True ecumenical gesture: Catholics, Orthodox together give Pope new Papal Tiara – WDTPRS POLL

UPDATE 26 May 0305 GMT:

From a reader:

Seeing today’s post on the new tiara made me remember that there is a list in the papal Caeremoniale Romanum of the days, other than the Pope’s coronation, when the tiara is actually used:

Quattro Santi Coronati
S. Martin
S. Clement
Gaudete Sunday
Laetare Sunday
Christmas Day
St. Stephen’s
Epiphany
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
Good Shepherd Sunday
Ascension Day
Pentecost Sunday
SS. Peter and Paul
S. Sylvester
The anniversary of the Pope’s coronation

So not as often as one might imagine…

Interesting.  Thanks to JC.

_____  ORIGINAL POST _____ May 25, 2011 @ 13:03

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

Some Catholics with some Orthodox, during the Wednesday General Audience today, gave Pope Benedict a new papal triregno…tiara.

My friend John Sonnen has an entry at his fine blog:

At today’s weekly general audience the Holy Father received a new tiara made for him and presented by Catholic and Orthodox Christians.

The tiara was commissioned by Dieter Philippi (http://www.dieter-philippi.de/), a German Catholic businessman who has a great devotion to the papacy as well as to the call to Christian unity.

The tiara was created in Sofia, Bulgaria by Orthodox Christians of the Liturgix studio (http://www.liturgix.com/).

Today a small delegation of Roman Catholics and Bulgarian Orthodox on pilgrimage in Rome had the honor to present the tiara to the Holy Father in the name of Christian unity.

Congratulations to Dieter and to all German Catholics and Bulgarian Orthodox involved with this wonderful project.

Question for the readers…

Should the Papal Tiara be revived and used by the Roman Pontiff?

Pick an answer and give your reasons in the combox.

I think the Papal Tiara...

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True ecumenical gesture: Catholics, Orthodox together give Pope new Papal Tiara – WDTPRS POLL
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72 Responses to True ecumenical gesture: Catholics, Orthodox together give Pope new Papal Tiara – WDTPRS POLL

  1. tjtenor2 says:

    The possible hoopla about whether the Holy Father will actually wear it notwithstanding, I find it very encouraging that this symbol of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff was given to him, in part, by a group of *Orthodox*.

  2. Prof. Basto says:

    LAUDETUR IESUS CHRISTUS!

    Great initiative!

  3. Pachomius says:

    Laus Deo semper!

    Very good news, but the Bulgarian Orthodox are, so far as I know, a fairly small church – about the same size as the Ukrainian Greek Catholics. Also, we shouldn’t get too excited – this shows the openness of some Orthodox, but as we know from ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox past and present, one group’s yea is another group’s nay. I hope their bishop is sympathetic.

  4. PatrickJude says:

    It is one of the symbol of Papal Authority that truly defines the meaning “authority” and we so dearly need to buck up and respect the authority of the Holy Father to shepher us along the right path.

    To the question of would His Holiness wear it, in the line of the humility of His Holiness, I doubt it, rather, he would crown the statue of St. Peter this coming Feast of Saints Peter and Paul with this new tiara instead. However, nothing can stop us from dreaming ;-)

  5. JoAnna says:

    It is indeed a wonderful gesture.

    I don’t care for the tiara itself, though. It looks like a giant golden beehive.

  6. Legisperitus says:

    The Tiara of Christian Unity!

  7. benedetta says:

    Very beautiful!

  8. Pachomius says:

    On whether the tiara should be revived, I can’t make up my mind. It’s not really a liturgical vestment, and it comes with uncomfortable ovetones of temporal rule which, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think a Pope should do.

    It hearkens back to an age when Popes were frequently corrupt and too involved in power-struggles between monarchs. It evokes an image of the Pope-as-Emperor which is only going to hinder ecumenical dialogue with anyone, orthodox or protestant.

    Historically, I think the temporal power of the Pope undermined his spiritual authority. Also, it symbolically reduces the status of other bishops – who are, we should not forget, also successors to the Apostles, and heads of the Church in their area who are in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

    The Catholic Church does not have a CEO and a load of branch managers, and I’m worried that the triregno would reinforce that impression and water down the authority of the local bishop (to whom, however much we may dislike or disagree with them, we owe our loyalty and obedience).

    With that said, the triregno is traditional and a link to the past. But on the other hand, it is a link to some of the more dubious aspects of the Church in the Middle Ages, and it doesn’t really give us a branch to the historic Church much before that (or at least, much before the Donation of Constantine).

    Tradition is something precious and wonderful, but I suppose I’m just very uncomfortable about this.

  9. Pachomius says:

    Addendum (and my last post on this, I promise :) ): Apparently John Paul II was given a tiara, too: http://hallowedground.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/did-you-know/

  10. Sam Urfer says:

    While I think calls for the Vatican to “sell everything and give it to the poor” are pretty stupid, here is what I think: Every pope should be crowned with a tiara, and then after the ceremony sell the tiara to raise money for the poor, as it would be vastly more valuable after the crowning than it was beforehand. That way, you get the symbolism both of being crowned, and of “casting the crown” at the Lord’s feet in the personage of the needy.

  11. Mundabor says:

    Actually I would have desired an answer on the lines of: “It should be used whenever it was used before Vatican II”. Failing that, I have chosen number one.

    As the matter of “pomp” is very important to me (I consider it a very visible sign of the Church’s glory and in striking contrast to the jeans-and-tambourine attitude) the papal tiara was the object of one of my first blog posts. And I would link to it, if I didn’t have the impression that this might slowly look pretentious or self-promoting (I have already done it once today, and I think it’s enough).

    But seriously, I would revive **all** past usages: The sedia gestatoria, the tiara, the long motorcades with prestigious cars, all the “pomp and circumstance” fitting for the Only Church.

    If it was good enough for my grandmothers it’s good enough for me, say I.

    Mundabor

  12. TomG says:

    Sam’s idea is a good one. I second it.

  13. Titus says:

    I don’t care for the tiara itself, though. It looks like a giant golden beehive.

    Really? It’s really rather a fine example: they invariably look a little beehive-ish.

    Pachomius: it doesn’t really give us a branch to the historic Church much before that (or at least, much before the Donation of Constantine).

    So traditions are only worthwhile if they can be traced in some way to the third century, but not if they have their roots only in the fourth? This is quite arbitrary. The popes may choose not to wear the tiara out of deference to modern sensibilities, but the scattershot of arguments advanced by Pachomius, especially the some-historical-ages-are-better-than-others argument, is just silly. Does one see at a picture of Bl. Pius IX, St. Pius X, or Pope Leo XIII wearing the triregno and think “golly, just look at that nepotistic, decadent medievalism: how very unpapal and inappropriate.” Of course not.

    I think the Papal Tiara…

    You know, he wouldn’t have to wear it. He could have it carried in procession like a mitred abbess or something. That would be a nice compromise.

  14. anna 6 says:

    I suppose after the hoopla over the brief appearance of the papal banner with the revised coat of arms, Benedict was very careful not to try THIS hat on for size (unlike the baseball caps, fireman helmets and uniform hats that he is routinely given.)

    …although, I confess that it would have been entertaining to see NC Fishwrap self implode on this one!

  15. lgreen515 says:

    I learn so much every time I read this blog. My first response was, “Wow, it’s so beautiful. He should wear it every day. How come that is not a choice?” Now that I have read everyone’s responses, I like Sam Urfer’s take the best.

  16. Titus says:

    the scattershot of arguments advanced by Pachomius

    In all fairness, I recognize that a blog combox isn’t the place for fully developing thoughtful critiques, and that my criticism of Pachomius’s argument is not itself well-developed and rooted in an articulated basis. I am sure he could flesh arguments out more fully in an appropriate forum, and I don’t intend to suggest otherwise by describing them as “silly”: I’m merely stating in shorthand that I find his conclusions quite wrong.

  17. Prof. Basto says:

    My vote: “should be revived and, on special occasions, the Pope should use it”.

    My preferences in order:

    – The tiara used for the crowning of the Pope and for other special occasions, say, for the most solemn occasions (such as urbi et orbi blessings on Easter and Christmas, entering and leaving canonization Masses and Masses on Easter, Christmas and Epipanhy, and perhaps for the creation of new cardinals in consistory).

    – The tiara used for the coronation of the Pope, but not afterwards.

    – The tiara at least restored to the Papal Coat of Arms, and retained with honour as a symbol of the Papacy, also with the continuation of the practices that survived, such as the Coronation of the statue of bl. Peter in the Vatican Basilica with the tiara on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

  18. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I think the Holy Father has a funny look on his face, like when some people open up a Christmas present and find mittens your aunt knitted for you, but which you don’t want to be caught dead in LOL. Caption: The Holy Father thinks, “A tiara! I would rather have the QUIRINALE PALACE. And while we’re at it, just give me back the Papal States.”

    Benedict XVI is not a triregnum sort of guy. But he would like very nice up on the sedia, with the flabelli ostrich plumes, the Palatine Noble Guard, papal tiara, and the precious cope that looks like it weighs 50 pounds.

  19. Joseph says:

    The first important and upcoming occasion to wear the tiara would be the confab at Asissi. That might even find aproval amongst the ranks of the Pius X Society.

  20. HighMass says:

    If I stand Corrct, during Papal Liturgies, when the Eastern Patriarch’s, Metropolitans and Bishops were there CROWNS? Why, Because it is part of there Tradition, sign of office, etc. But not in the West, heavens no, that is to pre-VII after all.

    Someone stated earlier that the Holy Father is to Humble to wear the Tiara, and to that I must agree HE IS SUCH A HOLY MAN……Someone also stated the Tiara of Christain Unity, HUM well it did come from our Eastern Bretheren (Bulgarian Orthodox) God Bless them…….they are sending a message! :)

  21. Centristian says:

    Fascinating. Pope John Paul II was also presented with a tiara that he never used.

    I would be delighted to see the tiara return, and the next pope crowned rather than merely “inaugurated”. The pope is the pope, after all. He’s not just one of many bishops to be installed like any other. The pope is a bishop, of course; he is the bishop of Rome. But he is also the father of Christendom, and the beginning of his pontificate should reflect the grandeur of his universal office and role, not just his episcopal office.

    A coronation with the traditional papal headdress reinforces the idea of the pope’s fatherhood, in Christ’s stead, over the Church and over the family of nations. This is an item worn by no other bishop, neither by any other ruler; it is unique to the Vicar of Christ. I find it deliciously ironic that Pope Benedict’s tiara-less coat of arms is featured on the lappets of this tiara. Replacing the tiara with a miter was a mistake, and a heraldic gaffe, so much so that some heraldic authorities refuse to recognize Benedict’s novel miter as a miter at all, calling it instead “a papal tiara in the form of a bishop’s miter”.

    It’s too late for Pope Benedict XVI to don the tiara, of course, as he elected not to be crowned. To wear a crown not having had a coronation would be unseemly, as it would imply an event that never occurred. Still, I think it would be acceptable for the tiara to be borne in procession on a pillow at solemn papal ceremonies.

    The next pope should permit himself to be crowned, I believe. Let Catholics cease to be afraid of their own traditions, and let the pope lead by example in this regard. He needn’t wear it again, following his coronation. Like Pope Paul VI, let him be crowned, and then put the tiara away for the duration of his reign. But let him at least be crowned.

    This tiara is a beautiful addition to the collection of tiaras in the papal sacristy. I hope to see it worn one day by one of Benedict’s successors.

  22. Henry Edwards says:

    The perennial polemics on this question are pretty stifling. But, since this tiara was given to Pope Benedict in the name of Christian unity, surely it would be–for the Pope of Christian Unity–a fine ecumenical gesture for him to wear it publicly, especially on ecumenical occasions.

  23. Mitchell NY says:

    I believe that the Pope should be crowned with it and then the Tiara used at the Christmas and Easter Blessings. Like it or not it is a symbol of the Papacy. Leaving it in a closet or museum defeats the idea of returning things in a Hermeneutic of Continuity the Holy Father so often speaks about, with the correct symbolism and meaning attached to it. If it reminds some incorrectly of temporal power then it is time for the Holy Father to show us that it does not mean that. With its’ occasional use the correct symbolism will come to the surface. I doubt he would put it on and then lay claim to the Papal States. I also like the “carried on a pillow” idea. For it to just disappear seems a bit wrong to the peoples who made the gift possible. And of course many of us will never get to the Vatican Museums to be able to see this particular part of Catholic Heritage. To see the Pope a few times a year wearing the Tiara on TV and pictures would validate that Hermeneutic in Practice. It is a beautiful gift…

  24. Brooklyn says:

    Centristian – I couldn’t agree with you more on this one. You articulated it beautifully. I think the world should know that the Pope is not just any man, that he is the Vicar of Christ, with all that this title implies. Outward symbols such as this tiara show everyone that there is something special here. It makes total sense that JP II would not have worn this tiara because his way was, I think, to appear to be “one of us.” The Pope is set aside and consecrated in a very special way. And since Orthodox Christians were involved in giving this to the Holy Father, it gives it even more meaning. I hope this does come back in full force.

  25. Luvadoxi says:

    I voted wear it on occasion, but after reading Sam Urfer’s comment, I think I’d change it–what a great idea! It is tempting to want to see him wear it at Assisi, as Joseph mentioned, but probably it wouldn’t have the intended effect and would just cause more problems. Wear it (maybe on more than one occasion), sell it, give the money to the poor. I love that.

  26. Traductora says:

    Wow! It’s beautiful!

  27. Dr. Eric says:

    Not only should the Holy Father wear the Triple Tiara, he should wear it any time he wants, while watching soccer and drinking a Fanta, while playing Mozart on the piano, celebrating a Solemn Pontifical Mass, any and every time he’s out and about.

    The Eastern bishops ALL wear Miter-crowns. Why shouldn’t the Bishop of the largest Church in the world? Even the American Ukrainian and Ruthenian Bishops wear them here in the United States! Surely the Vicar of Christ should wear a tiara fitting his role as the Supreme Pontiff.

  28. dmwallace says:

    I think the Papal Tiara should be revived and, on special occasions, the Pope should use it.

    He should not wear it liturgically, of course, as the mitre is proper to the Pope as bishop of Rome. It is interesting to note that a pope does not carry the crozier, a shepherd’s crook, like other bishops. This already sets the pope apart from other bishops.

    He should wear the triple-tiara, however, when he exercises his supreme, infallible authority, e.g. when defining dogmas, presiding at ecumenical councils or other collections of bishops, and during canonizations.

  29. SonofMonica says:

    I do like Sam’s idea–although some might object to the selling of holy items, I suppose that it’s more like auctioning it for a good purpose than selling for a profit. But the reason I’m interested in Sam’s idea is, since the Pope normally wears an ordinary Latin bishop’s mitre means that the extra tiara is, well, extra. It’s not because the tiara seems particularly regal or symbolic of temporal power, or “expensive-looking.” Eastern Catholic and Orthodox bishops wear mitres that are shaped like what Westerners consider secular crowns, but they are mitres all the same.

    I find it somewhat odd that the tiara is the only mitre that doesn’t get treated as a mitre, but as some object of fanciful pretense, or some sort of worldly abuse of power. Sure, the tiara has added symbolism with the three layers, but so does Pope Benedict XVI’s three-layered mitre on his coat-of-arms… the one that everyone keeps claiming, or assuming, is “just a mitre.” Look closely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BXVI_CoA_like_gfx_PioM.svg

    The Vatican says that, “With time, although it lost its temporal meaning, the silver tiara with three gold crowns came to represent the three powers of the Supreme Pontiff: Sacred Orders, Jurisdiction and Magisterium.” And then goes on to say, “The Holy Father Benedict XVI decided not to include the tiara in his official personal coat of arms. He replaced it with a simple mitre which is not, therefore, surmounted by a small globe and cross as was the tiara. The Papal mitre shown in his arms, to recall the symbolism of the tiara, is silver and bears three bands of gold (the three powers: Orders, Jurisdiction and Magisterium), joined at the centre to show their unity in the same person.” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/elezione/stemma-benedict-xvi_en.html

    So, there you have it. Pope Benedict XVI’s triple-banded mitre means exactly the same thing as the tiara had come to mean. Why the stink?

  30. ReginaMarie says:

    As an Eastern Catholic (who loves seeing her Metropolitans & Archbishops in their liturgical crowns!) praying that our Orthodox brethren return to the Catholic Church…this makes me happy.

  31. I voted to revive it and for the Pope to wear it on special occasions – and I also agree with what Dr. Eric said, that he should wear it any time he wants. It is an enduring symbol of his Papal authority as the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ.

  32. Choirmaster says:

    I suggest that everyone be very cautious about going too far down the road of “sell it and give the money to the poor”. I’m no scripture scholar, but I have heard these words before, and they came from the mouth of the Betrayer.

    I think that there are several reasons for the Vatican to at least keep it:

    1. It was a gift, given in charity, to the Church and to the Pope. It is not necessarily the Pope’s personal property to liquidate. It is the property of the whole Church for the purpose of crowning the successor of Peter as the Vicar of Chris with a visible sign of that authority.

    2. We will always have the poor, and our individual efforts as members of the Church are far more effective (spiritually and temporally) than the selling of a piece of ecclesiastical regalia, which does nothing more than temporarily appease smug Church-haters.

    3. We probably will not always have a Vatican and a Pope that can be crowned in such a splendid and public way, not to mention the freedom to even put it on display in a “Vatican Museum”. This is the Golden Age of the Church Militant, and the Tiara is a great sign and symbol of the Church’s exalted status. (Not saying we wouldn’t have a successor of Peter, just that it probably won’t look the same and we couldn’t crown him with a Tiara even if we wanted to, and there is no guarantee from our Lord that we will always have a Vatican.)

    4. I am always afraid of that suggestion because it first came from the mouth of Judas.

  33. Geoffrey says:

    I didn’t vote because I didn’t feel 100% in agreement with any one of the choices. I would definitely like to see it in the papal coat of arms. Whether or not it is worn is another matter entirely, but I am not opposed to it. Proper catechesis would be required if it were to return, and I’ve yet to hear a good reason for it, other than “tradition”, etc. The Vicar of Christ is the Vicar of Christ regardless of head dress.

    On another note, typically when His Holiness the Pope has been presented with a gift that is a head dress, he puts it on (I recall a firefighter hat). I suppose it is safe to assume he did not don this gift!

  34. Andy Milam says:

    The last time I checked, the Pope was still a Soverign.

    On watching the video of the Obama gaff, I noticed that the Soverign of the British Commonwealth AND the wife of the Prince of Wales were both wearing crowns.

    Since the Pope is Soverign and other Soverigns wear the crown, the Pope should wear his.

    That wasn’t even hard logic.

    The Pope is more than just a spiritual leader, he is also a temporal leader. No one bats an eye when he excercises his spiritual leadership, yet he’s supposed to be some pauper-king? I say NO!!!! The temporal importance of the papacy is at an all time high! Look at the relationship that Benedict built with Bush. Look at the politics of Blessed John Paul. These two things show that they are temporal leaders as well as spiritual.

    I say unabashedly, BRING BACK THE TRIREGNUM!!! Tu es Petrus!!!

    Plus, how is he supposed to have a traditional Papal Mass without it?

  35. LoyalViews says:

    What wonderful news! Now, THIS is ecumenism. Not inviting Reverend Joan lad-di-dah from the Anglican church down the road.

  36. LoyalViews says:

    to a “faith reconcilliation service”

    (sorry for double comments!)

  37. Catholic87 says:

    Pope Benedict being too humble means absolutely nothing, Pope St. Pius X was extremely humble but he did not let that hinder his complete respect and love for the traditions of our Church!

  38. mike cliffson says:

    Brit-born,I like secular outward pomp., black rod etc. Do away with pomp, you get pompousness, even in the church, tho one sees not a whit of that with our present Peter. If in the world, so much more so for God. Mother Teresa’s nuns have dignified chapels, do they not?
    For the unconvinced tho, is it necessary? Surely not. A persecuted clandestine church is still the church, as in countries X,Y,And Z, and God send history not repeat, but Peter in disguise and hidden would still be Peter.
    Useful? Well we all find signs helpful: glorious architecture, eyecandy vestments……. And more tiaras etc might, just might, make tabletistas and the fishwrap folks in Frs next blogpost a touch more circumspect, if only from fear of other Catholics’ gut reactions to their lese majeste.

  39. Marius2k4 says:

    Quoniam Petrus primus in terra, ac pater est principum regumque, atque rector orbis terrarum; quoniam illi datum est nomen Vicarii Filii Dei, et ducitur ac regitur doctione a Spiritu Sancto: Illi Sancto Papae redeunda est propria majestas officii ejus sancti, et honor regis et corona.

    Quia nos caremus dignitate sufficiente veros ad venerandos reges (ac regibus caremus veris quoque!) non nos excudit a culpa tam magna in abnegando illum symbolis verae potestatis ejus.

    Utinam Papa gloriam propriam suam recapiat ad nos docendos in terra quemadmodum reddere gloriam Patri in caelis. Animae nostrae deficiunt ac docendae sunt majestate naturam majestatis.

    Vivat Sanctus Papa! Vivat et Regnet in Terra!

  40. Mundabor says:

    I don’t get the one with the “selling and giving to the poor”. The Church gives (with her own organisations) to the poor all the time; such a gesture would frankly look more than a tad populistic, and chasing easy popularity; not to put too fine a point on it, more JP II than B XVI.

    If we go down that road, than he should sell and give to charity almost all his clothes and almost all his cars. Then one should wonder why he doesn’t cut on the servants, and whether dresses and shoes must truly be bespoke, and so on.

    I’d say the Pope must live, dress, behave and appear as what he is: the successor of Peter, and the head of Christianity. He must incarnate and make visible all the prestige, power and authority of the Church. No false modesty, and no false poverty (AFAIK a Pope has no vote of poverty anyway).

    It is no coincidence, if you ask me, that Paul VI didn’t have the gut to wear the tiara, and didn’t have the gut to keep his bishops under control (see Dutch schism). Paul VI symbolically divested himself from authority and chose to be a kind of counsellor rather than a leader, and we still pay the consequences. By contrast, Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII all wore the tiara, and they all knew how to be obeyed.

    Bring back the tiara, say I. And the sedia gestatoria. And the blue custom-build limousines instead of that ridiculous ice-cream-seller vehicle putting the Pontiff on display in a glass case as if he was a rare monkey. Give back to the papacy the prestige and authority that is its own.

    Mundabor

  41. mzanghetti says:

    I think given the fact it was done as an ecumenical gesture, it should be worn on special occasions as an ecumenical gesture! What is wrong with having a papal tiara? Is it because of the Vatican trying to be PC or something?

  42. Pachomius says:

    “So traditions are only worthwhile if they can be traced in some way to the third century, but not if they have their roots only in the fourth? This is quite arbitrary.”
    Indeed, and it’s also not what I said. What I said was it is not in fact a link to the whole history of the Church, and it is one which in fact connects us most directly with a period in which it is often difficult to perceive the papacy acting in the interests of Christ.

    “The popes may choose not to wear the tiara out of deference to modern sensibilities, but the scattershot of arguments advanced by Pachomius, especially the some-historical-ages-are-better-than-others argument, is just silly.”
    Perhaps the Papacy would be better if we resurrected Cardinal-Nephews, too?

    “Does one see at a picture of Bl. Pius IX, St. Pius X, or Pope Leo XIII wearing the triregno and think “golly, just look at that nepotistic, decadent medievalism: how very unpapal and inappropriate.” Of course not.”
    I never used the word nepotistic. And actually, my problem with the triregno is not that it is mediaeval as such, but that it bespeaks, to me, of much that was bad in the mediaeval Church.

    No, looking at these Popes wearing the triregno, one doesn’t think that, but neither does one think: what a great and holy successor to the Apostles, here, surely, is the Vicar of Christ on Earth; I must hear his teaching.

    And in any case, of course mediaevalism doesn’t come to mind – what does come to mind is the suspicion that the Holy Father had accidentally walked off wearing his bathroom wall, and no-one had dared to correct him. Sorry, but I really dislike ecclesiastical baroque (particularly Italian ecclesiastical baroque – give me Old St Peter’s over the new one any day).

    “In all fairness, I recognize that a blog combox isn’t the place for fully developing thoughtful critiques, and that my criticism of Pachomius’s argument is not itself well-developed and rooted in an articulated basis. I am sure he could flesh arguments out more fully in an appropriate forum, and I don’t intend to suggest otherwise by describing them as “silly”: I’m merely stating in shorthand that I find his conclusions quite wrong.”

    And in all fairness, I’ll cast aside my initial, waspish reaction to what seemed to me a rather snide tone. But I wasn’t advancing an argument – I was offering an opinion, and one which, as I was in a rush, and that was my immediate reaction to the concept of the tiara.

    (As an aside, I actually quite like the tiara aesthetically. It looks far better than either the awful one made for Paul VI, or the hideous baroque biscuit barrel John XXIII used).

    On eastern mitres… I think the point here is that they are mitres. They’re a liturgical item. The triregno has always sat oddly in the liturgy, by contrast.

  43. Samthe44 says:

    This made my day! I hope His Holiness wears it regularly. I also hope His Holiness changes his coat of arms to have the Tiara on it. It is also amazing!

  44. joanofarcfan says:

    I like it. Wear it, wear it, wear it. To wear it once and sell it is a waste of artistic time. Who would buy it and why? Wear it.

  45. joanofarcfan says:

    Besides, it is rude to receive a gift and then sell it.

  46. servusmariaen says:

    so it’s mandatory that the pope have a coronation before wearing the triregnum?

  47. TNCath says:

    I’m not against the tiara at all. Pope Paul VI broke precedent by discarding the tiara, and his successors–John Paul I and John Paul II–followed his lead. It may or may not have been the best decision, but it nonetheless happened. That said, I think there are bigger and more important battles to fight with liturgy, Catholic education, the priesthood, and religious life right now than this one. Were the Holy Father to revive the tiara, I’d be all for it, but I think it would provide the media and our enemies an excellent opportunity to use it as a red herring.

  48. jjoy says:

    He should wear it on Thursdays….

  49. Fr. Basil says:

    \\I suggest that everyone be very cautious about going too far down the road of “sell it and give the money to the poor”. I’m no scripture scholar, but I have heard these words before, and they came from the mouth of the Betrayer.\\

    Jesus said it first.

    Matthew 19:21
    Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me

  50. UncleBlobb says:

    Fr. Basil: Wouldn’t it be rude to give away someone else’s gift already?

    To the blog in general: I’d rather like to see him don the new tiara … perhaps with some help from Vincenzo? :)

  51. Mundabor says:

    Fr. Basil,

    “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?”
    Judas in John 12:4

    Mundabor

  52. Mundabor says:

    Errata corrige:

    “Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?”
    John 12: 4-5

  53. trad catholic mom says:

    I’d love to see the tiara used, but can we get a more attractive one made? That one is hideous.

  54. benedetta says:

    Fr. Basil: maybe you could fashion a beautiful golden, um cougar…and donate it? What, not enough ick factor for you? “This is for you…”

    “Oh you shouldn’t have!”

    The gentleman had it made, from his own money to give to the Holy Father. If we do not know the full details of his private charitable giving and affairs then perhaps we ought not perpetually undermine, out of our own personal pleasure?

    Don’t worry Fr Basil (if indeed you are truly a priest…there is the matter of that blog by the lady who purports to be a nun but apparently just isn’t…) I am not laughing with you…

  55. JKnott says:

    Inspiring gift of beauty and unity. I voted for the return of the Tiara. I see it as a symbol of the Church and not of the the holder of papal office, but the Church as the divinely instituted spiritual and moral authority over all the earth.
    Perhaps it was prophetic that immediately following the Second Vatican Council Pope Paul IV cast the Tiara down in a measure of perceived humility. Now, even as we read here today on Father’s blog, the Church’s own cardinals, bishops and priests are questioning Her moral and spiritual authority in favor of worldly opinions. I don’t buy the ceramic bowel theory of humility.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JRL8GGZZMA

  56. I think that when Pope Paul VI laid down the tiara, he sent exactly the wrong signal at exactly the wrong time. It was as though he were laying down not only the tiara, but the authority that it symbolizes. And his flock behaved accordingly. What needs to happen is every possible reinforcement of the message this current Pope has been sending all along: playtime is over. The tiara would serve that purpose.

    trad catholic mom says:

    I’d love to see the tiara used, but can we get a more attractive one made? That one is hideous.

    Nah. Paul VI’s tiara: now THAT was hideous. If he had given that one up in order to take up a better one, I could see that.

    Fr_Sotelo says:

    Benedict XVI is not a triregnum sort of guy. But he would like very nice up on the sedia, with the flabelli ostrich plumes, the Palatine Noble Guard, papal tiara, and the precious cope that looks like it weighs 50 pounds.

    If he had been in the sedia on Christmas, 2009, I bet the crazy lady could not have assaulted him.

  57. muckemdanno says:

    The Orthodox bishops deny that the pope has jurisdiction over them, so they deny the truth of what the symbol means.

    Supporting the symbol while denying the reality is unseemly, in my view.

  58. The fact that this comes from some members of the “orthodox” impresses me and should impress you. Remember that the Byzantine rite bishops both in and out of communion with the One True Church wear a crown. It is fitting and right that the Patriarch of the west should wear a crown of some sort and the Tiara is the shape that this crown has traditionally taken.

    I say he should wear the tiara at one of his meetings with the out of communion bishop of Constantinople and at that meeting he should celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary form. I know the Eastern guys don’t like that mass since it doesn’t have the explicit prayer to the Holy Spirit but I think it would be right and fitting. It would be rather like what the Pope did when he went to England and wore a specific stole.

  59. For several years I have prayed the Liturgia Horarum and offered it up to end the schism. The schisms that we have with the “Eastern Orthodox”, the “Oriental Orthodox”, and the Assyrian Church of the East are particularly painful for me. I often lament why it is that we can not just have peace with each other.

    The Byzantines especially grieve me since there seems to be an unofficial doctrine that they have which says that the Pope must be wrong and can not possible by the successor of Peter despite the mountain of evidence from their own history and cannons which state otherwise, not to mention the third party sources.

    What often troubles me the most is that when I look at the history with unbiased eyes what I see are not schisms that came about because of genuinely held religious beliefs that the faithful felt they could not compromise on, but rather were political separations that were then extended by force on the communion of the Church. It tears my heart in two that even now that those original political reasons for the various separations have long died, the indoctrinated schismatics still cling to the schism as a matter of faith when true faith should repel them from it.

    So many times I have wondered what would happen to the Church if we could finally get peace. What would happen if the lay faithful then suddenly had a choice of going to mass where the supposedly Latin rite priest could not speak Latin and was opposed to using the Extraordinary Form or going just down the street to the Eastern Rite parish where the priest is not afraid to embrace tradition, teach tradition, and live tradition. Just imagine what would happen if Father “contraception ok” found his church completely empty because all the faithful went to the Byzantine liturgy where the priest preached against the popular sins of our times. We would finally have a choice between “listen to me play the harmonica” to “lift up your hearts”.

    Now of course it is true that the “Eastern Orthodox” do have some house cleaning to do before a real reunion could take place. They have to get rid of the allowance of divorce for one thing. However, it would be a great benefit to the Church and surely this is what God desires, for all of us to be one. I can’t really see myself being “one” with the protestants, but with the orthodox I would be willing to make a good faith effort if they will do the same.

  60. ReginaMarie says:

    quomodocumque,
    Please clarify your comment:
    “The Byzantines especially grieve me since there seems to be an unofficial doctrine that they have which says that the Pope must be wrong and can not possible by the successor of Peter despite the mountain of evidence from their own history and cannons which state otherwise, not to mention the third party sources.”
    When you say “the Byzantines” (which generally refers to Eastern Catholics), of whom are you speaking? Orthodox Christians or Eastern (Byzantine) Catholics?

  61. I have a response to everyone who says that the Pope should sell everything and give it to the poor. The Pope already sells a lot and gives it to the poor. The Vatican is the only country in the world that can actually sell money. Think about that. It cost several times more Euros to get your hands on a Vatican minted Euro. And where does that money go? To the poor.

    Also remember that the Vatican recently had some of the money that was meant for the poor seized by Italy. We give a lot to the poor but they insist that we have to write down and tell the secularist who is getting the money and how much; probably so the Italian state can then tax the poor and steal the money that was meant to help the poor.

    I have an idea. How about the Smithsonian Museum sell all the dinosaur fossils they have and then give the money to the poor. Then we can insist that George Lucas sell the the props he used when filming Star Wars and Indiana Jones and then give that money to the poor. How about we force Congress to sell all the assets of the Federal Government and then give the money to the poor and then force the Royals of England and Thailand to give all their money to the poor as well.

    Why is it that the only person what any ever thinks should sell everything they have and give it to the poor is the one honest religious leader in the world who really only owns a few books and an old car. He doesn’t even own the clothes on his back, but we will ask him to sell what he has and give it to the poor. Keep in mind that when you buy one of the Pope’s books the money goes to the poor. We should all stop asking the Pope to go well beyond what we ourselves are willing to do and instead try to at least match his level of giving.

  62. I am referring to the schismatics who are not in communion with the Catholic Church. The various names that denote them are all cumbersome and confusing it is true. Obviously the Byzantine Rite Catholics that are in communion with the Church accept the Pope as the successor of Peter.

  63. Prof. Basto says:

    Pope Benedict being too humble means absolutely nothing, Pope St. Pius X was extremely humble but he did not let that hinder his complete respect and love for the traditions of our Church!

    Not to mention the two popes of Vatican II themselves:

    – John XVIII, credited by liberals with “humanizing the Papacy”, Good Pope John, that visited a Roman jail, etc, was actually liturgically conservative and used the Tiara and the Sedia, as did his succesor

    – Paul VI; even though Paul IV was one of the worst Popes ever, not personally but in his government of the Church, worse than Alexander VI (who at least was not a distroyer of liturgies), Pope Paul still managed to be crowned with the tiara; and, after the terrible act of “laying it aside” on occasion of the conclusion of Vatican II, and of donating his (ugly) tiara, Pope Paul VI still managed to redeem himself regarding this issue later in his Pontificate; indeed, when he issued his Ap. Const. Romano Pontifice Eligendo, on the new norms for the election of the Roman Pontiff in 1975, Pope Paul could have used neutral language, but he instead opted to use language indicating that the elected Pope should be crowned by the Cardinal Protodeacon. Pope Paul therefore envisioned a revival of the triregno.

    And, by God, the triregno is not merely a symbol of temporal power, it is a symbol with deep spiritual meaning, the three “munera” of the Church, of teaching, sactifying, governing. And it is also not true that it is a non-liturgical ornament; it is liturgical:

    – It is worn either with chasuble or with cope, not with cassock, mozzetta; thus, it is worn with sacred, liturgical vestments.

    – It is worn for entering and leaving liturgical celebrations, and for urbi et orbi blessings and consistories that also have liturgical elements;

    – It is imposed upon the Pope’s head not extraliturgically, but in the context of a liturgical celebration, namely at the end of a Papal Coronation Mass, and, for the rite of crowning itself, liturgical ceremonies are observed (preparatory prayers, including the Pater Noster, versicles and responses, a collect, and, the formula for the imposition of the tiara), according to books specific to papal liturgies, such as the Caerimoniale Romanum.

  64. CJM says:

    I’m thinking, could he at least wear it for a formal portrait whether painted or photographed?

  65. jflare says:

    My vote wasn’t entirely fair to the concept, I suppose. I voted to do away with the practice.

    Mostly, I don’t want to see him use THIS one. It looks ugly, like a golden egg with a cross on the top. Surely we don’t want to see him USE this thing?

    I’m not opposed to a tiara per se perhaps, but this one’s not worth it.

  66. Gaz says:

    A few of us were discussing Pope Paul VI and his laying aside the tiara recently. The eldest in our group (let me just say she was born in the reign of Pope Benedict XV) said, “I think it (laying aside the tiara) was his biggest mistake”. And then later… “I do hope he (Paul VI) is in heaven – after all, we all make mistakes”.

    It was a beautifully presented line and it took me some time to regain my composure.

  67. Fr. Basil says:

    \\Obviously the Byzantine Rite Catholics that are in communion with the Church accept the Pope as the successor of Peter.\\

    So do the Orthodox and Non-Chalcedonians. Even the Assyrian Church of the East (historically miscalled “nestorian”) says, “As the patriarch is among bishops, so is the pope among patriarchs.”

    But there are differences about exactly WHAT the Petrine ministry means.

    And don’t forget–St. Peter has a successor in Antioch as well. In truth, he has about 5.

  68. benedetta says:

    Lately I have been profoundly edified by the life in faith and the witness of Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ.

  69. Re: above, I agree with the sentiment. However, it should be noted that “a few books” = “an apartment full of books plus the few thousand essentials in his office”, although they are pretty much all work tools. And then it should be further noted that of course all the books will probably go to the Vatican Library or other Catholic scholars and libraries upon the man’s death, so it’s not like his use of his stipend for books is going to go to waste. :)

  70. irishgirl says:

    I’d like to see it revived, and used on special occasions.
    I think it was very nice of the Orthodox to get together with the Catholics to present this tiara to the Holy Father.
    And if ‘the world’ complains about it, well too bad for them!

  71. Centristian says:

    CJM:

    “I’m thinking, could he at least wear it for a formal portrait whether painted or photographed?”

    I’m thinking since this Pope hasn’t sat for any formal portraits at all, that it is unlikely he would sit for one wearing a tiara that he was never crowned with.

    All of Benedict XVI’s modern day predecessors sat for formal official photographic portraits in various poses, in various settings, in various attire, and these portraits were hung in Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, rectories, sacristies, and used on papal blessing parchments.

    To date, no such portraits are available of this pope, for some reason. There is one that has been made available, but it is informal, looking more like the pope’s driver’s license photo than an official portrait. From Pius IX to John Paul II, there were always available a variety of formal photographic portraits of the popes, the subjects seated on thrones, standing before thrones, standing before tapestries, raising their right hands in benediction, in mozetta and stole, in cassock and cape, in tiara and cope, &c. For this pope, nada. Odd.

  72. Centristian says:

    A couple of readers have posted some comments about Pope Paul VI’s role in the disappearance of the tiara…

    “I think that when Pope Paul VI laid down the tiara, he sent exactly the wrong signal at exactly the wrong time.”

    “It is no coincidence, if you ask me, that Paul VI didn’t have the gut to wear the tiara…”

    Poor Pope Paul forever gets an unwarranted bum rap for “disposing” of the papal tiara. The truth of the matter is, of course, that Pope Paul VI…was crowned! Furthermore, he was crowned with a new tiara made just for him; he didn’t even borrow one of the many historical tiaras in the papal sacristy available for any pope’s use. Paul, therefore, added something to the history of the papal tiara, he didn’t take anything away. And it isn’t as if Paul’s tiara was destroyed afterwards or sold at a pawn shop. It is on permament display at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, for the whole world to see.

    The fact of the matter is that the first pope since the emergence of the tiara to eschew it was not Pope Paul VI, at all, but Pope John Paul I. Pope John Paul II was the next pope to show no interest in it, and the third pope to decide against wearing a tiara was Pope Benedict XVI.

    If the tiara is not worn by the pope today, that is due to the decision of Pope Benedict XVI, not Pope Paul VI.