The Holy Father is of course quite right to deprecate the taking of photographs with mobile phones during liturgical celebrations (especially by concelebrant priests and bishops). The rite demands prayerful attention.

But he is, himself, somewhat to blame  The increasing tendency to project the Pope as a ‘celebrity’ has naturally resulted in him being treated as such.  It is a circumstance in which familiarity breeds adulation; and the Vicar of Christ is put on a par with Elton John.

Am I alone in recognising that the reverence in which John Paul II and Benedict were held by both the faithful and the secular world has shifted radically in this pontificate? It has been displaced by the popularity of a popularist.

So naturally, everyone will want to snap away.

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