Friday, March 03, 2006

Bring back the tiara, and we'll call it even.

Personally, I recommend for anyone who takes over as head of a large long-standing institution, not to make any significant changes during the first year on the job. Of course, now that we have a pope who doesn't return my calls (which I've gotten used to because none of them do), the numerous wardrobe revivals -- you know, the ermine mozetta, the red slippers with white stockings, the Gregorian pallium, I could go on -- may have all led up to a whopper of a revision, all without the benefit of my counsel.

To explain...

When Benedict XVI begins a decree, he does so with all his titles. They are:

Bishop of Rome,
Vicar of Jesus Christ,
Successor of the Prince of Apostles,
Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church,
Primate of Italy,
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Province,
Sovereign of Vatican City and (most important),
Servant of the Servants of God.

By now, a few of you know which one is missing: Patriarch of the West.

There are traditionally five patriarchates whose origins date to the earliest of times -- Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Rome. To this day, all but one of them is in (and of) the East. That leaves Rome on its own side of the Bosporus. Over the centuries, a different significance to the concept of a patriarch arose. Now, I'd take the time to explain all this, and why this omission was deemed necessary by the Holy Father in mending fences with the Orthodox. But others have explained it already, and do so better than I could. After all, some ecclesiastical matters are too arcane even for ME! So tune in to Michelle Arnold of Jimmy Akin Incorporated, Drew of the Holy Whappers, "Dom Jim" the Dappler of Things, and finally, Rocco Palmo the Loggia Whisperer.

More on the tiara story as it develops. Rocco???

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