Zadok brings up some good points about the consistory

My friend Zadok has posted a good item.  Some of it bears quoting here.  My emphases and comm[]ents:

Thankfully, [Zadok] did get inside the basilica and it certainly is wonderful when St Peter’s is used for these solemn liturgies. There’s something very special about the enthusiastic chanting of the responses and hymns in Latin by the congregation in such a manner that it threatens to raise the roof of this extraordinary building.  [I can second that.  I recall for my ordination lying on the floor and hearing 15000 people singing the Litany of Saints in Latin.  The memory gives me shivers.]

Some Liturgical Questions
Some questions have been asked in the comment-boxes of the various ‘blogs about the absence of the altar cross - maybe it wasn’t visible in the TV coverage, but the cross, rather than being placed on the altar behind the Holy Father, was rather placed at the top of the steps which lead down to the confessio. One wonders whether the intention was that the Holy Father should be facing the cross during the liturgy.  [This would make sense.  Papa Ratzinger wrote at length about the position of the Cross, recommending that in those situations where the celebrant was on the other side of an altar, the Cross should between the priest and congregation.  I read some of his work on this in a PODCAzT.]

It should also be noted that the consistory is structured as a liturgy of the word – therefore, it’s not at all inappropriate for the Holy Father to preside in his cope rather than just wearing choir dress. (I don’t think anyone was complaining about the cope, but people are curious about the switch in vesture.)  [Exactly right, Zadok.]

I’m enthusiastic about Mons Marini, but I think he’s still settling into his job. There were quite a number of gaffs during the consistory which jarred. The Holy Father read the formula for a Cardinal Deacon when imposing the birettas on a number of the Cardinal Priests and the wrong prayer was read before the Cardinals’ profession of faith. The microphone was poorly handled as well, meaning that we frequently missed the first few words of the Holy Father’s prayers. That being said, I can’t imagine what it is like stepping into a job of that magnitude, and given his experience in Bologna, I’m sure that these little wrinkles will soon be ironed out. [And no matter what little problem there might have been, no precision was worth ... well... what we had before.] Whilst not a fan of his predecessor’s style, having seen him at work on numerous occasions, I always respected his ability to run a liturgy smoothly and with a certain attention to detail. [Along with a simply nasty temper.] Speaking of Archbishop Marini, one is tempted to read something into the fact that he did attend the consistory, but quietly placed himself right at the back of the section reserved for the so-called Capella Papale. Cardinal Sodano, I understand, didn’t attend at all. Having just turned 80, one wonders whether his retirement as Dean of the Sacred College is imminent.  [That is not so, it turns out.  Card. Sodano was visible in the video feed, seated where he should have been - first in line with the Cardinal Bishops.  But, Zadok, it's the thought that counts!] 

 

 

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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21 Responses to Zadok brings up some good points about the consistory

  1. pjo says:

    Comment to the previous post:

    Wrong:
    7. Card. STANIS?AW RI?KO

    Correct:
    7. Card. STANIS?AW RY?KO (or, without diacritics: STANISLAW RYLKO)

  2. prof. basto says:

    I hate to spoil the party but…

    Cardinal Gantin didn’t retire because he was over 80.
    He did so because he wished to return to Benin, and the Dean
    is expected to reside at Rome (the papal letter accepting his
    resignation mentions his wish of returning to his native land).

    Thus, Cardinal Sodano won’t necessarily retire now that he is 80,
    provided that he intends to continue to reside in Rome.

    Anyway, the Cardinal Bishops have a tradition of electing the most senior
    of them for presentation to the Pope for the appointment as Cardinal Dean.
    Should Sodano retire, the election according to that criterion would fall on
    Card. Roger Etchegaray, who is himself over 80 and yet holds office as the
    current Subdean of the Sacred College (a fact that shows that the positions
    of Dean and Subdean aren’t lost on account of age). If, however, Cardinal
    Bishops keep resigning the Deanship once they are over 80, there could soon
    be a day when an impasse would arise, given that all Cardinal Bishops are
    very senior, and several of them have lost the right to attend the Conclave.

    Not that I consider Cardinal Sodano the best man for the Deanship.

  3. Malta says:

    Fr. Z: [And no matter what little problem there might have been, no precision was worth … well… what we had before.]

    LOL! I guess \”precision\” in the sense of inculturation.

  4. An Old M.C.q says:

    Biretta ‘fins’…
    Even though they’re not as widely worn as in years past, one would hope that sometime soon the papal MC at a consistory would catch on to the correct way to hand the red biretta to the Holy Father so that it might be placed on the cardinal’s head properly. A cursory look at the news photos from this consistory (as well as the last one — different pope and different MC) reveals birettas being placed every which way. CENTER FIN TO THE RIGHT OF THE WEARER, boys!
    ALL together now…

  5. Dustin says:

    I simply delight in the touching photos of Patriarch Emmanuel at this consistory. HH has shown a gift for symbolism in his choice of cardinals, and this, for me, is the most important since Joseph Zen Zi-kiun. If Benedict accomplished nothing else on his watch, the elevation of these two princely men would be enough.

  6. Jack says:

    This is completely off-topic, but what’s the funky hat that the cardinal in the forefront of the picture is wearing? It’s not a biretta, it’s not a galero, I’ve never seen it before. Looks oriental.

  7. Wow! Just flipping through te pictures at FotogragiaFelici:
    Nice cope and mitre on the pope.
    Nice frontal on the altar.

    Questions:
    Is that an instituted lector in an alb doing the reading? (he said in surprise)
    I noticed vimpae. Did Archbishop P. Marini also use those or is the use of those new to the papal liturgy? (I assume they were used).
    I’m not quite hip on the ambo. What did they use at Saint Peter’s in the liturgy before the council?
    If I am guessing right, I’m surprised that Msgr. Marini did the general intercessions in what looked like a “let’s have a bunch of different laity read one of the intercessions” format. Isn’t a deacon, instituted lector or cantor supposed to do that (in that order of priority)?

    Overall though, the appearance of dignity in the vestments was nice. I look forward to Msgr. Marini getting his feet under him. I’d say this was a good start. I wonder how the music was?

  8. Kim D'Souza says:

    Regarding the altar cross: My guess is that this is the same arrangement we will see at Mass tomorrow – the crucifix being the focus between the Pope and the people, but not on the altar where it would form a kind of barrier to the extent that the people would not even be able to see the elevations of the Sacred Species. Not that obstructing the people’s view of the priest is a problem, but they are meant to be able to see the elevations, which would not be possible if the big cross traditionally used at St Peter’s was placed centrally on the altar between priest and people.

  9. Al says:

    Hi, Guys – - -

    At my church at the 5 PM Mass nobody reported watching or even caring very much about the consistory. They were pretty much too interested in the Advent Giving Tree, and figuring out what kind of gifts they could get together for the needy people in the area of the parish. A whole bunch of other people were working in the kitchen getting ready for the homeless dinner tomorrow afternoon downtown. We get EWTN on Channel 18 but I don’t get the impression than many people care to watch. They are more interested in actually doing things that make a difference in the lives of people. Frankly, I think most of them would be turned off by the gold-painted throne. It was pretty though, I must admit. I don’t envy HHB16 wearing the get-up. I’d be sweating like a racehorse under all that stuff. Give me an alb and stole any day. Hope they have good A/C in the basilica.

    – - – Al

  10. Al: Aside from the tone of your comment, the real problem with this lofty position you look down from is that it is not necessary that there be either beauty or interest in the poor. There can be both.

  11. EJ says:

    Well said Fr. Z!

    I would also argue that never being well-informed about current events in our Church and belittling opportunities to enrich one’s cultural palate (as if we didn’t need more exposure to real culture here in America) by the simple act of tuning into events such as this one is in itself an unfortunate poverty. Beauty does not detract from our ability to live out the Gospel, but it can inspire us to live it out more vigorously – at least that has been my experience, thankfully enough.

    I’d just add as well that late November in Rome doesn’t exactly necessitate the A/C being cranked to the full either.

  12. fxavier says:

    Al: Let me add that here in America, the poor built the most beautiful churches with their sweat and blood only to have the liberals take them apart later on!

    The poor know beauty when they see it. They don’t see beauty in the monstrosities that was in vogue in the 1960′s / 70′s.

  13. Jonathan Bennett says:

    Still waiting for Archbishop Burke to get a red hat…

  14. Syriacus says:

    “That being said, I can’t imagine what it is like stepping into a job of that magnitude, and given his experience in Bologna, I’m sure that these little wrinkles will soon be ironed out.”

    Corrige: “given his experience in Genova (Genoa)” (MC of Archbishops Tettamanzi, Bertone and Bagnasco)

  15. Syriacus says:

    “They are more interested in actually doing things that make a difference in the lives of people.”

    Fr. Guido Marini is certainly interested too in ‘doing things that make differences in the lives of people’ ! ;)

  16. I am not Spartacus says:

    At my church at the 5 PM Mass nobody reported watching or even caring very much about the consistory.

    Americans are too curious about the lives of sport stars,actors, celebrities, criminals, radio talk show hosts, their neighbors intrigues, etc. That Catholics are interested in the Consistory is a wonderful thing and it ought be encouraged and complimented.

    And we Catholics who are interested in such things do not go about boasting of our good works although I’ll bet a lot of us can top what y’all do in your Parish :)

  17. Kim D'Souza says:

    I’m happy to eat crow and report that, contrary to my speculations of last night, the altar crucifix was back in its proper place. As were the cardinal deacons. Thanks be to God!

  18. Jack,
    You’re right to say the hat worn by Cardinal Emmanuel II Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, looks oriental.
    The Chaldean Catholic Church is one of the eastern Catholic churches.

  19. His hat is called a shash, I think.

  20. RBrown says:

    They are more interested in actually doing things that make a difference in the lives of people.

    That is the attitude that BXVI knows he must change: The liturgy is not merely a weekly experience lasting an hour. It is the source and summit of the Christian Life (cf Sacrosanctum Concilium). It is contemplative as the source–and active as the summit.

    Frankly, I think most of them would be turned off by the gold-painted throne. It was pretty though, I must admit. I don’t envy HHB16 wearing the get-up. I’d be sweating like a racehorse under all that stuff. Give me an alb and stole any day. Hope they have good A/C in the basilica.
    Comment by Al

    Diagree. People, including Americans, like pomp and circumstance. That’s one reason why there are so many TV shows on the British Royals–and why everyone was transfixed on Diana’s wedding–and years later, her funeral.

  21. Habemus Papam says:

    Wow Al, so much time spent helping the poor and you STILL find time to let everyone know about it!