And so the rites as found in the Ordo Rituum Conclavis… the Order of Rites for the Conclave begin. The first thing the Cardinals do today is celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s saying special prayers for help in their task. The Cardinal Dean is celebrant, as Joseph Card. Ratzinger was in 2005.
The Mass is in Latin. For some commentary on the prayers for the Mass check out my piece in the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald.
With not a little melancholy, … the arms of Benedict XVI on the chasubles.
The Church is not just the Roman Church.
Below… The Confiteor. The Cardinals pray to be forgiven for what they have done and what they have failed to do.
Not all the Cardinals concelebrate.
Alas, I just missed this. I’ll try to go back and get the shot later. This is a seminarian from the North American College in their College cassock. Nice to see. He did the first reading in English. This was followed by the usual saccharine sweet singing by an Italian of the responsorial psalm.
Again, not all Cardinals are selected from the Roman Church.
Tu es Petrus….
The Cardinal Dean’s sermon. Who can forget the stunning sermon given by Joseph Card. Ratzinger in 2005?
The Dean adopted a standard format… in the first reading… in the second reading… etc. Then he spoke a bit about the role of the Successor of Peter. Here is some of the working translation. The Dean went off text a little in the original Italian, but in no way changing the substance of the text. My emphases:
3. The Mission of the Pope
Brothers and sisters in Christ today’s Gospel takes us back to the Last Supper, when the Lord said to his Apostles: “This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). The text is linked to the first reading from the Messiah’s actions in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah, reminding us that the fundamental attitude of the Pastors of the Church is love. It is this love that urges us to offer our own lives for our brothers and sisters. Jesus himself tells us: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12). [And is surely what a man does when he accepts the election in the Sistine Chapel.]
The basic attitude of every Shepherd is therefore to lay down one’s life for his sheep (John 10:15). This also applies to the Successor of Peter, Pastor of the Universal Church. As high and universal the pastoral office, so much greater must be the charity of the Shepherd. In the heart of every Successor of Peter, the words spoken one day by the Divine Master to the humble fisherman of Galilee have resounded: “Diligis me plus his? Pasce agnos meos… pasce oves meas”; “Do you love me more than these? Feed my lambs… feed my sheep!” (John 21:15-17)
[This next part seems to me to be what the Dean, Card Sodano, is suggesting as a major point for the Cardinal Electors as they go into the Conclave. Remember, Sodano is over 80 and cannot vote even though he is the Dean of the College.] In the wake of this service of love toward the Church and towards all of humanity, the last popes have been builders of so many good initiatives for people and for the international community, tirelessly promoting justice and peace. Let us pray that the future Pope may continue this unceasing work on the world level. [Look. Yes, Pope's do these things. But is that their principle role? Is that the principle role of the Church in the world? To promote initiatives of justice and peace in the international community? I noted with interest that the Dean quoted Paul VI's Populorum progressio, which was not a little controversial in its day. At the time, there were concerns that to smacked of Marxism. It also spoke to the North/South divide. Perhaps I am reading this wrong, but I have the sense that this is a call for Paul VII. It is without question that Benedict XVI wrote eloquently of initiatives of justice and peace in Deus caritas est, etc. But to stress this, during the Year of Faith, when Benedict XVI tried to launch the Church on a project of NEW EVANGELIZATION, that is, the recovery of Catholic identity in those places where it has been dying and a new direction even in places where the Church is emerging, the Dean flips back the calendar to the 1970's. This is my first reaction. I may add and revise later. To be fair, the Dean quoted Benedict XVI in a way that opens what Paul VI said in a more expansive way than I have suggested. Here is what he said earlier in the sermon when he quoted Paul: "This is what Benedict XVI wrote in his Lenten Message for this year (n.3). "Sometimes we tend, in fact, to reduce the term "charity" to solidarity or simply humanitarian aid. It is important, however, to remember that the greatest work of charity is evangelization, which is the "ministry of the word". There is no action more beneficial – and therefore more charitable – towards one’s neighbour than to break the bread of the word of God, to share with him the Good News of the Gospel, to introduce him to a relationship with God: evangelization is the highest and the most integral promotion of the human person. As the Servant of God Pope Paul VI wrote in the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, the proclamation of Christ is the first and principal contributor to development (cf. n. 16)." BUT... let's continue to be fair. This sounds like Sodano contra Sodano. Quoting Populorum progressio is a signal.]
Moreover, this service of charity is part of the intimate nature of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI reminded us of this fact when he said: “The service of charity is also a constitutive element of the Church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her very being; (Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu Proprio Intima Ecclesiae natura, November 11, 2012, introduction; cf. Deus caritas est, n. 25).
It is a mission of charity that is proper to the Church, and in a particular way is proper to the Church of Rome, that in the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, is the Church that “presides in charity” “praesidet caritati” (cf. Ad Romanos (preface).; Lumen Gentium, n. 13).
My brothers, let us pray that the Lord will grant us a Pontiff who will embrace this noble mission with a generous heart. [The mission of promoting initiatives of justice and peace in the international community?] We ask this of the Lord, through the intercession of Mary most holy, Queen of the Apostles and of all the Martyrs and Saints, who through the course of history, made this Church of Rome glorious through the ages. Amen.
Mass continued with congregational singing of the Creed and the Eucharistic Prayer, the Roman Canon, former Secretary of State Card. Bertone, now the Camerlengo, and the senior Cardinal who will guide the Conclave, Card. Re are the principle celebrants.
Some of the A-Team on the bench.
No one changed this. Let us hope that it doesn’t change. No, rather, let us hope that it continues and is taken up everywhere. Thus, my call to “Re-Elect Ratzinger”. We need his vision of liturgial worship to be more widely embraced. We won’t get another Ratzinger in that sphere, for there isn’t one. But we can pray for a Pope who will embrace that vision and continue it. No initiative we undertake as a Church can succeed unless we revitalize our liturgical worship, exactly along the lines that Benedict XVI pointed to.
Some final shots, including a few images to show off the spectacular views and great camera work of CTV.
And to show that we are having vile weather. I do NOT look forward to standing in the rain for an announcement.
Please, in your charity, pray also for good weather along with a good Pope!