Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"HIS HOLINESS" STAYS, BUT THE RED SHOES GO

With only two full days left of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, more details emerged Tuesday of what the future holds both for the retiring pontiff and the cardinals who will choose his successor.

The pontiff will keep the name Benedict XVI and still be addressed as "his holiness" once he retires, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican.

He will also be known as pope emeritus, emeritus pope or Roman pontifex emeritus.

The guidance clears up questions about how Benedict -- the first pope to resign in almost 600 years -- should be addressed as he moves into a life of seclusion and prayer after his Thursday resignation.
Not only do we learn of the proper way to address the retired pope, we learn of how he will dress.
He will wear a simple white cassock, without the customary red mantle of the pontiff. He will also no longer wear red shoes, probably adopting instead the brown shoes that he received as a gift in Leon, Mexico, during a trip last year.
I will miss the red shoes and the red mantle trimmed with ermine, with matching camauro, which reminded me a little of a Santa Claus hat.  The Vatican has not addressed such decisions in 600 years, since the last pope stepped down, and I'm sure other adjustments will follow as Benedict settles into his retirement.  Since change is in the air at the Vatican, my advice to the two popes would be to change the form of address from "Your Holiness" and "His Holiness" to something less presumptuous, but I don't expect my suggestion will be followed.

Picture of the pope's red shoes from Wikipedia.

H/T to Charles Pierce for the link to CNN.

8 comments:

  1. So far they have not followed any of my suggestions either, June. Don't feel bad. And thanks for the news. Should I run into the former pope I want to be sure and address him properly... though I have already called him a few other things, I suspect he would prefer those titles listed by CNN.

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    1. Linda, it's a good thing you and I don't let ourselves get dragged down when people ignore our wise advice. If they can't see it's for their own good...

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  2. RCC never listened to me either even when I was one. I guess it was our 'weaker vesselness' that made us unworthy of attention.

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    1. Why, indeed, should the opinions of lesser human beings receive the same attention as superior human beings - those with penises? There. I said it.

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  3. So the "Shoes of the Fisherman" were red Prada: who knew? *

    * Yes, yes, I've heard the shoes aren't really Prada. But what works better w/ "The Devil Wears..." jokes?

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    1. Come now, JCF, the pope is not the devil.

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  4. We can learn something from Rome on this. Think how much better the world would be if George Carey had "moved into a life of seclusion" instead of embarrassing the church every time he opens his mouth.

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    1. Indeed, you are correct, Malcolm, though I doubt that behind the scenes the pope will be silent.

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