More Pope Francis “Humility”

More Pope Francis “Humility”

Pope Francis ‘snubs’ pomp and ceremony of Vatican Beethoven concert

Pope Francis failed to show up at a Vatican concert crowded with cardinals at the weekend, an absence seen as the latest example of his dislike for the Holy See’s tradition of pomp and ceremony.  Read more

Reading the latest batch of UK Catholic papers, I’m struck at how devoted the dissenters are to Pope Francis. He’s jes wonderful in their jaundiced view.

Mgr Basis Loftus, for example, cites the new Pope’s markedly new ways and quotes his apparently never-ending and seemingly, (according to the news reports) highly ambiguous exhortations to let the “Spirit” flow freely in the Church, as a thinly disguised stick with which to beat Pope Benedict, not to mention earlier popes such as Popes Pius IX and X.

In his latest published nonsense, Mgr Loftus offers two quotations, one from English Bishop Philip Egan and the other from Pope Francis, to set orthodoxy against (papal) modernism.  Mgr Loftus argues that at Vatican II, the “baton” (of modernism) which was handed on by the “modernists and Catholic theologians” of the previous fifty years after being squashed by the bad guys, especially Pope Saint Pius X, had been “dropped in recent years, indeed, almost lost without trace” – evidently a jibe at Pope Benedict.  It is – Loftus exults –  “in very large part thanks to Holy Father Francis” that it (the baton of modernism handed on by Vatican II) has been “picked up and handed on to us” (Reformers are true prophets in Church, Vatican Counsel, Mgr Basil Loftus, Catholic Times, 23 June, 2013).

So, in the context of the Pope’s latest reported act of “humility” and “simplicity” in failing to attend a “pomp and ceremony” event, we might brace ourselves for more of the same in the next round of Loony Loftus Literature.

Apart from the ever–present question – why is the Bishop of Aberdeen permitting this man to write in the Catholic press – we have another question to address in this thread: is the Pope’s personal animosity against, apparently, any kind of “pomp and ceremony” helpful?   Is it, in fact, Christ-like?

Was there NO “pomp and ceremony” at the marriage Feast of Cana? Did not Our Lord rebuke Judas for complaining that the expensive jar of ointment used by the sinful woman to anoint His feet be sold and the money given to the poor?

Help me to cultivate a more favourable view of this new Pope. Right now, I’m struggling….

Comments (58)

  • Josephine

    I read those Basil Loftus articles and they are always a disgrace. Yes, he uses Pope Francis to get at previous popes, including Pope Benedict. I thought Bishop Gilbert would put a stop to it but he hasn’t. It is very disappointing.

    About the empty chair at the Vatican concert, how can it be humble or simplicity to do that? Surely people will be talking about the Pope all the more since he didn’t turn up? If he really wants to be a humble pope, I think he would avoid that kind of unnecessary publicity.

    June 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm
  • Athanasius

    It is never a good sign when Mgr. Loftus writes favourably of you. In fact, sixty years ago that kind of support would have been enough to have you suspected of heresy and placed on the Vatican’s watch list!

    The only good thing is that no one, and I mean no one, pays any attention to Mgr. Loftus. He is a very sad figure who is long lost to the true Catholic Faith, one of the hippie hasbeen brigade of the 60s and 70s. It’s like he suffers from theological dementia. I agree with Josephine that it is very worrying that the Bishop of Aberdeen has been so neglegent in his case. He should have been silenced years ago. Such is the crisis of leadership in the Church today.

    As regards Pope Francis not turning up for the concert, that’s also quite worrying. We seem to have here a Pope who refuses to live in the Vatican and who apparently despises all that his predecessors have held to be important. Is that true humility? I personally have difficulty accepting that it is.

    Why doesn’t the Pope live in the Vatican? Is he telling the world that it’s so full of corrupt prelates that he cannot possibly be under the same roof? This entire business with the last two popes is actually quite scandalous. We have two bishops in white, each calling themselves the Bishop of Rome and co-writing encyclicals. The former Pope shocked the world by announcing his abdication, practically unheard of in the Church, while the latter, his successor, is causing further confusion with an unprecedented refusal to share the Vatican with his Curial prelates and speaking in a way that is disdainful of the Church’s authoritative standing in the world. The entire business is very worrying and none of it conveys humility to me. What it does convey, and very strongly, is further Modernist innovation to the detriment of the holy Catholic religion. May it please God to end this crisis once and for all by the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and a true restoration of all things in Christ. I think we have all had just about enough of the so-called “New Pentecost.”

    June 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    • Josephine

      Athanasius says:

      “The only good thing is that no one, and I mean no one, pays any attention to Mgr. Loftus. He is a very sad figure who is long lost to the true Catholic Faith, one of the hippie has been brigade of the 60s and 70s. It’s like he suffers from theological dementia.”

      I do hope that is true, because I find his articles really shocking. I think he’s stopped in the Scottish Catholic Observer but he is still writing in the Catholic Times. It just amazes me that he gets away with it.

      Athanasius says also: “We seem to have here a Pope who refuses to live in the Vatican and who apparently despises all that his predecessors have held to be important”

      I agree and I hadn’t really thought of it like that, but it’s very plainly true. How worrying. Maybe we were premature being pleased about him consecrating his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima – since he didn’t actually go there for the purpose, maybe it didn’t take effect. There’s no sign of him being the long hoped for pope who would consecrate Russia. It’s hard not to despair these days.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm
      • Athanasius


        We have Our Lord’s promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail and we have Our Lady’s promise that she will intervene just when all seems lost, so despair not and keep up those prayers for the Pope and the Church.

        June 25, 2013 at 12:11 am
  • Miles Immaculatae

    Speaking of Pomp, check out the World Youth Day set up they have planned for Rio, and recall the Holy Fathers response when he turned down the red papal mozzeta when he gave his first blessing, “carnival time is over father”. I first saw this WYD picture on another blog, and one of the comments about the picture made me laugh:

    “Look mummy, it’s a carnival!”

    Below I explain one of the reasons it hurts me so much when pious Neo-Catholics accuse supporters of the SSPX of being disobedient to the Pope: At one time, before I became disillusioned, I used to recall with absolute sincerity that the best day of my life ever had been seeing Pope Benedict XVI at Bellahouston Park in 2010. Such was my affection and love for the Holy Father. I mention this because I know there will be people who genuinely feel the same way as I did, and they will have put a lot of time energy and cost into getting to that concert (precisely because the Holy Father was going to be there). They would have been gutted not to see the Holy Father, and so disappointed. I know how I would have felt (heartbroken) in 2010 if Archbishop Conti had come on to the microphone at Bellahouston and said, “the Holy Father is too busy to be here with you, but Cardinal O’Brian will be here to celebrate Mass for you all instead”.

    The concert itself was an event to mark the year of faith. Pope Benedict saw the spiritual value of music and the role of culture in Christian civilisation. Like Pope Benedict, my musicality was one of the gifts God gave me and music has had such a formative part not only in my life, but indeed, even in my conversion to Christ! If Pope Francis really said “I am not a Renaissance Prince who listens to music instead of working”, then this is evidence he is a philistine, and in my opinion a ‘reverse snob’. Perhaps he holds the common mistaken view that High Culture is a ‘decadent’ pastime of the educated and elite classes. I remember how my mother struggled each month to pay for piano lessons for me (I later found out my grandmother had been paying for them). The best concert I have been to in my life was a Beethoven concert (like this one), should I feel guilty for having not spent the time working? In Glasgow, if you’re under 26 a concert with the RSNO is £5. Hardly the indulgence of a ‘Renaissance prince’ (it costs more to go to CineWorld next door).

    June 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    • Petrus

      What a fantastic post, Miles. I didn’t know you we’re a musician (I don’t think we have spoken, but I do know who you are). What do you play? I am a pianist, flautist and clarinetist!

      June 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm
  • j.kearney

    There are many concerts at the Vatican. When I looked at the empty chair it struck me that it was not at the `front of the house`, and whether he was there or not would have have affected the concert. There could have been a crisis somewhere in the world he had to deal with for he has so much responsibility. Personally I do not see it as a`big deal`. Sometimes tradition can lose its way and perhaps needs a tweet. I did not mind him washing the feet of the people of Rome, he was their bishop. The question is whether maintaining the `washing of the feet of the apostles` should have been kept rather than the washing of the feet of those the Pope was serving in this day and age. It is not easily answered. Is it more meaningful in a parish for a priest to maintain the 12 apostles or wash the feet of those he serves.

    June 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    • editor


      It’s more “meaningful” for a priest to do what he’s supposed to do, uphold Tradition. If he takes it into his head to go about the place washing feet on any other day of the year, let him get on with it. On Holy Thursday, he is supposed to stick to the rubric and wash the feet of 12 men, as did Our Lord. That’s what he’s commemorating. Gimme strength.

      As for “there could have been a crisis in the world he had to deal with…”

      I doubt it. For one thing, he’s not addressed the crisis already facing him, and for another, it tells us in the article, does it not, that he was attending a meeting of nuncios.

      June 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm
      • j.kearney

        Well, you may be right on the washing of feet but I am not as certain as you. He was new to the job and laying down the his policy, you might say. On the concert, why do we have concerts in the Vatican in the first place, there is a great deal more the Pope and the Cardinals could be doing. The audience was told that he was attending to something he could not leave aside. Perhaps he was deciding what to do about Scotland? If he was, I am sure editor you would be cheering him.

        June 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm
    • Athanasius


      That concert had been arranged for months before the event actually happened, so there was no real excuse short of an emergency for the Pope not being there. A meeting of nuncios is hardly an emergency.

      As regards washing the feet of women during the Holy Week services, if you think that’s ok then there is something seriously amiss with your Catholic Faith. Little wonder the Church is in the state it is today when older Catholics think women representing Our Lord’s Apostles is orthodox and ok. What a mess!

      June 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm
  • Thurifer

    It makes me wonder if he disdains historical European/Western civilization and culture in general.

    June 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm
    • Athanasius


      I don’t think it would be uncharitable to suggest that perhaps he does, at least in the historical context of when the nations of Europe were Catholic by Constitution and false religions were generally suppressed. I hope not, but these days one just never knows for sure.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:15 am
    • Miles Immaculatae

      Well, it was the 9th Symphony, which is generally considered a somewhat important milestone in European/Western civilization, a long way off from Justin Bieber.

      June 25, 2013 at 12:25 am
    • Christina

      Look at that video of the children’s Mass he presided at in Argentina and you’ll have the answer to that one!

      June 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm
  • Eileenanne

    Quote from the Tekegraph article:
    The Pope has been meeting papal nuncios visiting the Vatican from around the world in recent days, suggesting he really was busy with meetings, but his no-show was also interpreted as his latest sidestepping of Vatican high life.

    This is a bit of a non-story, vague, unattributable, speculative.

    I have a feeling that if the Pope HAD gone to this concert he might have been criticised in some quarters for “fiddling while Rome burns”. Whatever he does there will be people keen to find fault.

    Is a secular concert an important celebration of the Year of Faith anyway? I expect the Pope will turn up for the Masses and RELIGIOUS events to mark the YoF. It is being ASSUMED – according to the article – that his non-attendance is connected to his apparent dislike of pomp amd ceremony. How much pomp and ceremony is there at a concert?

    My guess – and like everyone else here I have no insight into the Pope’s thoughts – is that he just had something else he deemed more important to do so he did it.

    June 25, 2013 at 8:42 am
    • editor

      “Whatever he does there will be people keen to find fault.”

      Nonsense. There’ll be no complaints from us if the Pope gets on with the papal job and cleans out the curia and cleans out the episcopate, not least here in Scotland. We’ve all got the message about the poor. He loves the poor, he wants nobody to be poor, he wants to live like the poor, etc. If he ever graces us with his presence for afternoon tea, remind me not to use our best china.

      And too bad that Our Lord said that “the poor you have with you always…” If only there’d been a SCIAF or CAFOD group around to put Him right on that one. Gimme – PLEASE gimme – strength.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm
      • Eileenanne


        If the Pope does what YOU think he should be doing, undoubtedly some others will be less than thrilled. He can’t please everyone and shouldn’t even try. Whatever he does will displease some and please others. He should only do what he believes to be right. Whether or not he goes to a concert is of no importance at all.

        June 26, 2013 at 9:35 am
      • Athanasius


        It used to be that the popes pleased the faithful and displeased the heretics with brilliantly written allocutions against heterodoxy. Today, I’m afraid it’s too often the other way around.

        June 26, 2013 at 9:51 am
      • Eileenanne

        I am rather surprised at you quoting “the poor you have with you always…”. That must be one of the most misused verses from the Bible. It is very clear that we will be judged on what we have done to relieve poverty and suffering. (Matthew 25:35)

        June 26, 2013 at 9:38 am
      • Athanasius


        Indeed we will be judged on what material assistance we were able to give to our neighbour and either did or did not give it. But we will be judged first on what we did on the supernatural level to keep the integrity of the Faith and to help our neighbour get to heaven. That excludes hob-nobbing with non-Christians and non-Catholics on the social “help the poor” level when those poor souls are without the means to save their souls in eternity.

        I cannot think of a greater act of hatred towards one’s neighbour than to pretend to him by silence or consent that his soul is saved in his false religion. I say again, it is the ultimate act of malice, even if it is presented with a smile and a cash handout.

        June 26, 2013 at 9:59 am
      • Eileenanne

        I do not disagree with what you say about our duty towards our neighbour, but anyone reading this blog could sometimes get the isea that it is AGAINST Catholic teaching to be concerned about relieving poverty. It is in fact an ESSENTIAL part of being Catholic.

        June 26, 2013 at 10:14 am
      • editor


        Firstly, we will be judged on a number of things – Matthew 25 being one. I can remember loads of homilies in parishes claiming that this would be IT, how we care for the poor. None of the priests (or laity who cite Matthew 25) ever mention “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments” or “not all who say ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven” – and we know God’s will through our fidelity to His commandments and the moral law, interpreted and guarded for us by His Church.

        In any case, the context for the quote (“the poor you have with you always) refers to precisely the issue of whether God should be honoured with beautiful artefacts etc or whether the money should be given to the poor. That is the issue. Even humanists believe in helping the poor, so of course we will all be held accountable for our treatment of the poor. Doesn’t mean we can’t “waste” money in making our churches beautiful, for example, to give honour to God. The issue here is that we now have a pope who seems to hold all the “trappings” of his office in disdain, to say the least, in the name of helping the poor – an attitude certainly at variance with the Gospel where Christ told Judas that the woman’s “waste” of the ointment for the purpose of giving glory to God was very pleasing to Him. The trappings of the papal office have the same function – to give glory to God through recognising the respect due to the office of His Vicar on earth.

        The pope is wrong to take these aspects of his office personally. It’s not about honouring him for his own sake – very elementary stuff and it’s astonishing that we now have a pope who doesn’t realise this.

        As for those reading this blog allegedly thinking that we are against helping the poor or do not realise that it is an essential part of Catholic teaching (as are the spiritual works of mercy never mentioned by modernist Catholics) – it seems any old excuse will do to attack Catholic Truth. The key rule of thumb always applies: unless there is a positive statement to the effect that we do NOT believe we should help the poor, the legal and charitable thing to do is to presume that we know our duty in this respect.

        June 26, 2013 at 10:26 am
      • Eileenanne

        You often sound a little disdainful when you speak of groups that exist to relieve poverty. I am sure it is unintentional and that now you are aware of it you will ensure your position is more clearly expressed in future.

        June 26, 2013 at 10:38 am
  • pius x

    Personally believe that Pope Francis is right to eschew certain parts of Papal tradition. An example would be the red Prada shoes, which Benedict XVI used so liberally, and the money which the Vatican saved could be given to Rome’s poor. These things such as the Mozzetta are not needed, they are superfluous. However, I think he should have gone to the concert, not only has it made Pope Francis seem uncultured, but has made the Church seem fractured, with the Pope distant from his Princes, and his flock. However, whilst the Biblical examples you gave are valid, you seem to be forgetting the Pope is not just a religious figure. He is the secular ruler of the Vatican, a King, remember the Pius IX was referred to in Germany as ‘Papst und Koenig’, that is why he needs a big and fancy 5 hour long coronation with a Tiara, to cement his righteous and just rule over his territory, separate to the Inaugural Mass which represents his enthronement as Spiritual leader of his people as Christ’s representative on Earth. He should be humble, and carry on washing prisoner’s feet (including Muslims) and visiting sick children and giving children tours of the PopeMobile. I think Christ would have done the same, whilst trying to convert the Muslim girl to salvation. He should not be cold and distant like Benedict XVI, who was an outstanding theologian, but possessed little human warmth, and he should try to be open and loving, and try to convert people’s hearts and souls to the Faith through love.

    Pius X

    June 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm
    • Petrus

      Pius X,

      Your latest posts shows just how ignorant and how much of a Protestant you are.

      You clearly know nothing of Pope Benedict XVI. Cold and distant? Little personal warmth? What do you base this on?

      June 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    • Athanasius

      pius x,

      Those red Prada shoes you speak of have been worn by every Pope since Peter, although they were not always made by Prada. The symbolism is that of martyrdom for the Faith. Pope Francis is the first Pope ever to refuse to wear them. You need to know the Catholic Faith before you can comment on it.

      June 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm
    • editor

      Oh yeah, and he’s sure to do that by not turning up for a concert. PULEEEEEESE!

      June 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm
  • pius x


    Thank you for your unusually patronising response. I’m shocked. I know that these shoes were not always made by Prada, as if the company was going in 34 AD, but are they really a major part of the faith? Our faith is in Jesus Christ, the doctrines and teachings of the Apostolic Church founded by Peter on the direction of Christ. Is your faith really hung up on a pair of red shoes? Faith is more than what the Pope puts on his feet. We remember Martyrdom through the Cross. I know the Pope used to wear red, but that fell out of use, and began to wear only white. I know aesthetics are important to some people, myself included, as my parents had to have me put on a high security psychiatric unit when Abp Sentamu cut up his dog collar, but it is the Pope’s own choice, and who knows, his successor may reinstate them as Benedict XVI did after John Paul II’s death, as with the Camauro and the Saturno. We should not be arguing about what the Pope wears, but talking between ourselves and to all people about the true doctrines of our Church.

    Pius X

    June 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    • Athanasius

      pius x,

      You miss the point entirely. It’s not a matter of red shoes or white shoes, it’s a matter of what underlies these decisions to abolish very clear and longstanding images of Catholic Tradition. I mean, what if a Pope decided to abolish the crucifix in favour of a plain cross, or, as Paul VI did, obscure the sacrifice of Calvary behind a Protestant facade, such as with the New Mass. What would you call that, a matter of personal taste with no bearing on faith and doctrine?

      Remember, the Protestant reformers said we didn’t need statues and other beautiful artifacts in Catholic churches. They promptly went on an iconoclastic rampage defacing every church they could find. Their argument was that these things were not relative to faith and doctrine. Would you agree with that? Maybe you need to reflect a little deeper.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    • editor

      I couldn’t see anything “patronising” in Athanasius’s response to you but I do detect a certain level of arrogance in your posts, in which, unsurprisingly (since the Pope’s doing the same thing) you make clear the fact that you think nothing of sweeping away centuries of tradition for no good reason. Gimme strength.

      Listen, to date I haven’t heard a whimper from the Vatican confirming all the changes the new Pope was allegedly planning to make to sweep clean the “corrupt” (his words) curia. His courage seems limited to chucking out the trappings of the papal office, so don’t ask me to give him a round of applause. Instead of putting the papal office down, which is what he’s doing, he might start exercising his authority and then we can ALL begin to respect him, not just the ACTB (Anti-Catholic Thrilled Brigade ) – thrilled because the new Pope’s opinion of Catholic “trappings” coincides with their own. Gimme more strength.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm
  • pius x

    Editor and Athanasius

    The patronising bit I thought was: ‘You need to know the Catholic Faith before you can comment on it.’ I’m in the process of converting, so as a relative outsider, gizzabreak.

    I personally, if I was Pope, would wear the red shoes, camauro etc, as it is the traditional uniform, worn throughout the ages, but it is not a major part of the faith. As I said before, in my view, it’s up to the Pope as he is a very different character to his predecessor’s such as the Pius’s or Benedict’s, as we know, he uses public transport (or did so as a Cardinal), and does not live in Papal apartments. He is very humble and meek. It’s about personality. With regards to the Crucifix and the Icons they are important and needed because they are necessary to enable us to focus during worship and to serve as a reminder of whatever they may be representing- I pray the Rosary better whilst gazing in humble adoration at a beautiful statue of Our Lady at St Patrick’s Church. But these are part of worship- we don’t worship the Pope, we love him as Our Holy Father.


    You are the ignorant one I think on this occasion by throwing thoughtless insults around. I may be ‘Protestant’ but in all but name, not in practice or theology. This has nothing to do with it. Gerragrip!!! My point about Benedict’s personality: he is shy and distant in public, and in my opinion, he does not give off much warmth on a public level, giving deep theological speeches. That could be construed as cold. Whereas Francis could be described as ‘folksy’, as he is friendly and loving- look at the downs-syndrome boy who he took onto the PopeMobile, or those children he met from the Bambino Gesu hospital. His ‘human’ side is more prominent and evident. I meant no offence to Benedict XVI, as I admire very much. I admire Mary Tudor as a devoted servant of the Faith, but it doesn’t stop me thinking she was cruel. To admire someone, or something, as I do with the Church, you must look at the good and bad. It reinforces things.

    Pius X

    June 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    • Petrus

      Pius X,

      I note your accusation that I am “ignorant”. Please could you elaborate?

      I note also your claim that you aren’t a Protestant “theologically”. Well, you certainly aren’t a wilful Protestant and I do believe you mean well. However, you do not have the Catholic Faith. This isnt entirely your fault: the version of Catholicism being presented to you is counterfeit.

      We have counselled you time and time again to find a traditional priest and receive proper instruction. What you are receiving just now, based on your failure to grasp the nature of Catholic Tradition (remember your plea for divorce and remarriage?), is Catholicism Lite!

      June 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm
  • pius x


    Has he actually abolished them? His successor can reinstate them, can’t he?

    Pius X

    June 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm
    • Athanasius

      pius x,

      Yes, his successor can reinstate them. Pope Francis did not abolish them, he merely chose not to wear them in order to enhance his personal message that he despises such Traditional trappings. The red shoes are only one of a number of incidents which suggest that Pope Francis does not have the same view of the dignity of the Papal Office that all the other Popes have had. There was none more humble and in love with the poor than St. Pius X, yet even he did not despise the pomp and splendour of the exaulted Petrine Office. There is something seriously amiss with Pope Francis’ mindset in this matter.

      June 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm
  • pius x


    Well, I agree with Pius X (the Pope), and I agree with you over all, but at the same time I think as I have said in my own post, it’s the Pope’s choice, just not a right one. I recall Pius X’s quote-‘I was born poor, I will live poor and I will die poor’. I don’t think the Papacy is less dignified, just less ‘ostentatious’. Benedict XVI damaged the dignity of the Papacy by abdicating but that is a different debate. You can be humble, but still keep the trappings of office, because the Papacy is secular as well as religious, hence the Coronation should generally be viewed separately. It’s like the Queen and the Crown, she doesn’t sleep in it, so the same could apply with the Pope i.e where the shoes etc on important occasions. Like I say, it’s obviously important to you and fellow bloggees, but to me it’s not massively important, and I’m more concerned about doctrine and spreading Christ’s message.

    Pius X

    June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm
    • Petrus

      Pius X,

      Although I know what you mean, I disagree that the papacy is secular as well as religious. The Vatican is not a secular state, so it’s Pontiff King cannot be a secular ruler. The Vatican is an absolute monarchy – I dislike the term, but a somewhat theocracy.

      June 26, 2013 at 8:56 am
  • j.kearney

    Well, i must confess I knew absolutely nothing about the Pope`s shoes, red, white, or green and I bet there are many Catholics who will say the same. What we have here is a debate on whether everything that is traditional is untouchable. The Pharisees in the time of Jesus accused Jesus in the same way Pius x is being accused. He refused to stick to tradition. If millions of people know nothing about the Pope`s shoes does that not say something about its usefulness? It is like the washing of the feet, the twelve men who come forward are not apostles, not even clergy, so is this tradition one to be kept rather than the significance of the washing of the feet, humbling oneself before those whom the priest will serve? On the question of the character of the Pope – I would say we all know very little. We all change our roles when we leave home for work and our characters change according to the role we have to fulfill in our working life. Few there are who are the same person at work and at home. The Pope also fulfills his role as Pope and will be different in public from when he is relaxed in hi private apartments. That is why all our judgments can go wrong. As a Pope we can criticise Pope John Paul II, but what kind of a person was he really? Perhaps in his apartments he was a holy person and deserving of being canonised despite our judgements. We do not know what struggles he may have had in the Vatican and were we there among the freemasons and homosexuals perhaps what we think should be easy is not so. A great deal of care is needed less we are the ones condemned at our final judgement.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm
    • Josephine

      I don’t think it’s about the shoes but about not disrespecting the papal office.

      I am really amazed that you see nothing wrong with breaking with the custom of washing the feet of 12 men at the Maundy Thursday Mass which is commemorating the Last Supper, when the first priests were ordained and the Mass was instituted. That is what makes it so important that only men have their feet washed at that Mass, especially now with people demanding women’s ordination.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:07 am
      • j.kearney

        Actually Josephine I am on the fence over this one. If Christ wanted us to learn to serve others by being humble at the Last Supper and washing the feet of the Apostles was he indicating that it was only priests washing the feet of priests he approved of. If we stick to tradition then perhaps what Jesus meant could be lost. That I should be humble enough to wash your feet, woman though you are, and you should be humble enough to wash mine. I believe there is a deep theological point here which we could alol learn from which is why I lean towoards support the Pope

        June 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm
      • editor


        If Christ had wanted to invite women to the Last Supper He would have done so. If he’d wanted to impart some particular message about humble service through washing the feet of women he would have done so.

        Are you unaware of the central importance of the Last Supper and the theology associated with it?

        June 26, 2013 at 7:08 pm
  • Petrus

    It’s utterly amazing that after detailed explanations by Athanasius, editor, Josephine etc , people are still missing the point. J Kearney your posts just astound me. How you can still be blinded by Modernism is really beyond me. Pius X has excuses; you don’t!

    The main issue here is Pope Francis’ apparent inability to distinguish between the person and the office. It is indeed false humility. The trappings of the papal office exist to glorify the institution of the papacy, not the man who holds the office. Indeed, these trappings should mask the personality and draw attention fo the glorious office the individual holds. They should diminish Jorge Maria Bergoglio and exalt Pope Francis. The Holy Father is dreadfully mixed up on this and reveals something of his theology. Could it be that Jorge Bergoglio is more akin to the religion of man, than the religion of God? Perhaps.

    Please God, may the graces of the papal office convert him!

    June 26, 2013 at 6:54 am
  • Therese


    An excellent and succinct post. Thank you.

    June 26, 2013 at 9:17 am
  • Gabriel Syme

    I was quite put-out, at first, by the reports of Francis missing the concert. I thought the media picture of the conspicuously empty Papal throne, amid a bustling audience and ranks of Cardinals, looked dreadful. I also felt for the other guests; like it or not, the Pope means a lot to people and there must have been at least a few people disappointed not to catch a glimpse of him during the event (especially those who do not have the opportunity to see the Pope regularly or easily).

    I now tend to think the media misrepresented the matter – the Telegraph claimed Francis’ absence reflected his distaste for pomp and ceremony; but then what kind of philistine would regard a recital of classical music – beautiful culture for any ears – as “pomp and ceremony”?

    In retrospect, no doubt something important did come up; I don’t expect it is actually that rare for changes to a(ny) Popes schedule to occur at short notice.

    This morning (wed 26th) I noticed a couple of blogs, (The Eponymous Flower and Australia Incognito), have posted a report from Michael Voris, (at the Vatican), reporting that an emergency meeting of the Curial Cardinals was called yesterday at short notice.

    This led to some Cardinals being suddenly absent from events they had been scheduled to attend, similar to Francis’ concert absence. Their aides have confirmed that being summoned to a sudden meeting is what forced the change to their plans.

    Voris says the local talk is that Francis is about to run a broom through the Curia, and The Eponymous Flower speculates that the reason behind Francis’ concert absence is connected to this. (maybe another short notice meeting?)

    We do know the emergency meeting took place yesterday, (Jun 25th), but currently have no concrete info as to what was discussed or decided. I suppose the coming days will reveal how accurate talk of a shake-up is.

    June 26, 2013 at 10:27 am
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      “Voris says the local talk is that Francis is about to run a broom through the Curia…”

      Is this the same “broom” they’ve been talking about since the end of the last conclave?

      I’ll believe it when I see it.

      June 26, 2013 at 11:11 am
      • Gabriel Syme

        “Is this the same “broom” they’ve been talking about since the end of the last conclave?”

        Hi Editor,

        Presumably it is one and the same!

        I cant remember where, but a while back I read or heard something describing Church reform / discipline by saying “The bulldozer moves very slowly.”

        Oh that the driver would put his foot down!

        Hopefully we will be pleasantly surprised in any case.

        To be fair, its only been three months since the last conclave – I wouldn’t say that seemed unreasonably long for new eyes to appraise a situation, consider it and then begin to take action.

        One would expect ++Mueller (liberation theologist) and Cardinal Bertone (accused of cronyism, restricting access to Benedict XVI etc) to be “swapped out”.

        Hopefully something positive will happen soon!

        June 26, 2013 at 11:26 am
  • pius x


    When I said you were ignorant, I meant that you are making judgements about my life, which you know zilch about. I was christened in the Church of England, parents are atheist/ agnostic, and I DID NOT HAVE A RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING. You can be assured I agree with you on divorce and remarriage and contraception. How am I Catholic lite? With regards to the Papal slippers, camauro etc, I would wear them as they are traditional attire, it’s like the Queen not wearing the Crown, but nobody seems to be taking into account the Pope’s personality, and I think he was wrong about the shoes and the Mozzetta and definitely the concert.

    Pius X

    June 26, 2013 at 10:33 am
    • Petrus

      Pius X,

      I made no comment on your life. I stated that you are still very much a Protestant based on your posts.

      Now, you claim that you agree with me on divorce, contraception and papal dress. However, this is a complete turnaround. You didn’t agree on divorce – you expressed your desire for a change in the Church’s teaching. You disagreed on papal dress – now you agree. This is fine, as education is the purpose of this blog.

      Your description of the instruction you’ve received so far and some of the comments you have posted, show that your reading and instruction has been to date woefully inadequate. Thank God you found this blog. You are to be commended for coming here and asking questions, so don’t get me wrong. I am on your side. But please don’t get too hot under the collar about being corrected. I suggest you think and read before you fire off a post that is inaccurate.

      June 26, 2013 at 10:42 am
      • pius x


        You should know that I never agreed with contraception, even before I was on this blog, but I did not know about NFP, I just assumed ‘proper’ Catholics would remain celibate until they desired to procreate. Glad we cleared that up. As for the Papal footwear, I’m pragmatic about it, I would use it as would you, but Francis is different, although I think this humility is still a bit forced or false if you see what I mean. Believe you me I’m pleased to have your advice, but I don’t see as to how I was being corrected on this issue or contraception. I realise I made a silly statement regarding the changing of Church doctrine. What I meant was could the Church not show tolerance in certain aspects, but you corrected me. As if you would support change. I did agree with you on Papal dress from the start, I just made comments on the Pope’s personality. I’m truly sorry if I anger you but I’m a newbie.

        Pius X

        June 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm
  • editor


    The reply button has disappeared from your post at 10.38, where you write the following:

    You often sound a little disdainful when you speak of groups that exist to relieve poverty. I am sure it is unintentional and that now you are aware of it you will ensure your position is more clearly expressed in future

    Regarding the “groups that exist to relieve poverty” – allow me to clearly express my position right now.

    I have no time at all for the groups like SCIAF and CAFOD who purport to help the poor. I would NEVER contribute to their funds. They are not to be trusted on the AIDS/HIV issue at all, although I note from their websites that they are less open now than they used to be about their dissemination of “safe-sex” advice and condoms. I prefer to follow, in any case, that other Gospel injunction not to let my left hand know what my right hand is doing in these matters, to safeguard against spiritual pride. There’s lots of ways to help the poor materially, Eileenanne, we don’t need specialised groups of “professionals” (drawing large salaries, by the way) so to do.

    June 26, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • Gabriel Syme

    We should remember too that:

    In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI missed a concert which led to angry media interviews with various musicians and a media portrayal of him as being aloof and disdainful.

    In 2013, Pope Francis misses a concert and the media praise him for his simplicity

    This obvious duplicity shows that the typical persons understanding of the Catholic Church is based on the pantomime which the media spoon-feeds them with.

    June 26, 2013 at 11:32 am
    • Gabriel Syme

      Meant to add – it is sad that the typical (non-Catholic) persons view is so distorted by the media. They could easily get better information – from Catholic blogs, papers etc – if they really wanted but them seem (perhaps subconsciously) happy to accept whatever the media tells them, even if its the direct opposite of what the media told them a short while before.

      Its crazy what people will believe about the Church; a good friend was recently ranting and raving about the Church and it was all the usual rubbish, which was all the more disappointing as he is no fool generally.

      June 26, 2013 at 11:36 am
      • pius x

        Gabriel Syme,

        I agree with your last paragraph completely. You would not believe what I have had to put up with. People denouncing my beliefs about the Eucharist. ‘How can it be the literal body and blood’. Of course it is the literal body and blood, how could the Spirit of Jesus Christ be there if it did not become his flesh and blood in essence and substance, if not in vision? Jesus said in the Bible before he entered into his Passion, ‘THIS IS MY BODY’. I have also been told to go and live in Italy or Ireland, I’ve been told I’m more loyal to the Kings of Spain and Belgium as they are Catholic, and I’ve been called an IRA supporter of all things. Can you believe it?

        Pius X

        June 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm
  • Leo

    On the matter of humility all I’ll say is that, regardless of outward signs, God alone knows how genuinely humble any of us are.

    I’m not aware of Pope Francis making any claims to personal humility, but certainly some of his widely discussed words and actions have given grounds for serious disquiet. I would imagine that some of the Pope’s spokesmen are experiencing a certain amount of sleep deprivation and tobacco cravings at this stage.

    All the wrong people appear to have been emboldened by his election. Neither is it exactly earthshattering to opine that Pope Francis is a product of his background as a South American Jesuit ordained in the late sixties. And I’m not convinced that Cardinal Bergoglio was a “dark horse” before the conclave. I got worried when I heard a liberal Cardinal expressing a certain confidence that the conclave would be short. That confidence proved to be well founded.

    The thought occurs to me that despite all the obvious contrasts, and all the somewhat surprising expressions of liberal enmity towards Pope Benedict, both men, in their own ways, are very much men of the Council. Both Popes might represent different things to different people, but the Conciliar beat goes on.

    I understand that lengthy quotations can be a bit off putting, but I think the following are useful pointers towards, and evidence of, the Conciliar thinking that is undoubtedly exerting a strong influence on Pope Francis in the matter of the signs of dignity surrounding the papal office.

    These quotations are due to the great scholarship of traditionalist writer Atila Sinke Guimaraes in his book entitled Animus Delendi – 1 (Desire to Destroy), part of his collection books on the Council.

    First off, Pope Paul appears to get the ball rolling on the matter of “symbols of (episcopal) dignity”. I’m not sure, though that the “sober and dignified decorum” remains.

    “Who does not recall, for example, in times past, especially when episcopal authority was associated with temporal authority (the crozier and the sword, as all can remember)… In those times, such signs did not give rise to scandal; then, people liked to admire their Bishop adorned with grandeur, power, riches and majesty. Today, however, this is not the case, nor should it be so. Far from admiring, people are surprised and scandalized, when a Bishop appears with the signs of those excessive and anachronistic symbols of his dignity; these people then appeal to the Gospel…There still remains, it is true, a sober and dignified decorum; the office requires it; but let us thank God for all the worldly and exterior things we have put aside.” – Pope Paul VI to the Italian Bishops, December 6, 1965

    Here are quotations from two progressivist periti who wielded great influence at the Council. It’s not unreasonable to think that they have had a strong influence on Pope Francis.

    “Modern society tends to be constructed upon reason, not upon the sacred. Has the Church made a corresponding critique of her profane, imperial, feudal and lordly part that for so long she not only tolerated but also stimulated? The Holy Empire no longer exists, but many titles and insignia, many elements of its ceremonial life and, therefore, its visibility, still remain in the Church, left over from its splendour of old…Isn’t it time, couldn’t it be more advantageous to ‘shake off the imperial dust that has gradually built up since the times of Constantine on the throne of Saint Peter?’ There are the words of John XXIII…” – Fr. Y. Congar, Pour une Eglise servant et pauvre, p. 119

    “’The Church of the poor,’ the ‘poor Church,’ this unique double formula, unique in its inseparable connection, twofold in the different fields of its requirements, expresses perfectly one of the traits of the physiognomy that the Church, at the Vatican Council, decided to give herself in order to be faithful to herself in the living conscientization of her nature. ‘In the Council, the Church contemplates herself in the Gospel, said then Fr. Congar. A banal operation, some will say. In fact, it is a renewing operation, because, by going beyond good intention, it leads to the reform of structures. It would be a mistake to see this only as the pastoral abjuration of a more or less romantic evangelism: it deals with the constitution of the Church.”- Fr. M. D. Chenu, A Igreja dos Pobres no Vatican II, V.A., Os pobres e a Igreja, in Concilium 1977/4, p. 61

    It’s not being in any way cynical or disrespectful to the Vicar of Christ to say that I think it is pretty certain that many of the actions that we have seen over the last three and a half months are not simply some spontaneous, unconsidered reflections of Pope Francis’s personality. Do they not chime remarkably with the Pact of the Catacombs, which was made by about 40 Conciliar Fathers on November 16, 1965 in the Catacombs of St. Domitila, Rome? Its resolutions include the following:

    “1. We will seek to adopt the common lifestyle of our people with regard to housing, food and means of transportation…

    “2.We renounce forever the appearance and fact of wealth, especially in dress (rich materials, showy colours), insignia made of precious materials (indeed, these signs must be evangelical)…neither gold nor silver.

    “5. We refuse to be addressed, orally or in writing, by names and titles signifying grandeur and power, (Eminence, Excellence, Monsignor…)

    The Pact was strongly influenced by Fr Yve Congar’s book that was quoted from above.

    And here’s a reminder of Pope Francis’ formative South American background:

    In the 1968 document issued by the Second Conference of the Latin American Bishops (CELAM), at which Paul VI was present, one can read: “We desire our abode and way of life to be modest, our dress simple, and our works and institutions functional, with neither pomp nor ostentation. We ask the priests and the faithful to treat us as befits our mission as priests and Pastors. We want to renounce honorific titles, proper to another epoch.”

    June 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm
    • Athanasius


      A very interesting post indeed. That Pact of the Catacombs reads like Communism with a religious hat. It brings to mind these words of Cardinal Pacelli (later Pius XII):

      “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to little Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul… I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.”

      As regards humility, an old friend of mine once said that we lose our humility the second we realise that we are humble! I thought that was quite a wise pronouncement.


      Uriah Heep!

      June 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm
  • Leo


    Your friend got it absolutely right about humility. And of course conspicuous humility is no humility at all.

    Uriah Heep and humility. Very good.

    On more serious matters those words of Pope Pius XII really are a thunderbolt. They encapsulate a great deal indeed.

    There has been plenty of talk in recent months about Pope Francis’ eschewal of symbols of the office of Supreme Pontiff. It’s not very difficult to relate that to an extremely serious project of Vatican II progressivists which involves a voluntary self-immolation of the Church and the Papacy.

    This dangerous if not sinister madness flies under the flag of “kenosis of the Church”. The Greek term kenosis has a completely legitimate meaning in the context of Saint Paul’s well known words about Our Lord’s self-sacrificing humility in Philippians 2:7.

    In the hands of progressivists opposed to the idea of the Church as the one true Church, the supernatural Mystical Body of Christ, “the light of the word”, the theory of kenosis, which is of Lutheran inspiration, offers a theological “doctrine” on how the Church should voluntarily annihilate herself. Yeah, that’s not a typo.

    The work of Atila Sinke Guimaraes in his book Animus Delendi I covers the subject in detail. The following quote from page 88 crams a lot in:

    “The doctrine of kenosis was drawn from ancient heresies, and especially from some theses of Luther updated by Protestant reinterpretations and Greek-schismatic concepts from the second half of the 19th and the early 20th century. To this doctrine certain progressivists fused elements of German idealism –especially a certain nostalgic and romantic note typical of Schelling and Hegel’s dialectic method, along with the more recent phenomenological theories of Husserl and Scheler. The resulting mixture of philosophy and theology acted as a kind of drain that drew in the errors from various periods, swelled by the action of the modernist-progressivist apostasy and translated into the present ardour to destroy the Holy Church based on the documents of the Council.”

    No much beating around the bush there. This really is serious stuff. And to be fair, if I recall correctly, Leon G presented us with similar descriptions on the old blog.

    Indeed we need to pray much for the Holy Father.

    June 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm
    • editor

      Yes, Leo, I think we do indeed need to pray much for the Holy Father.

      It seems that the problem of genuine humility is widespread, even among the Protestant clergy.

      Take this minister I’ve just heard of, for example: he received a Christmas card with a note in it from a lady in his congregation, who wrote in a very complimentary way about his preaching. She compared him with Billy Graham. She finished by writing, “I think you are one of the really great preachers of all time.”

      Later that day, when he showed the note to his wife, she asked, “Who is that woman?” He replied, “She is a very intelligent woman in the congregation who loves great preaching.” He then asked his wife, “How many great preachers do you suppose there really are in the world?” She replied, “One less than you think.”

      Enough nonsense!

      I’m very interested in what you say about “kenosis” – the word was flogged to death in my teacher-training college days – one of many! The alleged liberals just love their kenosis, their pneumatology and their hermeneutics…

      What’s wrong with them? Oops, no time for that particular list – life’s too short!

      June 27, 2013 at 12:47 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Koinonia, don’t forget Koinonia.

        June 27, 2013 at 12:58 am
      • editor

        I won’t!

        There are murmurs afoot about the possible announcement of the appointment of a new Vatican Secretary of State tomorrow, Feast of SS Peter & Paul but shouldn’t such an announcement be deferred to the nearest Sunday? she asked rhetorically, tongue firmly in cheek…

        Oh and he’s a great diplomat, apparently. Just exactly what we need right now, another diplomat…

        For those who sign “Puzzled, Auchtermuchty” allow me to quote Mother Evangelica of EWTN…

        “Diplomacy stinks!”

        June 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm

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