I receive the message you sent with the respect you intend and I thank you for that.
For the record, I did not mention Pope Benedict or any pontiff, all of whom I admire and respect. I did not say the red shoes were Prada. Here is the transcript of what was said as the image in question appears:
In our Church, and in others, some clergy will dress in finery for a good reason – so that when they come before God to give worship and praise they want to bring the best So that’s a good symbol. We do that kind of thing at the Easter Vigil. We get everything out of the closet – we bring out our best. [he missed out this part: Here is how bad it gets in our Church. *cue chuckles from the pews*....But some put on the red shoes and the flowing white linen and have the lace and the gold threaded vestment, because it is an issue of self esteem. It is an issue of looking themselves up, as well.]
Please know that I did not in fact know that the image used was Pope Benedict. I am still not sure it is – I am curious – how do you know it is? [Seriously?!] I got the image from an image library as a result of searching for “fine vestments”. I chose the image because it was cropped and did not reveal who was wearing them.
I pray that one day Jeffrey situations like this can lead to dignified and respectful dialogue. [Dignified? You publicly humiliated THE POPE!] I pray for unity in Church. [Duh! Look who's talking!] I ask your prayers for me and our parish. I will pray for you as well.
Deacon Sandy Sites
Here is the image:
Is the deacon trying to make a fool out of Jeffrey or out of us who can clearly see the stemma or coat of arms in the sash? Can you not clearly see that the papal coat of arms has a pallium with it? Which pontiff has used the pallium in his coat of arms?
Deacon Sandy might have the best intentions but he is proudly foolish and ignorant to brandish his ignorance and well, foolishness by looking at the red papal shoes and liturgical finery as an issue of self-esteem. The red shoes are historical. Tradition has it that these were an homage to the slippers given by Emperor Constantine to Pope Sylvester and were one of the oldest traditions of the Latin Church once the persecution ended. And it is red because the original papal color is RED, in honor of St. Peter the first pope who died a martyr. Similarly, he's completely oblivious that St. Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas (in Summa 83) to reserve the very best for the Mass since it's sharing in the Supreme Sacrifice of Calvary. Even Sacrosanctum Concilium says it.
He is so foolishly proud of what he does not realizing that he is not in his right attire for the Mass!
He is not wearing a dalmatic, the proper vestment for a deacon who assists at Mass.
Even without the flimsy excuse, this deacon is obviously LYING about his intent and purpose in using that image for his homily.
Are external appearances indicative of a person's humility?
Does this deacon think that he can draw people back to the Church with that kind of public bashing during the Mass, the source and summit of Christian Life, of the former holders of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven?
Word of advice. SHUT UP!
You would do less harm to Catholics by keeping your mouth shut!
Want to know why?
Look how joyfully full your seats in your church is!
The fruits of Vatican II or the fruits of ill-informed, pope-bashing deacons?