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Zucchetto swap.

What happens when well-wishers ask Pope Francis if he can try on the new zucchetto they brought him, and a cardinal says he can't? You get one guess.

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Thanks :0) Ah, if he'd only been chosen last time, and kept Ratzinger as a valued counselor. But here we are now, thank Heaven.

The encouraging thing is that the Cardinal himself seemed to enjoy the tiny drama. Looks like Francis the Irrepressible might win the Battle of the Curia.

I remember reading, several years ago, that trading zuchettos with the Pope was something that anyone introduced to him at a reception could do. The people being introduced in the video are members of the US Papal foundation, of which Cardinal Wuerl is the Chairman. You can join the Papal Foundation by agreeing to contribute $1 million at the rate of at least $100,00 per year. You get the title of "Steward of Saint Peter"http://www.thepapalfoundation.org/be-a-stewardbe-a-steward/how-to-become... Vatican article on the receptionhttp://en.radiovaticana.va/Articolo.asp?c=681824

$100,000

A heartwarming Francis does it again! Bless him, indeed.John Hayes: That's a minimum of 100K a year until a million is reached.I did notice Justin Rigali and Theodore McCarrick in line ahead of Wuerl as Francis greeted each. I wonder how McCarrick escapes consequences of this posting by psychotherapist and former priest Richard Sipe under the title The McCarrick Syndrome. http://www.richardsipe.com/Comments/2008-04-21-McCarrick_Syndrome.html Snip:"Excerpts from the legal Settlement Documents include firsthand accounts that are also in the Newark Archdiocese records of an incident on a trip with McCarrick, then Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, with a seminarian and two young priests when they shared a room with two double beds, it reads: (A graphic mediation report follows) "On another occasion McCarrick summoned the young man to drive him from the Newark Cathedral to New York City. He took him to dinner; and after, rather than returning to Newark as anticipated McCarrick went to a one-room apartment that housed one bed and a recliner chair. McCarrick said that he would take the chair, but after showering he turned off the lights and clad in his underwear he climbed into bed with his guest. Here is the account from the documents:(detailed account of assault follows)"In a letter dated four days after this incident McCarrick wrote a note signed Uncle Ted that said in part: I just wanted to say thanks for coming on Friday evening. I really enjoyed our visit. Youre a great kid and I know the Lord will continue to bless youYour uncle has great spots to take you to!!! It's all in the documents for anyone to take heed. I am sickened at seeing McCarrick in Clementine Hall with our new pope. When will someone in authority truly listen??

Further news from Vatican City for Thursday, 11 April:Pope Francis met for the first time with a group of ten bishops on their ad limina visit. The bishops were from Tuscany. The formal room in the Apostolic Palace was set up according to custom, with the pope sitting against the far wall and the bishops, arranged by seniority, sitting in two parallel rows facing each other.Usually in recent years, the pope has been greeted in a formal address by the ranking bishop (Thursday, Cardinal Betori of Florence), and then the pope addressed the bishops. Afterwards, each bishop was briefly greeted by the pope. (In past decades, each bishop had a one-on-one meeting of about fifteen to twenty minutes with the pope, but this has become increasingly difficult for two reasons, the large number of bishops worldwide and, more recently, the failing health of Pope John Paul II and, in the past two years, Pope Benedict XVI.)Today, it appears that there were no speeches, AND Pope Francis invited the bishops to re-arrange the chairs into a circle, including one for himself. He then invited each bishop to give a description of his diocese, and afterwards there was a fully participative interchange on pastoral issues. Bishop to bishop.When the second group of Tuscan bishops comes today for their ad limina meeting, I suspect that the chairs will already be set up in a circle.Ann Olivier:Perhaps I have misunderstood, but the cardinal who is presenting the Papal Foundation (founded in the early 1980s by Cardinal John Krol) benefactors to the pope is not a curial cardinal. He is the archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl.

John P. ==Yes, he does look like Cardinal Wuerl. Oh, well.

put not your trust in princes...

John Hayes:Members of my family will accuse me of having made this up but I remember being told that a prominent member of a Catholic family in Philadelphia, probably a relative of Cardinal Dougherty, had a zucchetto of the pope (perhaps Pius XI or maybe Pius XII) made into the crown for her wedding veil.

Apparently, the way that it works is that, before meeting the pope, you go to the papal tailors at Gammarelli and request a papal zucchetto; they keep the pope's measurements on hand and make one. Traditionally, when you present the zucchetto to the pope, he gives you his old one as something between a souvenir and a relic.Pius XII embraced this custom so thoroughly that he would trade zucchettos many times in a single audience. The custom took a blow when John XXIII, in reaction against it, kept the new zucchetto without handing over his old one. Apparently he felt it lead to sort of cult of the papacy that made him uncomfortable. His successors (John Paul II, Benedict) occasionally continued the custom, but it never regained its pre-conciliar popularity.

Is everyone who has an individual meeting the Pope expected to bring a hat?

I can only wonder if, in times past, some of the ladies might have thought of giving a pope their white hankie worn upon entering a Catholic church :-)

Package Tracker Update: Confirmed that one (1) New York Yankees cap delivered to the Vatican. Photos of Pope Francis wearing cap and a pinstripe cassock to be released soon.

Yankees will need the Pope's prayers this year.

True enough, Irene. [sigh] ;)

This sounds like that Dr. Who episode (I think it was the very first one when they relaunched the franchise a few years ago) in which the Doctor and his fetching tag-along du jour (Billie Piper, I think) attend a posh event: the final death of planet Earth (millions of years in the future, of course). As each intergalactic equivalent of Eurotrash arrives, a ritual exchange of gifts is de rigeur. The Doctor, crashing the party as usual, is unprepared for this, but with typical resourcefulness, graciously breathes into the face of each guest, gifting each one with "air from my lungs".

graciously breathes into the face of each guest, gifting each one with air from my lungs.Kind of reminds me of: ' he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit." '

John Page:The Papal Foundation website says that it was founded in 1988 and makes no mention of Cardinal Krol, who resigned Feb. 1988. I find it interesting that there are scripture passages interspersed throughout, e.g.,I guess that this passage is understandable: Give to others, and God will give to you. (Luke 6:38)But this passage (?):You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16)

Who was the man at the pope's side who said No?(And where is Ganzwein these days? Wouldn't haberdashery be under his purview?)And what's this about? http://news.yahoo.com/pope-meets-vatican-administrators-ahead-changes-to...

Helen:In his April 1996 address to The Papal Foundation, Pope John Paul II pays tribute to Cardinal John Krol as founder and president of the organization.http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1996/april/docum...

I innocently thought that Opus Dei and KofC were the only informal semi-official conduit to the Roman ear!!! Are there anymore in the US? Don't put me on any mailing lists as my net worth is pitiful.

Mary: I'm sure that you could claim to be the founder of Catholics for Libertarian Lizards and if your offering was large enough, it would be received by some cardinal or another with gracious words, open hands and a rosary that had been blessed by Georg Ganswein ... but no zuchetto or red shoes.

Legatus is a somewhat less expensive operation restricted to CEOs and suchlike of companies of a certain size - and their spouses. Tom Monaghan founded it. "The only organization in the world designed exclusively for top-ranking Catholic business leaders and their spouses. In a dynamic way, Legatus brings together the three key areas of a Catholic business leaders life Faith, Family and Business connecting two powerful realities, the challenge of top-tier business leadership and a religious tradition second to none.Legatus, the Latin word for ambassador, exists to help you become an ambassador for Christ (2Cor 5:20) and help you meet the challenges of balancing the responsibilities of faith, family, business and community. Since 1987 Legatus has been bringing together Catholic business leaders and their spouses in a unique format that fosters spiritual growth, formation and commitment."The world needs genuine witnesses to Christian ethics in the field of business, and the Church asks you to fulfill this role publicly and with perseverance. Pope John Paul IIAddress to LegatusVatican City, 1988http://www.legatus.org/about"Exclusive PilgrimagesEnjoy Legatus annual pilgrimage where members see Rome and other pilgrimage sites like no other pilgrims."http://www.legatus.org/benefits

Denver chapter says you can join the Legatus chapter there for $3,000 per year after the first year initiation fee. I imagine you would spend quite a lot more than that for travel expenses for their national meetings and pilgrimages$300 of your annual dues goes to the Holy See.

My Dad went on a trip to Rome once with a Catholic group called the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre (their chaplain had been made a Cardinal and my Dad went along to write a story about it).I don't know anything about them, but they seemed a little more (influential? prominent?) than the Knights of Columbus.

Which cardinal said the Pope can't? I didn't see that in the clip.

If you listen carefully you can half make out and half make up some words: " switch hats you can't do that what do you mean?"

Thanks Claire, I did hear that when I turned up the volume. Glad to see Pope Francis is not reluctant to exercise his "papal authority." (And that the Cardinal happily accepted his decision)

The pope, while going through the motions/pleasantries, thinking to himself: "My God, these people take this stuff seriously!!!"

And why don't they just call it what it is, a yarmulke?

Irene B: oh yes, indeedy ..... much more influential, prominent and wealthier than the average KofC member:http://www.holysepulchre.net/history/membership.html

And you get to wear fancy-dress outfits:http://www.holysepulchre.net/insignia_uniform/dress.html

If it's an equestrian order (?), somebody must be on horseback, too? No?I think the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree can give the Sepulchre guys a run for the money, outfit-wise. http://www.kofcsupplies.com/ccp0-catshow/4thdegreecolorcorps.htmlThough members of the Order of the Alhambra get to wear a fez, which is tough to beat.

I know a Lady of the Holy Sepulchre and her husband, now deceased, made a middling-sized fortune doing construction work for the Archdiocese of Chicago.Their churchly largesse (considering that they also had 9 children, all of whom went to Catholic colleges and universities at no small cost) was quite noticeable, even back in the 1960s and 1970s. She and he were ushered into Holy Sepulchre on the wings of a snow white dove!

Irene: I'll bet that there isn't a huge market for this:No. 400/A - Commemorative Color Corps Statue (4 )- African-American4th Degree Color Corps Statue. African-American. 4" hand painted plastic statue in full color regalia. Specify regalia color. Price: $6.00Out here on the Left Coast most of the African Americans I know who are into this kind of thing are members of the Knights and Ladies of St. Peter Claver.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_Peter_Claverhttp://www.google.co...

It all sounds like Mardi Gras to me.