Part of the reason that these images are so very touching is that we have never seen the Pope arrayed in beautiful vestments in full color before since the last time a Pope dressed this way was before color photography!
I’m very glad to see these vestments – as opposed to the ones in the not so distant past.
One thing though – the Pope should not be “afraid” to offend anyone by wearing the “real” old Papal vestments. This cope is so much shorter than it used to be when it was a Manto (late 50′s early 60′s). Someone told me that it was Paul VI who shortened it to its current state, but still, there are other Manto’s in the Papal Sacristies waiting to be used.
I know the Pope might be trying to be tactful in bringing things back, but being a little more up front would not offend anyone who is not already offended by the fact that he is the Pope and gave us “Summorum Pontificum.”
I think I have seen a pic of Paul VI wearing that exact cope Benedict wore (but it seemed longer, is that the Manto?). Another thing: At Vespers, and para-liturgical events (urbi et orbi) he wears the “trad” vestments, but at Mass he continues to wear the more modern chasubles.
I think the Pope isn’t wearing fiddlebacks because of their weighty symbolism. They were almost universal before VII, and not they’re rarer than hen’s teeth. After Vatican II, they were almost completely replaced with Gothic chasubles. These Gothic chasubles are very different from their pre-conciliar counter parts. They never have a y cross, rarely have patterns, and have all sorts of ugly flaps and collars that the traditional chasubles do not. To put on a pre-conciliar fiddleback would be interpreted as an anti-progressive rejection of “the Council.”
Following Vatican II, there was a complete break with the preconciliar church. Because people still embody those revolutionary ideals, the pope can’t simply undo the past forty years. The Church once looked at the present through the past, now she looks at the past through the eyes of the present. The Novus Ordo will have to organically develop into the Tridentine Mass, and this is what we’re seeing with the Pope’s vestments.
I like traditional Gothic Chasubles . They are alot smaller than the ones used now, and almost always have the “3 converging stripes” (Trinitarian) meeting in the front and back. Modern ones just seem to billowy. I wouldn’t mind so much if they where made of a decent thicker materiel though.
I am doing research on a book about religion. I would like to use two of your excellent photos of Pope Benedict XVI. If these are under copyright would you give me permission to them? If so, what attribution would you like me to use? Thank you for your consideration.
I would like to inform you that I, Dr. Foo is the painter of the above portrait of Pope Benedict XVI. It was presented to His Holiness the 12th of December 2007 under the patronage of His Eminence Roger Cardinal Etchegaray.