23 August 2019

The Papal Tiara

A few days ago, Fr Zed wrote an interesting piece about papal liturgy and its adjuncts ... including the papal tiara.

Perhaps it is time for me to revive the Hunwicke Proposal for the Restoration of the Tiara.

In 1800, the papacy was under enormous threat. Pope Pius VI had been arrested by the forces of the Enlightenment, and had died in exile. Many thought that he had been the last pope. However, eventually a Conclave was held in Venice, and Pius VII was elected. But the tiaras of his predecessors were unavailable ... because they were all in occupied Rome.

So an instant, papier-mache tiara was made for him!

It still exists.

Wonderful! This cheap-o tiara symbolises a persecuted Church; a Church Militant at the mercy of her enemies. A Church without the capacity to draw upon the physical riches of an opulent past.

An ideal piece of headgear for a Holy Father called to preside over a persecuted, a slenderer Church.

And here is another Hunwicke Proposal.

Let a law be enacted
(a) prohibiting the acquisition for use by the Roman Pontiff of any new liturgical garb; and
(b) mandating that any monies which anybody desires to use for giving the pope new liturgical garb must instead be given to the poor. Let the pontiff 'slum' by wearing the left-overs in the Vatican sacristies ... the vestments worn by his predecessors in the Roman See. Vestments still impregnated with the snuff used by B Pius IX! The very vestments in which Pius XII hiccupped his way through his final years!

This law should last for, say, 300 years. By then, perhaps these inherited vestments would indeed all have been used up.

And the poor might not be poor.


Simon Cotton said...

Paper was not just used for a Papl tiara. It was often the material for maidens' garlands, usually carried in the processions of young unmarried maidens and still to be found in some churches in certain English counties.

Todd said...

Brilliant and Charitable. Wonderful proposal.

Calvin Engime said...

This particular tiara was very popular with subsequent popes on less solemn occasions, because it was more lightweight and comfortable than the "real" tiaras and not many people would know the difference.

I.B. Popp said...

Surely the wonderful and wise Greta will endorse this.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. It is interesting to consider the Triregnum and what it symbolised- Papal authority over even kings and princes - and the refusal by the modern Popes to wear it or be crowned makes one wonder just what that refusal means.

One suspects that refusal to be crowned by their friends was not so much an act of humility as it was an admission of fear; the modern Popes fear being mocked by the world for their claims of authority.

But is that refusal defensible?

A Pope is supposed to be a vicar of Christ and Christ allowed Himself to be crowned by His enemies and He allowed Himself to be mocked.

Oncet, Pope Paul VI, in a speech to the clergy of Rome, averred that while he could still apply discipline in defending the Faith, he much preferred to be loved.

Love has shown truth the door....

In the future, a great Pope will be crowned with the Triregnum

coradcorloquitur said...

To complement the austerity program so wisely here proposed, I suggest the Vatican suspend all synods, international gatherings and other meetings of dubious merit or necessity for the coming decade and use the monies saved to truly and DIRECTLY aid the poor and repair churches destroyed in Muslim lands (with sturdy protection barriers for the future). This would have the double benefit of truly promoting the "opus dei" and curbing the spread of Modernist venom throughout the world. RC

PM said...

You have a point, but Instill see advantage in bishops' and potential bishops'visiting Rome regularly, lest they lose their sense of tradition and, in the West at least, become mired in suburban banality.