Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Deacon who publicly ridiculed Pope Benedict answers to an email

Shared to me by TPC reader, Jeffrey.


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.

Respectfully -


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?

Or both?


  1. The deacon has a lot of material to take to the confessional during this holy season of Lent.

    It's one thing to be caught in a lie. It's entirely another thing to be caught in a lie made in a global forum.

    One good thing about the internet—it exposes what we say and do to a lot of listeners and watchers. We had better keep in mind that the light of truth can shine on us all at any time.

  2. Sir I also replied to him yesterday. This is my Reply.

    Mr. Sites,

    I am sure that the Picture is Pope Benedict. If you will look closely at the Fascia or sash you will clearly see the Papal Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict.

    I am sorry but I cannot help to think that you are making fun of Pope Benedict. At mark 9:55 you showed some luxury brands, and then at mark 10:25 you showed the Red Shoes. I heard laughter.

    I am sorry for reacting this way. But for us who admire and respect Pope Benedict so much it is very hurtful that we can always hear people mocking the Holy Father just because he loves tradition.

    Then the Deacon replied again.:

    Thanks again Jeffrey.

    I too was dismayed with the laughter – I did not expect it. Note that I did not recognize or engage in the laughter and remained in a serious tone as I explained what is good (and holy) about such attire. At the next Mass I made a point out of saying this image was posted not be funny or laughed at, but to make a point. The Prada reference was unfortunate. I had been talking about food and clothing as referenced in the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel, and how many in society worry about shopping at the upscale grocery store or wearing name brand apparel because we worry about our self-esteem and image. The Prada reference was not intended to be associated with the papal vestments. One of those learning moments and I admit it unfortunate that one followed the other giving the wrong impression.

    Again – thank you for engaging with me respectfully – and thank you for your prayers.

    1. "The Prada reference was not intended to be associated with the papal vestments..." Deacon,, where were you when media feasted on the red Prada shoes of Pope Benedict? And you repeated the homily in the next Mass???? How many times did you repeat that homily? Will you make a public retraction of whatever you said...and in the same number of times you made it?