Dear Sister, where or when did the Holy Father ask us to use the new Stations?
And I wonder if, when he did, he meant in any way to nudge us away from the traditional ones?
I for one don't think I can ever let go of my traditional ones. I also respect the luminous mysteries but don't use them (and if someone gives me a hard time I will point out that in Pope John Paul II's own letter he encourages and suggests but in no way requires that they be used).
But perhaps I have overstated the case when I said he asked us to use them. He approved them for use.
The thing is, he is using them. If there is a person on this earth that must lead by example, it's the Pope. The new Stations were first used by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday of 1999. That's quite some time ago now.
I can't help but think that he is indeed "nudging us away". If he isn't, what's he doing? Having a nervous breakdown? Showing us some other Stations for the fun of it? He was bored of the old Stations? Of course not.
Don't get yourself in a knot. The Stations Police aren't on their way (with the Rosary Police!). There's no edict.
I will crawl out on my own limb here and say that I believe I know what the Pope is thinking by using the New Stations. The greatest debate between the Catholic Church and the Separated Brethren is Scripture. The King James Bible made changes to the language of the Bible and what books are in the Bible to suit Protestant beliefs. The Catholic Church takes into account Sacred Tradition (incidents and ideas that are not in the Bible, such as the Immaculate Conception of Mary).
Here we have a holy tradition called the Stations of the Cross and lo and behold about half of them are not in the Bible. So let's meet in the middle and look at the true path that Jesus walked to Calvary. We don't have to quibble about what did or didn't happen. This is a set of events on which we can all agree without parsing words. Let's go for it!
Our goal here is not to stubbornly insist that our beloved Stations are based on holy traditions or Sacred Traditions (and sit around for another 500 plus years trying to explain the difference). Our goal is to help everyone walk the path of Christ. We (Separated Brethren and Catholics) can agree on that much, can't we?
I believe they still implement the old Stations at the Vatican, too. But on Good Friday, when the world is watching, it's the New Stations all the way. As Catholics, we believe that the Pope is the representative of Jesus on Earth and has the power and blessing of Jesus. To follow Jesus, we follow the Pope.
And the Pope is doing the New Stations.