Lenten Exercise 2017 for Pope and Roman Curia --- Why Can't He Just Kneel?
Marginal remarks by Gerd Varga
In the Vatican, the Lenten Exercises for the Roman Curia are taking place. Even Pope Francis takes part. As in previous years, the Pope and the Curia have retreated on Sunday to the Casa Divin Maestro Retreat House in Ariccia, just outside the gates of Rome. The Retreat House and the Holy See have published photos on their pages, which have not gone unnoticed. Two marginal remarks:
Marginal Remark 1
During the eucharistic adoration in the church of the retreat house, all the cardinals and archbishops who lead the curia offices were kneeling before the exposed Sacrament. Pope Francis stood in the middle of the church.
The picture recalls an unexplained question, which is somewhat polemical, as follows: Why did Pope Francis kneel at the annual foot-washing on Holy Thursday, but not before the Most Blessed Sacrament?
To be fair, it should be added that Pope Francis was kneeling on a photo taken on Tuesday for a Eucharistic blessing. A rarity in view of his practice on Corpus Christi. This is precisely why it is to be pointed out.
Marginal Remark 2
The Church of Jesus Magister, Via Veritas et Vita Retreat House, next to which there are still several smaller chapels, has an extraordinary seating arrangement: no church benches but cushioned single armchairs. The seating has, however, has kneelers, which is not necessarily self-evident in new buildings or after conversions of churches. The "mature Christian" is familiar with God, he drones in the head, with which we would again refer to observation 1.
The first comment may sound presumptuous, but the Holy See would not let a stone fall out of the never used tiara, if it declared the papal weakness of knee briefly and concisely but officially. Who would not understand if there was a physical affliction for it? The physical presence before the Blessed Sacrament is, in any case, is no triviality, and can therefore not be dismissed as the private affair of a pope.
The latter remark may seem irrelevant. Is it, though? I admit: I'm also irritated by Swiss churches, which are heated up to room temperature in the winter. The visit to the church should not be too pleasant and comfortable.