Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pentecostals who dress like Romans

I got this image from the comments in Fr. Longenecker's blog. It's not a bunch of African bishops with Pope John Paul, apparently, but a bunch of these African American Pentecostals who were in Rome for a visit!]

Well, Fr. Longenecker posts some photos of Pentecostals who adopt Roman vestments on his blog. This reminded me of an anecdote I was going to share a while back, but never got around to. (I do have Fr. Paul's permission to share this bit of dinner conversation from last Fall.)

"Once we had this gathering of African-American Pentecostal Bishops at Santa Susanna" (the Paulist parish in Rome) ... so began an interesting conversation at dinner last night, with Fr. Paul Robichaud, former rector of S. Susanna. "Yeah, imagine all these African American men ... and women .. .in full pontifical vesture, with cassocks, rings and pectoral crosses processing down the streets of Rome." The Italians, it seems, couldn't believe their eyes. I couldn't believe my ears. However, it turns out that some branches of African American Pentecostalism reorganized a while back, and modeled a hierarchy on the Catholic Church, with bishops as well as archbishops, vestments, mitres and what not. "They rocked the church!" said Fr. Paul of the service they held at S. Susanna. And, gave him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in pentecostal studies and made him a monsignor as well!

"You should get the cassock with the piping!" I quipped ... :-) Msgr. Burke, the founder of the National Catholic Welfare Association (which eventually became the NCCB and then the USCCB), and the only Paulist monsignor to date, is not alone anymore it seems.

Here's the webpage of the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops

And here's a link to a 1995 NC(Reporter) article on Pentecostals who dress in Catholic style.


Mac said...

Well indeed. One of the photos on the blog, though, you may have noticed, is surely of the Anglican Primate of the USA, is it not?

Gashwin said...

Yes it is ... doesn't belong with the others, so to speak.