They Did What to the Pontiff?

By Paul Lombino

I know I should drop it.

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

It’s been a week since the Installation of the Pope, but I can’t shake it. I’m referring to the phrase, “Installation of the Pope.”

Like all great religions, the Roman Catholic Church is replete with mystical and magical terms, some better known and more mellifluous than others. In 2003, for example, the Beatification of Mother Teresa was very much in the public eye. Whatever your theological persuasion, you have to agree the term “beatification” has a quality of sound and meaning that transcends the secular world.

If Facebook were around when the practice of beatification first took off, I’m sure it would have gotten a lot of “likes.” And just add a “u” and … well, you get it.

Quest for the Holy Idiom

The white smoke emanating from the Vatican chimney earlier this month ushered in the era of Francis I. Given there’s only one pope at a time — okay, two in this case — that seems to be a pretty big deal worthy of a better idiom than “installation.” To put it into perspective, I recently celebrated the Installation of My Cape House Water Heater.

For a 2,000-year-old institution that has produced an Ark-load of fertile expressions such as “ecclesiastic,” “immanence” and “triduum,” certainly “installation” is not infallible. Let’s see: How’s “The Hiring” of the Pope”? Nah, too pedestrian. Meanwhile, “inauguration” and “ordination” appear to be taken. And “induction” seems more appropriate for a retired ball player or rock n’ roll band.

Nothing else jumps out at me at the moment. But I’ll keeping thinking and hope for divine inspiration. After all, what’s another millennium or two to the magisterium?

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2 Comments

Filed under Pope Installed

2 responses to “They Did What to the Pontiff?

  1. Donna Menschel

    Quite an interesting piece…I’ll put on my thinking cap to see if I can come up with anything. (Lol. But I wouldn’t count on it!)

    Sent from my iPhone

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