The Humility of Popes

There’s a meme going around that shows Pope Francis taking this to the extreme: 

This is meant to show how he is simple, etc. The problem is, I think this turns the idea of the crown and throne on its head. The papal tiara is not about Jorge Bergoglio, or Karol Wojtyla or Joseph Ratzinger. It’s about Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. That is why he wore the crown. Not because of he is, but of who Christ is. That is why we call the Pope, “Your Holiness.” Yes, even if he is a sinner. It’s the reason why we call priests “Father” and kiss their consecrated hands. We don’t do it because of who they are, we do it because they are in Persona Christi. Unfortunately, it seems to me that when the popes of late have eschewed these signs and symbols, that is making it about them.

It was never meant to be.

There’s a scene in Band of Brothers that carries this same idea for the military. “We salute the rank, not the man.”