This is a recent photo of Pope Francis' impromptu visit to a workers’ cafeteria near the Vatican. What is depicted herein does not smack of heresy or even heterodoxy. Some will argue that it’s not scandalous at all, and perhaps they’re right. But if such now-routine departures from papal protocol cause some Catholic hearts to grow heavy with sadness…mine included…are we not entitled to cry out to our own father: Peter, quo vadis?
The awesome papacy of history, with its 2000-year-old legacy of loyal service to Christ our Royal King, is apparently fading away before our very eyes. Gone are the papal crowns, the royal robes, the sedia gestatoria, the kingly trappings we remember so fondly from our youth -- and in their place stands the increasingly democratized, egalitarian “pope of the people”. It’s as if Pope is being transformed into President, and I wonder: Does any serious, practicing Catholic really want to see that happen? Do you?