No Red Cape for Pope Francis: “Carnival Time is Over!”

The BBC is reporting that Pope Francis turned down the red cape with ermine by saying this: “No thank you, Monsignore. You put it on instead. Carnival time is over!”

And he walked into the papal apartments and said “There’s room for 300 people here. I don’t need all this space.”

Report is here.

59 comments

  1. Rocco is reporting that “Tomorrow morning, Francis to celebrate first Sunday Mass at S. Anna, Vatican’s “parish church.”

    Rocco has asked who is going to be his household, e.g.like the nuns have been for other popes.

    Maybe he is going to hang out with the help. One way to keep the butler loyal and perhaps to get to know what really is going on in the Vatican.

    Maybe we have a real street smart pope!

  2. I find it hard to believe that any member of the clergy, let alone the Pope, would be so ill-mannered as to say “No thank you, Monsignore. You put it on instead. Carnival time is over!” Surely the Holy Father would have, at most, uttered a polite ‘No, thank you, Monsignore’.

    I doubt the BBC’s sources can be trusted. However, should the reported comment be true, it would reflect badly on Pope Francis.

    1. @James Andrew – comment #2:
      Oviously you don’t see the urgency to confront a church that has ignored the poor for all the frills. Sometimes it takes a few sharp words to wake people up.

  3. From the press conference this morning

    During the election, I was seated next to the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paolo and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes [OFM]: a good friend, a good friend! When things were looking dangerous, he encouraged me. And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: “Don’t forget the poor!” And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man … How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!

    http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2013/03/i-want-church-which-is-poor-and-for.html

    Afterwards, people were joking with me. “But you should call yourself Hadrian, because Hadrian VI was the reformer, we need a reform…” And someone else said to me: “No, no: your name should be Clement”. “But why?” “Clement XV: thus you pay back Clement XIV who suppressed the Society of Jesus!” These were jokes

    If I remember right Ignatius is supposed to have liked to be around people who had a sense of humor.

  4. Rocco: Though full plans still to emerge, in a change, Francis’ Installation Mass officially termed “Inaug of Petrine Ministry of the bp of Rome.”

    http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2013/02/22/pope-tweaks-inauguration-rite-of-new-pope-restores-cardinals-act-of-obedience/

    One of the most visual changes, he (Marini) said, would be the restoration of the public “act of obedience” in which each cardinal present at the pope’s inaugural Mass comes forward and offers his allegiance.

    I think the rite is being re-tweaked. It will be interesting what emerges. Maybe he will send forth the cardinals to serve the poor? Maybe ask them to actually be poor?

  5. Re: the title, I don’t get what’s the change that Rocco is talking about. The book put out at the time of Benedict XVI’s pontificate is already titled “Ordo Rituum pro Ministerii Petrini Initio Romae Episcopi” and Chapter II is “De Celebratione Eucharistica pro Romani Episcopi Ministerii Petrini Initio”.

    From what we have seen of Francis, as a person of genuine warmth and grace, I am somewhat doubtful that he would have made such a harsh comment about carnivals, even if he didn’t want to wear the ermine cape. The comment would not be all that nice to the MC (unless he already met and formed an opinion of Guido previously….which he might have) and would also be a slight on his predecessor, which I don’t think he would do, even while he sticks to his own opinions and convictions on these matters.

    I didn’t hear the 300 people comment at the point that the BBC report indicated at the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuoSu-HSPw4) – but perhaps he said it at another point in time, not captured.

    1. I agree with Joshua – it seems like a rather flippant remark from such a nice guy. (Based on the very little I and we know at this point.) I hesitated to post the story – but did, because it’s from the BBC and not these Italian newspapers. I didn’t post the stories about Cardinal Law supposedly being banished because those reports were from the gossip rags, not the respectable media. Still, the BBC could be wrong on this “carnival” report – maybe time will tell.
      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #9:
        And then you have La Stampa with Galeazzi & Tornelli spinning the tale of Law being the midwife in the last days of the general congregation to the chess moves that led to Bergoglio.

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #9:
        As I read that, I took it as a liturgical comment combined with Latin American culture, picking up on the word “carnival” as referring to the pre-Ash Wednesday celebrations that we call Mardi Gras in the US.

        In other words, the comment was more akin to “It’s Lent now, not Mardi Gras” and thus feels more like a lighthearted joke between Francis and the MC — as Joshua suggests might be the case if the two of them know one another. (God knows I’ve traded a few lighthearted comments with bishops in the sacristy when I’ve served as MC.)

      3. @Peter Rehwaldt – comment #17:
        You interpret the new pope’s alleged remark with great generosity. When one considers the important work Mgr Marini has done over the last few years to restore some of the traditional beauty and decorum of the liturgy, Francis’s comment sounds like a real slap in the face and an egregiously unkind put-down – so unkind that I don’t really beieve it’s true. The Ratzinger/Marini changes have been welcomed by many and if Pope Francis abandons them completely, many will be saddened, I think.

      4. @Peter Rehwaldt – comment #17:
        Peter’s interpretation is what I thought as well.

        I also assume this conversation was held in Italian, not English, so it’d be nice to know what was actually said. Translators are traitors, or so I hear…

  6. The night before Francis’ election, I watched via Amazon streaming the 1960s movie “The Shoes of the Fisherman*.” And it’s so interesting to see how the plot from that is now being played out in real life. (for those not familiar, in that movie, a non-Italian is elected Pope, who comes from the Soviet Union, and is extremely humble. He leaves the Vatican to be with ordinary people, visit the sick, and at the end of the movie, decides to sell church assets to help feed starving Chinese (and avert WW3).

    I was getting a rumble of uncertainty reading some Catholic traditionalist blogs, who are nervous with several things Francis did in the first few days. Some even had posted some Youtube links of Liturgies celebrated by Cardinal Bergoglio that really made them uneasy. So it’s going to be an interesting first month. It’s pretty exciting.

    ————
    * The score was composed by Alex North. It’s a great movie to see, and definitely recommended if you never have watched it.

    1. @Kim Patrick Clow – comment #7:
      Mr. Clow -agree. It is almost funny to view some of the blogs – they are walking back frequent earlier statements; mitigating what Francis has done to date; focusing upon accidentals such as the visit to Pius V (one blog carried on for 10 paragraphs while skipping over everything else). Note that we have fewer and fewer posts on PTB from those who thought Benedict walked on water.

      Hyperbole in terms of BBC report – obviously, but at the core, like all myths, bet we have some truth.

  7. Leonardo Boff’s opinion”

    http://iglesiadescalza.blogspot.it/2013/03/pope-francis-called-to-restore-church.html

    Francis isn’t a name; it’s a plan for a Church that is poor, simple, gospel-centered, and devoid of all power. It’s a Church that walks the way together with the least and last, that creates the first communities of brothers and sisters who recite the breviary under the trees with the birds. It’s an ecological Church that calls all beings those sweet words “brothers and sisters”. Francis was obedient to the Church and the popes and at the same time he followed his own path with the gospel of poverty in hand.

  8. The WSJ is reporting that the Cardinal’s brief speech was decisive in bringing him to the attention of cardinals, especially English speaking ones

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324532004578362772876504676.html

    Just before his speech, at a dinner of English-speaking cardinals, the future pope’s name had come up over a meal of soup and wine but hadn’t generated a buzz. “The speech was decisive,” said one voting European cardinal.

    “He spoke of the need for catechesis and the need to address the poor…the question of justice and the dignity of the human person,” said a voting U.S. cardinal.

    The call to project the church outward, not inward, propelled the Argentine prelate into contention in the first round of voting with two of Catholicism’s most prominent cardinals.

    In a separate interview Cardinal George confirmed that he was not among those widely discussed before the conclave.

  9. I would question seriously that such an adolescent locution would have passed the lips of our new holy father. It would, besides being incredibly immature, be a most unkind judgment on his predecessor. It seems, rather, to be something that some adolescently minded souls might wish him to have said.

  10. I saw “Vatican official” (BBC website) quoted as “Vatican flunky” on a couple of sites. Did it originally appear as “flunky”? That doesn’t sound like the Beeb.

  11. He is wasting no time letting those around him know where he stands with respect to the pomps of the papal court. The report that he instructed the Cardinals to come to their audience with him in black cassocks was not imaginary.

    If this particular reported statement is true, it is definitely a rebuke. Should that surprise us? We might remember that Jesus rebuked his disciples too, on more than one occasion — famously, when Peter tried to turn him from the necessity of suffering. What could be a worse distortion to a man who spent his life in service to the poor, than to be draped in a royal, ermine robe? I’m faintly surprised he didn’t call him “satan.”

    1. @Rita Ferrone – comment #18:

      What could be a worse distortion to a man who spent his life in service to the poor, than to be draped in a royal, ermine robe? I’m faintly surprised he didn’t call him “satan.”

      Yet I can’t help but think of the Cure of Ars, or indeed the Holy Father’s namesake, St. Francis, men who lived in such poverty that their garments were reduced to tatters, and yet saw no conflict in providing a beautiful liturgy – including the vestments – for the glory of God. St. Francis, in fact, even wished at one time to “send his brothers through the world with precious pyxes, so that wherever they should see the price of our redemption kept in an unbecoming manner, they should place It in the very best place…” (Thomas Celano. Second Life # 201)

      “To set our duty to serve the poor against the splendor of divine worship is nothing less than to split Christ in two. And the converse is just as true.” – Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, O.P., “What it means to serve the poor”

      1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #29:
        Your quotations lay bare what is at the heart of this entire conversation. Many thanks for them. What is there left to be said???

  12. The account in the BBC originates in an Italian news item from a day earlier, specifically a piece in Corriere della Sera referenced in the BBC link above. The original Italian piece acknowledges that the tale about the “carnival” quote is a rumour making the rounds that may have no basis in fact.

    It seems to me that people are reading too much into Pope Francis’s clothing choices. John Paul II also preferred plain cassock and ordinary shoes, so this is hardly without precedent. These media descriptions of papal trappings being tossed aside in favour of a humble cassock are a bit over the top. We are after all talking about a bright white wool cassock with watered silk sash–not exactly ordinary, and hardly revolutionary. If he starts wearing a black Jesuit missionary cassock instead, that would be setting a new precedent.

    1. “These media descriptions of papal trappings being tossed aside in favour of a humble cassock are a bit over the top.”

      Really? Sounds pretty much like the truth to me. The list of changes he’s made is very long, and they’re all in the direction of simplicity. Your comment sounds like it could be damage control – minimizing or denying.

      As to whether there will be reforms in governance structure, or openness to development of doctrine – I’m making no predictions about that.

      But in what’s happening to clothing (and ceremonial in general) I’m making lots of claims – in the realm of describing accurately what exactly is happening.

      awr

  13. Jonathan Day : I saw “Vatican official” (BBC website) quoted as “Vatican flunky” on a couple of sites. Did it originally appear as “flunky”? That doesn’t sound like the Beeb.

    The BBC News page originally had “flunky”, but it was changed later in the day to “official”.

  14. Rita Ferrone : If this particular reported statement is true, it is definitely a rebuke. Should that surprise us? We might remember that Jesus rebuked his disciples too, on more than one occasion — famously, when Peter tried to turn him from the necessity of suffering. What could be a worse distortion to a man who spent his life in service to the poor, than to be draped in a royal, ermine robe? I’m faintly surprised he didn’t call him “satan.”

    Reprehensible is what I’d call that mildly disguised castigation, professor. That, under any circumstances you would associate Msgr. Marini with the personification of evil, is egregious and demands redress. If one wishes to dance on someone’s grave, at least they ought to have the courtesy of doing it privately, under cover, and not on public record.

    1. @Charles Culbreth – comment #22:

      If Jesus could associate St. Peter with the personification of evil, in public and on the record (Matthew 16:23), I have a hard time saying that anyone is beyond a similar comparison “under any circumstances.”

      Whether the statement fits, of course, is another question.

      1. @Peter Rehwaldt – comment #25:
        And we’re left to suppose that Mt.25 provides justification for equating Dr. Ferrone or “anyone” with the personhood of our Lord and Savior then, Fr. Rehwaldt? That’s your story and you’re sticking with it? Ain’t semantics grand, comrades?

      2. @Charles Culbreth – comment #26:
        I simply noted that none of us are without sin, not even the first of the twelve.

        But I’d be careful about your condemnation of Rita for placing herself in the place of Christ in declaring someone a goat, as your declaring someone to be a sheep seems to be doing the same.

  15. Before we go overboard – let’s just stick with Peter’s assessment on #17 – sounds like my experience with bishops also, Peter. thanks.

  16. Maybe both Peter #17 and Rita #18 are correct.

    Francis is a very intelligent person with a good sense of humor who probably instantly recognized the irony of having an MC present him with ermine during Lent of all times! A temptation of the flesh during the time when we are supposed to be with Jesus in the desert.

    Francis as a Jesuit provincial has also been deeply involved in the manifestation of conscience which all Jesuits give to their superiors. This includes discussing not only ones failings but even more importantly all one’s spiritual insights and desires since in the advanced stages of the spiritual life, especially in the Ignatian tradition, we are more likely to be tempted under the guise of doing good rather than directly by evil.

    I think Francis was saying to the MC: Are you really sure you know what you are doing when it comes to liturgy (i.e. offering ermine during Lent). Maybe you are really vesting the Pope as you want to be vested yourself? Maybe you are using worldly standards rather than spiritual ones?

    I read this incident as a gem in the tradition of the desert fathers. Full of compassion and understanding for human illusion, and full of tough love to help someone see his illusions. Francis did have a reputation of being a tough provincial.

    1. @Jack Rakosky – comment #24:
      Jack,

      Your interpretation comes very close to what I was seeing in this exchange. Thanks for playing it out as a saying in the tradition of the desert fathers. Interesting!

    1. @Cameron Neal – comment #28:
      It seems likely the pope didn’t really say this.

      So maybe it’s one of those things that is “true, whether or not it happened.”

      As to what it “simply is”: it’s all about perception, it’s all about what it means to different people, it’s all about how people today perceive such antiquated symbols. For some people (increasingly fewer), it’s choir dress of a pope and that’s Really Important. For many people (ever more), such stuff has by now become so meaningless that it has become a charade or circus or carnival. I’m sure you’re not in the second group, and that’s fine. It just hope you can see that lots of your fellow Catholics are.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #31:
        My concern is that could be taken as “something that happened”. It puts words in the Pope’s mouth to go along with his action of declining the mozzetta. It verbalizes an action, it defines a motive; is it the actual motive? Was Francis glib about turning down the mozzetta, or was he somber?

        It seems that no matter what is said or done, it will be spun this way or cast that way so as to imply an agenda. I feel the same way about people who are fretting, or despairing, over the couple of Masses they’ve seen Pope Francis celebrate. They put words in his mouth or attribute motives to him that simply cannot be shown to exist.

      2. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #46:
        Jeffrey, I hear you.

        It’s all happening so fast, and we’re all so shell-shocked, it’s hard not to let the story get away from one.

        Were dealing with matters people care about deeply. I hope I (and we at Pray Tell) can be sensitive to the strong feelings on all sides from people who love the Church. We’re having conversations at Pray Tell about how to be constructive, not put down other people, not act like “our side is winning.” So many people on all sides these past 45 years have done that.

        I hope my/our commentary and reporting can be constructive, sensitive, and not divisive – even while it’s true to the excitement that so many people now feel.

        I’m also trying not to make predictions about the future. Fr. Z could well be right when he says liberals (and I don’t necessarily include myself here) will have their hopes dashed when it comes to doctrine and morality.

        Pax,
        awr

      3. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #47:
        We’re having conversations at Pray Tell about how to be constructive…

        Do you mean among the PT editorial staff, or here on the blog? I assume the former. Please, when you come to some conclusions, make them known here so that all of us who comment (and those who just read) may seek to abide by them!

        For Peter’s sake, this is Pope Francis the first* — let’s not pigeonhole him into being Benedict the seventeenth or Paul the seventh or John the twentyfourth. I understand comparisons and inferences and assumptions are inevitable, but please let the man be himself and explain himself.

        * I know he’s not “Francis I” but just “Francis”. I’m using it to make a point.

      4. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #49:
        Jeffrey,

        I mean mostly PTB staff (Chase Becker, and Rita who will be guest editor again this spring) and editorial board, but also various friends and colleagues with whom we share email conversation as a group.

        awr

      5. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #46:
        JP – yes, probably will be disappointed at some point. But, to your comment – well said.

        OTOH – here is a copy of Bergoglio’s Year of Faith announcement in Buenos Aires:

        http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2013/03/what-makes-pope-francis-tick-his-letter-for-the-year-of-faith/

        So, not always trying to put words in his mouth or attributing motives – more than happy to let his history, experience, words, and reflections stand as they are. (sure better than spending time doing *damage control*)

      6. @Bill deHaas – comment #48:
        Thank you for the compliment and for the link to his pastoral letter on the Year of Faith. It shall be my lunch-time reading!

        (For anyone interested in the Spanish text, it’s here.)

  17. That’s somewhat ironic advice, as what Rita said clearly dances a lot closer to “condemnation” of another soul than my calling the moral question upon her right to even jokingly presume sinful intent upon Msgr. Marini going about the course of his duties.
    Do we need to disembowel this further?

  18. Charles, I don’t see any arguments in what you are saying, only name calling and unfair accusations.

    I prefaced what I had to say by “if he said this it was a rebuke.” I did not “veil” anything. I said what I meant.

    You know, as well you should, that my reference was to “get behind me satan,” a saying of Jesus to Peter. If you weren’t so defensive, you might consider what I was actually saying.

    Do you feel your own grave is being danced on? Why would that be?

    Richard Malcolm, sorry, you are changing the subject. Show me an occasion when St. Francis of Assisi wore an ermine cape.

    I stand by my comment.

    1. @Rita Ferrone – comment #32:

      Hello Rita,

      Richard Malcolm, sorry, you are changing the subject. Show me an occasion when St. Francis of Assisi wore an ermine cape.

      I can’t, because there’s no evidence he ever did, not least because he was, last I checked, never Pope. And the ermine cape isn’t really essential to me, or to the office. It’s a noble tradition, that’s all. (You are, of course, welcome to disagree.)

      What is essential to me is that the liturgy demand the most glory that we can give to God, which is Fr. Pietrzyk’s point (and St. Francis’s constant practice, as we can see in the beautiful alb made for him by St. Claire). And since it seems clear to me that some of the criticism, implicit or explicit, being leveled at Pope Benedict seems to extend beyond ermine capes, saturnos or Prada shoes that he wore as ceremonials or in day-to-day work to his vestments and altar arrangements, I felt it necessary to make clear that poverty and simplicity of life are not at all inconsistent with riches in liturgy – even if you’re a Cistercian or Franciscan.

      So, with respect. I don’t think I’m changing the subject at all. And I even refrained from references to Old Scratch.

      1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #37:
        Hi Richard,

        Allow me to clarify. The situation was not a liturgy. Thus, to open the discussion of the point that “liturgy demands the most glory we can give to God” is a change of subject.

        I agree with you, by the way in that point about liturgy deserving our best. The question is, what is our best, and how is it best displayed? We may disagree a bit about that! Thank you for your comments.

  19. Charles and Rita, let’s close this line of conversation – it’s not going anywhere productive.
    awr

  20. Anthony Ruff, OSB : @Cameron Neal – comment #28: It seems likely the pope didn’t really say this. So maybe it’s one of those things that is “true, whether or not it happened.” As to what it “simply is”: it’s all about perception, it’s all about what it means to different people, it’s all about how people today perceive such antiquated symbols. For some people (increasingly fewer), it’s choir dress of a pope and that’s Really Important. For many people (ever more), such stuff has by now become so meaningless that it has become a charade or circus or carnival. I’m sure you’re not in the second group, and that’s fine. It just hope you can see that lots of your fellow Catholics are. awr

    And for most people (probably far larger than both groups you describe combined), it probably doesn’t leave an impression one way or another unless undue attention is called to it by one of the other two groups.

    1. Undue attention?
      Or reporting?
      That’s what we do at blogs.
      But I can understand if you might prefer that this news not be reported.
      🙂
      awr

  21. Anthony Ruff, OSB : Undue attention? Or reporting? That’s what we do at blogs. But I can understand if you might prefer that this news not be reported. awr

    There is reporting, and then there is making a huge fuss about it, acting like it is a big deal, and wrongly making character judgements. Some folks here would do that constantly for Benedict whenever he wore some fancy old vestments.

    I don’t care if this news is reported. I don’t get embarrassed or angry when other people do things differently unless those things are irreverent. It isn’t hugely important to me that Francis choose not to use some vestments that Benedict or other popes were perfectly within their rights to use. I’m not embarrassed, shocked, or afraid of Francis like many here were of Benedict.

  22. If he did say it then he has to be applauded. The only people who benefit from this charade are the ecclesiastical outfitters who must have been laughing all the way to the bank. It is time for a return to noble simplicity – under Mons Guido Marini the Pope looked like a Christmas Tree and most Vatican officials were running around in their grandmother’s lace nighties. Time all this nonsense came to an end.

  23. Isn’t father anythony’s ‘smile’ posted above, “i can understand if you might prefer…”, not a hint of the same schadenfreude he has so often told traditionalists here at Praytell to refrain from in the name of Church unity? So many here are already acting as they, not only weeks ago, exhorted others not to be, proving the undeclared schism is not mendable nor that they were ever being honest when asking traditionalists not to show the same spirit of triumph lorded over them during previous pontificates. It seems none can resist being the winner and smiling about it. What that attitude will yield, we’ll yet see.

  24. I wish the new pope well but I do hope he doesn’t completely reverse Benedict’s efforts (with the support of Mgnr Guido Marini) to bring back some beauty and traditional decorum to the Catholic liturgy.

  25. Rocco gives his take on the importance of “dressing”

    http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2013/03/in-vatican-pope-of-chaos.html

    On the liturgical side:

    All of four days into his new ministry, Papa Bergoglio’s style has already spurred significant tweaks to three pillars of the traditional apparatus surrounding the papacy: the liturgical shop (e.g. Guido Marini, now all in linen – something that, in times past, the Tradition-minded lead MC didn’t even do on Good Friday

    If you go to Rocco’s post he has the embedded link’s of Marini. I think there are some traditionalists that would see linen as more appropriate to Lent, and especially to Good Friday, and might be inclined to interpret Francis “carnival” comment in the way I have above #24, namely that Marini has let his love of clothing get out of hand.

    I read Francis as a practical, pastorally minded Jesuit who brings along a lot of traditional Ignatian values about discernment, humility, care of souls, etc.

    Jorge Bergoglio’s success at defining himself as himself on the world stage has come thanks to a less visible, yet equally key trait of the 266th Pope: his steely sense of determination. As things pick up steam, a lesson from the Pope’s past bears recalling: on ending his term as provincial of Argentina, then-Fr Bergoglio’s intensity of conviction and grit served to divide his confreres so severely that he was made to leave the country until things could simmer down.

    Bergoglio ordered his Jesuits to stay in the parishes and schools and not to go to the barricades for pastoral reasons. Just as some of the Jesuits went to the barricades for equally pastoral reasons.

    If we are going to get along with this Pope (and one another) and understand him rather than just projecting upon him our wishes and fears, I think we need to read him from his Jesuit background and Ignatian values rather than getting involved in political and/or cultural ideologies of either the right or left.

    Marini may have gotten the bottom line correct and decided he could live with linen for Lent.

  26. Charles Culbreth :

    Rita Ferrone : If this particular reported statement is true, it is definitely a rebuke. Should that surprise us? We might remember that Jesus rebuked his disciples too, on more than one occasion — famously, when Peter tried to turn him from the necessity of suffering. What could be a worse distortion to a man who spent his life in service to the poor, than to be draped in a royal, ermine robe? I’m faintly surprised he didn’t call him “satan.”

    ### That, under any circumstances you would associate Msgr. Marini with the personification of evil, is egregious and demands redress. If one wishes to dance on someone’s grave, at least they ought to have the courtesy of doing it privately, under cover, and not on public record.

    Rita has a good companion in the Lord. And Marini in Peter. There’s an evangelical precedent, Mr Culbreth. 🙂

  27. For the Pope istallation,so many people,kings,leaders and presidents are coming to Rome that for security reasons the italian police closed all the area around the Vatican!

  28. How long has he been a cardinal, and is he so unaware of what Popes normally wear, including good Pope John XXIII who wore the triple tiara and sat on the papal throne – the red shoes for instance are representative of the fact the Church was built on martyrs.
    There is evidence from people in his diocese that behind closed doors he can be very rude, so I’m not dismissing the comment about carnival at all. Time will tell. How much of this talk about the poor is genuine? He certainly has got plenty of weight on, so doesn’t spare himself food by the looks of things.

  29. Andrea Tornielli in his blog, 23 March, writes that he has heard that Pope Francis’s words, when offered the mozzetta by Mgr Marini were:- ‘Preferisco di no’, or ‘I prefer not to’. So, nothing about carnivals. Just a polite refusal.
    PS – This is now also mentioned in an Update to the website given in #57.

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