Pope Benedict XVI is guiding the church back to Traditional roots,
thanks be to God!
thanks be to God!
Our Holy Father has shown us that through his pontificate, the Sacred Traditions of our Holy Faith are being rightfully restored to their former glory. Let's look at some example of restoration by Pope Benedict XVI.
In August 2006, Pope Benedict XVI abolished the Christmas concert featuring "pop" music established by Pope John Paul II. In January 2007, he called on the Vatican Courts to tighten up the annulment criteria, as annulments have exponentially increased following Vatican II.
Pope Benedict XVI has further restored the use of the Pascal Mozetta in the Octave of Easter 2008.
Examine the vestments used by the Holy Father at the 3rd Anniversary Mass of John Paul II's death in 2008 (below). At this Mass the Holy Father has discontinued using the staff of Pope John Paul II featured a bent Christ on the Cross, aesthetically unpleasant, and replaced it with a new beautiful pastoral staff (ferula).
Notice in the above image Pope Benedict XVI is using a papal asteriscus, an item that, in addition to practical applications, symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. He has restored it to use in the Papal Liturgy at times.
On the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul 2008, Pope Benedict XVI introduced a different Papal Pallium, establishing better continuity with the past than with the Pallium that became used during the pontificate of John Paul II. "This is the development of the Latin form of the pallium used up to John Paul II," explains the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, Monsignor Guido Marini.
In 2009, the mosaic depicting Pope Benedict XVI in the line of papal portraits in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls has been changed to reflect this shift in the Papal Pallium.(Above Images from St. Paul Outside the Walls by Pope Benedict Forum user "Benodette".)
And remember that in January 2008, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the Baptism of the Lord ad orientem in the Sistine Chapel.
Believed to be Associated Press (AP)
In January 2009, His Holiness wore a fiddleback chausible on the Feast of the Epiphany. This was another return back to prior Traditions. Pope Benedict XVI again shows his desire for a restoration of the Sacred Liturgy. And while vestments may seem unimportant, continuity with the past and symbolism is highly important. Each vestment has its own vesting prayer, and each particular garment holds symbolic importance (e.g. the maniple symbolizes Christ at the Pillar of Flagellation, the cincture symbols the rope by which Our Lord was bound and dragged in the streets, et cetera).
Therefore, the exteriors again are an expression of the interior. And, in the past 40 years we have lost not only the interior aspects of the Faith (e.g. lack of knowledge of integral Catholic beliefs such as Transubstantiation, etc) and a decrease in devotion but also exterior aspects of the Faith (e.g. vestments, proper Sacred Liturgy, Rosaries, etc). Coincidence or has the loss of exteriors contributed to the loss of interior Faith?
Image Sources: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
And of substantial importance, Holy Communion is to be given only to those kneeling henceforth, when Pope Benedict XVI distributes Holy Communion. EWTN reports, "To receive Communion from Pope Benedict at Papal Liturgies one will have to receive on the tongue," which is a fantastic affirmation of the Real Presence of our Lord. And as the Body and Blood of Jesus, nothing is of higher value than the Most Holy Eucharist.
St. Thomas Aquinas: "Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it but when it is consecrated" - Summa, Pt III Q, Q2 Art. 3
Also from Wikipedia, "Each year a papal tiara is placed on the head of the famous bronze statue of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica from the vigil of the Feast of the Cathedra of Saint Peter on February 22 until the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29. Although this custom was not observed in 2006, it was reintroduced in 2007."
Finally in this example, compare the below progression of photos of the Urbi et Orbi addresses given on Christmas Day by Pope Benedict XVI.
2005, Source: MSNBC
2006, Source: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Handout
2007, Source: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters
2008, Source: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
The photos are from 2005 - 2008, and there is a progression in these photos. Tradition is being restored.