Saturday, April 19, 2008

HM Offends More Catholics

I spent the morning watching the Pope extravaganza on FOX news network. Yeah. I know it's got a bad reputation for news, but the Pope was more real-looking on that channel. MSNBC had him kind of washed out, with a reddish tint. Perhaps it was my reception.

Please keep in mind that HM does not have a religious bone in her body. She is ignorant in all things spiritual, and does not plan to purposely offend anyone. But it could happen. Is likely to happen, in fact. So be prepared.

My, oh my! What a big production this Mass was! It was fancier than a Clinton Inaugural Ball. I must say, St. Patrick's Cathedral was magnificent. But the more I watched, the more questions and concerns popped into my head. First of all, there were a lot of old people at that Mass. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I AM a rider of the old people casino bus, you know. But those old people were standing for a really long time. Didn't their feet hurt? Or their knees? Or their sacroiliacs? Maybe they took some Advil in advance. I was worried that one of them might drop.

The fellows behind the Pope intrigued me. I figured they were pretty high-ups in the Church, to be allowed so close to the Pope. One of them right behind him looked like he was having an anxiety attack, or was really nervous, or was overcome with emotion. At one point, he wiped at his eye. It might have been a tear. It might have been an eye boogie. In any case, he wiped it with his INDEX finger. No flippin' the bird behind the Pope. If you know what I mean, Mr. Smarty Pants BObama.

Next on my concern list was that choir director guy. I call him that because he was wearing that dark smock like the singers, and he stepped up to the microphone every so often to sing out. Other people were taking turns stepping up to his microphone, saying their piece, and stepping away. One lady took too long for Mr. Big Important Choir Director's liking. He grabbed her by her upper arm area, and kind of set her aside. That is not fair, manhandling the women. I know this is not the Episcopal church, and perhaps women are not what Mr. Big Important Choir Director consider his equal, but don't go manhandling one on world-wide TV. That woman looked a bit out of place anyway. She was wearing something like a black business suit, with a skirt, of course, but she was not in a nun's habit or a monk's robe or any of the variety of garb I observed as religiousy. But she got to approach the Pope and kneel at his feet and give him a gift and get a rosary in return.

The Pope got stuff ready for communion at a table with what looked like a golden laptop computer on it. I'm sure it was a case that carried something holy, but it looked like a golden laptop to the Hillbilly family. There was a fancy schmancy pimp cup full of wine, which sure wasn't Baptist grape juice, by cracky! The Pope had a big ol' communion wafer compared to those he was giving the others. His must have been twice their size. Good thing my kids weren't a part of the proceedings. I can hear it now. "How come HE got a big one? I want one like that. It's not faiiiiir!" Here's what I don't understand. Some people let the Pope put the communion wafer on the tongue. Others took wafers in their hands and put them on their own tongues. Not that anyone had more than one tongue, of course, but I had to use the plural to go with the other plurals. You can bet that if I got all the way to a big production of such significance, I would let the Pope put the wafer on my tongue. How could you not?

The most disturbing thing I saw was during the recessional or procession out, or whatever you call it. The Pope had bodyguards in black suits. I've heard that these are U.S. Secret Service men, not people from the Vatican. Perhaps they were not briefed thoroughly, or perhaps they had an attitude of 'No Pope-stabbers on MY watch!'. There was His Holiness, walking down the aisle, with people reaching out to him. The majority minded their manners. But a small (and I do mean small) group of tiny nuns started to rush the Pope. There were four or five of them, itty bitty nuns, reaching out. AND THE MEN IN BLACK SUITS STIFF-ARMED THEM BACK INTO THE CROWD!!! That is not right. It could have been done more gently. They were old. They were diminutive. It upset me. Later, the commentator said they were from the order Little Sisters of the Poor, which Mother Teresa had something to do with in India. That made me wonder if one has to be tiny to belong to the Little Sisters. Because they were all under five feet tall, from the looks of them. Later on down the aisle, a single one of them had crept out, on her knees, and looked up at the Pope. He stopped for a minute and blessed her, or some such thing, because he reached out to her, and the Black Suits didn't stop it. I was relieved.

That Popemobile was a sweet ride! It's too bad we have to put the Pope under glass so that no crazy can kill him. I'm not very religious, but if anybody is going to Hell, it's going to be a Popekiller.

I would bet my gambling money on that.


Sr. Marguerite said...

I am a Little Sister of the Poor who was present at the Holy Father's Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. I witnessed the incident between the sisters and the security person to which you made reference. Actually, it took place not more than 20 feet from where I was standing. First of all, the sisters involved were not Little Sisters of the Poor. Secondly, their movement was very quick and unexpected and the security person reacted as he would to anyone.
I am sorry that your lack of understanding of the meaning of the Mass prevented you from appreciating what took place at the Holy Father's Mass at St. Patrick's. For me, it was a grace that I will always remember.
Sr. Marguerite, l.s.p.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sr. Marguerite,

That's what I get for listening to the commentators. They must have been confused, since the Little Sisters of the Poor were in that area. Maybe they had a chart of who was where.

After talking this event over with my mother, the voice of reason, I understand that those security people had to do it. It's their job to keep people safe. Even though security was tight, it was possible that an impostor could have infiltrated the event. And it only takes a second to hurt someone.

Even though I didn't understand the Mass, I, too, will always remember it. It was a beautiful ceremony in a beautiful cathedral, and it was history in the making.

I find it sad that the world has become so dangerous that security must be top priority.