Friday, October 13
During the Shrine's Apostolic pilgrimmage to Rome, at the papal audience, a whole group of men wearing purle-trimmed cassocks walked in, and the crowd, assuming these to be African bishops, rose in applause.
In fact, they were visiting Pentecostal "bishops" or "overseers" from New Jersey.
The phenomenon of Pentecostal "bishops" is an amazing thing. First, it shows Pentecostalism's eager embrace of many things Catholic, for which I have hope, even though at the same time they are often quite anti-Catholic. While giving tours at a Catholic church one day, a Pentecostal women, who was helping to design a new church, took copious notes on each item I discussed, what it was called, what it did, what it symbolized, etc. The intent was rather clear.
Exquisite Vestments is an amazing example of the meeting of the cultures of inner-city Pentecostals with the broader Catholic tradition.
Sometimes the result is.. stunning, like this episcopal bling.
Sometimes, the result is kind of cool, like this cathedra.
Others, it's just bizzare--like brocade cassocks.
Finally, at times, it becomes a simple insult to an artform, like the "heraldry"... (Go to "Crests & Seals," and look at Bp. Larry Trotter's).
But, that people from completely outside the Catholic cultural tradition should be naturally drawn to these cultural institutions is a monumental testimony to their worth, I should think.