Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.
What is the purpose of this videoof Pope Benedict's private Mass ?Is it to show what a ghastly modern chapel he has to use ?Many of his priests throughout the world share the same (or even worse) fate.Or is to demonstrate that Pope Benedict celebrates, at least privately, "ad orientem" ?Perhaps both. But probably the latter. After all, prayer is good :wherever it is offered.
Thank you for posting this clip. I think it is an extract from a fuller one detailing a day in the Holy Father's life that was made earlier this year and appeared, I think, on the New Liturgical Movement's website, probably on others too. I believe it was made to commemorate his eightieth birthday. It was wonderful and showed him celebrating Mass more fully than the present clip. I don't know how these things work, but if you contacted Shawn Tribe I am sure he would tell you how to track it down. It would greatly interest your readers and I, for one, would love to watch it again. What moved me most was the simple, unostentatious life he leads. His private apartments are plainer than many presbyteries and powerfully convey a totally Christ-centred life. He has always lived like this and he celebrates Mass with complete recollection. His life is a model for all priests to follow and I wish as many as possible will be given the opportunity to see the film in full.
I found this video rather sad seeing the chapel empty. I once had the joy of concelebrating Mass with Pope John Paul in the same chapel. There were no bishops present, and so I was given a part of the eucharistic prayer to read. I know it must have been exhausting for the Holy Father to greet us all afterwards, especially given his illness, but his lack of aloofness showed how close to the Lord he truly was.
The present papal chapel was constructed as part of Pope Paul VI's simplification of the papal apartments from 1968 onwards. They were stripped of their elaborate decoration and grey velvet replaced scarlet silk on the walls. Plain furniture replaced elaborate gilded Baroque pieces and much of what he ordered remains. Monastic simplicity was his ideal. The chapel survives as he left it, a period piece of the 1970s. He and all successive popes privately celebrate Mass ad orientum. Gradually Pope Benedict XVI is restoring to use much that was discarded at that time, including the magnificent gilded papal throne that features in photographs and films of Pope Paul's predecessors. But the private apartments remain as austere as ever. The congregation at the Mass shown in the clip largely consisted of the nuns who look after the Holy Father's domestic arrangements. It is noticeable that they are not wearing habits. As far as I know he discourages wider attendance at his private Masses and I believe that the public are no longer admitted as they were, by appointment, previously. But I may be wrong and other commentators might know more. He also, I believe, lunches and dines privately, accompanied only by his secretaries. I am sure that these decisions are prompted not by shyness but by the necessity of conserving his energy. Pope Pius XII dined alone for the same reason. I once saw a photograph of Pope St Pius X's bedroom. Unlike his elaborate apartments, it was extremely simple and he slept on an iron bed. I believe that this remained customary until recent times. Vatican cells were once notorious for their austerity and discomfort and formed a marked contrast to the magnificence of the state rooms. Private unworldliness has been a hallmark of the modern Papacy in all but Pope John XXIII who enjoyed a good table but had no more excesses.
The custom of private austerity is a very good result of the great Bishop saints of the counter-Reformation. Borromeo, Bellarmine, Francis de Sales and those who imitated them used to preserve the liturgical splendour of public appearances for the sake of the Church but lived very simply in their own private apartments. It is true that Pope Benedict has cut down severely on people attending private Masses, lunches etc. I think this is not only to conserve energy but to prevent the kind of "lobbying" that so easily becomes a part of Vatican life. It easily degenerates into "If you know the right person you can get to see the Pope." Pope Benedict has too much experience of the Roman Curia to allow this.I remember attending a private Mass of Pope John Paul II in a chapel with a chocolate brown carpet that seemed to envelop parts of the altar. It was not "facing the people" IIRC. This chapel used by Pope Benedict is a vast improvement. (Of course, Pope John Paul's Mass was a model of reverence nonetheless.)
Thank you for posting this. I had seen the longer programme this was part of, but it was good to see this again.Interesting comments re the decor of the Chapel, but I still found this a good thing to watch. It is not as ghastly as some places... ;-p
Well....I dunno about this stuff...I guess he's about as down to earth as a guy wearing red Prada shoes can be!I wasn't overly encouraged when I read somewhere or other that when the pope was a youngster of 4 or 5 a cousin of his remembers that he liked seeing a cardinal because of the kewl outfit the cardinal was wearing....okay, granted he was only five or so. He does seem to wear the scarlett thang [technical term) a lot -- kind of a throwback to JXXIII days. IT looks nice, but HOT. You have to wonder if there aren't "just days" where the pope takes a little down time and "kicks it" with a mai tai or a cold one in shorts and t-shirts on those hot days. AT least at Castle Gandolfo.If you see a tall good looking fellow in his early 60s around our parish with a Hawaiian shirt on, chances are good to excellent it's our pastor. If there's a golden lab in the area, not following his instructions on the first go or two, then that's the pastor FOR SURE.Oh, he does the proper black clericals when he's "one business" but trust me...San Diego would be hard if you had to suit up in black day in day out. The dog still reluctantly obeys. Eventually.
Does the Pope always celebrate Novus Ordo in Italian, or does he sometimes do the Extraordinary Form in Latin?
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