One reason why I have been experiencing some issues with the new pope, Pope Francis, is not because of the pope himself, but because of how people are using him as a stick to clobber the Church and the papacy. They act as if this new pope has come to clear away the spirit of snobbery and affluence which has had the Church in its grasp for thousands of years. This betrays a gross misunderstanding of the Church’s sacred liturgy and it’s sacred vestments and vessels, an un-Biblical misunderstanding.
This picture right here shows what has been aggravating me. The precise attitude that is thoughtlessly being used to alienate our new Pope from people:
Catholics, protestants and secularists (but mainly, shockingly Catholics) are misinterpreting our new pope’s preferences for simplicity to say that the previous popes and the church were all rich snobs. When our new pope chooses not to wear a certain thing, it is automatically set up as a denigration to those who chose to wear them. This is what is setting people against the new pope when they should be accepting him and loving him.
You do not use the pope to bash the papacy. The Church is not out of touch with the poor but has always been the advocate of the poor, more than any other institution in the world, despite the popes having and wearing nice things! I say the Catholic Church is like a dignified Queen, who wears a robe of splendor yet clothes the naked, who consecrates the Bread of Heaven yet feeds the hungry, who marches forth with wisdom yet instructs the ignorant, who has a palace in heaven but builds palaces for the poor where they can worship amidst beauty free of charge.
…And comparing the previous popes to the Roman Emperor, is a very Protestant, anti-Catholic notion. It is one that Pope Francis never used himself but rather has been shoved into his mouth by people who have anti-Catholic notions. The media has been having their way with this pope and they need to leave him alone.
The popes all knew who they were the successor of, that is why the Papacy is called “The Petrine Ministry” Even if some of them (Alexander VI, cough , cough) acted like Emperors, they knew their duties which is why the papacy has become such a fearful and laborious office for those who might be elected to it. It is a terrific ministry not to be compared to a secular monarchy. It is a horribly misunderstood ministry and I encourage all Catholics to educate themselves about the role of the pope and why he wears gold and fancy vestments.
The Catholic Church is not like the street with its meaningless fashions, everything a priest or bishop wears has heavy, deep symbolism. Pope Francis himself isn’t telling people that it is ungodly or wrong for a priest to wear nice things, he has a preference not to wear nice things in keeping with his Jesuit vow of poverty. Contrary to popular belief, he is not mandating the destruction of all nice churches, decorated altars and gold crosses. The Catholic Church will always have and use nice things for the worship of Almighty God. It is not snobbery or affluence- it is your ignorance that makes it look that way!!