Cardinal Brogoglio washing the
feet of young men and women
on Holy Thursday
The New York Times alleged today that Brogoglio was elected because he was not as threatening to the Curia as Italian Front Runner, Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan. In other words, the choice of Brogoglio was a choice against the much needed reform of the Roman Curia. This charge is probably not totally fair but as an outsider Brogoglio will not be as wise to the wily ways of the Curia party and have more difficulty in dislodging the powerful control blocs in which several curial Cardinals have entrenched themselves. Only time will tell.
Well, the discomfort of the left is exceeded by discomfort on the right. Francis I has made it clear the Benedict’s liturgical “Reform of the Reform” is over. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires Brogoglio had actively—and successfully—worked to thwart Benedict’s edict Summorum Pontificum granting priests the “right” to celebrate the unreformed Roman Liturgy of the 1962 Missal. There allegedly was not a single “Tridentine Rite” Liturgy offered on a regular basis in the Buneos Aires Archdiocese. Conservatives noticed immediately his refusal to wear the velvet mozetta and lace rochet prepared for his first appearance and were very upset that when he offered Mass for the Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel following his election, he had a temporary altar facing the congregation set in place. Pope Benedict, an advocate of the priest celebrating with his back to the people, had used the traditional altar in the chapel that faces Michelangelo’s great fresco of the Last Judgment. Moreover, pictures are now surfacing of then Cardinal Brogoglio washing the feet of women during the traditional Holy Thursday rite despite Vatican instructions that only men were to be seated among those representing the apostles.
Jesuits are notorious for their sloppy liturgy (despite their staffing some of the finest liturgical centers in the United States such as Holy Trinity Church, Georgetown). “A successful Jesuit Liturgy—no one was hospitalized” and “as confused as a Jesuit in Holy Week” are frequent snide remarks by the Catholic effete. Not unmerited. I think that Pope Francis is going to show us that there are more essential things to our mission than keeping women from the altar or wearing court dress. As to the complaints of the left, we regret that Jesus isn’t available to serve in this office personally, but we must settle on a mortal with some mistakes in his past. Personally I think we need as a Church to move on beyond the whines of the modern day Cathari. Phariseeism and hypocrisy is not the sole province of the religious right—liberals too forget that we are not about moral perfection but about the forgiveness of sins.