Friday, September 11, 2009

Ratzinger on the Sedia Gestatoria and Tiara: How Dangerous Are They?

At a conference held in 1966 Fr. Ratzinger had these words to share on the subject of the situation of the Church at that time:

"Perhaps you were expecting a more optimistic, a brighter and more joyful picture.  Perhaps there was also some ground for such an expectation.  But it seems to me important that what at the Council made us joyful and grateful must now also be perceived in its twofold historicity and thus make us understand the message that it contains.  And it seems important to me to discern the dangerous new triumphalism, a tendency to which precisely the very critics of the old triumphalism often succumb.  So long as the Church is in pilgrimage on the earth, she has no ground to boast of her own works.  Such self-glorification could become more dangerous than the sedia gestatoria and the tiara, which are more likely to elicit a smile than a feeling of pride."

-Joseph Ratzinger from Das Neue Volk Gottes (Patmos), 150f (quoted in The Ratzinger Report, p. 13).


  1. read jungmann. sj, you pious dope/

    the pope is saying these things are OUTDATED.

    the liturgy was changed because we live in a different age/

    you would have more credibility if you mentioned GOD once in awhile.

  2. John,

    Can you tell us in a little more detail what you have heard rumored on the subject today? What is the recent prediction, rather strong in favor of the Sedia's return exactly boil down to? Let's us bask with you in this possible glorious news.

  3. To the first anonymous commenter,

    You might have more credibility if you actually read Ratzinger's works and principles on liturgy where you would clearly see he would never agree with the type or principle you are putting out; that we change the liturgy because we are of a different age.

    Incidentally, it really also doesn't fly to say someone is pious and then in the same breath suggest they don't talk about God.

    Anyone who knows John personally knows he is a man of great personal faith and that certainly comes out in his writing.

    You are too quick to judge.

  4. In response to the first anonymous comment (which I hope will be deleted):

    How incredibly rude and uncharitable. It is of significance to mention the importance of sacred aesthetics which John does so WONDERFULLY on this site. The fact that we are on round two (or secundus) is a testament to the work he does and how much we all enjoy it. Thank you John! Ad multos annos!

    Further these are objects rooted in history and tradition that span the centuries, nay millennia, and even carry over into other easter traditions as well. As long as we proceed with this humility and understanding we can avoid the uncharitable triumphalism that the pope speaks of.

    Thanks be to God that we have such a great forum in which to discuss these issues!

  5. When the sedia will be used?

  6. To the first anonymous,

    Your condescending tone doesn't give you more credibility either. By the way, Joseph Ratzinger was not pope back in 1966.

  7. Wow, that first comment is more hilarious than anything else!

    John, keep up the great work!

  8. The danger of triumphalism applies to every one of us, too, all Catholics and really, all Christians, especially traditionalists. We must never, never, never be pleased with ourselves. Humility is in order if we are ever to renew this world in Christ. We must lead by example, and live the truth in charity.

  9. John, it sometimes is dangerous to post news like this without more explaination, as it stirs people... I enjoy your blog, but would like to see you take more care with somem of the posts.

  10. It's time to re-instate the proper signification of our Holy Father's identity and primacy. The "hermeneutic of continuity", no?

  11. Is Anonymous suggesting that Jungman wrote about the Sedia Gestatoria? Boy, I'd love read what he said. Maybe Anonymous will provide us with the quote.

    I suppose some might consider his posts to be offensive but I think they are quite funny. All ad hominum remarks with a few big names but nothing that backs up the remarks. He's getting outrageous! Outrageously funny.

  12. The rumours are quiet now.

    Let's see what happens.

    I reported what I heard, in Rome.

    Then nobody had anything positive to say about it.

    It was all negative comments against the comeback and that is really not a hopeful or helpful sign.

  13. ThX for the great blog JP and keep up the good work!