Pope Vicky: Her Time Has Come

Pope Vicky Celebrates the First Women Priests

Pope Victoria I—“Pope Vicky”—chose her name in celebration of one of the first Roman Catholic woman priests ordained at the beginning of the 21st century. She and the other women were part of a movement to transform the Roman Catholic Church into a more inclusive, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered church of equals.

The first women priests were ordained by male bishops. Later, some of these women were consecrated as bishops and continued to ordain other women priests. The women were ordained in the line of unbroken apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic church.

The People Love Pope Vicky

Today, no one bats an eye about a woman Pope. The people love Pope Vicky.

Pope Vicky Celebrates Mass

The people love the way Pope Vicky celebrates the Mass. She follows both church and biblical traditions. Pope Vicky’s homilies follow the liturgical calendar. She presides at Holy Eucharist with proper linens and vessels.

Pope Vicky leads the congregation in the Victory Songs of the women of ancient Israel.

Pope Vicky's Theology

The people love Pope Vicky’s theology. In a series of Papal encyclicals, Pope Vicky elevated God’s word that the earth and all its creatures are holy.

In her celebrated first encyclical, “Amor Non Est Omnia Quod Requiris” (Love Is Not All You Need), Pope Vicky announced the church’s support of justice for marginalized people everywhere.

In her Thanksgiving encyclical, “Eder Sanem Saturamini” (Eat Well Live Right), she advised meat eaters to serve Halal-butchered, free-range, organic turkey.

In “Pacem in Terra,” Pope Vicky called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. On an official trip to Washington, D.C., Pope Vicky went to the White House to discuss the issue with the President of the United States.

Pope Vicky also went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the legal battle for reproductive rights for women was still being fought. The Roman Catholic church had finally recognized this right in Pope Vicky’s encyclical, “Humane Vitae et Mulier Integritate Corporis” (Human Life and the Integrity of the Female Body).

Pope Vicky Exalts the Arts

The people love that Pope Vicky exalts the arts. Music and theatre are powerful influences on Pope Vicky’s liturgical style. Recently, Pope Vicky unveiled her plan to redecorate the Sistine Chapel.

Pope Vicky Adds a Twist to the Classic Styles

The people love Pope Vicky’s taste in all Papal attire—ordinary dress, choir dress, vestments, and regalia. In the blogosphere, the people enjoy chatting about things like “how Mama’s hot pink cowboy boots match the lining of her Easter mozzetta.”

Despite her eclectic tastes, Pope Vicky is a devout steward of Roman Catholic symbolism. Her basic garment is the cassock with 33 buttons—one for every year of the life of Christ. 

She also wears the pectoral cross and the white zucchetto skull cap.

When conducting non-liturgical Papal business, Pope Vicky wears the simar—a cassock with the attached white cape— and the gold-fringed fascia. The fascia is embroidered with her chosen coat of arms, the symbol of the Trinity.

For choir dress, she wears a lacey or embroidered rochet over the cassock. A short cape is worn over the rochet—red satin in summer, red velvet with ermine trim in winter, and white damask silk during Easter.

When holding an audience or in a procession, Pope Vicky wears a richly embroidered and fringed stole.

The wide-brimmed capello romano is only worn outdoors as part of ordinary dress.

Pope Vicky also wears the ermine-trimmed camauro.

Pope Vicky Vests for the Mass

When vesting for the Mass, Pope Vicky follows the sacred rituals. She begins by donning the amice—the symbol of the helmet of salvation. As Pope Vicky puts on the amice, she kisses the embroidered cross, touches it to her forehead, and prays.

Next comes the rochet—like the priest’s alb, it is white, the symbol of purity. The embroidered dragonfly on Pope Vicky’s rochet is one of her favorite symbols. To Pope Vicky, the translucent spectrum of color in the dragonfly’s wings represents clarity and perception. The dragonfly’s life cycle from water to sky represents the church’s transformation.

Finally the cincture, tied around the waist, represents chastity. Using this relic reminds Pope Vicky that there was a time when priests—LGBTQ and otherwise—were not allowed to marry.

The chasuble is the outermost sacramental garment worn only for the celebration of the Eucharist. The pallium, a narrow band made from lamb’s and sheep’s wool, symbolizes the bishop’s role as pastor of the flock entrusted to her by Christ.

Pope Vicky Restores Papal Regalia

Papal regalia are ceremonial dress and objects, such as the Papal tiara, staff, cope, and formale.

Papal regalia were abandoned by Pope Vicky’s predecessors who believed Christ should be represented with simplicity, not gold and silver.

Pope Vicky has rethought this theology. With many exquisite handcrafts facing extinction, Pope Vicky believes the church has a sacred duty to revive textiles and metalwork that have been important to the social, spiritual, and economic lives of people the world over. Pope Vicky promotes fair trade sacramental handicrafts and hopes to see them woven into the common and spiritual lives of Roman Catholics everywhere.

Pope Vicky also understands that the people crave true pageantry in sacred celebrations. She reached deep into the Vatican archives to study the original forms of pontifical rites. Pope Vicky has not shied away from exhibiting former symbols of the episcopacy, even as she seeks to redefine them for contemporary times.

Deacons serve as cope bearers in this regal Easter procession.

 

Pope Vicky Reflects on Her Journey

Pope Vicky adores the people. But after all the papal audiences, sacramental services, and jubilant processions, she looks forward to being alone.

For though the people love Pope Vicky, she still faces resistance to her vision for the church. She needs rest and time to reflect.

She likes to go incognito for walks around the city.

Pope Vicky often goes on spiritual retreats—at times in far away places. She draws inspiration for her devotional practice from all the world’s religions.

During a recent retreat, one of Pope Vicky’s secretaries thought he saw her in prayer, talking with an angel. When he asked her about it, she coyly answered his question, quoting  American poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Locations

Scenes are real; they are not Photoshopped

Chicago: Wrigley Building, Main Branch of Chicago River from Michigan Avenue Bridge, Millennium Park, “Loop Tatoo” mural by Johanna Poethig (Lake Street), Chicago Theater (State Street), Lakeview Presbyterian Church

Philadelphia: Center City (various, including Rittenhouse Square)

Washington, D.C.: White House, U.S. Supreme Court, Enid A. Haupt Garden at the Smithsonian Castle

Bali, Indonesia: Village temple, family compound shrine, and
animal stalls