TIME, I just learned, named Pope Francis ‘Person of the Year’ as I was getting ready to post the following new email from Fr. Duncan:
"I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty,” Pope Francis had said, “because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security."
We now have a pope who has no use for ermine trim and fancy red shoes. And I’m guessing we have a pope who gets it when it comes to the Holy Shroud.
Whether the Holy Shroud is a relic, an unusual icon or a brilliant forgery makes no difference to me. It is lavishly blessed by our devotion to it and our study of it, more so than it could ever be blessed by endless clouds of smoke from sweet incense burning before it. It is a sacred “relic” but not so much because of the the blood and the image on it but because of the story it tells.
It is by our hearts that we can know the Holy Shroud is truly our Lord’s “bruised, hurting and dirty” burial cloth, his blood and his “bruised, hurting and dirty” likeness.
The glorious days of waving the Holy Shroud aloft at royal weddings and coronations in the Kingdom of Sardinia, as though it was a captured battle flag, should be over forever. But even as late as as 1978, the Archdiocese of Turin was celebrating 400 years of the Holy Shroud’s abidance in that see and in that city. Such self-celebratorious behavior should also be a thing of the past.
Today, because we know better, the cloth is kept in an environmentally protected case. Electric motors take the place of bishops. Curtains and bunting give it an aura not unlike the curtained stage of the Wizard of Oz. In 2000, someone thought to use the Holy Shroud to commemorate Christ. There is much that is not yet right however.
The 2010 picture of Benedict XVI playing with what looks like a white chocolate 3D Jesus is telling and trivializing. Perhaps by 2015 we’ll see those novelty postcards that swell into 3D busts when soaked in water. Or maybe there will be cute Shroud of Turin Chia Pets, green beards and all. Will the powers that be in Turin be involved with such novelties just as they were selling iPhone apps recently?
Jesus, you say. There’s an app for that!
The Holy Shroud is not a gimmick. The Holy Shroud is not a banner. The Holy Shroud is not a tourist attraction. The Holy Shroud is not the pride of Turin. It cheapens everything when the powers that be put up a website featuring political leaders of Turin and their gospels of tourism. Francis owns the Holy Shroud and he should put a stop to this behavior.
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And he said to them, “It is written: ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a den of thieves.” – NAB Matthew 21:12
Francis must come wearing his worn out shoes. He must bring with him all the “bruised, hurting and dirty” people of the world to see our “bruised, hurting and dirty” Lord. Tell the politicos we are coming. That is all they need to know. And remove their posturing and pictures from the website. We are coming from all over the world to see the Holy Shroud of the World, to pray before the Holy Shroud of the World. We are coming without iPhones. We are not planning to stay in first class hotels and dine in Turin’s posh eateries. We are the “bruised, hurting and dirty” people who need to see the Holy Shroud. It would be nice if the city could provide some places to rest our heads that we could afford and some places to sit and have some fish and bread with our Lord.
Does + Duncan, SJ know why the predecessor wore red shoes? Did it have anything to do with fancy? He should get his facts correct before posting rubbish on the Internet. The last time it was about the 2015 Shroud Exposition.
Good choice, I am not a catholic but this pope is my favourite
Hi Louis. Do you mean do I know why red shoes or why fancy shoes crafted by hand from Moroccan leather by a personal cobbler, Adriano Stefanelli of Novara, who also makes price is no object shoes for some of the worlds richest people like Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo? And I am talking about 2015.
Hi + Dunk, how do you know that he didn’t receive the pair as a present and did it have anything to do with fancy? Or was it something that was very symbolic? One is reminded about the nard used to anoint Jesus’ feet. Judas said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
A nail through the feet might create the impression of wearing red slippers! Red, the symbol of martyrdom.
You got it, David, whether after some Internet consultation doesn’t matter.
I didn’t need to search the Internet. I can do it by instinct!
I actually hear something echo in my memory that Colin posted once: if a person has something revelatory to share about the Shroud then, if they truly believe it is the image of Jesus, should they not offer that revelation freely? To expect a person to purchase your book, your article, your documentary is not so far removed from what the moneylenders were doing, is it?
It’s a hard question because there are many good people out there who are selling books, docs and whatnot about the Shroud. I do not think greed is their motivation. They need to eat too. But did Jesus charge people a speaker’s fee when he shared the Good News? Did the apostles? If we believe the Shroud is a precious gift, then what right do we have to put a price tag on its being shared.
I think, crazy at it may sound, that Colin and Francis are on the same page here.
Fanciness or decorum, who cares.
Very perceptive parallel between how we should look at the shroud and a “bruised, hurting and dirty Church”.
Don’t be afraid to claim it is not a forgery. At least it is reachable by a serene and deep scientific examination.
Tuesday, after a harrowing half-hour at the Medical Centre, I seek solace in the local library, I pick up a new acquisition, “Pope Francis” by Matthew E Bunson, Our Sunday Visitor 2013. Thursday morning here, there’s a news item: “Time magazine has named Pope Francis as Man of the Year.” Serendipitous! The first 60 pages are a reprise of Pope Benedict. I’ve discovered a new perspective and respect for our Pope Emeritus.
Despite Louis’ comments, Fr Duncan brings to light several entirely valid points. The Matthew 21:12 quote is surely relevant.
One doesn’t have to make little of Benedict to praise Francis. The Bavarian pontiff was also known for his kindness before he retired, in fact even Rabbi Jacob Neusner mentioned it. His only material possessions when he shifted from his apartment to the papal apartments were his books, a piano and two cats, a true German intellectual and professor. Where did he eat? He often ate at cheap, common restaurants in Rome. Pope Francis is doing a very good job, but the time will come when he will have to tackle the serious issues that are being kept in the background, those which took a lot of Benedict’s time. It is the predicament faced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, by other American Catholic bishops and will soon be on the desk of European bishops too.
David, # 7. Did you mean intuition, or instinct? Come on….
With all this talk against Benedict XVI, the Vatican has awarded the Ratzinger Prize to the Rev. Prof. Richard Burridge, an Anglican priest and professor at King’s College.
Burridge was not worried about the red shoes, he interacted with Ratzinger’s works:
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