29 March 2013

He's the Holy Father!

No one (in his right mind) would ever accuse me of being loosey-goosey with the rubrics.  I've been on the receiving end of more clerical dismissiveness about following the basic rules of liturgical prayer than any Poor Ole Friar should ever have to endure (poor me). 

So, when our Holy Father washed the feet of two women at that youth prison in Rome, I cringed slightly. . .and then I got over it.  Yes, the Liturgical Progs will use this violation of the rubrics as an excuse to violate their least favorite rubrics. . .but, come on, let's be candid here: they were going to do that anyway. All F1 did was make their excuses a tiny bit easier to invent.


That the Holy Father, Francis, washed the feet of young men and women on his first Holy Thursday as Pope, should call our minds and hearts to the simple and spontaneous gesture of love, affection, forgiveness and mercy of the Bishop of Rome, more than to legalistic, liturgical or canonical discussions.

If you find yourself thinking that this explanation is a bad thing, a wrong way of seeing our mission, or just plain dumb. . .well, you might need a refresher course in what we claim to be doing down here amongst our fellow sinners.

Pope Francis is our Holy Father. He's the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Supreme Pontiff, etc., etc. Do not fall into the Prog Trap of picking and choosing which pope you will obey and which one you will ignore.

BXVI has pledged his obedience to F1.  Will you refuse to do the same?
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16 comments:

  1. fr. Dismas, OP8:00 PM

    The obedience thing is a false dichotomy, since we are not being asked to obey or disobey anything. He's the pope, and he has full right and authority to do that.

    This is more of a practical, day-to-day thing. It not only makes it easier for people to ignore, it makes it easier for our fellow friars, to be blunt, to make life Hell.

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    1. The people who ignore rubrics will do so regardless of what the Pope says or does. Did rubric-ignoring cease under BXVI? :-)

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    2. fr. Dismas, OP8:35 PM

      No, but at least I could defend myself.

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    3. You are a Dominican friar! Distinguish! and damn the accusations!

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  2. Sometimes someone must confront Peter to his face because he is wrong.

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    1. And when and if he does something that's both important and wrong. . .someone will.

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  3. So since it was done with good intentions, it shouldn't be questioned? That is a dangerous line of thinking.

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    1. Didn't say/write that. . .what I am writing/saying is that F1 is our Holy Father and we owe him a little docility to see what he is trying to teach us. It's a bit premature to start screaming, "OMG!!!! NONE OF THE RULES WILL EVER BE FOLLOWED AGAIN!!! CATS SLEEPING WITH DOGS!!!" Etc, etc. Patience. Docility. Obedience. And, yes, there are more important things to the salvation of mankind than the sex of feet that the pope washes on one Holy Thursday in Rome in 2013.

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  4. I didn't see this as a Big Thing. Yes, I cringed, too, but I must admit part of that was because I knew what would await me at Easter Mass (unable to attend Holy Thursday/Good Friday). My son and I are the token orthodox Catholics of the parish, and honestly, there are many days I get tired of having to defend and/or explain. What I want to do is follow our Lord, cross on my shoulders. . . and the bickering and pettiness that gets in the way of that truly annoys me and causes me to want to start swinging that cross and hitting people upside the head :-). Pope Francis is the Pope. He has my allegiance - could we all stop trying to nitpick or gloat or complain or whatever, and just get on with the Mission??? We all know where our focus should be - so let's get back to it.

    OK, feel better now. Thanks!

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    1. That's exactly the attitude you should have about "having to defend and/or explain", and you should openly present it to the people that put you in that position. You will probably realize that most of the time they already know what you're gonna defend and/or explain and are just teasing you, so why bothering...?

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  5. Can. 331 The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.

    So, if he wants to dispense with a rubric that says only men for foot washing he is simply exercising his authority given him by Christ. The Church isn't a democracy. Just because the Pope does it, it doesn't mean we can.

    And think about it, of all things we are splitting hairs, having fist fights, clogging up the web and focusing on...the washing of feet of TWO GIRLS! We're not even pausing to reflect on what the Holy Father is trying to teach in a very particular circumstance. Nor, everything he has been preaching since he came to the See of Peter.

    It kind of shows you how much we all need the New Evangelization!

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  6. Anonymous12:56 PM

    I have two issues. 1. The Holy Father is the Supreme Pontiff and because he is Supreme Pontiff he can, if he so chooses, ignore liturgical law/rubrics and established customs and traditions. In doing so, he gives bad example. 2. He doesn't seem to realize that he IS the Supreme Pontiff. He has specifically avoided the title. He has been overly careful to refer to himself only as "the bishop of Rome". He can be simple and humble without insulting the dignity of the Papacy. Enough already.

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  7. I read a little bit about the news right before going to Holy Thursday Mass and then a some more on the smartphone while waiting for it to begin... Fortunately I've been delivering myself from überCatholic pretentions I used to have, becoming more serene and in a mindset similar to that described by Shelly above, so I don't get easily scandalized or angry anymore, and for crying out loud, my faith never felt so solid. Now I think twice about engaging the blogosphere Demolition Derby, and I realized many of my favorite Catholic Celebrities/Commentators change positions like a baby with dysentery changes diapers (that's one of the reasons why I ended up here)...

    Of course I anticipated the brouhaha, but what really struck me was the witness of the Pope's presence among those young immigrant offenders. The photo was very touching. What I've read that was more disturbing was that part of those participating in the rite wasn't Catholic and allegedly everybody got Communion, and that troubled me but my trust in the Pope was stronger and fitting clarification would come, and then I just realized I was dealing with journalists...

    I have no idea how airtight the viri selecti thing is but I remembered that people used to make a lot of fuss about female altar servers and I've recently read a post by Dave Armstrong explaining that it isn't really forbidden (although it can be done with the wrong dispositions).

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  8. Oh, and even though acknowledging that the Liturgical "Extroverts" will screw up anyway, my guess in this particular case is that they will screw up less, since it suddenly won't seem that transgressive anymore...

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  9. Did you hear? Jesus conversed with a Samaritan woman.

    Did you hear? Jesus plucked grain on the Sabbath.

    It could very well be that the rubric restricting the washing of the feet to viri selecti does not serve to advance the Gospel.

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