His Holiness Pope Francis has begun his Mass in the Sistine Chapel with all the Cardinals. Thus we bring to an end the Conclave rites, though the conclave is officially over now. Some shots and comments (for as long a my battery lasts!).
It is always sad to see an versus populum altar in front of something so grand.
The Holy Father had a real problem with the Latin Confiteor. But wonders when the last time was that he actually pronounced the Novus Ordo Confiteor. He is speaking all the prayers.
Organ in the Sistine chapel…. o tempora, o mores.
Sorry about format problems. The blog is giving problems.
I was amused to hear in the 1st reading from Isaiah, “the stone that was rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone”. Ironic, in that it is said that he was a strong second at the beginning of the 2005 conclave. Of course, His Holiness wanted to do something else with that passage.
One of the bidding prayers:
“For His Holiness Benedict XVI: may he serve the Church in hiddenness with a life dedicated to prayer and meditation.”
To my ear, the Italian was not well worded, “Per Sua Santita Benedeto XVI: serva la Chiesa nel nascondimento con una vita dedicata alla preghiera e alla meditazione.” I asked a couple Italians. They thought it sounded odd, though we all knew what it meant.
Here is my summation of this first Mass, which we must admit is a unique occasion in a pontificate. What’s the phrase about “first impressions”?
First, I thought the abrupt imposition of a new style was not the best approach.
Understand this: my disagreement is not based merely on the fact that the ceremony or style was simpler, but that it was simpler in this moment and in this place. This was the end of a conclave to elect a Pope, with the College of Cardinals, in the Sistine Chapel. There is a certain decorum that needs to be observed, consonant with the occasion and those present. There are moments when all the Roman tradition must be in full play. There will be times in the parishes in the suburbs of Rome when something else can be done. But this was the moment to go high.
That said, I was struck but a a point in the sermon:
“Chi non prega al Signore, prega al diavolo. If you don’t pray to Christ, you pray to the devil.”
There’s a carefully phased ecumenical statement!
This is the same man who, in the face of unnatural marriage proponents in Argentina said that same-sex marriage discriminates against children.
The man’s got a backbone.
So, it is going to take Francis a while to learn who he is as Roman Pontiff.
He won’t just be able to go around or do exactly as he pleases, even as he desires to shift this or that or change style of emphasis. He has o get used to his surroundings. I don’t blame him on a human level for reverting to personal taste in such a terrifying moment of his life. He is clearly a man who has had authority thrust on him at different stages.
Continue to pray for him as we all make adjustments.