Saturday, April 7, 2012
Royal News Roundup
Speaking of such matters, in his homily on Holy Thursday at the Cathedral of St John Lateran, HH Pope Benedict XVI made a very pointed emphasis on obedience and drew attention to a recent example of clerical disobedience by referring to a group of clergy in Austria which has banded together to advocate for all sorts of innovations (in the Catholic Church at least) such as the ordination of women, an end to the vow of celibacy, an end to the ban on artificial contraception and, well, you probably get the idea. The Pontiff said, “We think we are free and truly ourselves only if we follow our own will. God appears as the opposite of our freedom” but that this attitude is, “the fundamental lie which perverts life”. In response to the “Call to Disobedience” issued by the Austrian group the Pontiff said that these priests should look to the example of the saints and their “radicalism of obedience”.
In the United Kingdom, HM the Queen spent Maundy Thursday with TRH the Duke of Edinburgh and granddaughter Princess Beatrice of York in the traditional way at York Minster, handing out special Royal Maundy money to 172 assembled pensioners, followed by lunch at Mansion House and a visit to a new exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum titled “1212: The Making of the City”. This tradition goes back to King George V in 1932 who personally handed out money on Maundy Thursday, which is most often done at Westminster Abbey but can be done anywhere. Prior to that time a lesser royal usually attended the Maundy service in place of the monarch. Previous monarchs would wash the feet of the poor in imitation of Christ but the last to perform that custom was King James II. King William III did not continue the practice and fairly quickly stopped attending the Maundy services altogether. Since King George V revived the custom of royal attendance it has been carried on ever since as one of the most expected and recognized British royal traditions.