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Pope Pius VIII in St. Peter’s on the Sedia Gestatoria

quoteIn the hopeful time after Vatican II, it felt like the Church was growing into a new identity, rooted in an understanding of the early Church, yet in sync with the modern world. We embraced those aspects of faith that made sense—the message of love, social justice, gathering for a common meal, and a renewed intellectual insight into scripture. There was, however, much that did not make sense in the context of that new identity. Those aspects of faith, like the mysteries and the beliefs and practices associated with old-school tradition and authority, were avoided or rejected—no old world piety, no ethnic gaudiness, no old guys in funny hats, no statues of saints holding their eyeballs, no more carrying the Pope around on the sedia gestatoria, no spooky presences, no smells and bells, no bloody sacrifices. Those things just didn’t fit the post-conciliar vision of the Church.