanish, starting Latin now at 75-76 years of age, can be difficult and embarrasing.
    But, if he wants to be the Pope (BIG IF), he must try Latin. And he should also, in my humble opinion, deliver homilies more "papal" and less "country parish"style.

  75. benedettopersempre11:04 AM

    it is cheap and ugly, just like him and all his tastes. I also never understood why benedict never had it melted down, along with the horrid sculpture in the paul vi hall.

  76. Luis-Maria1:50 PM

    As a priest told me, deciding not to use his special insignia and regalia - that's to say, depreciating their importance - is a way of depreciating what it means: the Papacy.

    "Oh my, these people worried with all these "tiny" things..." Surely, it is the inevitable consequence of people who can't understand what these "tiny" things mean. As a catholic living in a catholic country, it was shocking to me living some months in France - among traditionalists - and noticing that people there have lost those "tiny" things that we still keep in Brazil. For example, using jaculatory prayers very often during the day, in such a way that even protestant people use to say "Virgin Mary!". To express happiness by saying "Thank's God!". To call a cruel thing "judiação", "thing of jews". To ask for a priest's blessing everytime a priest is seen... to make the sign of the Cross in front of churches and cemeteries... To say "Saint Jerome and Saint Barbara" when a thunder is heard... to ask parent's blessing everytime you go to bed or when you leave home... to say good-by by saying "Go with God!" (Vá com Deus!) or "May God be with you!" if someone is leaving, or (to those who stay) "Fique com Deus!", "Stay with God!". To say "Credo" when something scary appears... or even "Vade retro" (and many popular variants). And what about those habits during liturgical year? One that happened some days ago, to beat Judas on Holy Saturday (people make a Judas doll, usually hung, beat it and at the end, put fire on it). When something is not good, one may say "it is not catholic" ("não é católico") or "that thing is not catholic". Or... children... while running, they used to say "the last to arrive is the woman of the priest" (of course, because that is not good). And so on...

    Tiny things!

  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

  78. Concerning the posture of the corpus of Our Lord on the Holy Father's crucifix, I have read the following explanation which would perhaps explain the position of Our Lord's arms and His slumped Body:
    "The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There's a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist, that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back
    muscles to support himself, so that He could breathe.

    Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could
    not support himself with His legs for long because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back and using his legs just to continue to breath. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.

    Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours.

  79. Leumas Nillavac5:06 PM

    But, the homily was not a genuine Catholic one. Surely exact the same things could have been said in a Lutheran Church. "...and the Sacraments" should have been "...and we meet Jesus in reality in the holy sacrifice on the altar in the most Holy Mass." Or something more rhetoric and equilibrated way. Excuse my pidgin language, but I am so saddened by this "snow-pudding" talks, as we say here high up in the North.

  80. HeIsRisenAlleluia5:20 PM

    This sermon seemed mostly fudge to me (and about as clear):
    1)Francis Sans PP (FSPP): “Let us also remember Peter: three times he denied Jesus, precisely when he should have been closest to him; and when he hits bottom he meets the gaze of Jesus who patiently, wordlessly, says to him: “Peter, don’t be afraid of your weakness, trust in me”. Peter understands, he feels the loving gaze of Jesus, and he weeps. How beautiful is this gaze of Jesus – how much tenderness is there! Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God”

    The Bible: “Man, said Peter, I do not understand what thou meanest; and all at once, while the words were on his lips, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered what the Lord had said to him, Before cock-crow, thou wilt thrice disown me. And Peter went out, and wept BITTERLY. “ Luke 22: 60-62 (why would Peter weep bitterly if Jesus glance said, "don't be afraid of your weakness, trust in me" - seems to me His glance was more the light that gave Peter the self knowledge (cell of self knowing) that led to maturity and repentance)

    2)FSPP: “Adam, after his sin, experiences shame, he feels naked, he senses the weight of what he has done; and yet God does not abandon him: if that moment of sin marks the beginning of his exile from God, there is already a promise of return, a possibility of return. God immediately asks: “Adam, where are you?” He seeks him out.” But how does Adam’ respond and how is it different from Thomas’ and what happens to Adam? FSPP doesn’t say he just veers off w/out transition into Jesus.
    3)FSPP: “Dear brothers and sisters, let us be enveloped by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience, which ALWAYS gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments. We will feel his tenderness, so beautiful, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness and love.” (1) We don’t ALWAYS have more time. (2) It isn’t all tenderness & mercy: Jesus REBUKES Thomas (And Jesus said to him, Thou hast learned to believe, Thomas, because thou hast seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have learned to believe.) and also Peter (DO YOU LOVE ME? X77); woman taken in adultery is instructed: “go forth and SIN NO MORE”; prodigal son comes back w/plea, “MAKE me your SERVANT”. “Son of God though he was, he learned obedience in the school of suffering” (HEB 5:8). Those whom He loves, He chastens. (HEB 12:6, Prov 3:12)

    4)Never once does FSPP mention Sacrament of Penance but “the sacraments”: “We too can enter into the wounds of Jesus, we can actually touch him. This happens every time that we receive the sacraments with faith.” “allowing ourselves be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments”

  81. @ J P Casey and EirePaul (1814), I’m with you completely. Reading more and more comments about Papa Bergoglio has made me bite my tongue incessantly, as it were, resisting the strong urge to add my two-penneth worth. Up until now.

    This poor man, our own Pope, has had his every action examined hyper-critically, under so many microscopes. Unfortunately, many scrutineers seem to enjoy brandishing their prejudices at every chance, wild, even reckless comments are made, some hoping for a “short reign”. That’s intolerable. Not even a month has passed, he has not has the time to get his feet under the table but he is criticised and almost condemned by so many. Deep down in my Catholic bones I sense this is very wrong indeed, I do not recall anything like this before.

    Are they right or are they wrong ? I don’t have a clue, how would I know ? But I can say firstly, each and every pope needs to be respected for his office, he is the vicar of Christ Our Lord. Much follows from that. Judge him on his deeds if you think you have the right, but just hang on a bit people, found your attitudes on solid facts, not rumours. My own take of popes since Pio X11 is often censorious, two in particular, but then again, who am I ? I feel even worse about a large number of so-called bishops and cardinals too. But these thoughts came after long deliberation and mountains of reliable evidence. I’m not going to repeat them here.

    For me, the staff is very ugly indeed, but so much in the Conciliar church is ugly, offensive even. Now the pope is getting it in the neck because he uses a 2nd hand staff ? How does that work ?

    What I do know is that this pope is a consummate Jesuit, well, he has the hallmarks of such. What I know about Jesuits is what I have read by Malachi Martin and what I remember from my earliest days when I was privileged to receive much Catholic Truth from some of them in my parish school and church, a well-known one at the time, priests like Father Paul Crane SJ and Father McMillan SJ. Jesuits are usually much more intelligent than many others and I believe they always know what they are doing. Is Papa Bergoglio any different ? I doubt it. He has a plan, it’s a different plan to other recent popes, he is different, so were they different when they entered their sacred office.

    We ought to relent, back off, halt the speculation, behave like Christians, wait and see. And pray without cease.

  82. Marcello8:37 PM

    Alexander is right, there is something not right about Francis. His aversion to the mozzetta and papal stole--and the speed with which he puts the stole on and off--borders on the pathological.

    His "blessing" from the Lateran's loggia was a joke. He obviously hasn't gotten the hang of imparting the apostolic blessing, or he just doesn't care. Either way, this pontificate is shaping up to be positively shabby in its externals.

    More than "mere" externals, the fact that Francis will not refer to himself as pope or pontiff is revelatory of something seriously wrong with the man's concept of the office. It's almost like he is ashamed to admit he is the pope. The signs for the health of this pontificate are very grave indeed.


    Note the altar arrangements; at least there is still a cross (couldn't tell if it is a crucifix) in the center, but two candles at one corner and flowers at the other -- Spirit of Vatican II, methinks.

    At the left of the photo is Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles. I would love to have been able to read his mind--needless to say, that altar did not look like the one he used at the Opus Dei house here in Houston.

  84. nanetteclaret11:29 PM

    The ferula is hideously ugly. The cross itself is made with arms that bend down and the upright beam is also bent. It is unnatural. The "ornate and baroque" crucifixes are beautiful and remind us that there is dignity in suffering, and that even though Christ is depicted as nailed to the cross, the ornamentation reminds us that He is the King and that He is the Victor over death. The Scorzelli ferula projects the notion that suffering is grotesque. There is no redeeming quality to it, and I highly resent the fact that Christ is depicted in this manner.

    Just as a reminder:

    Goal #23 of the "Communist Goals," read into the "Congressional Record" January 10, 1963, appendix pp. A34-A35, on microfilm at California State University at San Jose Clark Library: "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

  85. What worries me is why he accepted the papacy when he shows such aversion to the Chair of Peter.

  86. Igitur4:07 AM

    Pope Francis is a Lodger at the Domus Sanctae Marthae

  87. I would probably be more liberal on some matters than most here, but I too prefer the older liturgies and rituals and I find the new pope's papacy deeply depressing. He seems to me to have little sense of liturgical sensitivity or aesthetics and be indifferent to the needs of his role or the expectations of millions.

    I find his determination to do things his way despite precedent quite arrogant, as if his personal wishes trump everything.

    He strikes me more and more like another Pope Paul VI - a disastrous inept pope who alienated so many of the faithful and sowed confusion everywhere.


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