Treating the Pope like God?

A lot of folk commented during the Holy Father’s visit that “Catholics treat the Pope like God.”

Noooo…. not exactly. As Pastor Pearce pointed out to an evangelical friend recently, we treat him like St Peter.

The difference was obvious at the Vigil in Randwick Saturday week ago. When the Pope came on stage, there was yelling and jumping and screaming and singing and chanting of “Benedetto!”

When the Blessed Sacrament (= the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, God Incarnate) was exposed for adoration, there 200,000 present fell on their knees and there was absolute silence.

That’s how you treat God.

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0 Responses to Treating the Pope like God?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I live in europe and watch the pope a lot on tv here and especially the weekly audiences. The sing-song call of BENEDETTO has to be the most annoying thing/chant that has been carried over from GIOVANNI PAULO when JPII was alive. It is a rock chant that is terrible to hear and makes out the pope is a rock celebrity or somesuch. If you hear it enough it is just plain terrible. I really think if you asked members of the papal household what they though of it, they would agree it is just terrible. Benedict is religious leader, not a Rolling Stone or Justin Timberlake lookalike. For heavens sake, just drop the call. It is peurile. well, that’s what I think and if aussies saw the weekly audiences here, they would agree. Then again, Australia is rather isolated from what goes on in europe and especially in Rome.

  2. Schütz says:

    My kids loved it. My Lutheran kids. They chanted it with gusto, along with “Viva il Papa”! It doesn’t hurt. It even helps if it draws hearts to love the Holy Father and to be loyal to his teaching.

  3. Joshua says:

    Like a good Traddie, I tried shouting out “Ad multos annos, Pater sancte” (or “Eis polla eti, Despota” if you prefer), but it just didn’t work; so I switched to “Viva il Papa” and “Benedetto”.


    Of course, to do this in style you would have to imitate the acclamations made by the Fathers at the close of the Council of Trent:

    The Cardinal of Lorraine. To the most blessed Pius, Pope, and our lord, pontiff of the holy and universal Church, many years and eternal memory.

    Answer of the Fathers. O Lord God, do Thou very long preserve the most holy Father to thy church: for many years.

    The Cardinal. To the souls of the most blessed Soveriegn Pontiffs, Paul III., and Julius III., by whose authority this sacred general Council was begun, peace from the Lord, and eternal glory, and happiness in the light of the saints.

    Answer. Be their memory in benediction.

    The Cardinal. Of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and of the most serene kings, who have promoted and protected this universal Council, be the memory in benediction.

    Answer. Amen, Amen.

    The Cardinal. To the most serene Emperor Ferdinand, ever august, orthodox, and pacific, and to all our kings, republics, and princes, many years.

    Answer. Preserve, O Lord, the pious and Christian emperor: Oh, Heavenly Emperor, protect earthly kings, the preservers of the right faith.

    The Cardinal. To the Legates of the Apostolic Roman See, and presidents of this Synod, many thanks and many years.

    Answer. Many thanks: the Lord reward them.

    The Cardinal. To the most reverend cardinals, and most illustrious ambassadors.

    Answer. Many thanks; many years.

    The Cardinal. To the most holy bishops, life, and a happy return to their own churches.

    Answer. To the heralds of truth perpetual memory; to the orthodox senate many years.

    The Cardinal. The sacred and holy oecumenical Synod of Trent: let us confess the faith thereof; let us ever keep the decrees thereof.

    Answer. Ever let us confess, ever keep.

    The Cardinal. We all thus believe; we all think the very same ; we all, consenting and embracing (them), subscribe. This is the faith of blessed Peter, and of the apostles: this is the faith of the Fathers: This is the faith of the Orthodox.

    Answer. Thus we believe; thus we think; thus we subscribe.

    The Cardinal. To these decrees adhering may we be made worthy of the mercies and grace of the first and great supreme priest, Jesus Christ God; our inviolate Lady, the holy mother of God, also interceding, and all the saints.

    Answer. So be it: so be it. Amen, Amen.

    Cardinal. Anathema to all heretics.

    Answer. Anathema, anathema.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Look, the Romans and most devoted catholics in europe just cry out VIVA IL PAPA. This is sensible, dignified and indeed loyal, if you can have such a thing in an acclamation. But I agree with the earlier comment that the sing-song BENEDETTO is just plain awful. There is nothing loyal about it and when Ive been to papal audiences in Rome, they are always initiated by screaming young girls who probably think they’re at a rock concert. Its about as annoying as AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI OI, a chant which is a laughing stock around the world. Please just grow up. These chants were not around for John XXIII, Paul VI who were much loved and admired as pontiffs. I’ll go along with it the day the cardinals start chanting the cry and a few bishops as well.
    PS Not sure what weight being a Lutheran adds to the validity of the chant!

  5. Schütz says:

    I was a little disappointed that the Australians didn’t have something of greater spiritual significance than “oi, oi, oi” to sing and shout at WYD.

  6. Joshua says:

    What saddened me was that the Aussie pilgrims had no fund of hymns to draw upon to sing as they walked.

  7. Past Elder says:

    Um, he said Take and eat, not Take and adore.

  8. Schütz says:

    PE, that raises an interesting question that have been discussed lately on Weedon’s blog. The whole thing of reservation.

    Luther wrote a little booklet about adoration. It is worth reading in this context. He says we are not commanded to adore, but that only an Arian heretic would withhold adoration from Christ present in the Eucharist.

    Which raises an interesting question about your assertion: does not the first commandment command adoration of God?

    If you really believe that God is present in the Eucharist, how can you not adore him there?

    And if you pull out that old protestant furphy about consecrating in order to adore, we do not do that. Every crumb of that host that was presented for our adoration at the Vigil was subsequently consumed.

    Which brings us back to Weedon. He and his friends concede that one can extend the Sacramental use for the sick etc. and that the unused elements should be reserved “against the next communion”. If you reserve the elements, and if the elements are indeed the body and blood of Christ, how can it be wrong to adore Christ there present?

    The practice of Eucharistic adoration grew gradually in the Church. It is possible, I guess, to abuse it (I am stymied for examples though). But where Eucharistic adoration creates a love for God and neighbour and a hunger for deeper communion with both in the Sacrament of the Altar, how can it be an abuse?

    This is one of those old Protestant accusations against Catholics that I have come to realise only makes sense if you don’t believe in the real presence. If you do, how can forbid adoration? AND, in fact, Lutherans themselves continue show their adoration for the sacrament by receiving the Eucharist kneeling.

  9. Past Elder says:

    You sure talk like someone who’s only known conciliar Catholicism. And thinks it’s basically what always was Catholicism.

    Fact is, Dave, these things come and go. When I was growing up in the Roman Church, we were taught that what distinguished our church(es), meaning the buildings, from Protestant churches was that the focal point of our church(es) was the living and literal presence of God in His Son Jesus Christ himself, in the hosts reserved in the tabernacle on the altar at the back of the sanctuary.

    In this way, it was always adoration of the Eucharist, sometimes when the Mass was being said with the consecration, sometimes in a special service of setting out a host for adoration, and at all other times in the reservation of the hosts in the tabernacle. Different instances of the same enduring thing. So the living bread fulfilled the shewbread in the Law, with the eternal light next to it.

    Then, that was all wrong. This reeked of mediaeval triumphalism and ceremony, and obscured the church as the place of assembly of the community, gathered around the table of the Lord in community, receiving the body and blood as individuals and as the people of God at the same time.

    So the brown shirts hacked the tabernacles out, ripped the altars away from the walls, with a vigour Cromwell might have admires, so that the sanctuary was characterised by the table around which the community gathered, and some chairs for its presiding ministers. A place of assembly.

    A Protestant church with a tabernacle off to the side, often in what was once a side altar with a statue of Mary or Joseph. If you still felt the need for those old medieaval observances, you could do them there, off to the side, where it did not detract from the place of assembly of the people of God in community.

    Even when an altar was left intact as an “altar of repose”, it was obscured by the new one in from of it and/or the chairs for the presiding ministers, fka priests.

    So for me, even upon walking into a church set up for the novus ordo, I am struck by how utterly in contradiction to Catholic ideas about the real presence it still says it believes in before anyone says a word of the sanitised liturgical parody to come.

    Much later would I realise how predictable such a convulsion was, as a state religion struggles to find some way to continue without the state that formed it around anymore.

    Now I understand, he said Take and eat, not Take and adore. One can spin off from this all kinds of human justification for taking and adoring, given what one is adoring is, but it isn’t what he said to do and insofar as one does that even without offence to the Gospel it still isn’t what he said to do.

    Hell yes I kneel as a Lutheran to receive Communion — I don’t kneel to adore as a separate action, I adore because I am about to take and eat, for jumping Judas’ sake. Major difference. To argue Exposition out of the First Commandment (second actually, as God wrote them, but we’ll go with first for purposes of discussion) just defies all credibility. If anything, one could argue the “thou shalt have no other gods before me” part would include, perhaps especially include, using things he instituted for other than that for which he instituted them.

    He said, Take and eat, not Take and adore.

  10. Past Elder says:

    P bloody S.

    Two of the greatest chants were connected to Exposition — O salutaris hostia and Tantum ergo.

    I can still do them both from memory. In those days, you didn’t have to worry about which nationalities had good music for these events, it was universal and anybody from anywhere could join in everywhere. Kind of like the gift of tongues to the whole body of Christ. Another illusion from the days of dark mediaeval observance and triumphalism. Oh well.

    But really, forty years on in the Revolution, could you get your people to genuflect, or bow as some now do, to where he is, rather than to where he isn’t, that centre of the back wall, unless they left him there in that place.

    Judas in a biplane, one of these days he’s going to get fed up with this and holler Hey, I’m over here, the bleeders put me over here!

  11. Louise says:

    For heavens sake, just drop the call. It is peurile.

    Which is why the young ones like it, I suppose. I don’t mind it myself, but I’m a lout.

    Like a good Traddie, I tried shouting out “Ad multos annos, Pater sancte” (or “Eis polla eti, Despota” if you prefer), but it just didn’t work; so I switched to “Viva il Papa” and “Benedetto”.

    Heh! Very cute.

    What saddened me was that the Aussie pilgrims had no fund of hymns to draw upon to sing as they walked.

    Absolutely. This is a terrible state of things and proves only that the Church is (as usual) having a very hard time. Doesn’t mean that the Church is no longer the Church and is not true, as per PE.

  12. Peter says:

    What saddened me was that the Aussie pilgrims had no fund of hymns to draw upon to sing as they walked.

    Absolutely. This is a terrible state of things and proves only that the Church is (as usual) having a very hard time.

    Oh I’m sure they could ALL have sung “So we leave our boats behind” … if they wanted to?

    Seriously though, if people really wanted ‘contemporary’ Catholic music in masses they would be using Matt Maher’s stuff because it is a) Catholic and b) genuinely contemporary and c) the Youth generally love it!

    No, what music leaders mean when they say ‘youth’ is “vainly attempting to recreate my own youth” and when they say ‘contemporary’ they mean “for MY contemporaries”.

  13. Past Elder says:

    Well raise my rent, old Peter and I finally agree on something.

    If I see one more leader of a “contemporary” group who looks to be about my age, greying hair, guitar slung over one shoulder, and commences playing something that sounds like Poetry Night at a “coffeehouse” in the 1960s, I will puke in the aisle, be helped to the rest room and puke some more, then be helped to the parking lot and puke some more, drive home puking out the window, then repair to the bathroom for a possibly final puke.

    Or as you guys say, in my second favourite Aussieralianism, technicolour yawn. (My top favourite begins with a reference to a pig.)

  14. Past Elder says:

    Oh sorry, car park, not parking lot.

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