Thursday, 30 January 2014

What's in a coat?

Pope Francis looking very smart in a greca - sure sign of alignment with the poor.

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, has had to issue a statement decrying the presentation of Pope Francis in a positive light for the sole purpose of denigrating Pope Benedict. This is more or less just what I was posting about a few days ago and some time ago.  Fr Lombardi says the article falls into "the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which in order to highlight the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it should describe in a negative way the pontificate of Pope Benedict, and does so with a surprising crudeness.”

The article appeared in the American "Rolling Stone Magazine".  Here is a flavour of its odious comparisons: 
"After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis' basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic."

More than that, the triumph of subjective judgement is almost comedic.  Which Pope is being described in such glowing sartorial terms here?
"He's also surprisingly stylish, today wearing a double-breasted white overcoat, white scarf and slightly creamier cassock, all impeccably tailored."
The highly praised impeccably tailored Pope isn't Benedict but Francis.  When Pope Benedict dressed properly, he was - according to the liberal secular press -  an ecclesiastical fashion victim, so caught up in old-fashioned vestments that he had no time for looking after the poor or needy (no doubt reading "Mien Kampf" whilst trying on red slippers!)  How strange that one coat can imply so many different things.

We can only agree with Fr Lombardi, who says:
“What a shame. This is not the way to do a good service even to Pope Francis, who knows very well what the Church owes to his predecessor.” 

Pope Benedict looking very smart in a greca - sure sign of an unhealthy interest in dressing up.

Pope John Paul in a greca - sure sign of a reactionary.

Pope John in a greca - sure sign of being good.

Pope Pius XII in a greca - sure sign of Nazi tendencies.

Seems like everyone wants to get in on this stylish act!


Anonymous said...

The thrust of the article in'Rolling Stone' says more about the mindset of it's writer, Nick Beneli than anything else.

RJ said...

Very encouraged by the Pope's recent admonition to Notre Dame (cf Fr Ray Blake) and the sermon commenting on the absurdity of separating Christ from the Church and making it up as we go along (cf. Catholic Herald).