Question: It was drawn to my attention recently by an old cutting from a Catholic paper that the pope used to be crowned with a special tiara and that he used to wear it on important occasions. The writer said that since Pope Paul VI gave up the tiara, there has been no real pope. Can you enlighten me on this theory? Also, did the tiara have special symbolism?
-- D.G.Clinton, N.J.
Answer: Popes did, indeed, wear special crowns from the middle of the 14th century until the time of Pope Paul VI, who set aside the tiara after the Second Vatican Council. No pope since then has used the tiara, and none is likely to in the future. Pope Benedict XVI has even removed the tiara from his personal coat of arms.
Question: If pornography is an addiction, how can it be a sin? Does the Church have anything to say about pornography?
-- Name and address withheld
Answer: While the addictive aspect of any human behavior lessens the moral culpability of the person involved, the sinful aspect is still present -- not least in the sense that the behavior hurts the soul of the participant.
Msgr. M. Francis Mannion is a priest and theologian of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Send your questions to Pastoral Answers, Our Sunday Visitor, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters must be signed, but anonymity may be requested.