Sunday, April 10, 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Galero (But Were Afraid to Ask)

It's Lent.  But it's also Sunday.  And we're supposed to enjoy ourselves just a bit on Sundays.

So, for your weekly Resurrection day repast, how about this juicy little tidbit from Tom Fox at National Catholic Reporter?  Everything--and more--you ever wanted to know about the galero.

And who knew that Paul VI had abolished it by papal fiat, so that Cardinal Burke's preening with it flies in the face of a papal decree--as he flits around the world to preach to the rest of us about how our souls' salvation depends on obeying popes and bishops?  And, of course, I now realize one reason traditionalist Catholics are cheering Burke on as he dons his pre-Vatican II regalia is that doing so is an overt act of defiance of the pope who drew the council to a close and promulgated its decrees.

Love the little aside about how a galero will hang over a cardinal's tomb until his soul has sprung from purgatory.  This bit made me recall the galero Steve and I saw hanging--ridiculously--in a side chapel in the Catholic cathedral in London this past December.  It was only after we visited the cathedral and I did some googling that I discovered the reason it was dangling down from the ceiling is that  Cardinal Hinsley is buried beneath it.  Seeing it just hanging there, with no indicator of why a big bright hat with tassels is suspended from the ceiling is, well, astonishing--the kind of thing that makes you think, when you've walked into some Catholic churches, you've taken a sudden detour into a carnival side show.  And not a very jolly one, at that.

Happy Lenten Sunday, all.

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