Was there ever a pope that eschewed the trappings of office?
That parade of silk gowns, jewelery, and Mercedes is more J-Lo than Jesus.
Jesus, Peter, and the successive leaders of the Roman Christian community until Christianity's recognition by Constantine would never recognize what the Church has become.
Benedict XVI is the epitome of an absolutist monarch from the early modern period!
You're kinda missing the poing of the Pope and the WHOLE Caholic Church, OP.
Of course not OP. Very good editorial on all this in the NY Times today pointing out the midevil bases for the current Roman Catholic chuch and the Papacy. The RC church is one big mess, very big mess and morally, ethically, and operationally living in another age in a very real sense.
Pope Paul VI ended the use of the papal tiara during his coronation in 1963.
The first John Paul, the one who was murdered by the upper Vatican hierarchy, did away with the elaborate coronation ceremony. He probably would have started giving away the Church's treasures if he had lived.
I loathe Ratzinger, but no absolute monarch ever abdicated out of boredom and ineffectuality in the "early modern period," R1. And your defense of the early Roman Christian community seems to presuppose (erroneously) that the Roman church ever had anything to do with the historical Jesus' intentions.