In what has to be one of the strangest Person of the Year articles ever, Time Magazine kicks off its naming of Pope Francis as Person of the Year in an odd way. They’re so obviously uncomfortable with naming him that they lead with this:
Once there was a boy so meek and modest, he was awarded a Most Humble badge. The next day, it was taken away because he wore it. Here endeth the lesson.
How do you practice humility from the most exalted throne on earth?
That’s kinda’ weird, isn’t it? And then it goes from weird to…just plain wrong.
And yet in less than a year, he has done something remarkable: he has not changed the words, but he’s changed the music. Tone and temperament matter in a church built on the substance of symbols—bread and wine, body and blood—so it is a mistake to dismiss any Pope’s symbolic choices as gestures empty of the force of law.
Symbols? Seriously? It’s one thing for a writer for Time not understanding Catholicism. But is there no editor there who could raise a red flag on this one?
It’s not like the Eucharist is some arcane little known theological fine point in the history of the Church. The Eucharist is the heart of the Catholic Church. As the Catechism states:
At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread. . . .” “He took the cup filled with wine. . . .” The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation.
I’d get more worked up about this if I thought anybody actually read Time Magazine anymore.