O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pope Francis in Byzantine Vestments

Via Facebook comes this picture of Pope Francis as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in the vestments of a Byzantine Rite bishop in the Ukrainian Rite Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Buenos Aires. His vestments are an odd mix-match as he is wearing the mantle (used in choir dress), but also the stihar and zone (used at the Divine Liturgy). Using the Latin mitre instead of the Byzantine miter only complicates things. Next to him is Bishop Miguel Mykycej (in proper full vestments), the then Eparch of Buenos Aires for the Ukrainians and immediate predecessor of the current Patriarch of Kyiv, His Beatitude Svyatoslav, at that post. Judging from the rest of the clergy, this was at a Divine Liturgy and Archbishop Bergoglio seems to have mistakenly worn the mantle instead of the sakkos. This is pretty much the same as if a Latin Rite con-celebrant were to have worn the cope in place of the chasuble. Hopefully he'll serve a Divine Liturgy as pope, but I only want him to in proper vestments. If he isn't going to wear full byzantine vestments, it would be best to leave the issue alone until the next pope. Pope John XIII did an excellent job and wore full byzantine vestments, adding the fanon and substituting the papal tiara for the miter. Pope John Paul II didn't wear byzantine vestments at all, which was an embarrassing shame and inappropriate. Hopefully, PF will follow the example of the former and not the latter, but I think that PF's inability to chant (due to his tone-deafness) could make this a moot point.