Monday, April 21, 2008

Accattoli on the "New-Old" Papal Staff

Italian vaticanista Luigi Accattoli has posted some interesting thoughts on the new-old ferula of Bl. Pius IX which pope Benedict has begun using this Palm Sunday, and has used without exception since, and of which Don Guido has said that it is becoming the usual pastoral staff of the Pontiff. Without necessarily making them my own, I am giving Accattoli's thoughts here in my translation for your consideration:

Benedict from the Crucifix of Montini to the Cross of Mastai

From the crucifix of Paul VI to the cross of Pius IX: for a long view of papal continuity, to which he had already invited us with the choice of the name "Benedict" which surmounted the conciliar series of Johns and Pauls.

From a crucifix smaller than the one carrying it to a cross larger than him. As if to say: Look at it, not at me.

From a post-modern crucifix to a cross of tradition. Because the una sancta catholica speaks all languages.

From the Christ of kerygma to the cross of dogma. To clarify that it is the Faith of always.

From the Christ of annunciation to the cross of proclamation. To make plain that the Christians do not only narrate, but also affirm.

From a crucifix of silver to a cross of gold. Because it has been said "crux gloriosa".

From the tormented Christ of sculptor [Lello] Scorzelli to the resplendent cross of the papal goldsmiths. Because every metal and every art are called to take part in the cosmic liturgy.

From a curved crucifix to a refulgent cross. Because what was bent was then raised up again.

From a realistic crucifix to an illustrated cross, with a central medallion and three on the ends of the arms of the cross. Because the story being evoked does not end with the death on the cross.

From a new crucifix to an old cross: to establish that the Church of always does not know irreversible reforms.

These are the thoughts that came to me observing the cross which pope Benedict uses in the celebrations since Palm Sunday, and which he also held in his hand this morning for the Mass in Washington's Nationals Park Stadium.

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