Is this prelate disobeying the pope?

NCR’s Thomas C. Fox wonders about Burke’s galero.

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72 comments

  1. An elucidating comment from the original NCR post, by a Father J. DeViese:

    This article is obviously well-researched in terms of the history, development, and construction of the galero, but it glosses over some finer points in its accusation of Cardinal Burke.

    Yes, in 1969, Pope Paul VI suppressed the galero, as well as the red cappello romano (also called the “saturno”). Yet, on many occasions Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI have all donned the red cappello romano in direct defiance of Paul VI’s edict. These acts of suppression, then, are not as binding as say the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception or the Divinity of Our Lord. They are disciplinary acts which are valid up to the point that a successive pontiff decides not to enforce it.

    Second, it is the case that most Cardinals of the Church after 1969 have continued to commission galeros, perhaps not to wear, but most certainly to adorn their cathedrals, as it is a sign of their unity with the Pope and their universal jurisdiction. There exists the single picture of Cardinal Burke wearing his galero–in all the many photos of him celebrating Mass, attending special and important functions, and the galero is not to be seen. It was most likely a gift that he donned for a single snapshot, and certain people who do not like him for one reason or another are merely trying to marginalize him so as to discredit him.

    Third, this photo was taken in the context of a Mass celebrated in accordance with the 1962 Missale Romanum, under the provision of Summorum Pontificum. Despite whatever one’s objections may be to this document or what it supports, it specifically states that all rites must be carried out according to those norms which were in effect in 1962. The galero, in 1962, was perfectly licit. Thus, it is not to be shunned in the celebration of the pre-Conciliar rites. Again, the edict of Paul VI was and is not so sacrosanct and binding that no power on heaven or earth may overturn or…

    1. Timothy, the “Fr. DeViese” whom you quote is spouting a lot of high-sounding assertions, but is self-contradictory on several points. If it’s a snapshot of gift, Burke’s not dressed up for a 1962 Mass. The 1962 missal does not require the galero. He offers no evidence for his claim that most cardinals continue to commission galeri, and I doubt it is true. If it were true, why does he assume the hat is a gift? If a motu proprio is only good until the next pope does something different, then we can look forward to the end of the 1962 missal in the next pontificate, hmm? Saying that abolishing the galero is not like announcing the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, while true, is a rather bizarre observation. No one is imagining dress codes to be matters of dogma.

      Do you even know this man whom you are quoting, and that this is his real name? All of the comments on the NCR website say the identity of the person is not verified.

      1. Dear Rita,

        Firstly: Fr. Jame DeViese is in fact a flesh and blood person, and in major orders, being ordained a priest on June 27, 2009 by Bishop Michael Bransfield. He was recently appointed associate pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Follansbee, WV, and will take up residence there July 13, 2011. You can read his autobiography here: http://www.serracharleston.org/Vocations/DeViese.html News of his appointment is here: http://www.dwc.org/component/content/article/189-latest-news/907-diocesan-official-appointments.html

        I can personally attest to two cardinals commissioning galeri in the last decade. While an undergraduate at CUA in 2002, I served regularly at the National Shrine. One of the MCs there, a seminarian for the archdiocese, showed to us servers Cardinal McCarrick’s new galero at a students’ Christmas reception at His Eminence’s residence. It will eventually be hung in his cathedral church after his death. I am also personally aware of Cardinal Rigali commissioning a galero.

        In terms of a gift, we need look no further than the Holy Father for evidence of this practice. In the last fortnight His Holiness was gifted with a tiara, and in the past year he received a papal banner with his stemma surmounted by the tiara. On a more humble note, the parishioners of a church I frequent purchased a black capello romano (saturno) for their pastor. The practice of giving gifts to clerics great and small is well-established, particularly today, when many faithful wish to shoulder the cost of reprovisioning traditional accoutrements in our Church.

      2. Dear Timothy,

        I am glad you can attest to the actual identity of the writer of this post. I still think your remarks do not respond to the points I’ve raised concerning their contents. A gift or a commissioned work? If a gift, the example of the pope contradicts your point. Pope Benedict did not don the tiara given to him. He did not approve of the hanging of the banner with the tiara.

        If a commissioned work, you’ve still not convinced me that “most” cardinals commission them, as your informant claims. You’ve given 2 examples. How do we know that this is representative of the majority? The text you quote opines that Burke received the hat as a gift, then that Burke probably commissioned the hat, since “most” cardinals do. So, which is it? Again, the example of the pope does not apply. He did not commission the tiaras.

        Finally, the galero is not a liturgical garment. How is it that following the norms of the liturgy of 1962 entails use of the galero? If you can establish this, fine, but so far it seems only to be an ungrounded assertion.

      3. Finally, the galero is not a liturgical garment.

        This is a hard line to draw and the distinctions are somewhat arbitrary. The pontifical hat (which is what the cardinal’s red galero is) is refered to in the old Ceremonial of Bishops. It’s used ceremonially when bishops, archbishops, etc. take posession of their diocese, at their funerals, when they go to their cathedrals in procession to celebrate solemnly among other occasions. You could argue that these ceremonies are not liturgical, or that not everything used in them is liturgical, but it’s a rather fine distinction.

      4. “The pontifical hat (which is what the cardinal’s red galero is) is refered to in the old Ceremonial of Bishops. It’s used ceremonially when bishops, archbishops, etc. take posession of their diocese, at their funerals, when they go to their cathedrals in procession to celebrate solemnly among other occasions.”

        Sam, since this is not Burke taking possession of his diocese, or his funeral, or his going to his cathedral in procession to celebrate solemnly (his cathedral being across the ocean from where he currently resides), that leaves us with “among other occasions.”

        I am relying on you to find the liturgical use of this hat sanctioned by the 1962 missal.

      5. Well, it’s not clear what the context of the photo is, is it? Given that fact, it will, I think, be hard to resolve the question in the title definitively.

        I’ve already pointed out to you that there are occasions where the use of the galero is sanctioned by the 1962 liturgical books. You even quoted it. The 1962 books are not just the missal. It’s not possible to celebrate the 1962 liturgy referring just to the missal and not to the Caeremoniale Episcoporum, decisions of the Sacred Congregations of Rites, and other bodies of liturgical law.

      6. Sam, you say we don’t know the context, but actually we do. It was a prize giving. Such an event is not covered by the ceremonial of bishops.

        Hence my original objection stands. Why does SP sanction disregard for other rules about attire outside of liturgy? Unless SP is really the Trojan Horse for a “church within a church” that is not bound by anything that came down post-Vatican II — even from a pope?

      7. Unless SP is really the Trojan Horse for a “church within a church” that is not bound by anything that came down post-Vatican II — even from a pope?

        Summorum Pontificum is a Trojan Horse? I think we’d all benefit from dialing down the rhetoric.

        Hence my original objection stands.

        I’m not clear what your original objection was, but your statement “Finally, the galero is not a liturgical garment.” I have shown to be at best doubtful. And your statement, “The 1962 missal does not require the galero.” Is entirely beside the point, since the Missal largely doesn’t address the liturgical dress or other liturgical practices of prelates.

        Why does SP sanction disregard for other rules about attire outside of liturgy?

        It doesn’t. We have very little context for the photo, just:

        “Sua Excelência o Cardeal Raymond Leo Burke – um campeão na defesa da Tradição – usando o Galero Romano e a Capa Magna por ocasião da cerimônia que conferiu a entrega do Prêmio Internacional “Nulla Vertias sine Traditione”, conferido pela Associação Católica Internacional “Tu es Petrus. Battipaglia, 19 de fevereiro de 2011. Agradeço ao amigo Gianluca Barile pela publicação da foto. Grazie Gianluca!”

        He’s not wearing it in church or in the public streets, it’s not a proper galero (no tassels), he’s not wearing it properly (with the hood up), all suggesting that this is just a posed photo, not an adoption of the hat in general. All the times we’ve seen photos of him functioning liturgically he’s wearing a biretta.

        To go around accusing the head of the Vatican’s highest court of “disobedience” and a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church of being part of “church within a church” because he appeared in one photo is silly. Did you get this excercised about Archbishop Dolan donning a “Cheesehead”?

      8. Sam, you clearly have missed my point entirely. The question “does SP sanction use of the galero?”is a rhetorical one to which the expected answer is NO.

        You seem to think it does, on the basis of a foggy reference to “other occasions” in the old Pontifical. But then,perhaps anything goes for you in service to restoratonism, so we should not be surprised I suppose.

  2. I think traditional vestments are beautiful. Where older pieces can be recycled into use this is commendable. New items are often no more expensive then more modern styles available from major church suppliers. Pope Paul VI did indeed reform choir dress and I think that was the appropriate thing to do. Clerics sporting the cappa magna probably send the wrong message to contemporary society. There are other ways of enhancing the beauty and dignity of the Liturgy without prelates dressing as though they served in a Renaissance Court.

  3. The truly worrying thing is that Cardinal Burke obviously has no idea of just how embarrassingly ridiculous he looks, and how he is helping to further erode episcopal credibility.

    No church leader has any business dressing up in such a “look-at-me” ecclesiastical frock that screams swishy opulence at the Gospel. We really ought to know better. He ought to know better.

    1. Quit kidding yourself — there is no such thing as “episcopal credibility,” never has been. Just a house of cards which is rapidly being exposed here and at NCR for a hollow, rotten sham. 🙂

    2. I agree. Cardinal Burke and his colleague, Cardinal Pell, aren’t alone in wishing to dress up like mother, only to be called “Your Eminence”. This is the same crowd of pontifical cross- dressers who are attempting to restore the tiara and other items symbolic of a defunct papal secular power.

    3. Swishy opulence or not, he looks to my eye more like a grumpy grandma with bad fashion sense. A really morbidly twisted part of my sense of humor would just love to see the purse that goes with that getup.

      1. When I first saw the image, Lynn, it was accompanied by the comment “And you thought The Queen Mother was dead.”

  4. I am also concerned with the perception that because the 1962 liturgy received approval, every decision that post-dates 1962 is now no longer to be taken as binding. I don’t think Summorum Pontificum covers every aspect of church life, or even all aspects of clerical apparel, yet the assumption is now being made that it’s “OK” to ignore later directives because of SP? I am concerned with the thinking of a “church within a church” that operates with a whole different set of rules, and may now freely disregard Pope Paul VI in other respects, in addition to having no truck with his reform of the liturgy. This is really problematic.

    I’d also like to head off the objection that obeying Paul VI’s directive about the galero was merely a matter of “liberal” taste and personality. Neither Cardinal Cooke, nor Cardinal O’Connor, hung a galero in St. Patrick’s cathedral. They obeyed Pope Paul VI’s decision. I consider them exemplary.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/firstever_papal_mass_held_at_st._patricks/

    1. I am also concerned with the perception that because the 1962 liturgy received approval, every decision that post-dates 1962 is now no longer to be taken as binding. I don’t think Summorum Pontificum covers every aspect of church life, or even all aspects of clerical apparel, yet the assumption is now being made that it’s “OK” to ignore later directives because of SP?

      Whose perception is this? Yours? It’s not something Cardinal Burke has said. There’s been quite a bit of debate in the EF community about just where the lines are on this. But this post and the responses to it haven’t shown themselves to be a serious attempt to engage with that discussion, instead disparaging Cardinal burke as girly or effeminate.

      The general consensus has been that Ut Sive is applicable to the EF, though there is some minority opinion that disagrees. UE seems congruent with this consensus.

      1. I hadn’t previously thought about Ut Sive in regards to the galero, but largely regarding the dress of Monsignors (of various groups). It looks like the case for the galero (since it’s in the Ceremoniale) might indeed be stronger than that for some other features of clerical dress abolished by Ut Sive. (See my comment above.)

      2. “Whose perception is this? Yours?”

        No. It is implied by Fr. DeViese’s comment quoted above, which assumes the galero is not abolished any longer because of Summorum Pontificum. I am waiting for you to show that the galero is (a) a liturgical garment and (b) necessitated by the celebration of the liturgy according to the 1962 missal.

  5. While I can completely believe that Burke would wear such a thing, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the photo is a very good Photoshop. It looks like it was taken in my grandmother’s living room. Plus, the Vatican flag unceremoniously sticking out of the mirror frame just looks suspicious…

  6. It wouldn’t be so bad, if he were simply a retired cleric. But he’s a member of the Congregation for Bishops, the body which usurps the function of electing bishops, by appointing them. During the pontificate of Benedict XV, only one-sixth of the worlds bishops were appointed by a Roman office.

    I’m not sure what he does as prefect of the apostolic signatura. But with a mindset like the one that lies behind such thinly-veiled cross-dressing, one shudders to think what deleterious influence he can exert.

    1. Richard Sipe’s website has given him an award for the best and most scandously dressed. You should see him with the royal red gloves. It is estimated that it costs $30,000 for him to dress up for the Lord.

      1. If that’s so, then that (the award, as it were) is foolish.

        Frankly, the Society for Creative Liturgical Anachronism (to be featured in the pending HBO series, Rome: AD 1870) will eventually discover that symbols exist in a cultural context, and when the context in which they were cultivated no longer exists, the symbols no longer do their job and in fact do the reverse of their job (instead of pointing to a greater reality, they point to themselves). Simply bringing back the symbols does little to bring back the culture (in fact, I would argue it comes with a significant risk of merely bringing it back as something to be ridiculed, which means the action subverts its intended goal).

        That said, I wonder how scandalously Mr Sipes views other extravagances that have been committed in furthering desiderata of some of us progressives? (A good rule of thumb about taking umbrage is to first deeply survey how your own side incarnates the kind of thing you want to express umbrage about.) Sure, it’s not funny galeri, gauntlets and cappae (buskins, anyone?), but “renovations” that destroyed unnecessarily and were not and have not been good stewardship, just for one conceptual example. “But, but, *those* were to further Vatican II!” one might protest, but not necessarily as convincingly as one needs to be. One can waste far more money in the extravagances of bad stewardship than on a ghastly set of hat, gloves and cape.

  7. If anyone else thought the wording of the caption (borrowed from the Philippi Collection blog) was a bit stilted…

    Burke wearing a galero at the occasion of prize-giving “Nulla sine Vertias Tradition” of the International Catholic Association “Tu es Petrus” in Battipaglia, Italy, 19th of February 2011

    … it was probably auto-translated from Italian into English somewhere along the line. My guess is it’s supposed to be:

    Burke wearing a galero at the occasion of receiving the “Nulla Veritas sine Traditione” prize from the international Catholic association “Tu es Petrus” in Battipaglia, Italy, 19th of February.

    While I understand that there is a relationship between the truth and tradition, I think it’s a bit much to say “there is no truth without tradition”, since the truth exists quite well on its own regardless of whether there’s anyone to receive it.

  8. While I understand that there is a relationship between the truth and tradition, I think it’s a bit much to say “there is no truth without tradition”, since the truth exists quite well on its own regardless of whether there’s anyone to receive it.
    ———————————————-
    Nice, very nice .

    1. Do they have a DVD player and flat screen (perhaps in the private function room, kept for use only by you-know-whos) at Da Roberto in the Borgo Pio yet?

    2. Your return to the Infernal City is anxiously awaited by all – perhaps in conjunction with work on “The Project,” as yet untitled (suggestion from you-know-who: “A Guided Missal: Correcting the Corrected Translation Made Easy”) that should be underway once the ghastly vapors of August have blown south …

      1. Oh didn’t we tell you? “The Project” is all but finished.

        Negotiations continue with a few publishers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Sana’a, Yemen – untouchable!

      2. Settle down, gentlemen, regarding “The Project,” please. Loose lips sink ships, as they say.

        And you, Christopher! Your personal friends (if I’m not mistaken?) on the Via Santa Chiara would be none too pleased to see your disparaging remarks concerning costly clerical haberdashery!

        On a lighter note: you’ve been missing some delightful afternoons at “the spot” with all the musicians in town pointing out the Missal’s MUSIC errors – to go along with all the others. I hear you “wowed” the folks in London recently by noting that the movie “monks” in “Of Gods and Men” sang the “Salve” to the proper Cistercian tone! Your old professor would have appreciated the proper attribution of credit . . .

      3. By the way, Christopher, did you see that your one-time “email pen-pal” from the States now wears a mitre and, indeed, was much praised on one of the US Catholic blogs for his prayer and “performance” at that wonderful car race, the Indy 500? How we love the American Church: prelates at car races and an archprelate in a white fedora headlining the Today Show from the Vatican just the other day! They gave the Pope a crystal cat as a gift. “Questi Americani!” as one of my Italian bishop friends exclaimed during the Council, when Cardinal Spellman, in unintelligible Latin, was admonishing the Council to keep the peoples’ parts of the Mass in Latin but to permit the priests to recite the Breviary in English (but that news came from another Xavier!). And to think the Indy 500 Prelate got his start, humbly enough, very close to here with one of my dear friends from the old days, suggesting that the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children be abolished . . . as, indeed, it seems they have been! As Orson “Wolsey” Wells said to Thomas More: “YOU could have been a great Churchman,” Christopher Grady!

  9. How about de mystifying these articles of dress by calling them by Engish names, translated of course keeping syntax etc as in Latin, maybe then some clerics and aspiring clerics would not wear the ‘cape great’ or the ‘hat Roman’ aka the ‘Saturn’. Not to mention the practice of facing Mecca, sorry East, while celebrating the Eucharist. 🙂

      1. Well, from Boston, you’d have to face northeast to face Mecca, using the preferred Great Circle approach….

        perhaps we should introduce the Great Circle into Catholic liturgy….

      2. Worship, W.. and Wisdom. Fill in the blanks. Relax and smile occasionally! (It’s east from where I’m at!)

  10. I would like to go back to #13 above for a moment, and if Chase is right, boy does this open up a can of worms.

    1. How so Earle? Real or photoshopped, we’re talking about whether or not it’s ok to wear stuff that has been abolished (oh ok, and we’re also talking about how ridiculous it looks).

      1. I think that the NCR running a photoshopped picture of a cardinal for the purpose of posing the question of his being disobedient to the Pope is a relevant question.

        I have to agree… while there may indeed be a situation in which this could happen, the picture looks very much like a photoshop project…a good one but nonetheless a fake.

        I would point to the gradient shadow cast by the offending headwear that is suspiciously absent from all other similarly angled surfaces, not to mention the lack of a direct light source elsewhere in the photo. Shadows are frequently used in photoshopped images to hide the line where two images (Burkes face and the galero) are joined.

        Not claiming that this is definitely a fake, but the whole thing is an odd composition.

      2. Just downloaded image and opened in photoshop…enlarged to 600%….if not faked it was at least processed to some extent…the right side of the cape against the black background has been “rubbed” for some reason as the pixel pattern is disturbed along the edges of the cape. Could have been to clean up some lighting glare or some other flaw, but it is also common in pasted images. Also burkes face appears to be in a different focus than the rest of the image. Again, just odd….

      3. “Also burkes face appears to be in a different focus than the rest of the image. Again, just odd….” J. Herbert

        Nobody could ever accuse Burke of being fully integrated.

        Your own conspiracy theory is amusing. But, just because you are not parnoid doesn’t mean that they’re not all out to get you.

    2. What can of worms would it open up? That NCR has reprinted a photo readily available elsewhere on the internet? You can go to this site to see a blog entry from February 2011 (i.e. dated before the NCR article) that uses the same photo.

      1. oh dear, where’s Jeffrey herbert when he’s needed (and his wild accusations against NCR have been discredited)?

        Probably off cheerleading at a Vox Clara meeting!

  11. Xavier Rindfleisch :
    As Orson “Wolsey” Wells said to Thomas More: “YOU could have been a great Churchman,” Christopher Grady!

    Dear Professor, I could no more be like Thomas More (who lived just a few yards from where I sit typing this, and died and is buried not much further) than I could spend precious hours downloading a photograph of a ridiculously dressed prelate, enlarging it to 600% and claiming, wrongly, that the photo’s got signs of being a fake.

    To the pure, as you well know dear Professor, all things are pure.

    1. Instead you spend countless hours insulting people because you can’t engage their arguments.

      Oh, and since when does downloading a picture into PhotoShop and enlarging it take hours?

  12. 1. Cardinal Burke, is a cannon lawyer. He knows the rules.

    2. As far as I know he abides by them.

    3.It is highly unlikely he would wear any anything that was not approved, or that he did not have approval for, i.e. obtained approval.

    4.IF this is indeed a photoshop, then why? That’s the potential can of worms.

    1. Earle – your points 1 and 2 were discredited by Burke’s inability to enforce canon law on priests in both of the dioceses he oversaw when accused and found guilty of sexual abuse.

      In St. Louis, his canon law created even more issues when he tried to intervene in the on-going St. Stanislaus parish fight. He was moved before he could do more damage.

  13. Oh, the irony! I had a feeling when I saw the title that somebody must be doing something ultraconservative to raise a question like that. Yet another example of how “tradition” and even “obedience” get tossed around by the Left and the Right alike, depending on whose fancy it suits for the situation at hand.

    I’ve been noticing that Catholics use the word “traditional” the way Protestants use the word “biblical”, as a kind of one-upmanship that applies all across any spectrum we can dream up.

  14. Bill,

    I will agree with you that he handled St. Stanislaus, very poorly. However, how did he violate Canon Law, in the matter?

    A friend of mine who is very savy about these things said to me once: “In every one of these issues he’s been right. I just wish he’d handled them differently.”

    The point I tried to make on my previeous post was that this man would not wear a peice of clerical vestiture, that was forbidden, allow himself to be photographed wearing said item, and at a public event to boot.

    1. This is not the time or place to misdirect this blog or its original subject – but most experts even church canon lawyers such as the current papal lawyer, Scicluna, note that the 1922 canon law and a later promulgated canon document, Crimen Solicitationis, 1962 gave every bishop the power and obligation to deal with clerical abuse –

      http://www.richardsipe.com/Doyle/2008/2008-10-03-Commentary%20on%201922%20and%201962%20documents.pdf

      Highlights:
      – Title V of the document, “De crimine pessimo,” includes the crimes of sexual contact with same sex partners, sexual contacts with minors and bestiality.
      – There is historical evidence that in the past clerics suspected of sexual abuse of minors were first tried in ecclesiastical courts and then turned over to secular authorities for additional prosecution and possible punishment.

      Burke never did this; in fact, he allowed (if not encouraged) accused and, at times, confirmed clerical abusers to remain active in the STL archdiocese.

  15. Who pays for these outfits? I barely take home $30,000.00 a year working for the church. How can a Cardinal afford this outfit?

    1. Private donors. There are lots of them happy to dress prelates of their choice. Or give tiaras to popes.

    2. I vote to give Kevin Keil (and all other deserving musicians) a raise! Not that anybody will listen to me, but just for the record I’d like to say that our priorities ought to be such that all people who work for the church are paid a just and living wage–and indeed a good wage– appropriate to their skills and contributions to the flourishing of the whole community.

  16. Earle – From whom would he have “obtained approval” to be photographed wearing this hat? If it wasn’t at a liturgical event, that congregation wouldn’t have a say.
    Perhaps the pope himself grants such novel requests. Regardless of where the “approval” came from, the fashion police should be brought in before it happens again.

  17. According to http://www.papanews.it/news.asp?IdNews=16020, the galero was a gift from Giuliani Barile, president of the group that was honoring Burke for his defense of liturgical tradition and doctrine. (Or maybe Google translate got it right, saying Burke “receiv[ed] a gift from President galero a Barrel Old Roman.”)

    Barile is founder of Tu es Petrus, the group that gave the award, and the journalist responsible for the papanews.it website. He seems like the type who would have a Vatican flag in his living room, so I doubt that the picture, or the report, is faked.

  18. Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Rita Ferrone :

    Sam, you clearly have missed my point entirely. The question “does SP sanction use of the galero?”is a rhetorical one to which the expected answer is NO.
    You seem to think it does, on the basis of a foggy reference to “other occasions” in the old Pontifical. But then,perhaps anything goes for you in service to restoratonism, so we should not be surprised I suppose.

    I don’t think anyone would claim that the hat in question is being “used” in any liturgical or legal sense. It is simply being worn in a manner that does not show him employing it toward its intended purpose.

    Since the galero is abolished, then it shouldn’t be used. But does one use a vestment simply by wearing it? I don’t think so.

    If the picture had shown him doing anything other than simply standing still wearing the galero, it would be different. I conclude from this picture, and this post, only that Card. Burke was photographed once wearing the galero, and that PT lamely used the photo as an opportunity to heap coals upon the head of an enemy.

  19. The argument being put forward here is: Burke’s appearance in a galero and a cappa magna is not problematic because he was merely posing. He wasn’t using the paraphernalia as part of a liturgical action. The real problem is with those who have criticised the spectacle. They do so, not because there is any merit to their argument, but merely because they are enemies of his. Their arguments are specious.

    It is impossible to detect from a photograph such as this whether the subject is merely posing or whether he has or will perform a liturgical action.

    Even if it were possible to determine that this is merely a pose by Burke, it does cause problems. The use of these costumes was abolished after the Second Vatican Council. In addition to being a practical measure, this was a symbolic gesture, an act of reform, which sought to simplify the dress of church leadership so that they would look less like high medieval potentates, as at the court of Innocent IV, and more like servants of the gospel. Equally, the donning of such regalia, even as part of a mere pose, is a symbolic act, a repudiation of reform. If Burke were to dress in a Nazi uniform, or in the dress of the KKK, merely to pose, and without appearing to do anything else, the reaction would be predictable.

    These are just some of the reasons why people might validly criticise this photograph. They are far from lame. Their merit does not depend on whether the person making the argument is a friend or an enemy of Burke.

    Post scriptum: Your research is out of date. The day, date, location and occasion of the photograph have been identified. In relation to the photo, there is at least one, possibly two, other conspiracy theorist who post regularly on PT. Now, similar to the burgeoning increases in support for the Tridentine form of the Roman rite, their number has increased hugely by 50%.

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