Pope Benedict XVI had a love for wearing 18krt golden medieval vestments, which weighted so heavy that he required the assistance of two or even four helpers. Followed by a procession of richly adorned Cardinals, the Princes of the Church all with biretta and golden rings as signs of their royal status, the Pope still puts on the biggest show on Earth. When His Holiness enters the Saint Peter’s Basilica, the richest religious temple in the world filled with endless wealth, he wears the “Triregnum,” a headgear with three crowns, also called the Triple Tiara.
Earlier Popes also wore tiaras during processions, and when entering or leaving Saint Peter’s Basilica, but during liturgies, they used an Episcopal Mitre instead. The Tiara was just too heavy to wear during services since it is studded with sapphires, rubies, emeralds and other gems.
The Ring of the Fisherman, another item of papal regalia, is a gold ring decorated with a depiction of St. Peter in a boat casting his net, with the name of the reigning Pope surrounding it. A few privileged get to kiss it in the process.
For thousands of years, until the very day of today, the Pope and his cardinals must have been drunk on the “Scriptura.” In Proverbs 8:18: is written, “Unending riches, honour, wealth, and justice are mine to distribute.” But distributing any of the immeasurable riches to the poor is something the Pope and his Princes never did.
The Papal show leaves very little to be imagined by the onlookers. The Pope is the uncontested and infallible ruler and divine dictator of the Church. Democracy does not exist; corruption is part of the ruling system, and that very package comprises the “Corporate Culture” of the Roman Catholic (RC) Church. The role model of the RC church is the strongest in the western society, and its culture is widely copied by corporations and sovereign governments.
Donald Trump, the Papal Emperor-President of the United States rides up on golden escalators to his opulent, hundred-million-dollar penthouse in Trump Tower. The three-floor apartment is stuffed with oversized Louis XIV furniture, adorned with marble floors, gilded ceilings and walls, and full of gold rimmed cups, glasses and porcelain for the occasional visitor; an ostentatious display of riches and exhibitionism.
From a safe distance, “The Donald” is followed by his entourage of Barbie doll mannequins who seems to be frozen to the extent that they yet have to crack their first smile in public. The Donald hates any form of democracy, demands unconditional loyalty of his staff even beyond the realm of the law and belittles his audience as if they are children. He acts and behaves as a benevolent dictator and demonizes his opponents. Donald’s Corporate Culture is a copy of the Papal Culture.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has a wardrobe of T-shirts and hoodies. When he appears in front of an audience of shareholders there is nothing on stage, no props of any kind nor gold or displays. Steve Jobs of Apple, who single-handedly changed the world, never wore anything but T-shirts, jeans and sneakers. They do “management by walking about” (MBA).
Simplicity and austerity are their Corporate Culture identities; inspired by Orthodox Judaism and Protestants, they are level with everyone, open for debate and discussion and meritocracy prevails. Mark and Steve do not care much about the show, pomp and circumstance.
What is acting out on the world stage of US politics is the daily clash between a pompous Catholic President and a very austere Protestant Congress. The clash of two Corporate Cultures; from history, we know that these two are incompatible.
By Jacob Gelt Dekker