Tiara Resurrexit!

Almost 50 years after this:

We get this:

Wikipedia gives this information about Paul VI’s tiara:

Pope Paul wore his tiara a number of times in 1963, before, in a dramatic act in November 1963, laying it on the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in a gesture of humility to symbolise the papacy’s surrender of any claim to temporal power. He never wore it again. It was announced that the tiara would be sold and the proceeds of the sale given to charity. However, Francis Spellman, Cardinal Archbishop of New York intervened and arranged instead for the tiara to be bought by the Catholic Church in the United States in 1968.

It is now on permanent display in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

J. P. Sonnen (clearly a man after my own heart – see his “profile” pic in his profile) gives this background information to the new “Benedict XVI tiara”:

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.

One would not normally think of the papal tiara as a “sign of Christian unity”, but there you go!

The only question remaining is whether or not this beautiful object will ever see the light of day again after its presentation!

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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10 Responses to Tiara Resurrexit!

  1. John Nolan says:

    Paul VI’s idiosyncratic and inconsistent papacy should not be allowed to cast too long a shadow. John Paul II declined the tiara because he said it was “wrongly” associated with the papacy’s temporal claims. Benedict XVI’s ‘inauguration’ was a dog’s breakfast thanks to the efforts of Bugnini’s disciple Piero Marini. No doubt Guido Marini is working on something more fitting for the next pontiff. Meanwhile, I would say to the Holy Father: “If the cap fits, wear it!”

  2. Gareth says:

    agree – the tiara does no harm. Bring it back.

  3. Peter says:

    Speaking of headgear,I look forward to the day when bishops and cardinals wear birettas again

  4. John Nolan says:

    Actually, Peter, I have seen a major resurgence in biretta-wearing among bishops and cardinals in the last ten years. And in England Oratorian priests wear birettas even at OF Masses.

  5. Are you actually claiming the Pope is “Rector Orbis” (ruler of the world), David?
    That is, after all, the symbolic import of the triple-tiered papal tiara, is it not?
    And that is the office that was bestowed in the coronation rite as the tiara was placed upon the pope’s head. Oh, I know the two John Paul’s chose to forego coronation, and Benedict has removed the tiara from his personal coat of arms. But it remains on the papal coat of arms, if I’m not mistaken. And, of course, the coronation ceremony could be revived at any time in the future. Why does this papal pretension to worldy power linger on? After all, the title “rector orbis” has never actually been renounced, has it? It is all quite disturbing. I do hope Benedict was at least a little embarrassed by the implications of this gift, which he otherwise had to accept out of graciousness.

    David, I wonder if, when you were Lutheran, you took the Confessions’ claims about the papacy and Antichrist seriously? If so, what changed your mind, specifically? Because as far as I can see the changes on the papal side have been cosmetic, and not substantial. A serious topic and a serious question, I assure you. (If you didn’t take the Confessions’ statements seriously, no more need be said.)

    • Schütz says:

      Dear Pastor,

      Has not the LCA itself recinded the idea of the Pope as Anti-Christ?

      4.2 The Lutheran Church of Australia cannot continue to affirm at this time that the Roman papacy bears the distinguishing features of the Antichrist. We dialogue with Roman Catholics as with brothers and sisters in the faith; we certainly do not regard them as people under the authority and spirit of Antichrist.

      cf. http://www.lca.org.au/resources/cticr/dsto2revi3b.pdf

      I remember voting in favour of this statement at the 1993 General Convention. Does that answer your question?

      As for “rector orbis”, you could translate that as “ruler of the world”, but I would prefer “Teacher” or “Guide of the World” – for in this day and age, that is certainly the role of the Bishop of Rome. Perhaps a thousand years ago, this aspect of the Roman Pontiff’s role was political more than anything else (given the state of Europe at the time). Today, the Pope acts as “Rector Orbis” in his teaching role. And none more than Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have demonstrated that this is a most proper and opportune way of effecting that office today for the good of all mankind.

      • Stephen K says:

        In my opinion, David, this whole discussion is essentially about the “fine raiment” Jesus implicitly criticised in the expectations people had for their Messiah. To be seriously contemplating the titles a Pope should have or has claim to seems the antithesis of what a Pope should be about or what I would have thought a Christian should be about. And birettas, and cappas, and other such things. And “Your Excellencies” and “Your Lordship” etc.
        I believe that if the Popes and bishops renounced all such titles and honorifics, signed all their missives as “Servant of God’s people” and forbade their followers to even discuss such fripperies – along the lines of their prohibition re women’s ordination – they might in one fell stroke regain a huge credibility credit amongst many people. Christendom in the mediaeval and Renaissance sense is dead and to support its trappings does nothing but nourish unabashed clericalism and make of the church an idol. In my opinion.

  6. John Nolan says:

    Mark, if you take the Confessions of 1537 seriously, equating the papacy with Antichrist, I can only pray for you and the poor deluded souls you are leading into heresy and wonder (not for the first time) how you can in in all honesty engage in so-called ecumenical dialogue with the majority of Christendom.

    ‘O Deutschland, double a desperate name!
    O world wide of its good!
    But Gertrude, lily, and Luther are two of a town,
    Christ’s lily and beast of the waste wood … ‘ GM Hopkins

  7. Shan says:

    Ugh. Gaudy European nonsense. Best kept in the bottom drawer somewhere until we can hock it for some cash.

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