That a prince of the Church should engage in this kind of moral preening at the expense of our former Holy Father -- who truly was and is a Holy Father -- is revolting.
The mark of a truly great ascetic is that he humbles himself. Christ humbled Himself. However, it is not for us to humble Him. When St. Alphonsus Liguori was a bishop, he drastically cut his household, got rid of the sumptuous furnishings, and dispensed with fancy modes of transportation; but I have never read that he went in for mediocrity in the liturgy. Ven. Pius XII only wanted to be a simple parish priest but accepted God's will that he be exalted in the Church, and resigned himself to all that went with that. He was hard on himself, practicing mortifications and penances, such as sleeping on the floor, on top of working long hours. But he did not shrink from pomp and ceremony, because those things came with the office, he saw it as his duty to conform to its requirements, and they were for the glory not of him, but of God. As for Benedict XVI, shy and retiring by nature, it is clear that the public side of his ministry as Pope was an ordeal that he endured out of a sense of duty, and the idea of any vanity in him is preposterous on its face. Therefore, it is equally clear that he revived many trappings and ceremonies, not to please his own ego, but, firstly, to give God the honor He is due; and secondly, in an effort to lead his flock out of our shameful love affair with banality, and teach us that in fact beauty IS truth, and truth beauty.
I hope that our new Holy Father, Francis, grows into his role as pastor of the Universal Church, accepts its incidentals, and continues Pope Benedict's work of restoring beauty to its rightful place in Catholic life -- right after putting an end to vulgar moral exhibitionism at the expense of his holy predecessor.