Anyway, it struck me at the time as more Protestant than Catholic, since I've never seen a groundswell movement in Catholicism to de-mystify and or even to greatly simplify the pomp and ceremony of the Papal office. Pope Kiril was too close to a vaguely Protestant figure than a Roman Catholic who rose through the Roman Catholic church to its top position. It made his appeal too easy, too comfortable, to a non-Roman Catholic audience. And the idea of giving all the Church's wealth to pay for food for the poor in China (a pre-capitalist China)? Good luck with that....
I won't go so far as to say Pope Francis is trying to be a revolutionary about such things, or even to increase the popularity of the Papacy, but this is interesting:
It might seem as if Pope Francis is in a bit of denial over his new job as leader of the world’s 1.2-billion Catholics. Or perhaps he’s simply changing the popular idea of what it means to be pope, keeping the no-frills style he cultivated as archbishop of Buenos Aires in ways that may have broad implications for the church.As a fellow Christian who prefers to emphasize the humility of Christ and even the "preferential option for the poor," I cannot but applaud the Pope's actions, especially returning the ancient Good Friday practice to something closer to its historical roots (when kings washed the feet of peasants). It can't go too far, however. Pope Francis can't sell off the assets of Vatican City, or disdain the basilica of St. Peter's for a rustic chapel. Even the steps he has taken have their limits, and if he tries to reduce "the awesomeness, the grandeur and majesty of the papacy" too much, he will face stiff resistance. It would be resistance he would not overcome, or need to. One of the problems of humility is that you can't assert it too strongly, or you start betraying your pride in it.
The world has already seen how Francis has cast aside many trappings of the papacy, refusing to don the red velvet cape Benedict XVI wore for official occasions and keeping the simple, iron-plated pectoral cross he used as bishop and archbishop.
On Thursday, his belief that a pope’s job is to serve the world’s lowliest will be on display when he washes the feet of a dozen young inmates at a juvenile detention center in Rome. Previous popes have celebrated the Holy Thursday ritual, which re-enacts Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet before his crucifixion, by washing the feet of priests in one of Rome’s most ornate basilicas.
One doesn't, in other words, ascend to such a high position in such a massive institution, without recognizing the responsibilities of the office that have little to do with Christ-like simplicity, and more to do with what is expected of the role. I hope Pope Francis can navigate these waters: some are going to complain, eventually, that his humility is self-serving, just as others will complain he is still too grand and ceremonial for a proper representative of Christ.