Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Don't Get It

Can someone help me out here? I am not Catholic so I totally don't get the ceremonies and things. I don't understand why the Pope is treated like a rock star.

Don't get me wrong. Please. I think he is a great man who is brilliant and spiritual and a leader. But I don't understand why one man is practically worshiped. The national mass is live on Fox News and that is ALL they have played for the last two hours. Why? Do all masses last this long? I guess I should change the channel. :) I don't really need to watch people receiving the Eucharist.

But I'm serious in asking why the cheering, waving, blowing kisses, etc.? There is no one person in the Presbyterian or Nazarene faith (my childhood and current denomination) that registers such treatment. I suppose the closest I can think of would be Billy Graham.

I respect the Catholic faith as a Christian, but I don't understand it. What's with the big hat?

I hope I haven't offended anyone...that is NOT my intent. I listened to his message and he's spot on. It's not the content I'm curious about...it's all the outer trappings of the event.

Having said all that...I'd totally want to go see him speak in person. =)

16 comments:

Bethany said...

I'll attempt a couple of answers for you.

Mass is usually about an hour long for most parishes on any given Sunday. But the more people in attendance, the longer it will be naturally because they all have to get up and get communion, so that can take a long time. Especially in a huge venue with thousands of people. Plus, he's the Pope, he gets to make his homily as long as he wants. I didn't watch it, but they probably put in some extra readings/prayers too.

K, that was the easy question. Now I'll attempt the harder one. I think that when you say "treat him like a rock star" you're almost answering your own question.

Here's the thing, why do we treat rock stars like rock stars? I think that there's just a natural tendency in humans to want to celebrate something big, to look for true greatness in other men. The way I look at it, if people are going to get excited, and scream, and cheer, and wave, and hand over babies for kisses, they could do a lot worse than a spiritual leader.

I mean, it's kind of refreshing to see someone celebrated like that for being faithful and intelligent, rather than for being Mick Jagger.

As for the big hats, I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation, stemming from some very historical source. I just don't know it. ;)

CastoCreations said...

Thank you Bethany!!! =)

You're right. I'm SUPER glad that we are celebrating the Pope as opposed to Paris Hilton. lol

The big hat cracks me up though. And at the end he kissed the table. I thought that was weird. But again I don't know the significance.

There were not too many extra readings - one or two - but there was a LOT of music. Some of it very good and some of it I didn't like at all. Too funky for me but a whole range of stuff for folks.

He definitely is a great man. And he did kiss a baby! LOL That was really sweet to see. :)

Rosanne said...

I have a lot of questions myself, as I am not Catholic or even Christian. I am Jewish and we have our own weird things for me to question. BUT your comment about the big hat really had me laughing Megan! And it was just what I needed right now!
Thanks...

Bethany said...

Well, not to bore you, but since you ask...

At mass, the celebrant (in this case the Pope)represents all of the people at the mass before God. And in a broader sense, all of mankind. And he is the specific person interacting with God on behalf of everyone else there. He kisses the altar (they call it "veneration of the altar") at every mass to represent a kiss of peace and submission to Jesus.
http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents/Why%20Does%20the%20Priest%20Kiss%20the%20Altar.htm Here's a link with some biblical references, if you're interested.

The big hat is called a Bishop's Mitre. The Pope is still a bishop, he started out as the Bishop of Rome, before Rome became a place of central power in the Church, he was a bishop like all the other Christian bisops, but as the schism between the Eastern Church and the Western Church developed, the Bishop of Rome became a central authority for the Western Church.

I knew that much, but the rest of this I had to look up. I'll sum up... originally they developed from a regular Roman headcovering, the popes and bishops started wearing mitres in the seventh-eighth century. It caught on, the shape evolved, and now it's a symbol of their position. The shape is supposed to represent the tongues of fire from Pentecost. I'm just amazed at how he can keep it on. I'd drop it my first time out, I'm sure. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10404a.htm Here's a link about that one.

I hope I'm not clogging up your blog with Catholic trivia. I'm no expert, but I try my best to learn about the history of my faith, because there's so much misunderstanding (from other Christians and other faiths and within our own parishes) about the traditions and the things we do now that just knowing the history can really explain.

Oh, that dang music! ;) The music can seriously REALLY stretch a mass.

CastoCreations said...

Not boring at all! I really appreciate the education. Because I saw him do that and wrinkled my brow and tilted my head the way my dog does when confused. LOL I just didn't know what it represented. I love traditional rites like that. There just aren't as many in the churches I was raised in and (rarely) attend now.

I'm so glad I discovered your blog and that you visit mine too. =D

Felicity said...

The Pope, as the Bishop of Rome, is the spiritual successor to St. Peter, the leader of Christ's church on earth. Jesus renamed Simon, called him Peter, which means rock, because he tasked him to be the cornerstone of his church.

So yeah, "rock star!"

jennsquared said...

Wow. That's quite an education! I have all of those questions as well and I went to Catholic high school. I grew up Buddhist, so I guess Dali Lama was treated like a Rock Star too...

Felicity said...

P.S. Sorry if I intruded here. I was reading the 'artist' thread over at Rachel Lucas, and you said "though I’m not an “artist” of paint or anything that fancy I now do consider myself an artist," so I had to pop 'round and see.

Now I see -- wow! -- really, really lovely!

Sorry! Now I will go away :).

Deb DiSalvo said...

OK....I am catholic (well, at least grew up catholic, you know, the catholic school for girls and what not) and my answer to you....I never understood it and I actually haven't believed in the catholic organized religion in a long time. I do believe in morals, to do what's right and not wrong, to treat others as you would want to be treated. That's what I teach my son. Really......what more is there to spiritual living than that? Hope I don't offend anyone! I was actually thinking the same thing as I was watching the news of the pope and the "politically correct" way to greet him, to bow, etc. Come on, shouldn't we treat each others as equals??? OK...I'll get off my soapbox now.
Cheers to all!

feefifoto said...

Think you're confused? I'm Jewish -- I don't get it at all.

Lady Language said...

Ahh...long live the Male rulers, can't we have a female Pope? I don't get it, but respect it just the same :)

Ella said...

Firstly thanx for dropping by my blog and commenting,comments on my quit smoking post are giving me strength ,so many nice words and distant support.
I'm not really a follower of my faith,though at times i have thought maybe I should as it might lead me on the true path to happiness. It's great that there are millions of people who truely belive in their faiths no matter how different it is interpreted. It has to be better than to idolise a rockstar that usually ruins their lives by becoming egotistic,and drugfilled.x

Melissa said...

Thanks for the answers Bethany. I actually am Catholic (but apparently not a very good one), but still didn't know some of that. :o)

CastoCreations said...

Thank you everybody!!! :) I love all the comments. It's really interesting to learn all of this. =D

grace said...

I am Catholic but I don't get it either.All I do to contibute to being Catholic is be baptized, attend masses once in a while (read: once every 6 months!?) and follow the golden rule.

Kyle said...

The other thing to keep in mind is that, in addition to being a spiritual leader, the Pope is a political leader. The Vatican is a nation, and the Pope also influences 1 billion Catholics spread throughout the world. That many people can sway elections, policy, etc. In that way, he's kind of like the President and the Dalai Lama rolled into one.