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Old Mar 18, '13, 9:47 pm
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JReducation JReducation is offline
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Default Re: Red mozzetta? Coat of Arms?

Let's look at this from another perspective. I believe that many, if not most, posters here are not familiar with the inner workings of religious life.

The mozzetta was introduced as a papal garment for several reasons. First of all, it was a way of staying warm. It took the place of the long mantle. It's awkward to wear a long mantle inside. The red is with the white trim was introduced, because they are royal colors, along with purple.

Next, we have not had a regular pope in almost two centuries. Our experience of popes, since the late 18th century has been secular popes who do not have a vow of poverty and all of whom have been European.

This pope is a regular bishop, not a secular bishop and he's not European. Like most of those born in the colonies, he has European ancestry. In fact, he's first generation Argentinian.

As he told the media when he met with them, he was influenced by one of the cardinals to embrace poverty. For this reason, he took the name Francis.

Now, let's go back to the first Franciscan bishop, St. Bonaventure. Bonaventure was an absentee bishop who was named a cardinal and who hung the red hat on a tree branch and refused to wear it or the choir robes. He never wore anything other than the brother's grey habit. Later Franciscan popes also refused to wear the usual papal red. They wore the Franciscan habit or the white cassock.

The Dominican popes, Pope Benedict XI, Pope Benedict XIII, Pope Innocent V, and Pope Pius V wore the Dominican habit, not the red robes. Pope Pius V was such a holy and beloved pope that Pope Gregory XIII honored him by wearing a white cassock, hence the traditional white cassock worn by popes.

As you can see, there is a tradition that is part of the line of regular popes. We're not familiar with it, because none of us were alive during the pontificate of the last regular pope.

Not wearing the mozzetta or the pontifical stole is not a rejection of tradition. On the contrary, it's very consistent with the tradition of the regular popes.

What the Holy Father chooses to do, to wear, to speak, or not do, etc is all a mystery, because we have never had a Jesuit pope.

I believe that we're going to be seeing much more of religious life than many people care to see. We already have been told that the Holy Father has asked the two Superior Generals (that of the Order of Friars Minor, Jose Rodriguez Carballo and that of the Jesuits, Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, respectively President and Vice-President of the Union of Superior Generals) to concelebrate with him. Vatican Information Service

This is a first for a papal inauguration. Religious are not usually included among the high ranking prelates. Popes don't usually appoint the president and vice president of the Unioin of Superiors General. Pope Francis just made those two appointments. Those positions are usually elected by the rest of us who are superiors. It's very telling that he has chosen to appoint a Jesuit and a Franciscan to lead the superiors general of the world.

I can't say whether he will or will not wear red, but those who have a desire for tradition will have to go back to the 18th century and further back to understand that there is actually a tradition for regular popes. It's a tradition of simplicity of manners, scholarship, preference for the poor, and liturgical simplicity. They have a tradition of being popular (as in men of the people).

One more thing, the Vatican did comment on the vestments on the day of the election. I don't know who made the comment about the carnival, but that's not what the Vatican quoted the Holy Father. Apparently, the master of ceremonies pointed to the mozzetta and other vestments, not trying to tell the pope what to wear, but just pointing to the fact that they were there. This would make perfect sense. Go figure, you've just been elected pope. You're probably overwhelmed. You need someone to show you around the dressing room. In any case, his response was, "Leave them there." Then he asked the MC to bring the stole for the blessing.

It seems that he knew these clothes were available to him, but he was not interested in wearing them. This is no indication that he will never wear any of it or that he is snubbing them. It means what he said. "Leave them there."

I don't think that there is a need to read anything negative into that comment. If we recall, someone asked the Capuchin Franciscan cardinal what he would wear if elected. He looked perplexed. Then said, "My habit. What else?"

To religious, these things are not part of our mindset or of our view of the Church or the papacy. We see these things as OK for a secular pope, but it would not occur to us to dress up unless it was mandated, such as for the conclave. That situation is different. You're not the boss. You follow the rules. When you're the boss, you're free to think as a regular, not a secular.

For those who want to try to understand Pope Francis, you'll have to start thinking like a regular. If you perseverate in thinking like a secular, you'll be very confused. We just don't think the same way that secular Catholics think. It's drilled out of us during 10 years of formation between postulancy and final vows.

I'll tell you where you may find more secular thinking, among the religious congregations, but not in the religious orders.
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