Comments on: Tradition, novelty and the pope Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: paintcan Wed, 13 Feb 2013 19:42:13 +0000 The idea that the needs of one’s ego and personal finances and one’s position of influence should not be the same thing, is something that could do with a lot more popular admiration, especially here.

The British political class used to practice voluntary resignations for reasons of principal but the mass media age doesn’t seem to know what to make of that. If one is out of the spotlight, one is nearly dead today. That required an informed “elite” or political culture that actually understood and remembered why the principled position was being taken at all. There’s something to be said for people with private means who don’t need the incomes they can find in government self service to be “somebody”.

It’s Showtime at the top today and almost everyone will forget Benedict. That’s what will probably happen. The show will go on.

I guess it also means Gabrielli will be in prison for a long time now? Benedict never came out with the last minute pardon for him.

I never understood that title “Vicar of Christ”. When I was still a Catholic, they used to say that all Catholics were supposed to be like Christ. People get excited over celebrities all the time and mass events insure mass hysteria. And I didn’t agree with most of the Popes since I was about 10 year old. The last one I thought was the most Christ like was John XXIII and there’s a little sculpture in the Vatican galleries that seems to agree with me. It showed the last three popes till Paul VI and only John is actually facing the cross and Christ writhing in agony on it and he looks like he is screaming at the three vicars in front of him. The body of Paul VI is partly turned to the cross (celibacy perhaps or leading a moral life) but his head is facing the spectator, Pius isn’t looking behind him at all but faces out like the figurehead of a ship. It is interesting to consider how John XXIII would have handled the war years. I suspect he would have done about what Pius did but, more likely, he would never have been elected at all. John was the optimism of the 50s.

I saw that sculpture as a bit of pious sarcasm. John XXIII was the last true revolutionary and started changes that the latter Popes tried to calm and even reverse. He actually suggested doing more than reading one’s missile to follow the language of the Mass. And a lot of people at the time didn’t even do that. According to an Italian movie with Mickie Rourke about the life of St. Francis, that is why St Francis changed his life. He’d actually had a chance in his young adulthood to read the New Testament in Italian translation.