POLL: First impression of Pope Francis, on a scale of 1-10

While we are in his first hours and days as Pope, let’s hear about first impressions.   Anyone, even non-registered readers, can vote.  The software shouldn’t be able to track who you are.  I invite other bloggers to spread the word.

The combox is open to the registered.  Keep it concise and keep it respectful.  If you make a nasty comment about the Pope here, I’ll probably ban you as the best way to deal with the problem given me time constraints.

Let 10 be highest, something like “I thrilled and hugging everyone in sight”.   Let 1 be lowest, something like “I’m a chimp throwing feces”.

The poll will close on 18 March.   It is a POLL, not an election.   You honest first impression, please.  Balance what you have seen and heard so far and… click!

First impression of Pope Francis (10 - best, 1 - worst)

  • 10 (20%, 2,018 Votes)
  • 8 (18%, 1,748 Votes)
  • 9 (14%, 1,346 Votes)
  • 7 (11%, 1,100 Votes)
  • 1 (9%, 840 Votes)
  • 5 (8%, 803 Votes)
  • 6 (7%, 675 Votes)
  • 3 (6%, 553 Votes)
  • 4 (5%, 453 Votes)
  • 2 (3%, 314 Votes)

Total Voters: 9,850

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  1. Dr. Eric says:

    I put a 9/10.

    The more I read about him, the more I like him. He walks the talk.

    I also am quite disgusted by the pharisaical attitudes that some in the “traditionalist” camp have taken already. It makes me not want to attend another EF, quite honestly, and I was hoping that my move into St. Louis would allow me more time to get to the EF.

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    So far he is a great example of the humility I lack. That being said, I still very much miss Pope Benedict.

  3. Christopher says:

    Very humble, very Marian, speaks openly of the Devil. The only problem is worrying about liturgical approaches. Recently Rorate has been stressing that he has forced the TLM with the Ordinary, Father George Byers on the other hand argues against it.

    He can definetly set the example of Evangelisation through Prayer and Humility, but again, I worry about the Liturgical approach.

    God Bless.

  4. The Egyptian says:

    While I don’t like his (so far) dropping of the regalia and ceremony that Benedict tried to bring back, I believe he will grow into the public role, However if his kick butt reputation with underlings holds true, we will be well served, the curia and some Bishops need a “tiny” attitude adjustment. I always felt that Benedict was being undercut in everything he tried to accomplish. From what I have read the machinations of the Vatican bureaucracy would make Machiavelli blush

    Humility can hid a tremendous will and drive, I believe it will be an interesting time

    More Michal, less Gabriel

  5. rakowskidp says:

    Dr. Eric, I’m 100% in agreement with you. I, too, rated 9/10, and have been extremely disappointed in some of the more outrageous reactions to our new pontiff. Our suburban Detroit parish offers a weekly Mass in the EF, and I’ve occasionally served as a cantor. But I’m not sure I want to go back, at least for a while.

  6. LarryW2LJ says:

    An 8 – so far.

    He seems to be a very humble and pious man; but more than that is needed to be an effective pontiff. I love that he seems to be orthodox with no wishy-washiness about him in that regard. He’s doesn’t seem to be afraid to “call ’em as he sees ’em” and we need that – the world needs that.
    I loved it, Fr. Z, when you mentioned that he has a back bone. He’s going to need it.

    Personally, I am a member of a parish where the Novus Ordo Masses are offered reverantly, beautifully and with no “nonsense” that plagues so many. That being said, I have no problem with TLM (would like to attend one, soon) and I am, shall we say, disturbed by those who are bothered by it.

    Time will tell. I absolutely loved JPII (what can I say, I’m Polish) and Benedict XVI, but even they would only get 9’s.

    There’s only ONE who is perfect and deserves a 10, and He’s the Real Boss.

  7. frhumphries says:

    8/10. He seems to be everything we would want in a Pope: pastor, prayer warrior, gentle soul, orthodox, pious, a model to imitate. Big props for being a ‘real’ Jesuit!

    [The Jesuits are up there with the greatest religious orders in history. Yes, the ‘Arupe Jesuits’ are rightfully the butt of jokes far and wide. But the Francis Xavier\Isaac Jogues Jesuits transformed the world. Pope Francis is clearly in the ‘real’ camp and not the ‘Arupe’ camp.]

    Only 8 because I miss Pope Benedict and because he has written basically nothing that I can read and understand. (I read Spanish, but the vocab and usage in many of his sermons is just too… Argentinian… I just can’t decode the subtleties of what he’s saying.)

  8. cothrige says:

    I have been a bit disappointed to see some of his choices regarding more traditional aspects of the office he has been pushed into, but I am not dejected. He seems a sincerely humble and thoughtful man who has much to bring to the Church as pope. I am nervously hopeful overall, but not exactly thrilled.

  9. jaykay says:

    An 8, as it’s very early days, but hoping (expecting) that this will increase in time to come.

    From his first entry onto the balcony I was impressed by his appearance of self-containment. O.k., for the first few seconds I had thought: “why not the waves, gestures, smiles etc? What have we here???” then as the camera continued to focus on him and one could see how genuinely awestruck he was this was immediately replaced by: “wow, surely the words going through this man’s head are ‘Domine, vere non sum dignus…’ “. It seemed immediately apparent to me that his demeanour was not one of self-satisfaction or (God forbid) arrogance but that rare creature, true humility. The more I have seen and read of him over the past two days (for which thanks to the blog, Father, as work has kept me very late and I haven’t seen any TV – not that I’d especially want to anyway, being in Ireland) the more has this impression been reinforced, and his prayers in Santa Maria Maggiore at the altar of the “Salus” (not to mention the tomb of St. Pius V!) have impressed me deeply.

  10. mamajen says:

    I voted “2” based on my immediate reaction (which I think is what you were looking for) but having seen how negatively others reacted, I am maybe being a little too hard on myself. When I first heard the news, “Jesuit”, “South American”, etc., my heart sunk. It was hard to find good information, and I was reading that he was something of a modernist and a social justice champion. I knew nothing about him. My friends were ecstatic, I was worried. After a little time and better information, my opinion of him improved significantly. At this point I would say I’m nearer the top of the scale.

  11. Traductora says:

    My true initial reaction was one of confusion and alarm, since I had just happened to read a rather unfortunate posting about him (as an archbishop, not as pope) on a Spanish blog. So I rushed to the internet to get as much info as I could about him. Somewhat reassured, I was then completely won over by his prayer for Pope Benedict and his obviously great, humble piety in his first appearance, and I love his Marian devotion. I think things will definitely be different, but they couldn’t have gone on as they were anyway.

  12. Christine says:

    I voted 10/10. I haven’t really paid much attention to the media except for EWTN regarding the new Holy Father so I don’t know much about what negative things people are saying about him. All I know is that when Pope Benedict abdicated I was upset. I understand (sort of) why he did it, but it was still upsetting. Since Pope Francis was elected, I have had such a strong sense of peace. I really feel that the Holy Spirit has given us exactly who we need right now.

  13. Skeinster says:

    Dr. Eric- I understand, but a vocal minority with blogs isn’t everyone.
    And while I hope we will take the well-deserved spankings we’re getting across the Net with good grace, there are some of us immune to reasonable discourse and fraternal correction. Again, that’s not all of us.

    My prayer is that everyone tempers their expectations. It is not fair to expect three rock-star popes in a row, and critique accordingly. Let’s give him some time.

  14. Lepidus says:

    I gave him 7…once I figured out I was supposed to use the poll below the text rather than to the right.

    He’s not a Dolan, which means his zurchetto will probably stay on his own head, rather than using a cheese head or putting it on the head of every baby he blesses. As The Egyptian mentioned, I’m not a fan of him dropping the vestments either. That does not bode well for restoring the subtleties to the Mass either, such as his predecessor was trying to do.

    The media is doing their usual job of whining about his stands on abortion, the redefition of marriage, etc. While that’s good, I can’t give extra points for that since I don’t believe that a cardinal who thought anything different would have had a snowball’s chance of being elected.

    One final point that I question (not complain about). Much has been made of his stand on baptism of children whose parents are less than supurb models. I agree 100%+ with his final answer. However, the explanation is a bit convoluted. Why not just say something on the order of “ever hear of original sin, people? This ain’t just some pretty initiation ceremony!” (OK, maybe slightly different words). In any case, one could take his current explanation and with a bit of twisting around justify Holy Communion to Pelosi.

  15. papist says:

    Based on sheer first impressions 4/10.

    I love and respect the Holy Father no matter who he is but this was a big disappointment for me.

    (personally I was praying for either Card. Ranjith, Card. Burke, or Card. Bagnasco).

  16. Katylamb says:

    I was going to give him a seven or eight because I was hoping for an African pope. However, on thinking of all the really horrible comments I’ve read concerning this seemingly gentle, humble man who loves Jesus, I guess my protective instincts kicked in and I gave him a nine. I agree with people above about the traditional Mass. We go quite regularly and I love it. However, seeing some of the fruits of others who love it, I am appalled and it has a tainted feel now, which I’m praying will wear off after things calm down.

  17. Jim says:

    I will abstain from this poll. This is like asking brothers to rate their father in public(this maybe a bad comparison, but that is how it appears to me).

    He is now my Holy father and I will treat him that way.

  18. pmullane says:

    8 from me, however so far I love the man himself, and to be honest he is nudging a 9. His humility and love for the poor are wonderful. Benedict was also a model of humility and had great concern for the poor, but Pope Francis’ circumstances have given him opportunity to demonstrate that love in a very concrete way.
    The only things troubling me, as some friends above have commented, are the reactions of some ‘traditional Catholics’ to Pope Francis’ election. I was attracted to Traditionalism as a way to bring me closer to Christ, and I will always stand with his vicar. Some people who were on ‘our side’ seem to me more interested in their own liturgical peccadillos than following the vicar of Christ. Hopefully when the childish hysteria dies down they will take a more measured view. Will Francis be a pope as I have chosen? Perhaps not, but if I wanted to be the head of my own little church I could have been a Protestant.

  19. Christopher says:

    Forgot to state the score: 8/10.

    God Bless.

  20. Katylamb says:

    I guess I read the question wrong and was supposed to give my very first impression. I’m sorry. It would probably have been 10 rather than 9. I was thrilled and hugged my husband and cried a little. I liked his voice and his kind face although I knew nothing about him. I liked how he stood and looked at the crowd. I didn’t see him as dazed, but as contemplating the people thoughtfully, gathering his first impressions of being pope.

  21. Lucas says:


    I think he will straighten out the Curia and be hardline on many of the Catholic positions(abortion, gay marriage, etc) but the Liturgy will revert back to JPII. I also worry that he hasn’t worn many of the traditional dressings of the Pope. Now, granted, it’s only been a few days so after it all sinks in we’ll see.

    As I’ve said before, I think how his installation mass goes will be a good indicator on how he views himself and the pontificate.

  22. Titus says:

    I demur. Christ did not institute the Papacy so that I could have something else to “rate” in life. [And yet here you are commenting.] I won’t hide that I was hoping for +Ranjith, or that I was somewhat dismayed by, e.g., the Holy Father coming onto the balcony half dressed. But I decline to quantify my opinion in this fashion.

  23. Adam Welp says:

    I voted 5. I just have not seen or heard enough of him to vote more either way. On one hand I am extremely thrilled with his genuine love and outreach to the poorest amongst us (is it just me or does he remind you of Mother Theresa in that regard?), but on the other, I am a little more than worried about him rejecting some of the “trappings” that come with the job. That being said, I hope he retains Abp. Gänswein and Msgr. Marini and takes their advice to heart.

  24. Jerry says:

    Dr. Eric – Please consider that the traditionalist bloggers do not speak for all who attend the traditional Mass. All of the latter I have spoken with are as disgusted with the behavior of the former as you are. Please keep them, as well as the Holy Father in your prayers.

  25. disco says:

    I voted six. My heart sank when he walked out on the balcony without the Mozzetta and I fear the bad old days are coming back with a vengeance. Then to hear how he tried to institute a hybrid EF mass in the wake of Summorum, oh my. But he’s been pretty forceful and said some fire and brimstone orthodox things so far so I think he’s got the substance but his style feels like an insult to Pope Benedict.

  26. Elizabeth R says:

    I gave him a 4. On the positive side, his prayers for Pope-emeritus Benedict and his amazing ability to quiet the crowd with the request that they pray for him. The negatives are between me and God; I pray for him, and for myself that I will learn to love him.

  27. BillyT92679 says:

    7. I’m not as liturgically focused as others here and I do love that he was the Ordinary for the Eastern Catholics who didn’t have bishop (coincidentally, the big EC bishop of Buenos Aires while Card. Bergoglio was there was Sviatislav Shevchuk, perhaps he will get the red hat in the next consistory since Patriarch Kiril has retired? Future papabile)

    Love his Marian devotion, concern for the poor, strong beliefs. Don’t mind his turning away from papal supremacy toward primus inter pares since we have decent to good bishops for the most part. Worry that he’s too focused on being Bishop of Rome rather than Pope. I think he being a humble Jesuit from a land with a notorious history of cult of personality dictators makes him dislike the trappings of authority, but he’s still the Pope, even if it’s mostly for symbolism purposes.

  28. ecs says:

    To you people who are so easily scandalized that you can be so shocked by the emotional reaction of a minority of orthodox/traditionalist Catholic blog commentors that you would then have an aversion to the TLM itself. I ask you, do you have the same reaction to all the liberals who hate this new pope and who attend the Novus Ordo? Are you now unable to attend the Novus Ordo because you will likely be sitting next to a bunch of Obama supporters who detest the new pope’s purported theological conservatism?

    The worst aspect of the blog commentators is that they give a bunch of neo-cons yet another excuse to beat Traditional Catholics over the head and establish themselves as morally superior. Get a grip on yourself. The behavior of any one or group of people has no bearing on the Mass.

  29. thereseb says:

    “It makes me not want to attend another EF, quite honestly, and I was hoping that my move into St. Louis would allow me more time to get to the EF.”

    Then Satan has done his work.

    Just because a few nameless people got het up on a couple of lay-led liturgy blogs, after an intense few weeks (and an ill-considered post that was later toned down) does not diminish the beauty and spiritual transcendence of the most beautiful experience this side of Heaven. Why deprive yourselves – like my two year old many years ago who had a monumental strop in the street and refused an ice-cream to teach mummy a lesson. Ironic that the over-emotionality there has sparked an over-emotional response here – doncha think?

    Meanwhile this old traddie will be praying hard at an EF Mass tonight to protect the Holy Father from the outrageous slurs of the Guardian, who are promoting the lie from a Communist henchman of the appalling President of Argentina, that this Pope betrayed two priests to the Junta. Again, Ironically I have read much good about this Pope as a result of people posting in response to the ill-considered stuff on various blogs. Make of it what you will.

  30. BillyT92679 says:

    Patriarch Lubomyr, not Kiril! Sorry for the confusion

  31. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I don’t even _have_ any first impressions yet. Haven’t seen any live footage, because I was at work or asleep during the interesting stuff, and the news clips I’ve seen have been very brief, and I missed the EWTN reruns due to the other folks using wifi that time of night.

    He looks like Pius XII, though. Skinny and balding and long-faced, and the little glasses. But when he was younger, he apparently had a widow’s peak, which is different!

  32. phlogiston says:

    Call it pharasaical or outrageous, as some have labelled the negative reaction to Pope Francis, but I find the idea the idea that the former archbishop and now Pope Francis knelt for a “blessing” by a group including Protestant televangelists (if true) very deeply disturbing. Please keep in mind that name calling against SSPX members does not negate the veracity of what they say, if any. Only resort to facts will do that.

  33. Gemma says:

    I just saw this on Joe Catholic and I am getting more excited. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2013/03/why-did-pope-francis-go-to-st-mary-major.html He also said this very recently, “He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil. When we don’t proclaim Jesus Christ, we proclaim the worldliness of the devil, the worldliness of the demon. ” Pope Francis I think he is going to surprise us in a good way.

  34. PA mom says:

    I voted 4. The homily seemed meaty, humility is admirable, his connection with the Hispanics world is likely to bring abundant fruit, and reports of his struggles against corruptions in his own order are all very encouraging.
    Unfortunately, whether or not he will be able to correct them or the Curia is still to be played out, while liturgy is already visibly stepped down. I understand that stepping into a new role can be personally challenging to the preformed vision of oneself, but it would be wiser for him to defer to Benedict’s changes for liturgy and save his own resources for those issues which he brings genius to.

  35. BillyT92679 says:

    I think he looks like John Paul I

  36. Flambeaux says:

    First impression: 2
    Someone worse could have been elected.
    I find what everyone is describing as “warmth” and “humility” to be very off-putting.

    I pray he’s a good pope.

    That’s about all I can say right now in charity.

  37. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    My first impression was a 9. He had me at the “Ave Maria” when he led prayers from the balcony.
    My only reservation is his age; I had hoped for a younger man who would oversee a long reformation of the Church. However, I am heartened to read Pope Francis has not gone ahead and reconfirmed the heads of the Vatican offices, as is usual. I expect he will be reading that 300-page report before he picks his lieutenants. He also plans to speak with our former Holy Father. All good news.

  38. petrus69 says:

    My first impressions of our new Pope was that of “puzzlement”. I knew nothing of him. I’ve read good things about him and read some “not so good” I’m taking a wait and see attitude. I do agree with Jerry’s comment that these traditional bloggers negative comments don’t reflect all traditionals. But where there is smoke, there is usually fire. We need only to correspond with traditionalist in Argentina and get the real story. My attending the Traditional Mass weighs more heavy than some comments made by, hardcore, traditional, borderline “SEDES”. Please excuse my caps.

  39. I gave him an 8. But I must say, that the more I see him and hear him the more I like him. He mentioned the devil in his first homily as Pope! And when I heard him speak about the need for the faith – for the cross, or else we are just a big NGO, I practically cheered out loud!

    I am loving the fact that he speaks simply, clearly, and with conviction – from the heart and to the point. If the “new evangelization” is really going to be anything more than an empty slogan, that clarity and simplicity is just what’s needed.

    But… I am concerned that he is going to be a little too un-traditional in his liturgical practices, or I’d have given him a 10. I am a true believer in Father Z’s idea of “Save the Liturgy – Save the World”, and I would hate to see us lose the positive momentum we have gained under Benedict XVI. I really don’t think that will happen unless he is forcefully adverse to tradition and not just “neutral”. But from what I understand the SSPX is big in Argentina. If they have had an adversarial, in-your-face attitude, then we may be in for a rough time.

  40. ChuckShunk says:

    I did not vote, as I find it hard to put a number to my feelings in the face of so much uncertainty (really, I don’t know much about him). I am nervous and hopeful at the same time. Mostly, I am looking to get past first impressions and find out more about the actual person.

    To this end, I am currently reading up on Leon Bloy, the first writer that the Holy Father quoted in his first homily, in the hopes of learning the intellectual makeup of our new Pope. Leon Bloy seems like an interesting person–here is a page of exerpts I found that seems to give a flavor of the man. He was known as an uncompromising individual, a “pilgrim of the absolute”, and I hope the fact that he was on the Holy Father’s mind as he began his papacy indicates the sort of disciplinary resolve that I believe the Church really needs.

  41. mamajen says:

    It is sad that so many of you have been turned off of the TLM by reckless bloggers and commenters elsewhere (but I understand). Hopefully they will realize the damage they are doing, working AGAINST Benedict’s “New Evangelization”, very soon. But, like Jerry said, the worst of the blog posts and comments don’t represent all traditional Catholics–in fact, there were many SSPX and sedevacantists having a free-for-all in comboxes. Thankfully they don’t get away with that here. Try to keep your blinders on as far as what other people say and do, and do what you believe God calls you to do. I know it’s hard sometimes–I struggle with it, too (greatly). If we let the most extreme people “own” the TLM, it will fail to spread far and wide. Keep the faith. (And that’s all I’ve got to say about this so as not to steer this thread away from its purpose any more than I already have.)

  42. EXCHIEF says:

    I gave him a 6. His virtues are clear. It remains to be seen if he will clean out the Curia and it likewise remains to be seen if he will rein in the liturgical abuses that have plagued the Church since the mostly misinterpreted (intentionally) Vatican II. Given the liberal track record of the Jesuits his being of that Order also concerns me as do reports of him receiving “blessings” from non Catholic clergy. Time and prayers will tell

  43. Marc says:

    As an immediate reaction, it is a 3 because while I am deeply impressed with some the words and personal piety of Pope Francis, I am also scared by the clear reversal we have seen so far in terms of liturgy. Pope Benedict put the Church on a fragile path to rebuild itself after the destructive madness of the 60s and the 70s, and we witness what appears to be a return of the “Hermeneutics of Rupture” at least in terms of liturgy.
    The widely reported sharp rebukes to Msgr. Guido Marini, if true (I am prudent with press reports, but they match reported sharp orders to stop EF masses in November 2007 in Buenos Aires) would confirm that the Holy Father’s kindness does not extend to everyone. It could also give the unfortunate impression of a rebuke of Pope Benedict (Remember Card. Bergoglio’s strong words of disapproval of Pope Benedict in the days of the Regensburg polemic). Pope John Paul I to whom he is sometimes compared did not reverse ostensibly the teaching of his predecessor on his first day, nor was he ever recorded as being harsh or unkind with anyone, although he was firm in his teaching the Catholic faith. I pray sincerely that this first impression will be proved wrong. If only Pope Francis could pursue and strengthen the liturgical opus of his predecessor while bringing his personal charism to guide the Church!

  44. C. Dupre says:

    I like his style (so far anyway). He doesn’t take a trip to Mars in order to make his point, and he is apparently not afraid to use words that haven’t been heard from the pulpit in a long time. May the Lord bless him and our Lady protect him from the snares of the enemy. Viva il Papa!

  45. Ann Roth says:

    Maybe 5/5 as my first impression was definitely split.

    On the one hand, I was prepared to accept and love him because he is the Holy Father. I trusted the Holy Spirit to give us the man we need. I was moved by his call to prayer for Benedict and his leading the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. In my mind the 3 most traditional, Catholic prayers we have because EVERYONE knows them or at least recognizes them.

    On the other hand, Jesuit and South American. That concerned me. In addition, he looked so uncomfortable when he came out on the loggia. No joy, no peace. I did not see humility. I did not see or feel his love for the people. I thought I saw fear. I have heard that his new clothes were too small. Perhaps he really was physically uncomfortable and unable to move (I was looking for large gestures with arms like he was reaching out to us). Perhaps he was afraid. That just means he’s human and we need to pray for him even more.

    We need to wait and see. Pray, trust. Good grief, the way some people have gone on you would think the Holy Spirit doesn’t know what he is doing. Keep the FAITH folks.

    To those questioning the TLM because of blog comments: Don’t. Keep in mind that traditionalists judge the piety, devotion, faith and character of those who attend the NO just because it is the NO. Do we who attend the NO really want to do the same? I attend the NO but I am not about to let the arrogance of some who attend the TLM stop me from learning and moving in that direction if that is what the Lord wants. I admit that their arrogance has slowed my progress towards the TLM though. Very offputting. Prayers needed for the whole Church.

  46. Giuseppe says:

    My first impression was an 8. I was stunned, and I did not know who he was when I heard the name. Then I saw him stand on the balcony, and I too thought “I am not worthy”. The sheer terror that must have gone through his soul frightened me too. This was good. Because he responded by greeting the crowd, praying for Benedict, Bishop Emeritus of Rome (which I think should be his title as there is only one pope) by going to the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. I LOVED that he only wore the white cassock, as I am a sartorial minimalist, and while I appreciate the importance of the Pope being as regal as a head of state, my greatest heroes are the priests in the parishes who wear simple black. So having the Pope wear simple white moved me to tears. So a 10/10, but subtract 2 points because I had no idea who he was when I first heard his name.

  47. inexcels says:

    I went with 7.

    Minus 3 points because I don’t think he’ll be much of a liturgical reformer and I agree that the liturgy needs all the reforming it can get–on the other hand, I don’t think he’ll do anything to roll back the revival begun by Benedict, which will continue to gain momentum of its own accord.

    Otherwise, full marks so far.

    I echo both those who say they’ve been really put off by the reaction to Pope Francis in some traditionalist circles, and those who say that’s a poor reason to abandon the TLM. The TLM is so much more than the people who practice it (and we should all understand that angry, vocal Internet people are hardly good representatives for their respective group).

  48. Gemma says:

    Their is one thing I am concerned about. Maybe someone wiser could set me straight. He is concerned about the poor, but as an American, I would have given a poor person a job as his cook or as his chauffeur or housekeeper rather than just money… We have different ideologies?

  49. BillyT92679 says:

    I’ve been thinking more and more about this. He was the Eastern Catholic Ordinary, probably for the Melkites and others there. I really think he’s got a Eastern view of the Papacy and I think one of his big goals, like Bl John XXIII had since he spent so much time in Turkey, is to reunite with the Orthodox. He’s definitely talking Eastern language with the “Presiding in Charity” statements

  50. ocalatrad says:

    I’m giving the Holy Father time to perform his work and praying for him all along. And I wouldn’t let the pharasaical attitudes of some traditionalists to be a mark of the Mass of All Time. That is silly. Everyone has their spiritual struggles to overcome and one is being charitable amidst an oft-overwhelming feeling of being in the persecuted minority.

  51. rakowskidp says:

    Gemma said: “but as an American, I would have given a poor person a job as his cook or as his chauffeur or housekeeper rather than just money… We have different ideologies?”

    Is there anything in his background that indicates a willingness to simply throw money at them? I haven’t seen anything suggesting so.

    inexcels said: “and we should all understand that angry, vocal Internet people are hardly good representatives for their respective group”

    That’d be fine, if such people weren’t in attendance at every one of our parish’s EF Masses, looking and acting as though they spend the majority of their time sucking on lemons marinated in vinegar.
    I’ll serve at the EF if asked, but I’m not going to volunteer for a very, very long time.

  52. Lepidus says:

    Here’s something that was just alluded to in another blog, but didn’t come right out and say it. Pope Francis is getting some flak from the political lefties regarding his perceived (not actual) actions with a set of Latin America dictators. Sounds very much like that flak that they have been giving Pius XII. Two of a kind? Will this bring some sympathy to the cause? Will this be the pope that finally does the canonization?

  53. Mary T says:

    I am good friends with many, many members of one of the new movements who personally know the new Pope (one of whom has known him many years, very well), and they are ECSTATIC. Those who actually know him have a different take than the negative nay-sayers in the blogs who believe that it isn’t good enough that the Pope passes muster with the Holy Spirit – the REAL judgment, they believe, is their own, and they are “withholding judgment” until they see if he lives up to THEIR standards. Very, very sad.

  54. ckdexterhaven says:

    My first impression was 8, but after what the Trads have done to him in the last days, I voted 10.

    I believe his humility in those first moments touched Catholics and nonCatholics alike around the world. Sorry, I didn’t even notice he didn’t wear a Mozzetta, I was busy praying the Our Father,Hail Mary, and Glory Be with the rest of the world. God Bless Pope Francis.

  55. tzard says:

    He’s struck me as charming, friendly, and right on the mark in everything he’s said. It makes me uneasy at his extemporaneous remarks and actions. But it is early and he is truly wiser than I am.

    I’m taking this whole experience as a challenge to myself to reform my viewpoints. Appropriate for Lent, no?

    An 8 – this is just a reflection of my reaction, not an assessment of the new Pope.

  56. StJude says:

    Since the Holy Spirit chose him… I am good with it.

  57. vox borealis says:

    I voted six (6), which reflects my feeling that I am positively inclined. But really, how could I be particularly happy or unhappy at this point, outside of the election of someone I would have truly wanted (e.g. Burke) or a truly objectionable candiate (e.g. Mahoney). In the short time I too have been disappointed at the clear rejection of some of the bits of papal regalia and pomp that Benedict XVI reintroduced, and I guess I am bracing myself for more of the same.

    But what is most striking to me is how many write that they are so thrilled Francis appears to be tough and orthodox and mentions sin and Satan and took a “hard line” on abortion, etc. I mean, aren’t we supposed to expect that from church leaders, especially the princes of the church? If the mere adherence to orthodoxy combined with a little outspokenness and humility combine to make an 8, 9, or 10, that is a true indictment of the overall Church leadership in our time.

    Francis seems like a good one. Time will tell.

  58. brandonkropp says:

    9/10 ONLY because I am not hugging everyone in site. :) Just my wife.
    I am pleased to see all the high scores from this blogg which is a good sample of the TLM population. I love the TLM and don’t see this pope as a threat to it at all.
    I am most excited for the prospects of this pope spreading authentic Ignatian Spirituality to the common man. To my finite understanding this means getting to know our Lord by imploring the Holy Spirit to help us open our hearts to HIM. Reading and refecting on Holy Scripture. The Daily Examen.

  59. pseudomodo says:

    I gave him a 2/10 as you specifically wanted first impressions.

    I think we can rule out many of the comments here today as they are admitedly NOT first impressions but impressions well after the fact based on some ‘research’ on the internutty thing.

    My impression of him 48hrs in is somewhat better but not ecstatic.

    My first impression of Benedict XVI was 12/10.

  60. Jenelle says:

    I voted 7 – just because I don’t know enough about him in this short time to vote any higher and because my heart is still aching for Benedict – I miss him so much.

    He seems lovely and it is just such a big change – so still just a lot to process at the moment. Would be great to run this poll again in 12 months. :)

  61. Maxiemom says:

    I look forward to learning more about our new Pope and experiencing what he will bring to our faith.

  62. CatholicMustardSeed says:

    All indications are that he will defend the faith, as it it should be, but beyond that we just don’t know. So I gave him a step above average, a 6, because its to early to tell what will happen under his time as Pope and only time will tell if he will become the 9 that Pope Benedict was.

  63. HobokenZephyr says:

    7. He looked very nervous & very overwhelmed by the moment, but started to get his feet under him when he began speaking.

    If Benedict’s role was to reform the liturgy, perhaps Francis’ role is to reform the social doctrine of the Church. With due respect to many of the posters here, it may be a generation or two before the vast majority of RC’s in the world even have the opportunity to experience a Mass in the EF. There are hundreds of millions of people who don’t have the ability to parish-shop for a Mass that meets their preferences.

    His demand that the social doctrine of the Church include God would do much to reform that area of our Faith and get us all away from the glorified NGO status that so often tarnishes our efforts.

    Pope Benedict is gone and Pope Francis now gloriously reigns — and either BOTH of those events are inspired by the Holy Spirit, or we have bigger problems than the mitre he chooses or his Latin pronunciations.

    Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer. (St. Pio) As for me, I think I will refrain from any comments against God’s anointed (see: Goliath).

  64. Athelstan says:

    Hello Dr. Eric,

    I also am quite disgusted by the pharisaical attitudes that some in the “traditionalist” camp have taken already. It makes me not want to attend another EF, quite honestly, and I was hoping that my move into St. Louis would allow me more time to get to the EF.

    I’ll just say this: “Traditionalists” are a pretty diverse lot these days, and the ones who post in St. Blog’s are often not very representative. I doubt that anyone will be handing out screeds denouncing Pope Francis’s refusal to use a mozetta at your local EF Mass.

  65. Jeff says:

    My super initial reaction was a little disappointed, I admit I put too much hope into Burke getting it, however, after Pope Francis stepped out, he just LOOKED like he had been Pope for so long. Then my reaction jumped up to about an 8.

    My only concern is his approach to Liturgy, but I trust that the Holy Spirit knows what he is doing, and that Pope Francis will not back track what the Benedict XVI has done.

  66. bernadette says:

    I gave him an eight. When he was first announced and made his appearance on the balcony I will admit that my reaction was different than when dear Pope Benedict was elected. Then I was jumping up and down and cheering. This time I just sat there with a big question mark in my head. I quickly googled him and was impressed with what I read. Now the more I read and hear about him the happier I am. I think he has much to teach Catholics and will be a Christ-bearer to the entire world as well. It sounds like he has the grit to do the tough job waiting for him. The fact that the Jesuits and the Argentinian government hate him has to be a good sign.

    My only concern is in the area of liturgy but more and more priests are learning how to offer the EF and the new liturgical movement seems to be moving full speed ahead. Unless Pope Francis actively squelches it I think we will be fine. It would have been wonderful to have a pope who loves the TLM and offers it publicly but he has so many other wonderful qualities. Who am I to complain? At any rate we should at least give him a chance. My guess is that interesting times are ahead.

  67. anniemw says:

    I voted 9 – it was love at first sight :-)

    I was completely moved by his humility and prayerfulness when he was presented to the world as Pope Francis. Reading about him and watching him these past couple of days affirm to me that we will see these two qualities throughout his pontificate, hopefully to great effect.

    How do I put this – those of us who read this blog, I think I can generalize and say that most of us are inclined to do a lot of spiritual reading, we have more traditional leanings as far as the Liturgy, and most of us probably wholeheartedly understand and embrace the Church’s moral teachings. Benedict XVI’s pontificate, his writings, his preaching, his liturgical style, have been a balm for our souls.

    My mom, who’s nearly 80, is a daily Mass goer. She emmigrated in the mid-1950’s from Ireland. She has been disillusioned by all the crises in the Church and has really lost her trust in the leadership of the Church. My mom does not do spiritual reading. It would not even dawn on her to pick up, say, Jesus of Nazareth, and read it, let alone an encyclical. Her measure of a good priest is the shortness of his homily.

    She “followed her conscience” when the priest told her she could, ’round about 1968; she did so without a great deal of introspection. She is still pro-life, thank God for that.

    I think Pope Francis is going to be a balm for my mom’s soul, and for Catholics like my mom.
    I heard him preach and I read what Fr Zuhlsdorf said about his meeting w/the Cardinals. He preaches with great simplicity and directness; he holds Christ up in a different way than either Pope Benedict or Blessed Pope John-Paul II.

    I pray that that simplicity and directness stir up a fire in the souls of people like my mom. I hope he cleans up the curia. I have no doubt that Pope Francis is going to continue the restoration and reform begun by Popes John-Paul II and Benedict XVI.

  68. Phil_NL says:


    On the upside we see a Pope with great humility, clearity of speech and a certain cheerfulness. I suspect that he’ll become much loved by the Roman populace, and after a while by many Catholics worldwide.
    However, personal virtues – even holiness – doesn’t make one a good Pope. He was apparently chosen with the idea that he would clean out the curia (if the reports that his remarks during the general consistories made him a prima candidate are to be believed). That’s an other plus, as cleaning out seems very much neccesary.

    Yet at the same time we have a pope that, as far as I can see now, will be in constant danger of letting his humility get the better of him. What he does goes far beyond making the trappings of his office take a backseat, he might as well give too much deference to others, some of whom – again, also in the curia – will deserve nothing of the kind. Added to that seems to be a prime focus on the diocese of Rome, and a ‘primus inter parus’ attitude to the Petrine office, while a good smacking down wouldn’t hurt in some corners. Maybe he can do that just the same without any outward appearances of global governance, but that’s a wait-and-see issue.

    Apart from his approach to the papacy, there are some hard to interpret signs. He’s south American, with German training and a Jesuit, but Deo Gratias no liberation theologist. Still, I would dread the result if he’d write a follow-up encyclical on Rerum Novarum. He seems to have no great love or interest in the liturgy, though a genuine pastor would recognize that the need for a reverent liturgy can in many cases be most easily met with a broad application of the tools BXVI gave the Church. Those reforms seem strong enough to stand on their own feet for a while, but that isn’t a certainty either. Last but not least, he doesn’t seem to be a smart thinker like JPII or – even more so – BXVI. Perhaps the Church doesn’t need a professor right now, maybe he is one but it hasn’t shown thusfar, but ceteris paribus I would prefer the smartest man around for this type of job.

    So while it’s way too early to give the pope a failing grade (which would be a bit presumptious anyway), there’s no initial excitement on my part. No undue pessimism either, as he doesn’t strike me as the kind of man that will roll back the advances (of various types) made under his two predecessors. He may or may not be able to fix the issues his predecessors have been unable to adress. If he stays on that job, and is a good pastor for the Church (no offense to the good people of the eternal city, but the Pope has a flock that is far, far wider) I see – right now – an upward potential to 8/10. I’d be (pleasantly, of course) surprised if it ever became a 9. If his reforms fail and he starts to work on other areas, well… then there’s quite a bit of downside risk.

    Oremus pro pontifice.

  69. jbosco88 says:

    Maybe the beginning of the Pontificate has fully triggered feelings of grief for Benedict XVI, which would otherwise have had closure should he have died – the frustration and heartbreak being thrown at the new Pontiff either by accident or on purpose.

    This has certainly affected my opinion of Pope Francis. Although he has already invoked the help of Our Lady, and is talking about the devil freely. The press conference at the weekend will be interesting.

    Imagine the frustration of a Parish when it gets a new Priest – “Oh Father so-and-so didn’t do it like this; Father so-and-so wouldn’t have said that; I’m going to a different Parish because you aren’t Father-so-and-so”. The majority of anyone who leave during this period in a Parish generally return when they have had time to fix it in their minds. Perhaps this is all that is needed for the beginning of a new era in the Church.

  70. jmgarciajr says:

    1- Fr. Humphries, as someone who’s translated a few of then-Cdl. Bergoglio’s (invariably extemporaneous) homilies, I can attest he has a gift for, er, colloquial speech. i.e., he puts the grass where the sheep can get to it. I have enough Argentine friends that I am somewhat conversant with their slang, but even then sometimes it’s an effort.

    2- I gave Pope Francis high marks, disappointed only in the liturgical dept. Unlike most folks, I have been aware of him for years, so my first impression isn’t quite the same thing.

    3- I expect His Holiness will give FITS to the midlevel bureaucrats with his spontaneity. More on this later.

    4- I have been very disappointed in the nature of the comments from some unexpected quarters. Charity forbids any further elaboration on my part.

    5- In my corner of the world, among the “regulars” in the TLM realm are our young (!) Jesuits (!!) who are, to a man, incandescent with joy. (Even if they wish the liturgical aspects would be a little bit more, well, y’know.)

  71. Southern Catholic says:

    I voted a 9 because he is one of the good cardinals from South America. From all accounts he is a humble man that has helped the poor and those in need regardless of who they were, stood for the truth and morals the Church teaches, and has been against the liberation movement in his order. Plus, the liberal media is already set to crucify him, so he has been doing something right.

  72. 10. When it was announced, my first reaction was “Who?”

    But once news came out as to what the Pope was like in his past and his positions on important issues, I became enthusiastic.

  73. Marie S. says:

    I interpreted ‘first’ to include seeing him and reading about him and gave him a 9/10. I would have been unable to give him a number initially, as I had no idea who he was.

    Pluses (in no particular order): Humility, simplicity, Marian devotion, “if you’re not praying to Christ, you’re praying to the Devil”, focus on the Cross, devotion to the poor, hard-nosed opposition to culture of death and Liberation Theology in Argentina, including removing those teaching those errors, willingness to deny communion to those publicly persisting in grave sin. I wonder what will happen at Tuesday’s Mass with some of those people attending, and possibly presuming to try to take communion.

    I give him leeway on the trappings. I guess the strong sense that our Holy Father believes he is strongly tempted by pride, and exercises extreme simplicity as a mortification against that temptation. As time goes on, I think he’ll become more comfortable with accepting some of the external symbols as an act of love for his flock.

    Main concern: a report from an Anglican bishop that then-Cardinal Bergoglio told him he thought it would have been better if they stayed Anglican rather than join the Ordinariate or Latin church. If true, a very disturbing view of ecumenism vs the one true Church.

  74. Lauren says:

    I voted 9. My first instinct was to chuckled when he walked onto the balcony – he looked terrified and a bit dazed. But when he began the prayers for Pope Benedict and when he asked for prayers for himself I melted. He seemed peaceful, approachable and gentle.

    My initial fear (making it a 9/10) came even before he was elected – it applied to every single Cardinal. I was not sure if the new Pope would destroy everything Pope Benedict had done and send the Church backwards in time.

    I still feel this way and I am still a 9/10 – I’m a bit nervous that he’s a Jesuit, the phrase “social justice” makes me itchy, and I really did not like his vestments for yesterday’s Mass. I sure hope he does not “dress down” his position – that is a really bad idea.

    But I am trusting the Holy Spirit on this one . . .

  75. jmgarciajr says:

    (Hit “post” instead of “preview”…mea maxima culpa.)

    6- I am not worried about the Holy Father’s capacity to “swing the axe.” As is his way, I expect he will do so rather quietly, much like the way he did in Argentina when he had to deal both with the neo-Marxist element and with the “collaborators with the dictatorship.”


  76. Athelstan says:

    I voted “4.” I also pray for His Holiness, and for his success. He is the only Pope we’ve got. And the wolves are already circling him.

    We really should not overlook his assets: He is an easier Pope for most people to like. Benedict was very humble and austere, but not in quite the obvious way that Pope Francis is. Francis clearly more approachable, more willing to step outside protocol and meet people. His relentless dedication to the poor is a much needed witness for the Church, one that even gets acknowledged begrudgingly in the ope-eds in Hell’s Bible. And the fact that he is non-European will make his a voice that resonates in the 70% of the Church that lives in the developing world.

    It is hard, as Lepidus notes, to give him points for having a record against same-sex marriage, abortion, or euthanasia, since that seems like minimum daily requirements for a Catholic bishop, let alone a Pope. Indeed, the same could be said for most Southern Baptists. It may be a sign of how much our standards have shifted. Just the same, I am gratified that he seems not to be a shrinking violet on these evils. He will need that courage.

    As for the liturgy: he’s manifestly a “low church” Pope, apparently much more like John Paul II in this respect. But then that’s par for the course for most bishops, certainly most Latin American bishops, isn’t it? Benedict’s election starts to look more miraculous all the time, and we begin to realize that Benedict was elected in spite of his more traditional views on liturgy (and concerns for theological weaknesses in the 1970 Missal and its translations), not because of them. So it is what it is; we must accept Francis for who he is, focus on his strengths, and pray for his success in reforming the Curia, evangelizing, and teaching the faith. He is rather old, seemingly not in great health, and I very much hope that he has the strength to clean out the stables.

    If I have a concern about him, and not whatever his chancery may have done (since I don’t know the full story of why the TLM has had a a hard time of it in his archdiocese), it’s that his ecumenical and interreligious enthusiasms to date seem at risk for overriding critical distinctions about the necessity of the Catholic faith, and giving risk for scandal. I affirm everything that Nostra Aetate says, and am gratified that Jewish and ecumenical relations are improved, but it is concerning to see an archbishop taking active part in formal Jewish worship ceremonies, and receiving blessings from evangelical ministers. But it must also be said that just because he has done these things in the past does not mean he will do them as Pope. And I won’t assume that he will until he does.

  77. RichardT says:

    I gave a very low score, but that was based (as you asked) purely on first impressions. It is not a personal judgement of him because I simply do not know enough about him to form a proper view, and the more I read the more I like.

    What drove that low score? Mostly knowing very little about him, but specifically:
    1) the lack of the feeling of joyful hope that I felt when Benedict was announed;
    2) I confused him with another south american cardinal who I had read was the favoured candidate of the curia old guard;
    3) no red mozzetta or papal stole.

    I don’t have a television, so only saw press photographs. The good personal qualities that Fr Z experienced in person and others seemed to appreciate from television footage just didn’t come across in photographs. In contrast Benedict’s shy smile (and proper dress) worked very well in the photographs on his election.

  78. racjax says:

    2 primarily due to Cdl Mahony’s immediate effusions that he was “estatic” over the selection (documented in LA Times). That personal recommendation had the opposite effect for me.

  79. Joan M says:

    I voted a 10. Why? First of all, it is first impressions we are talking about. Secondly, I was excited that none of the “talking heads” had had him on their radar.
    Thirdly, I was prepared to be happy with almost anyone elected to the Papacy (with exception of a few, best left unnamed).
    Fourthly, my first impressions of the man himself were that he was still quivering inside with the enormity of it all.
    Fifthly, his humility showed, as did his humor.
    Since then, I have – been horrified at some of the vile comments of those from whom better should be expected; informed and encouraged by posts, such as that by Fr. Z and some others of the Catholic bloggers I respect and like.
    We will never have a Pope that all Catholics will think is the perfect one, but we know that, in fact, neither weaknesses nor sinfulness of any Pope will sink the Barque of Christ.
    Viva el Papa.

  80. Jeannie_C says:

    I gave Pope Francis a 10 because he has been a real, working, on the ground pastor. It’s fine to sit in a corporate comfy chair and direct but a real shepherd works with his flock. This man has avoided the curia and its intrigues from what I read. Part of his “humility” may be attributed to his Jesuit formation, as they are forbidden to accept positions of honour and special treatment. I was also very pleased to learn he supports the baptism of children regardless of the parent’s standing with the church. I, too, was a baby baptized by non-practicing parents, not raised in the faith, but believe my baptism left an imprint. As for all the negativity towards him, I would remind people that we profess belief in the Holy Spirit, we tell the world He had a hand in this election, so if this is God’s choice, His will be done.

  81. Janol says:

    8 – for my very first impression. (Also when I heard the name Bergoglio I thought wasn’t that the Cardinal mentioned as having been the Curia’s rival candidate to Ratzinger in the 2005 Conclave and that gave me pause.) I’ve had a special love for Ratzinger for over 30 years and I can only thank God for having given him to us for a time and for the gift of Summorum Pontificum, but most especially, as an ex-Anglican, for the gift of Anglicanorum Coetibus.

    I have to say that I have been truly horrified by the reactions of the trads whose postings I’ve read here and on a couple of other websites. For all these years when others have voiced criticism of those interested in the EF I’ve told myself that those remarks were true of only a small minority of those favoring the EF. I know too many people who have been put off by the EF because of the attitudes of some. I’m really aghast at what I’ve been reading these last two days and will be definitely disassociating myself with the EF movement in general and cling to option offered me in Anglicanorum Coetibus.

    The posts I’ve referred to which I’ve been reading have shown a horrible lack of charity, rash judgement, and lack of faith. There has probably never been a time when so many Catholics have been praying that the Cardinals would be open to the Holy Spirit and choose the person best able to shepherd the Church at this time. I trust that Francis is that person. It is sad that people would immediately believe, without checking out sources, what they might read on the internet. Even Youtube videos can be doctored or toyed with, e.g. copying and pasting segments which did not happen at the same time – as is the case with a certain children’s Mass Archbishop Bergoglio celebrated. Check facts, give the benefit of doubt and the best possible interpretation of a person’s actions – always, but especially in the House of God.

    I’ve also been saddened by the lack of understanding of those things most important and obsession with incidentals. Be grateful for SP – that shall never be taken away (unless of course those adhering to the EF become seriously divisive in the Church) and let our new Holy Father tend to the other sheep – those Latinos who find even the NO too formal, or the Orthodox who would only move toward Rome if they saw the Pontiff as the Bishop of Rome and first among equals

  82. ocalatrad says:

    I am quite struck at how loosely the words “simplicity” and “humility” are bandied about in the news media and by some in this posting as excuses to discard all of the externals which hold such value to the Catholic as do the obviously important internals. It is not like the various vestments, ceremonies, prayers, etc. that are unique to the papal office are just flashy party outfits that were put together to make the pope look or sound pretty! Any believer with some semblance of a sensus catholicus knows that as Catholics we adorn and make beautiful those things which are of value to us and the Pope is one of them. So, we should not so gleefully state that we’re too transcendent and spiritual to discard these essential externals in order to live “simply” and “humbly”. This is utterly ridiculous. We need to balance these matters as sensible Catholics have always done, not discard the physical in favor of the spiritual in true Manichean fashion.

    I applaud Fr. Z for his level-headed approach to the matter in stating that perhaps the Holy Father needs time to adjust to Vatican decorum. I think that’s fair and reasonable. Time will tell.

  83. LarryW2LJ says:

    Feeling even better now after reading Robert Moynihan’s Letter #47


  84. Gemma says:

    I want to correct any misconception that anyone had in my last comment. ..because it was misconstrued. I gave the pope high marks and I am excited. I am totally behind this pope. I do not fear for the TLM. We are living in amazing times. This pope has the ability to call the last pope.

  85. Gus Barbarigo says:

    I’m very on the fence so far:

    HH is buddy-buddy with the cardinals: The Pope should consult with his bishops, but cannot devolve his ministry to them.

    A preference for the poor should not always mean “low church.” In most big US cities, the poorest immigrants built the grandest churches, like Martha’s Mary with the jar of perfume, to give God their best.

    If Jesus received gold and other gifts during Christmas/Epiphany, then His Vicar should participate in certain protocols and traditions, form time to time at least, to remind the world Whose Vicar he is.

    HH has already warned, in a speech today or yeasterday, about the Devil. But HH is very much a product of Vatican II, it seems, so I am concerned about where he will go on doctrine. God help us! God help the Pope!

  86. JohnH says:

    Humble. Charitable. Faithful. Courageous. I thought the world needed a man who could speak to Western minds. I was wrong. The world needs a man who reminds the West what true love and humility are. Liturgy, it is true, might not be a priority for this Pope. That can be good and bad. It’s good, because he will likely not wish to change anything. It is bad because it also means he will probably not be too concerned with correcting abuses. That being said, what we need is a Pope who will silence the world with his humility and love. People will listen to him, not because he’s the pope, but because he does indeed walk the talk. People can’t accuse him of not “understanding our plight,” because nothing could be further from the truth. God bless Pope Francis. May God grant him many years.

  87. marthawrites says:

    I gave him a 10. Never having heard of him, my first impresssion was “Here is the Holy Spirit’s choice.” I am quite content to leave it at that. I think that if he is a good pope the Church will be a beacon of hope and faith and love in the world; if he is a mediocre or even a bad pope then we can consider ourselves in a period of chastisement and rise to that challenge.

  88. majuscule says:

    I rate him 9. If he keeps Guido Marini as MC he will rate a 10.

    I am aghast at the misinformation the media had picked up. Last night the local news said he is pro contraception. Yesterday I read that he said it was okay to use condoms if one of the marriage partners has HIV (I believe it was an African cardinal who said that, not our pope). You can see how the story is morphing. I haven’t checked the so called “news” yet today…

    Then there is the portrayal in the media of pope emeritus Benedict as having luxuriated in all the fancy papal trappings. Okay, I’m off the subject. Thanks for letting me vent.

  89. racjax says:

    Unfortunately I am not sure if he will place the same emphasis on the unification of Christians. According to the Anglican Communion website, Pope Francis has stated that the Anglican “Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the Church needs us as Anglicans”

  90. Indulgentiam says:

    I voted 10
    My first impression of Pope Francis,in his white cassock, was like a long exhale. DEO Gratias! Frankly I don’t know why people want to paint all trads with same brush. I’m a traditionalist surrounded by the same and we are jumping up and down, hugging, kissing, chanting “Francis rebuild MY Church!” Pope Francis is the good God’s choice and therefore exactly what we need now.
    God bless Pope Francis!
    Our Lady Queen of the Clergy protect Pope Francis!

  91. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I had omitted the numbers above: 8/10.

    Since then it occurred to me that perhaps his Holiness’ humility will extend to continuing his immediate predecessor’s liturgical reforms. If so, then 10/10.

  92. Allan S. says:

    1 / 10

    I pray for patience but fear greatly, and may have to return my family to the SSPX to protect our faith. I will say nothing at all about the Holy Father given the persecution of his critics above. I fear greatly that many brought over by Benedict will leave (see racjax’s source, above – that Benedict’s outreach to Anglicans was unnecessary and that the Church really needs Anglicans to stay Anglicans, such is the Holy Father quoted. Perhaps, therefore, it also needs those in the SSPX to stay there? (Not my words people…! I was entirely of Benedict’s view.)

    Long live Christ the King.

  93. ASD says:

    I don’t doubt that he is a good and holy man, an exemplary RC Christian. And I’m glad to read that he is considered a good administrator. Still.
    1. I think Mass is very important and I’m worried that he won’t be as solid as B16 about that. A little like JPII: A real man, doctrinally sound; but somehow not quite attuned to matters liturgical?
    2. I don’t know if his humble, self-effacing presentation is the best for a leader of such a complex institution. Not sure about that.

  94. Mariana says:

    Mary T says:

    “I am good friends with many, many members of one of the new movements who personally know the new Pope (one of whom has known him many years, very well), and they are ECSTATIC.”

    Mary T,
    I’d love to hear more!

    8 out of 10 so far, perfectly happy to up that to a 10 later. He’s obviously pious, charming, and very well able to kick some serious bottom. I like him.

    Only wish for a pro-EF stance, but that is because we simply don’t get the EF here, unless some saintly foreign priest travels all the way up to this frozen North! That happens less than once a year.

  95. gracie says:

    I am aghast at people saying they will discontinue attending the TLM because of comments posted here. Your attendance is determined by what people on a blog say??!!

  96. campello says:

    I gave him a 5. Waiting for the holy father to come out onto the balcony, still reeling from a resignation, I was not expecting that blank stare. I was wanting to be comforted and told everything would be fine. Instead, Pope Francis looked as scared as I was. I will say that he is already winning me over, but that was my first impression.

  97. Daniel says:

    I gave him a 9, expecting that he will only be infallible in matters of faith and moral and so might make a mistake or two along the way.

    I’m expecting that there will be some issues in discovering that he’ll break past rules that will make new norms, and there will be a number of things in which I’ve spent time explaining why something is wrong only to now hear that the pope does it. Some of the past arguments included Communion in the hand and the use of altar girls. Next to come up will be washing the feet of women at Holy Thursday Mass, in which the rule has been men only. Personally I’ve always hated when the congregation was asked to raise their hands to do a blessing, now Pope Francis has done it. A recent argument has been over Extraordinary Ministers of Communion offering blessings, can there be a problem with that any longer provided they say “May God bless you” versus “I bless you”?

    I’ve been at a private Mass or two with Jesuit priests in which they offer the Mass while simply putting on a stole over whatever they happen to be wearing. Might that soon become common at public Masses with vestments being considered as “non-essential”, not the one important thing? Should the Church simply jettison everything that has the look of being ancient and from another time? Is read the black, do the red not nearly so important; anything goes as long as the Eucharist remains the essential thing?

  98. mpalardy says:

    I’m going to say 5. I knew that this conclave would be interesting in that we’d be getting the first pope ordained after Vatican II. I’ve known of Bergoglio’s repute for a while as a rather low-key figure, but wasn’t expected for so “low-key” an approach as we saw on the balcony. He looked terrified (err… petrified?), and his dispensing with the vestments doesn’t bode quite well to me. Again, the use of a boxy freestanding altar the next day showed me that liturgical issues are an afterthought to him. That said, he seems fair-minded and out of the way enough that any of the gifts to the traditional circles of the Church made by Pope Benedict will not be dispensed with–particularly as this is the only part of the Church growing in the Western world. I am furthermore rather impressed by his “holy silence,” for lack of a better term.

    I have a sense, though, that there’s a power behind the throne here. It’s been well-acknowledged that Curia reform is a major issue facing the Holy See, and frankly, if Benedict couldn’t do it, I highly doubt Francis can. It’s just my hope that more unscrupulous prelates don’t mistake his humility for weakness and run roughshod over him.

  99. Anchorite says:

    He got the votes of card. Mahony, Daneels and O’Brien last time, and I am sure the former two voted for him. That means he was and continues to be the choice of odious of the cardinals. I gave him 3 in the spirit of charity.

  100. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Well, now I’ve watched the first speech. You guys didn’t tell me that he made a joke about Pseudo-Malachy’s prophecy _and_ the distance to Argentina! The man is breathing hard with his one lung and he’s making puns! “The end of the world,” sheesh!

  101. tealady24 says:

    Yes, there’s politics all over the place, but this man seems so humble, and of God. It’s heartening to finally see a Pope from someplace besides Europe; that is a dead continent and it is up to them to bring it alive once more.

    I know nothing about this man; but his asking for our prayers and visiting our Blessed Mother right away, says volumes about who he is. Time will tell, so let us just continue to give him our prayers! This made me excited to be Catholic, finally!

  102. This is tremendously important and short, I ask all to read it quickly.


  103. Athelstan says:

    Hello Janol,

    For all these years when others have voiced criticism of those interested in the EF I’ve told myself that those remarks were true of only a small minority of those favoring the EF.

    In my experience, they are just that.

    The internet always draws the more agitated in disproportionate numbers.

  104. BLB Oregon says:

    The complaint I read was that the first EF Mass in his diocese was 48 hrs after Benedict’s Motu Proprio was promulgated, the wrong lectionary was used, and it took awhile to address that. Good grief…the EF is made available with no foot-dragging, as fast as possible, and that’s a complaint, that it didn’t arrive without any problems?

    We are 1.2 billion sheep to herd, but in this age it is more like getting ducks or cats to march in formation. We had better get used to the idea that we need to act when we have not been pleased the way we expect those on the other end of the spectrum to act when they have not been pleased, which is to say with obedience, patience, and humility. We have a new Supreme Liturgist, and it pleases God if we do not covet or resent his heavy responsibility to lead.

  105. idelsan says:

    To be sincere. When Tauran said his name, I would have opted for a “1” in the poll. I am ashamed of my reaction, it was not catholic at all. Pride, thinking my opinion was more important than what God thought. Do not worry, I knew were the confessional was. I hope I have learned my lesson. And although I did not write any commentaries about it in this or any other blog, my thoughts were terrible. Plus: It is not an excuse, but beware what you read in the www. If you are careful when you read books about the faith, you should do the same in the web.

  106. papaefidelis says:

    I am more than a little frightened, to be honest. I was rather depressed yesterday but now I am frightened. I pray that the Cardinal electors know something that is not plainly evident (to me, at least). My first thought, as I saw His Holiness standing on the Loggia, arms at his side, staring blankly, was the film, “The Shoes of the Fisherman”; my second thought was of John Paul I. Perhaps Pope Francis was trying to make a statement but I would think that the Roman Pontiff would have more pressing matters to attend to than to pay his hotel bill and pick up his bags. The celebration of Mass in the Sistine Chapel left me fearful for the positive gains made in the recent past. {sigh} I fear that Archbp. Piero Marini will be recalled from his exile and Msgr. Guido Marini will be sent packing, perhaps as MC to the nuncio to Iran. It is difficult for me not to feel all pouty-faced. The Church may breathe with Two Lungs but not Pope Francis (bad joke and in poor taste, I admit).

  107. Makemeaspark says:

    It was love at first site for me also. I gave him a 10 because my first impression of him on the balcony there in the Loggia was of a man overwhelmed by it all and propped up there for the first few moments by inertia, gathering his wits to take a deep breath and step into the role! I was captured by this humility, and the fact that his first decisive moment was to pray, and his first prayer was for Benedict. Then when he next asked for silent prayer the world paused!

    That being said, the REAL question for me is: Does he love cats? After all, we know that THIS is an important sign of wisdom, to acknowledge and give humble service to the creatures who are nearest to God on our planet!

  108. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Yeah, I saw that. What I saw was Venables taking some kind of polite nothing over breakfast (which he probably didn’t understand properly anyway) and turning it into a stick to beat both the Ordinariate and the pope he claims is such a buddy of his.

    Basically, yet one more case of a Catholic trying to be friendly across sectarian lines, and a jerk trying to make him sorry that he ever tried. It’s a shame, and I’m sure it’s embarrassing for every good Episcopalian/Anglican, but it happens.

  109. Allan S. says:

    Question 1: Is it permissable for any Catholic to teach that efforts to unify Christians under the one, Holy, Catholic Church are “unnecessary”?

    Question 2: What is the definition of “scandal” and has it been removed from the magesterium?

    Question 3: What would have been the reaction from everyone here say, a month ago, had some cleric said that the Holy Father’s establishment of the Anglican Ordinariate was “unnecessary” and that the Church “needs” Anglicans to stay outside the Church? And what is your reaction now? Are they different? Why?


  110. catholicmidwest says:

    Honesty is a good thing, and in expressing what I think, I’m not going to be saying bad things about the new pope or anyone else by name, so it’s probably okay.

    I’m cautiously optimistic, thus my vote of 7 so far. The Catholic faith has a lot of moving parts, and rightly so because faith requires a lot of things all working at the same time to be robust. And there is also the march of history which continues even today. Perhaps, the time has come for a pope who is a little more blunt and willing to talk openly about the mission of the Church. And willing not only to talk, but to act on evangelization which is the real mission of the Church (Matt 28:16-20). Jesuits are renowned for missionary work and evangelization, although it’s usually a sort of raw evangelization, particularly at first. But this is where we really are in much of the world. I understand the point that is often made: that liturgy and beauty and scholarship are also evangelism, means for conversion, which they are, each being a sort of communication, among other things. For example, liturgy not only brings us sacraments, but is a premier form of communication for those who can hear it and understand. But not everyone can hear it, and not everyone does. People cannot respond to what they never see.

    The old paradigms of progressive and conservative in the Church are dying and as much as people find that hard to admit, hard to negotiate with themselves and their families and friends, hard to see the future without, it’s true. The important things, the deposit of faith and salvation history, never change and will never change because truths cannot change, but do we really think the culture does not? Christianity was once a huge force in Alexandria, Egypt. Is it now? The population center of Catholicism was once Europe. Is it now? This is why the extremes of the conservative vs progressive paradigm are no longer compelling; why the Church has offered to just take the SSPX in, with so few conditions except that they just come without screaming too loudly in public; why no one except people with an axe to grind, aka the media, really care what happens to the old NCR crowd with their home-made liturgies and funny banners. Time has marched on. The culture within the Church, as well as the culture which surrounds the Church, has changed.

    I’m also completely relieved to have an outsider to the curia as pope. The Church cannot become merely a “pitiful NGO,” a philanthropic organization who uses Christ as her mascot. “When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.” This is a quote from the new pope’s very short first homily. This is the truth and it’s what needs to be said. It’s all right that it’s blunt and not elegantly drawn out every time it’s uttered. This is the faith of the Church. This has always been the faith of the Church.

    I’m also heartened by the fact that it took 77 votes. The new pope could not have received a 2/3 vote from all the cardinals without having more than mere conservatism or progressivism as his chief quality. I’m grateful to Pope Benedict XVI for the care he took in making sure that 2/3 would always have been necessary. I do think that God spoke to the Cardinals about what the Church needs, and not only what she wants. She often doesn’t know what she needs in the short term, to be honest. ;) Recall Arianism. We must never cease openness to the Holy Spirit.

    Also they did not elect someone very young, also fortunate. We do not need a pontificate of record-breaking duration now. During the pontificate of a recent pope, we needed a beacon of stability and he did the job beautifully. Those were wild and unstable years. Now we are moving forward once again, not always in calm waters. But we are moving forward. It’s good and I will cooperate. I’m cautious but optimistic, yes.

  111. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Okay, or possibly a nice guy who just doesn’t understand the Catholic background. Apparently the Anglican folks think our guy was just saying that there probably wouldn’t have to be any Anglican Ordinariate bishop in Argentina, because there weren’t any huge number of Anglican converts to Catholicism or indeed any huge huge number of Anglicans. (There are a lot of English/UK settlers who moved to Argentina, which is why there are any Anglicans there.)


  112. Therese says:

    I’m with thereseb and mamajen (and anyone else of similar charity). There is no particular group of Catholics that “owns” the Ancient Mass. Rather, we all do.

    In addition I’m going to plea here for patience toward our Traddy brethren. There are those who still remember the violence of the days immediately following Vatican II. (I have an aunt and uncle who witnessed the destruction of the high altar in their church; they turned around and never went back. I visited them some years ago; there was not a single religious article in the house to show they had once been Catholics.) These people, who want nothing more than to be faithful Catholics, carry a great wound that in some sense has been passed down through the generations. It is the wound that makes them quick on the trigger when a threat, perceived or actual, arises. I know very few genuine Pharisees among the Trads. Please, bear with your fellow Catholics.

    The liberation of the Traditional Latin Mass is like a salve that Father Benedict has applied to this wound. It just so happens that the TLM is a curative for many other things as well, however, and we should not lose sight of this fact. There was a time when I thought Summorum Pontificum was a boon to Trads only. But I have come to believe that priests who are “attached” to ad populum celebration, who have a “preference” for communion in the hand, female altar servers, an army of extraordinary Eucharistic ministers, and a seeming infinity of other abuses, need the Usus Antiquior far more than we do. Let’s give it to them.

  113. Cathy says:

    I gave Holy Father Francis a 9, reserving the 10 for Christ having capably hidden him from the “chew him up, spit him out” world of scrutiny regarding the promotion and detraction of all the papabile. My first impression, not knowing anything about him, was St. Maximillian Kolbe. He seemed as one dwarfed by the new cassock, and my entire heart, in Christ, goes out to support him. Viva Il Papa Francis, Viva Christo Rey!

  114. I am fully agreed with Allan. It is impermissible for a Catholic of any kind, cleric or lay, to teach that it is unnecessary to come into full communion with the Bishop of Rome. In fact, the problem is that this is literally the exact negation of Unam Sanctam, which states unequivocally that it is *NECESSARY* for all persons for their eternal salvation to be in communion with the Apostolic See. Calling a means by which Anglicans may enter such a union unnecessary is, dogmatically, the same as saying that their assurance of salvation is unnecessary. It is not a polite nothing; if His Holiness called reunion with Rome anything other than the gravest of necessities for the sake of salvation, he would be wrong, and if he called it unnecessary, he would be gravely, unmistakably wrong.

  115. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I gave him a 10. Fr. Z always says that the devil hates bishops, and seeing the poisonous and hateful invective that gushed onto print and onto the internet, already attacking him without knowledge of who he really is, is a clear sign that the deepest dungeons of hell have vomited legions of demonic spirits for what is out and out spiritual war.

    Along that vein, his first official act as Pope, of kneeling before Mary and consecrating his papacy to her, and then asking for the intercession of St. Pius V, who invoked Mary’s help for the decisive battle of Lepanto, only confirms why the devil hates him so much–because Pope Francis is a loyal and devout son of Our Lady.

    My antennae are always looking for WWLDMD? in a good Church shepherd (What would Louis de Montfort do?). And Pope Francis has, I believed, done that. The ground is set for another phase of the Church’s cataclysmic battle with hell: “He who is not with me scatters.”

  116. Suburbanbanshee says:

    OTOH, if he said that Argentina and the Southern Cone would probably come under an Ordinary from the US or Belize, then he’d be saying that setting up an Ordinary in Argentina would be unnecessary. And saying something nicey about how we’re all servants of Christ together is the sort of placatory comment that would come naturally, especially if you’re a (shock!) Jesuit trying to be nice to an Anglican.

    Connecting the two comments probably didn’t verbatim happen, or there was some kind of phrase qualifying what was said that this Venables character doesn’t remember. You all know this happens; you’ve heard the difference between what you say (or post) and what non-Catholics hear (or read).

  117. JimmyA says:

    I am full of hope and joy. It seems that we have a Pope who radiates the joy and urgency of Faith, and one to whom the wider world is prepared to listen. AND who is orthodox in his doctrine. God is good!!

  118. Jeannie_C says:

    JonathanCatholic, I just read the article you reference and it leaves me shaking my head in bewilderment. I agree we don’t need the Ordinariate, only because we’ve had a process in place for many years, the R.C.I.A., in which people truly wishing to convert could do so. I don’t agree that we “need” schism to persist. I understand the devotion of Anglicans to their traditions and prayer book, but returning to Mother Church should be the goal. I speak as a member of a family, former Anglicans, who converted en masse years ago. I hope the author of that article has misconstrued or taken out of context what was stated. My ongoing experience of ecumenism has not been positive as it has usually involved protestants expecting us to give up/give in in order to get along.

  119. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Look, no one is going to get a pope who rates a “10” in every category, the most important being doctrinally sound. Sure, I’d love it if Pope Francis were traditional with respect to the liturgy. But he seems doctrinally strong, not just doctrinally sound, and extremely humble; the world is in dire need of seeing this virtue in action. He’s a 9 for me until he proves otherwise.

    The poor guy looked a little stunned, if not terrified when he first stood before the crowd. His reaction really spoke to me. For now, I am feeling quite protective of him, especially with the negativity formerly shown here and elsewhere.

  120. Patti Day says:

    Gave him a 10, because that’s what I expect from him, and because my first impression of him was of a humble servant. I was impressed that he spoke Italian to his Italian flock as their Bishop. He seemed somewhat stunned initally, as if he were contemplating what tomorrow and the rest of his life was to be, but when he spoke it was with simplicity and humility, with prayers for the Pope Emeritous, seeking a blessing for himslef and then blessing and praying for his flock. As for all the complaints I’ve read here and in other com boxes, I’ll revise my opinion if need be, but for now I intend to pray for him. I firmly believe that this was the choice of the Holy Spirit.

  121. chcrix says:

    I voted 5 out of 10.

    Seems unconcerned with liturgical beauty
    Dismissive of Anglican Ordinariate
    “Social Justice” emphasis (in bad repute with me since the abominable “Populorum Progressio”)
    Other Jesuits don’t like him
    Humble, Upright, Plainspeaking

  122. JeffLiss says:

    Yes, I know there are powerful political forces at work. None of us is naive. But the temptation toward suspicion and intrigue cannot overcome a stubborn thought (which I dare to hope is a sign of resolute faith) lodged in my brain since the Conclave began: the cardinals elect the pope; they don’t choose him. And the Holy Spirit is wiser than us all.

  123. gracie says:

    I forgot to add the number I gave to Pope Francis: 3

    I’ll withhold any explanation – see previous comment as to why.

  124. MarcAnthony says:

    I think that in some cases we’re being extremely disrespectful to the Jesuits. They’re a very old order with a rich history of serving the Church with love and obedience. That there’s a liberal strain today doesn’t mean the order is bad.

  125. Catholictothecore says:

    I voted a 10. He impressed me right off the bat, actually, this goes back to 2005, during the last conclave. And I still rate him a 10. What’s there not so likeable about him? If there is something not so likeable it’s because you want him to be a certain somebody, to fit your view of how and what he should be like. We need to be tolerant. His love of God, Our Blessed Mother, his faith, I could go on, is a fine example for us all to appreciate and emulate. We can learn a lot just by watching him from afar. And he is no intellectual slouch either. His impromptu talks, his digressions, as Fr. Z, puts it, the books he has written over the years, yes, he is a writer, just like Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Emeritus,
    are all very impressive. Give Pope Francis a chance. You will like him if you don’t already. Someday, one day, we will look back and see Pope Francis at the top of the heap, eclipsing the other 5-6 Popes of the last century.

  126. Dr. K says:

    6 out of 10.

    So many liturgical and papal regalia changes this soon in the name of humility concerns me. I fear simplifications to the liturgy and a self-imposed reduction in papal of authority where the Holy Father is reduced to a “first among equals” with his bishops. Despite these concerns, Pope Francis’ homily yesterday was rock solid and all indications are that he is doctrinally orthodox.

    So it’s a mixed impression. Let’s see where the successor of Peter leads us. He is in my prayers and he is my Holy Father.

  127. FranciscoLozano says:

    I just want to say to all those saying that they will stop attending the EF because of the attitude of some that they are committing a very wrongheaded move. I would hope that one attends Holy Mass in the EF because of worship of God. Leaving because of people speaks against that. As for the attitude of many traditional brethren, I must say that it is equally wrongheaded to react in such a way but we must also remember that most of us traditional Catholics come from years of abuse, mistreatment, scorn, exiled. The wounds are great and deep and will cause fear and pain for many more years. I am also concerned, but let us refrain from attacking the Holy Father AND from attacking our beloved brethren with words like “Pharisees”.

  128. MarcAnthony says:

    And I gave him a 9. It’s not a 10 simply because he hasn’t had the time to really do anything yet, so I can’t judge him practically.

  129. Gemma –

    I understand what you say. It depends on what he did with his own appropriate stipend. If he lived meagerly and disbursed the rest to worthy endeavors, then he would “be” poor himself and unable to employ someone.

    Have you read the novel Les Miserables? The first several chapters of the book deal with the bishop from whom Jean Valjean stole the silver, which the dramatic versions do not do. That bishop also had no staff (aside from his sister and a housekeeper in very humble circumstances) or comfortable transportation or luxurious dwelling.

  130. Athelstan says:


    According to the Anglican Communion website, Pope Francis has stated that the Anglican “Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the Church needs us as Anglicans”

    Speaking as an ordinariate member, I really hope that Archb. Venables is exaggerating what he thought he heard Cdl. Bergoglio say, or that he’s indulging in fantasy. Either way, I will wait and see what he says and does as Pope Francis before panicking.

  131. KGH says:

    This is a Pope after my own heart with regard to his attitude and example of religious on all levels living an more austere life/lifestyle. Especially in these difficult economic times, I feel more inspired by those priests, bishops, and cardinals that are ‘cost conscious’ even when they are financially well off. Having money should not equate to squandering money unnecessarily, in my opinion. I look forward to seeing how this attitude plays out from the Vatican down to the individual parishes.

  132. PadreOP says:

    So the only evidence we have of Pope Francis’ supposed comment about the Anglican Ordinariate is a quote from an Anglican bishop, from an Anglican news source, who might actually have an agenda of their own? That the Anglican bishop in question might not have remembered accurately what he was told? That the news source might not have accurately recorded what the bishop told them?

    Sorry, if you are going to crucify the Successor of St. Peter on the basis of what an Anglican bishop *claimed* that the pope told him over a prayer breakfast years ago, I have no sympathy whatsoever for your position.

    If we are making judgments about our holy father based on undocumented heresay published in a (naturally) biased news source, we have big problems, folks.

  133. BakerStreetRider says:

    I feel that a poll on this topic is inappropriate and silly. Isn’t it rather presumptuous to rate the pope on a scale of one to ten, as if that is relevant, and as if we can do so right now? I think your reminder to frightened or cranky Catholics to calm down and avoid making rash judgments was wise advice. Why encourage it now, for no apparent purpose at all? To paraphrase Fr. Z, and just how long has he been pope again? And, how can such a complex assessment be made in a number poll?
    How about changing the poll from “What is your impression of Pope Francis” to “How many rosaries will you offer up this month for Pope Francis, 1-10?”

  134. Phil_NL says:


    Such a poll is much more about the commenters here than about the pope, and I think most serious comments reflect that (and the other too, in a different way). It is not us sitting in judgement on the pope (we can’t, and shouldn’t), the question is how is our assesment of the current situation. Impressions matter, not in the least because it will show how much work there remains to be done for His Holiness. It shows, among other things, which areas of Francis’ actions we should pay attention to if we are to help his papacy to be a success. What he cannot do – he’s only human afterall, will fall on other shoulders. Ours among them.

  135. BLB Oregon says:

    I was concerned that some will confuse his mild demeanor with an unwillingness to draw lines where lines need to be drawn, but on reflection I realized that he is undoubtedly used to this. The other cardinals knew what he is actually made of when they elected him. He has a reputation as a humble man, but he also seems to be a man who uses straight language–carefully chosen words, but straight words–when straight language is called for. There will be a hand on the tiller, have no doubt about that.

    I do remember some rejoicing greatly when Benedict XVI succeeded John Paul II, saying, “ah, at last, now things will change”, but the tune changed among quite a few who realized he wasn’t changing things in the way or with the speed they had hoped he would change. I don’t believe that the prospect of being “found out” as someone who cannot be lead by the nose worries him, and so I will not let it worry me.

    It is OK to see these treasures of the Church during one papacy, and those treasures during another one, and yet different ones in a third. Besides, based on chalices I have seen in pictures of him taken while he offered Mass in Argentina, he may yet surprise there, too. After all, dressing for the sacred liturgies and dressing to present oneself for personal appearances are two very different things. It is not as if it costs the poor anything to use what the Church already has, and besides, these are riches offered to God, pieces of sacred art whose beauty can be as much enjoyed by the poor man as by the rich one. When it comes to sacred vessels and sacred art, instead of his own personal trappings of daily life, I think he may be far more willing to employ the very beautiful things that the faithful have provided for the Church for the benefit of all than some might suspect. Time will tell. In any event, whatever treasures in the sacristies of the Holy See he elects to use or not to use, he won’t be getting rid of anything. That he cannot possibly use every heirloom at the Vatican does not mean he will be selling any of them at an estate sale.

  136. frjim4321 says:

    Ah, I see I voted with the majority.

    The signals he is sending sound good to me. It appears that he will emphasize substance over symbolism.

    To me it seems like there’s a little breathing room.

  137. Emilio says:

    I gave the Holy Father a 10. I feel that since the moment he accepted his election and the will of God for the Church and for himself, and still more since the moments he stepped on to that balcony to present himself to the world in confirmation of that “yes,” he has given us his all, and by giving him a 10, I am in some small way reciprocating what he has already given to us. I am thrilled as a hispanic american, myself the son of immigrants, that I am living in the pontificate of the first Pope from the Americas. I have been profoundly moved to learn about the richness of his past ministry, and I have been surprised, stunned, and awe-struck in 48 short hours by what he has already taught us by how he lives and acts…and again, it’s only been 48 hours. I cannot deny that as a former lay MC and server, the nit-picky amateur liturgist in me, spoiled and inspired by 8 years of exceptional papal liturgical catechesis and example, has been a little concerned about a perceived (maybe unjustly and too prematurely) preference of the Holy Father’s for liturgical minimalism. But I am a CATHOLIC first and foremost, and that means that I obey and revere the person of the Successor of Peter. I support him in prayer and in any other way that I can, and I am docile to his teaching and example. It is inconceivable to me the acerbic vitriol that I have come across on some blogs and from their owners and commentators, and I would add to Fr. Z’s suggestion, that these persons join the SSPX in their crawl from St. Peter’s Square to the Apostolic Palace, begging the Holy Father’s forgiveness and assuring him of their allegiance and their prayers! As faithful Catholics and especially as tradition-minded ones, love, respect and obedience to the Pope, and especially to this Pope, should be a sine qua non… that is, if it already isn’t one for some of us. Oremus pro Pontifice Nostro Francisco…eis polla eti Despota, eis polla!

  138. My first impression was 2/10 (in good conscience I can’t give a 1)….I’m basing my first impressions upon 2 different things, his first Mass, and when he walked out…(Again these are first impressions)

    a. When he was not dressed as a Pope should be dressed (not in full dress), I was a bit surprised….not to say that any of these things make or break the office of the papacy, but the lack of decorum spoke to me the opposite message of humility (towards the trappings of the office I suppose)…

    b. The imposition of his own mitre also brings to my own weak mind, a lack of humility (towards the Liturgy of the Church). It takes humility to submit to the rubrics of the Church. I don’t like to compare people, but I would argue then Pope Benedict XVI showed more humility by enduring things he Liturgically disagreed with, rather than directly imposing his own style from the beginning.

    But again, these are mere first impressions, and he will hopefully grow into the pontificate and the things of the papacy.

    This will seem like a papacy of few words and mostly prayer…I do like the fact that he’s prayerfully recollected and is unafraid to call things out.

  139. pmullane says:

    BackStreetRider, in charity, read the question. Rate your ‘first impressions’ of Pope Francis. Overwhelmingly the responses have been positive. The traditional Catholic blogosphere shamed itself over the last few days, God gave us a Pope and many threw it back at him. This is a good opportunity to change that narrative.

    It seems that that since Benedicts abdication, the devil has been hard at work. Scandals etc, and now demonic attacks on the Pope, from the agents of the Devil, and from those who claim to be faithful Catholics. I hope that it is a portent that this will be a ‘big’ Papacy. We must watch and pray for and with our Holy Father.

    God Bless our Holy Pope Francis

  140. Will D. says:

    My very first reaction was “?”. Other than Fr. Z’s post of a while back about meeting him at the guest house, I doubt I’d ever really heard of him.

    My current impression is 7/10 and it is trending upward. Inexcels and I appear to be largely in agreement. Pope Francis seems doctrinally strong and weaker on liturgy. I can live with that.

    I am a little nervous about the “Bishop of Rome” stuff and shunning the “trappings” of the papacy. The Roman Pontiff is more than that and I hope that Pope Francis finds his way to a fuller understanding of his place in the Universal Church. As for the “trappings,” I admit that that could just be my own preference for “smells and bells” and a reaction to the monstrous vestments and liturgies that are sometimes presented under the guise of “humility.”

  141. Philangelus says:

    I am currently in “Pope Francis FanGeek” territory, but I was a bit shocked when he asked the crowd to “bless” him. This was the translation CBS News used, and I don’t know if it’s accurate. I wouldn’t have blinked at “pray for” but “bless” made me uneasy.

    HOWEVER. Everything I’ve read about him since then has me pirouetting, and if you asked what I thought now, I’d be in the 10/10 camp.

    Here’s something else: my 11 y.0. daughter had two friends over, an atheist and a Jew. When the Pope came out onto the balcony, all three girls started screaming and cheering. You’d have thought One Direction was out there. They loved him and were excited about him. “This is history!” screamed the ahteist girl. And then as information started popping up on Twitter, I started reading snippets aloud to them, and they started saying, “He’s so cool! HE’S SO COOL!” and cheering again.

    A little ecumenism to start his Papacy. That’s pretty awesome.

  142. robtbrown says:

    NB: Jesuits are very flexible and adaptable, which is probably why, despite being highly influential in the Church, none have ever been pope until this week. Predicting what they’ll do is very difficult. And so any remark the pope might have made to some Anglican regional manager is IMHO not very that relevant.

  143. Gemma says:

    Doc Angelicus-


  144. acardnal says:

    Doc Angelicus, I wish I had a housekeeper. ;-)

  145. rcg says:

    He is my Pope! Of course I am happy. I am going to read about what he did in the past only to understand how he solves problems and his predilections. But I am going to follow him. Besides, even if he is a super liberal Liberation Theology Jesuit he would probably allow our TLM parish to continue in his liberality. I believe Good wins by persistence, not Evil.

    I did not rate it Ten because I don’t feel like I am in the position to ‘approve’ of him and the difference means only that I just don’t know.

  146. feargalmac says:

    My number is rising steadily.

  147. pmullane says:

    Hmmm, I’ve just seen a picture of John XXIII wearing a red Mozetta….and Francis didn’t wear one…. He must be rejecting Vatican II!!!! A horrible reactionary!! Release the hounds!!

  148. Joseph-Mary says:

    Being a Franciscan, I literally jumped up and down to hear the name of Francis. And if he indeed is a “Franciscan” Jesuit then he will indeed strive with all his might to rebuild the church and to be a faithful, humble penitent. St. Francis was a radical and radically faithful to the Petrine office.

    I gave the 8 because of the liturgical sense I am getting. But what Rorate has done and the blasting of the Holy Father there is awful!!!! Maybe even confessable on the part of some who seem to exude hate right out of the gate. I myself wish to see the TLM flourish and would attend it exclusively had I the option (which I don’t) but the Mass IS the Holy Sacrifice in either form. I hope for reverence and true teaching which is more likely to be found in the TLM though.

  149. eulogos says:

    I didn’t understand that this was supposed to be our very first reaction-mine was “Who?”

    I put 8/10 because we are blessed with a humble and holy pope and that is a lot to be thankful for.

    His seeming indifference towards liturgy and the truly upsetting statement-if accurate-about the Ordinariate really do worry me.

    On the other hand he is said to have celebrated the Eastern Rite and to be very positive towards it, which is a plus for me.

    I think that the Holy Spirit must have some particular work for him to do which the Church needs right now.
    I think that ought to be the default assumption of Catholics, before we know any more.

    Susan Peterson

  150. Joanne says:

    I gave Pope Francis an 8/10 on first impressions. He seems like a wonderful mixture of orthodoxy and charity, a combination I have found unfortunately to be not as common as it should be. I like that he doesn’t seem to fit neatly into one side or the other of the Church’s ideological divides. I’ll admit that I laughed a bit and thought of this blog when I saw a photo of him washing a woman’s feet on Holy Thursday.

    Other thoughts: He looks to me like a pope. There’s something about his face (which I hope is really there and not simply in my imagination) that seems honest and good. Also, I love that he has an advanced degree in chemistry because it’s another fact that contradicts the ridiculous idea that religion and science are incompatible.

  151. maryh says:

    I gave him a 10. This is the first pope I’ve felt is my pope. My very first reaction was “Who?” and that wasn’t an option on your poll. After I had done some research, I fell in love with him.

    1. Doctrine. Yes, being against abortion, homosexual marriage, etc, is the minimum. But there’s a difference between against those things and speaking out strongly. He called abortion the “death penalty for the unborn” and gay ‘marriage’ “discrimination against children.” He will baptize the children of non-practicing Catholics if there’s the slightest chance to catechize the parents, but he calls for communion to be withheld from pro-abortion politicians.

    2. Social Justice. I think he’ll give the liberal “peace and justice” crowd something to chew on. It’s about time we stopped letting the left co-opt all the terms of the debate. It’s going to be very hard to write him off “because he doesn’t understand.”

    3. Jesuits. I look forward to the end of dissident Jesuits in positions to teach.

    4. Liturgy. We’ve got SP. Our priests are supposed to give us the TLM if we ask for it. Our families have been raising up children with vocations who are open to if not actually devoted to the TLM. There is a movement to make the NO more respectful – with ad orientam around the corner as a common option (I think). Pope Francis may be a bit tone deaf when it comes to liturgy, just as JP II was, but unlike JP II, he’s building on what BXVI left us. And he’s talking to the pope emeritus. In fact, he took himself OUT of the running in 2005 because he didn’t want to be used to block the election of BXVI. BXVI gave the laity the right to request the EF, and Pope Francis told us to take up our crosses. So whether we get the EF or not is UP TO US.

    5. Not respecting the office of Pope. I’m not worried. Pope Francis also seems somewhat tone-deaf if not outright suspicious / hostile toward pomp. But he’s Pope now. His natural inclinations aren’t going to adjust (literally) overnight, and taking on the necessary pomp of the office is probably going to be a serious affliction for him. But again, I think he will do what is necessary, if not everything we think he should.

    6. Ecumenism. He knows one of the Eastern Rites. He may be the one to bring more of the Eastern Orthodox back home.

    7. Reform of the Curia. Everything I’ve read about him says courage and backbone. I don’t think they stand a chance.

  152. catholicmidwest says:

    to The Sicilian Woman:
    He did looked stunned when he first came out on the balcony. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for him. He probably thought the huge responsibility of the papacy had passed him over after last time. Surprise!

  153. elaine says:

    I’m already quite tired of the words “humble” and “humility”. :) I am thrilled he is orthodox on Catholic doctrine. On less-important matters, I am bummed :) He rejected the fancy pectoral cross, the mozzetta, the stole, etc on the grounds of humility…. does that somehow imply that those who go with the fancier “trappings” are less-humble? I don’t like that.

  154. jbosco88 says:

    Let’s be honest. How many thousands of Priests have not changed their Liturgy one little bit (not to mention Bishops) during the time of Benedict XVI?

    Liturgically, this Pope will most likely be ignored too – whether he continues the “reform of the reform” or decides to make the Liturgy “accessable to all” by making it Universally Latin-American-cum-Pentecostal.

    Maybe he needs to ease into the reform of the reform just as much as everyone else did.

  155. lelnet says:

    I gave him an 8. I’m actually leaning toward 9, but not quite there yet. I’m willing to extend more trust on liturgical issues than many here (hey…if he passes muster with our generous host here at WDTPRS, I have to wonder about the motives of any who still doubt him), and the lingering questions I do have are based more on experiences with other leaders of the Church in South America than on anything properly attributable to him as an individual. Indeed, the more I learn of his personal record, the more reassured I am.

    He isn’t perfect. But Benedict and John Paul weren’t perfect either, and I still miss both of them greatly.

  156. I voted 9. I think we’ll come to know him as a good pope. I have come to realise, more now than ever, what a terrible thing it must be to be elected pope. No wonder he just waved and looked intimidated. Hopefully he’ll start intimidating those of us who need to be intimidated.

    And the housekeeping has begun – Cardinal Law kicked out – http://www.stpeterslist.com/asides/report-pope-francis-bans-disgraced-cardinal-law-from-his-church/

  157. Jayna says:

    I gave him an 8. The only thing I’m worried about with him is liturgy. I know he isn’t going to walk back any of the reforms of Benedict, but I am concerned that the momentum created by Benedict’s obvious love of the liturgy and his style of celebrating may suffer in his absence. Jesuit liturgies and all that. That being said, as long as Msgr. Marini isn’t going anywhere, I will be far more optimistic about the future of papal liturgies.

  158. Giuseppe says:

    Maryh – Excellent analysis.

  159. DonMiguel says:

    Perhaps a Pope On The Bus is exactly what is needed to reform a Church full of Nuns On The Bus. He may be able to accomplish things that the better-known Joseph Ratzinger, saddled with an unfair public image, was unable to do. I am hopeful, and offering up my prayers for the ministry of Pope Francis, and in thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI.

  160. McCall1981 says:

    As Maryh said:
    “he calls for communion to be withheld from pro-abortion politicians.”

    I think this very positive point is being overlooked. Think about what this kind of stance will mean for the “Nuns on the Bus” and “catholics for choice” types. If it was strongly implemented, this would send a powerful message.

  161. Stumbler but trying says:

    “I am a sartorial minimalist, and while I appreciate the importance of the Pope being as regal as a head of state, my greatest heroes are the priests in the parishes who wear simple black.”


    I agree. To the many herein who are commenting on his lack of taking on the papal robes, that can always change, so give him some room. We will all have to become accustomed to it since his will be a VERY different reign with a very Latin American flavor to it. I am Mexican and can already relate to his simplicity of style. As a child and now as an adult, what I have seen at Mass (in Spanish) is fervent faith, a love of Mary, and fiery preaching calling all to Christ and to conversion. Los Padres at my parish, are very much in line with Papa Francisco’s style as far as the liturgical attire/robes go.

    Now, I am well aware he is the Pope and will have to make some adjustments since of course, he is the Pastor of the Universal Church but that will take some doing and with much love and patience, his assistants will show him the way.

    I will tell you truly, that with the exception of this site and another one, most, if not all of the commentary has been positive and hopeful and joyful. I find that to be very edifying and affirming.

    One more thing, it is already being reported that Papa Francisco INTENDS TO LIVE HIS VOW OF POVERTY to the best of his ability while bearing the entire Church upon his shoulders and in his heart. The idea of such intent is very noble, in my opinion, and one that will cause much scandal to some (already has if I am to gauge some the comments here) and complete joy to others.

    I will continue to give thanks to God Almighty for this new pope and I will continue to remain grateful to the Cardinals for having made their choice and trust in their wisdom and in the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

    And lastly, the red shoes, as much as it would make me smile to see Papa Francisco wear them, I ain’t holding my breath. ^^
    “Il Poverello del Vaticano”

    Virgencita de Guadalupe, proteje a su hijito, Papa Francisco, bajo su manto!

  162. JacobWall says:

    @philangelos and others: blessing or prayer?

    The translation on the Vatican website says: “I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop.” (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/speeches/2013/march/documents/papa-francesco_20130313_benedizione-urbi-et-orbi_en.html)

  163. CatherineTherese says:

    7/10 – yet to read comments above and ready / inclined to bump “up” – as I try to be an optimist!

    1. What a figure he cut (any man would cut) in the camera shot behind him in the loggia. A solitary man, but a man for the Church. Thank God for this man. The emptiness / sadness / longing for the chair to be occupied – that was instantly relieved. Deo Gratias!

    2. Like many of you here, not alarmed, nor afraid, per se, about the liturgy… just a little bit sad and missing papa Benedict already. Beauty… lex orandi and whatnot.

    3. Might he redeem the Society of Jesus?

    4. “Humility” is the buzzword. Rightly expressed, that’s good for all of us. Wrongly expressed, it can be a source of confusion and/or loss of the air of majesty.

    5. His appearance at the loggia – the prayer: great! the silence: great! the acknowledgment of BXVI: great! …the repeated “Bishop of Rome:” meh, …the apparent discomfort with the stole: sketchy… the wave as opposed to the wide-open arms of JPII and BXVI: a bit tepid (but one could forgive the man).

    6. Inability to put this guy in an easy box: Catholic, anti-Liberation Theology (thank God), pro-family and boldly so (hooray)… all good. Looking forward to it and praying for Pope Francis.

  164. pmullane says:

    Elaine- I don’t think that because Pope Francis shows his humility in one way that it becomes a slight on Benedict who showed his humility in another way. Remember Catholicism is the religion of Both/And, not either/or. Moreover, remember where this Pope is from. In Argentina, a certain kind of person enjoys a place of pomp and fine things, and a different kind of person is excluded from such riches. Pope Francis very explicitly identifies with the latter. We must remember his situation when we observe his actions.

    God Bless Holy Pope Francis.

  165. MissOH says:

    My first impression of him when I saw him was that he looked rather stunned which is not surprising given his new calling in the church. I knew he had chosen the name Francis (and I was thinking I had never heard of any pope named Francis) but I missed his given name so I did not know who he was until the EWTN commentators gave us his given name. I have to admit when I heard Argentina and Jesuit it was suprpising then I had a bit of a twinge given what I know and have heard about liturgy south of the borders and with Jesuits. I was touched my his starting with prayer and asking us to pray for him before he blessed us.

    I was seriously shaken by some things I read that were steeped in detraction, rumours. I have decided whichy web sites to avoid for a long while.

    I was impressed by his homily at he mass for the bishops and in his seeming humility and invoking the Poverello. Given the excesses we are surrounded with and enticed with and how power is used and perceived, the example of humility with his position may give great witness to this world. We do live in a world of injustice and poverty and we need examples to help us deal with these human conditions as the church teaches (subsidiarity and solidarity).

    I do have to confess I am hoping he has so much to do in any curial reforms and witness on the most pressing issues that he takes no actions to reverse the liturgical progress made by pope emeritus Benedict.

  166. acricketchirps says:

    Well, 10. He’s the perfect Pope for us AT THIS TIME!

    Now all we need are two new Rottweilers or former Nazi Youth members for President of PCED and and Prefect of the CDF

    (Please leave Marc Cardinal Ouellet in place, Holy Father… at least till we get our next Bishop assigned).

  167. pseudomodo says:

    This is the breakdown as I see it:

    Less Approving 1-5 1174 42%

    More Approving 6-10 2796 58%

    I find the 42% a bit startling.

  168. jmgarciajr says:

    P.S. As a caution, be verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry careful about what you read about (or attributed to) the Holy Father that’s been translated. (For example, saying he asked the crowd to bless him when he had specifically asked them to pray, etc.)

  169. MrTipsNZ says:

    Most ratings are based on what people know Francis did as Bishop/Cardinal. He hasn’t done anything yet as Pope, let’s be real about that. However, given that secular and “c”atholic media took less than 12 hours to castigate and degrade him and he has slipped along quietly through it, I’d give him 8.

    And just to be cheeky, chimps throw faeces, not feces :-)

  170. McCall1981 says:

    You have to keep in mind that right now, since he just became Pope, people all over the world are looking to find “dirt” on him, anything he might have said or done over the whole course of his life that can in any way be construed (or twisted) into being “controversial”. Honestly, if the Anglican pseudo-quote from a biased source made years ago over breakfast is all they can find, I think that’s very encouraging.

  171. Rich says:

    I think that many ultra-traditionalists are villifying Pope Francis as part of larger scheme which is their own struggle for relevance. Some people inside groups like SSPX may need to preemptively paint the pope as the bad guy in order to create a narrative in which their continued refusal of full reconciliation with the hierarchy of the Church will appear more intuitive. It is ironic that their ammunition of choice right now is the whole deal about to what extent Summorum Pontificum was or wasn’t implemented in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires while Pope Francis was Archbishop there. If certain groups want to continue to say the Traditional Latin Mass without full reconciliation with the Church, they are sending the message that the permission for wider celebration of the Traditional Mass under Summorum Pontificum isn’t even necessary in order to continue saying the Traditional Mass. In other words, if they don’t need the authority of the pope or bishops, then any such permission from the pope and bishops – as that for wider celebration for the Traditional Mass – would be superfluous. Such a message would also undermine Summorum Pontificum, so such concern about whether or not Summorum Pontificum was implemented under Cardinal Bergolgio – when coming from those who would use such an excuse to continue to refuse full reconciliation with the Church’s hierarchy – is disingenuous. It is also deplorable when such faux outrage is then used to bash the pope.

  172. Janol says:

    The “Unum Necessarium” is that we do God’s Will. What is necessary in the Liturgy, the official worship of the Church, is that we celebrate it as dictated officially by the Church, by Rome. The black and the red is decided by Rome.

  173. Daniel says:

    It had been reported that he had cancelled his Wednesday General Audience to meet with delegates of the Eastern Rite Churches, and then reported that some of the Orthodox Patriarchs will for the first time since the Great Schism attend his Inauguration Mass. I’d expect the Orthodox to be included in Wednesday’s meeting. If he can end the Great Schism within a week of his election, he should get extra points for that.

    It’s difficult to judge what is going on as far as his relationship with the Anglican Church may be. He and the Anglican Bishop seem to have recently worked together to oppose same sex marriage in Argentina, so obviously the situation there is different that with the Episcopal Church.

    When Anglicanorum Coetibus was first announced, I recall a U.S. Bishop or two were indicated that a Personal Ordinariate would not be necessary in the U.S., that they had not heard of any interest whatsoever within their own diocese. I would guess that there may be little reason for Anglicans willing to convert in Argentina might have little need to form Ordinariate Communities, they might just join a local Catholic parish. In a country where Spanish is the dominant language, how “Anglo” is the liturgy used in the Anglican parishes? If Pope Francis had been going mainly on the Anglican Church in Argentina, he might not have felt there were any great doctrinal differences that would prevent a reunion of the entire church through the old ecumenism. His opinion may change as he gains a broader global vision.

  174. boxerpaws1952 says:

    i listened to his address to the cardinals today and was put more at ease by what he said. He comes from a foreign background.An outsider. I think that will be a positive but it makes him a little less comfortable in his new role. This is going to take time and i think in fairness we need to give them that time. He will be good for the New Evangelization. I know he has picked up that mantle. He is not our Blessed John Paul or His Holiness Benedict the XVI but God works through people as they are. He does not change personalities. I”m far more at ease now than i was days ago. Yes,he does exude warmth and joy. That’s not a minus. I see a lot of pluses ahead and have hopes. He said it himself-we must not be pessimistic. Good message for the Church at this point :) I also noticed His excllency Georg Ganswein at his side today as i used to see him at Benedict’s side when he was Pope. Understand that he is serving both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict but MAY soon be let go to serve only His Holiness Benedict the XVI. I look forward to the day he is POSSIBLY installed as a cardinal. As for Pope Francis. I gave him a 9 in the hopes he will permit the liturgical reforms to continue and clean up the Curia in the future. Only a few days into his Pontificate. A legacy is built over time.

  175. Jim of Bowie says:

    I voted 6. To those of you concerned about the liturgy, Shawn Tribe has a reassuring post at his NLM Blog.

  176. Daniel says:

    Janol: The GIRM and other documents used to indicate servers at the altar could be male only. Priests disobeyed, and the law wound up following them. Arguments beforehand about how wrong it was wound up seeing that those that broke the rules were right all along and those that insisted on the rules had been Pharisaical. Pictures are circulating of the Pope having washed the feet of women at Holy Thursday services. Those may have been years ago prior to Benedict’s papacy, so perhaps he later followed the rules. Just how much arguing do you propose to do on that rule if Pope Francis winds up washing the feet of women in St. Peter’s Basilica?

  177. ji says:

    How many times has the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the 13th of the month ? This pope was elected on the 13th and your photo of Pope Francis praying before Her statue gives me great hope that she will guide and protect him.

  178. HobokenZephyr says:

    MaryH, thanks for the cogent analysis. If he brings God Almighty back into the “peace and justice” conversation and even can start the reform of the Jesuits — not to mention the Curia — he’ll have done much in a pontificate.

    I consider myself a semi-traditionalist. I do not attend an EF Mass, but do attend a properly celebrated OF one. Some may call me low liturgy, but I am ok with that — particularly if Bl. JP II is also considered low liturgy! Pomp & circumstance have their place, but so does simplicity.

    Comparisons to previous popes is non-productive. Pope Francis is who God has chosen for this moment in salvation history.

  179. Philangelus says:

    JacobWall, thank you for clarifying. The CBS crew was translating on the fly, and it sounded as if he wanted the people’s blessing, and I’m glad to hear that’s not what he said.

  180. workingclass artist says:

    I gave him an 8/10 and hope he will inspire missionaries.

    He has asked for our prayers…and I am praying for him.

  181. COLRE says:

    I voted 2. Really that was my instant reaction when I heard the news. I have a considerably better impression now, but still I admit to feeling low when I saw the Sistine Chapel Mass.

    And, it’s official – the red shoes are history!

  182. Jim of Bowie says:

    Pope Benedict on God choosing the Pope:

    I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.

  183. Genna says:

    No red shoes yet. Like others, I am concerned that the estimable Guido Marini will disappear. My impression was that on the balcony the Pope was brushing him aside as if to say: “Don’t fuss”.
    I think we will know better after various appointments and at the installation Mass what kind of pontificate this will be liturgically.
    The Holy Spirit may well be directing the Pope towards other more urgent priorities within the Church and the Curia. I think our trust must lie in the Holy Spirit and in Pope Francis.

  184. JacobWall says:

    It looks like the percentages have changed since you analyzed them – those voting below 6 is no longer42%, but more like 26%. However, it is more interesting if you look at it in this breakdown:

    8 – 10 – 2145 (49.5%)
    5 – 7 – 1326 (30.6%)
    1 – 4 – 860 (19.9%)

    Besides the fact that these ratings are also “grouped” in the results, it also reflects the fact that the number of readers who have voted 8 or above is just about 50%. This is more uplifting to see!

    I can understand the “5-7” group – probably not sure, but waiting to see how things go; waiting to become more optimistic? (I hope.)

    The 1-4 group, well, I don’t understand. Fortunately, it looks like they are a smaller group, and I hope that they become smaller yet. (I don’t mean being overshadowed in the survey by larger numbers, but that some of them will actually change their mind as they see more of Pope Francis.)

  185. HyacinthClare says:

    FranciscoLozano, YES!! I was appalled that people would propose to punish their own souls by not attending mass because of the bad behavior of somebody who might go to a similar mass somewhere in the world! A very dear friend of mine actually did quit the EF because of a particularly repellent traditionalist he knew. Why should we invest them with such power?

  186. Mariana says:

    Philangelus says:
    “…I was a bit shocked when he asked the crowd to “bless” him. This was the translation CBS News used, and I don’t know if it’s accurate….”

    He asked the crowed to pray God to bless him.

  187. acbprop says:

    I go with 8. His age concerns me–as a member of the JPII generation, I like some long term continuity. 8 year Popes seem like US presidents, and we see how that’s working out. Regarding all the liturgical and doctrinal nitpicking–Is the Pope Catholic? Sure looks that way to me! Though I did recently congratulate a SJ friend and his fellow Jesuits–including the Catholics among them . . . .

  188. McCall1981 says:

    While there is reason to be cautious in our optimism, one has to admit that at least for the first two days of his pontificate, there have been a LOT of very positive signs. In two days, Pope Francis has publically:
    – prayed to and visited Our Lady, leaving her flowers
    – blessed an unborn child
    – visited Pius V’s tomb, a Pope connected to the Traditional Mass, and one who had a role in reforming beaurocracy
    – delivered a “pull no punches” homily that slammed the NGO style “church”, focused on Christ crucified, and actually mentioned the devil (something he has now done several times)
    – very quickly involved the eastern Churches in his pontificate/inaugural mass

    Also, though it wont be in the traditional form, the first Papal mass will be in Latin.

  189. rakowskidp says:

    “I was appalled that people would propose to punish their own souls by not attending mass ”

    Have I missed something? Did someone suggest that they’d stop attending Mass altogether? Myself and a small handful of others have considered skipping the EF Mass to avoid sour-pussed liturgical pharisees, but I’ll still be attending our parish’s (very reverent) OF Mass, and I suspect the others will be doing the same.

  190. catholicmidwest says:

    “He hasn’t done anything yet as Pope, let’s be real about that.”

    Not so quick. I’ll bet I know something he’s already done as pope: Read a 300 page report.

  191. GordonB says:

    A loaded question, I first read John Allen’s bio about Bergoglio when it was published and my first impression was really high, but didn’t take it seriously because I bought into the conventional wisdom that he was too old in light of Benedict’s resignation. When he walked out as Francis, I was a little taken aback because he seemed so stiff and cold. But aside from that, knowing that this was probably THE MOST PRAYED FOR CONCLAVE IN THE HISTORY OF MAN (thanks to social media and ADOPT-A-CARDINAL), I know that he’ll live up to the name he has chosen. I give him an 8, with a reduction for not knowing what his intentions, or what example he’ll set on the liturgy.

  192. Lepidus says:

    Question about the pictures of the washing of women’s feet. The one that I saw had the caption that it was taken at the maternity ward of a hospital. Maybe there are other photos, but if that’s the one, it does not sound it would apply anyway. It seems strange (even from a scheduling point of view) that an archbishop would be doing THE Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday night at that location. So, was this maybe just something that he did that has nothing to do with the situations where it is not allowed?

  193. jessicahoff says:

    If an Anglican can vote, I gave him 8. He seems to be a man of holiness – and his statement that unless the Church preaches Christ, it risks becoming just another philanthropic NGO seemed good. May The Lord continue to guide him.

  194. Allan S. says:

    Pope Francis Expels Cardinal Law from his apartment in St. Mary Major – to arrange “cloister”


    Scroll down a while to the section. Here’s a snip:

    But first days are all about making a good impression – even when you’re the Pope.
    So when the appearance of a disgraced cardinal threatened to cast a shadow over his first engagement, Francis I made sure it couldn’t happen again – by banning him from his own church.

    Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002, after being accused of actively covering up for a litany of paedophile priests.’ Despite the scandal which exploded to engulf the entire church, he was given an honorary position at the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, in Rome. Though now retired, the cardinal still enjoys a grace and favour apartment in the cathedral complex.

    So hearing that the new Pope was offering prayers at the very same church, it seems he couldn’t resist a discreet peak. But when Pope Francis recognised him, he immediately ordered that Law be removed, according to Italian media reports. He went on to command: ‘He is not to come to this church any more.’ One of the new Pope’s first acts will be to arrange new ‘cloistered’ accommodation for the disgraced cardinal, the Italian daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano, reported.

    The firm stance was greeted with cautious enthusiasm by campaigners for victims of sexual abuse. David Clohessey of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said: ‘If he is permanently banned we are slightly encouraged.

  195. mamajen says:

    I am one of the ones who voted very low. Father asked for our initial reaction, and I gave mine. Many others who voted similarly have said that their opinion has since improved greatly, as has mine. I’m not saying it was right of me to have such little faith in the selection, but I was being honest. I felt pretty low initially because I was worried and uninformed. I also did not watch the proceedings, only read the news–that probably had some bearing on my reaction. I’m sure the number of people who would still rate their opinions as very low are few, but Father asked what we felt initially.

  196. jules1 says:

    I agree with jim’s post about not using the poll for something like this. It is not a good thing to rate a Pope on first impressions. I think it shows a lack of respect and dignity.

  197. mamajen says:

    We’re not rating the pope! We’re rating our own reaction to the news!


  198. BLB Oregon says:

    “I agree with jim’s post about not using the poll for something like this. It is not a good thing to rate a Pope on first impressions. I think it shows a lack of respect and dignity.”

    I don’t think it is meant that way, but rather just as a way to take people’s temperature. When in a time of intense feelings, people like to know how others are feeling, don’t you think?

    Still, I have to agree that it is a little early to have a temperature. He has not set a foot wrong, but you do not want to go into a marriage or a papacy with the idea that affection and support for the Holy Father is based on that. Heaven forbid that we regard even our own pastors or parents that way! You pray, rather, that he will never be a King David that has need of a Nathan to rebuke him, but rather that he maintains the vigilance that is a shepherd’s duty, keeps his ear inclined to the Lord in all things, lets the Holy Spirit supply his words, and is never criticized for anything other than shining light where others would prefer shadow.

  199. Dave N. says:

    I voted “5” as I think it’s very much a mixed bag. I doubt Pope Francis will roll back things like the Ordinariate and advances in the TLM, but I really, really doubt there will be any new initiatives in either of these areas (whether actual or symbolic). His reported interactions with Gregory Venables all sounds VERY Jesuit to me; sort of “party-line” talk and very believable in the context.

    His attitude of humility in general is very good. It will go far in cleaning up corruption if the idea ever actually catches on in the hierarchy. If the above story about Cdl. Law is true, we already see parts of it in action.

    I also do not believe that Benedict should have resigned so it’s difficult to separate impressions of Francis from extreme disappointment with the actions of the ex-Pope. Benedict has opened the Church to even more suspicions of hidden scandal, a problem of which is already well-enough advertised. And whatever one might have thought of John Paul II, most of the world lauded his Christian perseverance to the very end and his unwillingness to hid the frailties and infirmities of old age–something all of us would be fortunate to have to face one day. In Benedict I am afraid we have seen just the opposite of all of those virtues. A tragic lost opportunity at best.

  200. persyn says:

    History as I have lived it has made it difficult for me to be an optimist. Certainly, anyone giving someone a “10” so soon identifies them to me as a Pollyanna, just as giving him a “1” would indicate a Scrooge.
    I am very concerned about the Holy Father’s “Low Church” liturgical tendencies and the Anglicanorum Coetibus hostility, should that prove to be factual. I also have not been reassured to see him washing the feet of women, and I think Fr. Z has blogged on that issue, IIRC. Like someone has posted above, PP. Benedict XVI put salve on wounds of those who loved the Mass of Pius V. My own liturgical wounds have, for the past 2 or 3 years, been salved, but like I said a moment ago, not enough yet to make me be overly optimistic.
    By Christ’s promise, we have the Holy Spirit, whom I trust. I gave a score of 6/10, because I trust the Holy Spirit and I trust the judgment of a Spiritual director who posted above in a positive way, and I doubt my own judgment in this, which would really be more like a 4. I’d rather err on the side of Caritas. May God bless and guide Pope Francis. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.

  201. A German in France says:

    « Browsing the newspapers this morning, one cannot but have depressing thoughts about how deep we have sunk. Since yesterday evening it would appear bus riding in itself qualifies one to be a good Pope, and Popes who didn’t cook themselves will forever be seen as backward. The new frontier is now a Pope who does his own domestic cleaning, floor scrubbing and toilets obviously included. The bus seems, in fact, elevated to the rank of Great Elector, and the debate whether a proper carbonara is made with or without the albumen of the egg will now be, Deo Volente, answered by the Pope himself. »

    This I read from another blog (in England) dated March 14. It expresses exactly what I am thinking, though certainly in a better English than mine.

    That’s exactly what I see or hear in all the French media since Pope Francis has been elected ; the journalists here are at almost 95 % left orientated and ferociously anticatholic ; NOT surprisingly three of the four French electors (cardinals) have the same speech (humility, bus, paying his hotel bill, etc.). (I don’t know who the forth cardinal is or what he is thinking.)

    Anyway, it seems to me that most of the commentators are glad to have this simple Pope ; Benedict XVI may have been too intelligent for them, though his words were always of a luminous simplicity. And there were today already two « humoristic » sketches on the radio and in a video making a pair of good chaps of French President François Hollande (a « président normal ») and Pope François (a « pape normal »). What a pity !

    Now, I would like you to see a video from Argentina which I found on the blog mentioned above. I couldn’t believe it, there are so many fakes on the Internet, and I’m still under the shock. I would not be irrespectful, but this Mass looks for me more like an amusement in the way of those made by Ronald the clown for the children at McDonalds. I hope you can get access to the video when clicking on the link (the sentence is from the blog) :

    You only need to look at the then Cardinal Bergoglio’s “Pinocchio Mass” (provided it was a validly celebrated Mass, about which I have my doubts)

    The link “Pinocchio Mass” doesn’t appear; sorry.

    Before all this, I had already voted this morning, and quoted : 1. I find of no use to tell you all my disappointments in the behavior of the new Pope. But at least, one thing : all his sudden changes of what Benedict XVI had made before – and had made beautifully – , seem to me like a slap in the face of Benedict.

    I still continue to pray for Benedict XVI and the Church, as he asked us to do before he left.

  202. acardnal says:

    Allan S., if that report is true that is good news indeed! I hope some one will ask Fr. Lombardi at the Press Office to confirm that.

  203. Katylamb says:

    HyacinthClare, I don’t understand why you say people would “punish their own soul” by stopping going to the EF Mass. I go to an ordinary Mass most of the time, which is reverently celebrated, and I do not feel my soul is being punished when I go there. I love the EF Mass too, but please, some people cannot get to them all the time. I’m sure those people have as good a chance as those who do go all the time of getting to heaven.

  204. elaine says:

    Does anyone feel sorry for Msgr Marini? He must be going through such culture shock right now. Poor guy.

  205. Lori Pieper says:

    My first impression – let’s see, I guess that means the first balcony appearance. I would give that a definite 10!

    I was trying to live-blog the whole thing, and frantically typed in my reaction to the announcement of his name, which was simply WOW!! — but had to just stop and watch, mesmerized. The new Pope was obviously so moved, and so stunned, and seemed not to know what to do at first. But then when he began speaking, he completely captivated the crowd, and was so simple in his speech. It moved me almost as much as did the first appearance of John Paul I (Yes, I also watched that one as it happened). If I had to rank them, a very close second.

    The first appearance of JPII was more about the drama of the “Pope from a far country” than it was about the personal appeal of the man himself, at least it was for me, though of course, I learned to love him greatly in a short time. Benedict I liked right away, but it took time for him to really grow on me. Here I think Pope Francis’ whole personality was conveyed to me very simply all at once, just as with JPI; with JPI it was just his smile alone and how he sang the blessing, but that was enough!

    Now that I know more, my admiration for our new Pope just continues to climb. A true Jesuit in the mold of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier. Yes!! A pope of true Franciscan poverty as well as the Franciscan name — YES!! A bishop who is in the slums and personally cares for the poor!!! Theologically sane, morally sound, and fearless in the face of secularism and the culture of death!!! That’s all I could ask for.

    His homily yesterday is like Papa Luciani’s too – homely and straightforward and aiming straight for the essential – consistency and coherence in our lives and disciples and the centrality of the cross.

    I’m not a liturgical purist and couldn’t tell you what was supposedly wrong liturgically with the Pope’s approach to his first Mass in the Sistine chapel; all I could see was the reverence and sense of adoration with which Papa Francesco prayed and said the Mass, above all when he raised the body of Our Lord for veneration. If anyone actually thinks there is something more important than that, I’m all ears.

    Well, Papa Luciani finally did get the Latin American Pope he wanted back in 1978 (he insisted the Pope should be from the Third World and was evidently planning to vote for Cdl. Lorscheider of Brazil).

    Like others, I do wish some people would not just go off on some half-understood statement declaring that sound doctrine is finished, before they know what was really said. I understand Italian, and yes, the Pope asked people to pray for God to bless him, not just to bless him.

    And of course he referred to himself in his first appearance as the bishop of Rome — that’s because he was talking to a largely Roman crowd as their bishop, and he knows he is there among other things to look to their spiritual needs – and he said he was going to start evangelizing them right away!. What does that say about the question of the authority of the Pope over the Church at large and full authority vs. “first among equals”? Absolutely nothing, it’s a separate matter, which he wasn’t even addressing.

    I think in the case of the Anglican he was just probably trying to convey that it wasn’t necessary for the Anglican prelate to be in the Ordinariate for Bergoglio to consider him a Christian, and a part of the larger Church. I can imagine anyone with a lick of common sense or theological knowledge saying what this Anglican attributed to him.

    I could go on, but that’s probably enough. I hope people start to calm down.

  206. McCall1981 says:

    Does anyone know when the appointments will be made for Secretary of State, etc?

  207. Potato2 says:

    If I went by the media or liberal blogs rejoicing and conservative blogs cowering and the secular press lying and spinning I would give him a 1. If I went by JUST his actions and words since He became Pope I would give him a solid 8. Could have been a 10 if he had embraced some traditional Papal customs and definitely a 10 had he rattled off a TLM in the Sistine Chapel!
    But those things do not seem to be his style. He is too simple and humble for the first. And I am scared about the second.
    A Pope who takes to the streets! A Pope who pays his bill! A Pope that may be living a little too dangerously but is sure setting an example for all of us to follow!

  208. Miserando says:

    It’s a 10 if he applies Canon 915 to Biden and Pelosi on Tuesday.

  209. Allan S. says:

    According to Rorate*, Polish Media reports state that shortly before “Pope Franciskus” entered the balcony the ceremony master gave him the red robe to put on but the Pope said to him “Put it on yourself. It’s time to stop this carnival”

    Question: Is this, if true, “humility”? Was Benedict’s liturgical renewal a “carnival”?

    *Comment at 20:23 here http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19978542&postID=8350531013406427744

  210. Janol says:

    re: the “Pinocchio Mass”: There were several postings about this over on Taylor Marshall’s Canterbury Tales blog yesterday. Here is an excerpt from a post by “Rocio” which I hope will end all discussion about that mass.:

    “I went to check out this MISA DE NIñOS that you post it here and sad to say you are another victim of the anti catholic world media. The clip that you said at 2:48 was an activity that they did prior to the Children Mass about the story of Pinocchio and was put in the video for a moment (you know cut and paste) and you my ask why well the Pope used it as an example about how lying, not been obedient and all those things that Pinocchio did where wrong and that he could not change his heart…. then the Pope goes on saying to the children that the only one that can change your heart when you are like this is Jesus and so the Pope continue throughout the homily to speak at the level of little children.”

  211. pmullane says:

    Allan S, so you are willing to believe that the Holy Father, who has been so humble patient and kind with all those around him, travelled halfway accross the world, wore scarlet robes in an ornate chapel, swore oaths and placed his ballot in an urn of Gold, accepted the nomination as pope and changed his name, went to a place called the ‘room of tears’ and changed his scarlet robes to ones of white and then, at that point, decided that putting a little red cape on would constitute a ‘carnival’? And despite his holiness, despite his compassion, despite the generosity and love he has showed to those around him, he would speak so harshly to a man who is giving his life in service to him and his office? And you offer as evidence of this all, a link to the comments of a website that has disgusted many faithful Catholics ( the commenters if not the site itself) in the last few days.

    Show me proper evidence, or stay silent, please.

  212. Allan S. says:

    Pmullane – The report must be spread so that it can be confirmed or refuted (preferably by a Polish speaking reader). As a Catholic, I value my role as a Cooperator in the Truth (where have I heard that before?) and the truth is the truth is the truth. Silence does not further truth.

    So, either the Holy Father said this or he did not say it. True, or False. The report is being spread so that the truth will out. If I have any bias at all it is that I prefer (strongly) that the report be false.

    Try not to get sand in your eyes, OK?

  213. Montenegro says:

    Not a comment on the poll (which I did vote in, but I believe in secrecy! Shhhhh…), just a “thank you” to Fr. Z for keeping this blog a safe and rational place to have traditionally-oriented discussions.

  214. Montenegro says:

    @Allan S.: i read that comment on Rorate as well. I consider that gossip and hearsay, nothing more. Polish reports? From whom? From which media outlet? Which journalist? Who is standing right next to the new pontiff, and then running and calling up “Polish media?”

    You are spreading gossip, rumor and hearsay, and simply calling it a “report.” You are using the tactics of the mainstream media.

    Please reconsider your motives and your actions.

  215. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The more I think about it, the more I think that the Pope may have initially not worn the mozzetta because he was unsure about the whole breathing issue, and ditto wearing his old pectoral cross (which seems lighter than the typical formal ones). You could see him breathing quickly even in the monotone white outfit. If you’d put a red mozzetta on him, he would have looked like a bellows, and that wouldn’t have been reassuring for us folks at home.

  216. Gallia Albanensis says:

    I voted 6. It probably would have been 5, but couldn’t muster giving any pope a 5.

    Looks like a split decision. I have practiced in the Ukrainian Catholic church for years, and it seems he may be good us. One poster mentioned an “Eastern view of the papacy.” That is also fine by me. His strong words so far are exciting, but they can also be read several different ways, so I am not sure.

    As much as I pray that the Greek Rite will become the majority in the Catholic Church and the United States, such is not currently the case. Therefore, because the Roman Rite is so overwhelmingly dominant in both societies, its cultural outlook will help shape the spiritual integrity of both. And so if Pope Francis promotes a “low church” mentality, the culture of both the church and this country will suffer, even if not in immediately visible ways.

  217. pmullane says:

    Allan, please, you spread an unsubstantiated rumour from an anonymous source at a website that whose commenters have shamed themselves in the last few days and then you asked a question based on ‘if this is true’. Repeating a rumour is not getting the truth out, it’s repeating a rumour. And if this rumour is not true, which is likely, you are repeating a calumny on the vicar of Christ.

    I’ll believe that you were only repeating the hysterical story from rorate for the purposes of clarifying its authenticity, however perhaps in the future you may wish to make that clear, cause your comment above looks like your taking the story as true and asking how it reflects on Pope Benedict.

    Now if you excuse me, I’ll remove the sand from my eyes.

  218. Denis says:

    Allan S,

    I couldn’t find that comment. I assume that Rorate erased it. It sounds phony. How many people could have been in the room with him at the time? A handful, at most. It’s highly implausible that they’d be speaking to some obscure journalist. Moreover, that would have been an extremely arrogant remark from a man who seems anything but arrogant. He may indeed be hostile to the TLM, and I am preparing for the worst, but the words that you cite sound more like those of some combox ninja at the Fishwrap than Pope Francis. Again, I am not optimistic, but it’s important to have some skepticism about everything being said at the moment.

  219. Scott W. says:

    Allow me by way of anecdotal analogy to suggest that the venom coming from the traditionalist wing against the Holy Father is a vocal minority within it:

    I am blessed to sing in the choir for our local Latin Mass. Our priests, sacristans and organist/director all have their liturgical heads screwed on right. The homilies are inspiring, the music sober and sublime, and the traditional liturgy is eminently worthy of the worship of Our Dear Lord.

    Recently, the priest who normally celebrates the Latin Mass couldn’t make it at the last minute. We were all gathered and ready when it was announced that because of this, the regular parish priest would stand in and celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass.

    Two people walked out at that announcement. The rest of us simply switched missals and got down to the business of giving the Lord the worship due to Him as best we could.

    So the next time you read a vicious diatribe from traditionalists against our new Holy Father, please keep in mind the rest of us who stayed and pay no mind to those qui cogitaverunt malitias in corde tota die versati sunt in proeliis exacuerunt linguam suam quasi serpens venenum aspidis sub labiis eorum semper

  220. Montenegro says:

    I cannot help but observe that a great deal of what is going on is fueled by our conditioning – as a culture, as a generation – by being watchers of media: TV, internet, mobile phone content, etc. We see the look on the face of someone on TV, thousands of miles from where we are sitting, having never seen this person “in the flesh,” and we draw conclusions – both good and bad.

    I fear we are treating the proceedings of the past few days as some sort of reality show, b/c that is what we humans (Americans, often, but now other cultures, too) have been watching on TV for the past 10 or so years.

    Have you ever noticed (I have) that you may see some calamity or event happening in real life – a house on fire, perhaps – and then you see that event “covered” on TV in that evening’s news, and it looks entirely different from what you yourself saw? Due to the camera angle, the lighting – whatever – you say to yourself, “Huh, it didn’t look like that when I saw it earlier today. It looked…different.” Not “good different” or “bad different” – just different.

    We pride ourselves on our ability to draw conclusions and make decisions based on minimal information. (Working in the corporate world, I am unfortunately required to do this all the time.) And yet, I question whether that is how we are meant to function in our lives of faith as Catholics – we are meant to combine the rational with the mysterious – the seen with the unseen. Again, I observe that this is precisely what Fr. Z is asking us to do, in the tone of his blog and his posts since Francis was announced as pontiff.

    And if I could go back and undo my action of reading Rorate in the first 30 minutes following the announcement, I would…the scars and the trauma will stay for a long time…I have learned a great lesson.

    God bless!

  221. Montenegro says:

    @ScottW thank you for your post – great anecdote. My local traddie friends here in my diocese (we attend a parish run by FSSP) are normal and rational. I texted and rang them on the day of the announcement and they were nothing but charitable about Francis. Agree these are a vocal minority…and I suspect (though have no way of knowing) mainly from SSPX, which is also a pity, as the official word out of SSPX following the election has also been supremely courteous and charitable.

  222. Veronica says:

    I rated 8/10 initially, just because he was not one of the Cardinals everybody was talking about. Fortunately, my first language is Spanish and I have spent the past two days reading about him and listening to him on youtube. What a gold mine! The Holy Spirit really knows what the church needs. If I had known before the election what I know today, I would have needed a higher scale, but since 10 is the best, I would give him a 10 today.

    He may be a humble man, but reading blogs in Spanish from people that has worked with him, he will be doing some cleaning in the house. So don’t be confused by his soft voice and warm smile. If you pay attention closely to his few words in these past days, you’ll notice that he doesn’t shy away from Catholic doctrine, he even mentioned the “devil”. Oh my! And I have read the most ridiculous comments from Catholics gasping because he is talking about sin and devil! Well, let me tell you, get ready, because there’s more coming on that.

    Now, I am utterly ashamed of all the Catholics that are bashing the Pope. Honestly, some are behaving like disobedient, spoiled, rotten children; throwing fits because they didn’t get what they wanted. If we are Catholics, we must believe that the Holy Spirit was the one moving the hearts of the Cardinals for the election. Either we believe this, or we just quit calling ourselves Catholics and join the ranks of the Lefevbrists.

    With all the vitriol coming out of the mouth of some Catholics, we don’t need the secular media to trash the Catholic church; we are doing it ourselves, and some more. And by the way, I have started to have the funny feeling that there are some elitism within some in the Catholic church in America that absolutely hate that he is from a Hispanic country. Had he been an European, some would have not even thought about writing the rude things they have written.

    As far I am concerned, it is black or white on this matter. Either he was sent by the Holy Spirit, or he wasn’t. If he wasn’t, then Jesus lied when he said that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church built upon the rock of Peter. Period. If he is, then some are in trouble and better get started on a profound examination of conscience to go to confession A.S.A.P.

  223. Peter in Canberra says:

    seems like everyone should calm down, and BREATHE slowly … (me included).
    On one hand we have radtrads with rending of garments and exploding brains [comboxes] … (answer: Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia)
    On the other, people responding to those manifestations as somehow coterminus with attending, and all those who attend, the EF liturgy and saying they won’t return because of that … (answer: avoid false syllogisms – this cat has four legs etc)

  224. Daniel says:


    The pictures of the foot washing were at a maternity hospital but within the context of a Mass, with him wearing an alb (and it looks like a deacon’s stole). Obviously there would be a lot more women present than men, but the foot washing is optional. It might have been considered a very nice gesture, it just isn’t supposed to be a liturgical action. Normally in a discussion, I’d point out that Jesus washed the feet of his Apostles, who were all male. It seems a slippery slope from there.

  225. MouseTemplar says:

    I said 8 as a first impression. When we first saw him on the balcony, I got the distinct impression that he was still in conversation with God about this new undertaking. Praying for us. [I don’t know why others said he looked stunned…] .

    As far as I’m concerned, he is now the Rock. Listen up!

  226. anna 6 says:

    Pope Francis has made a beautiful impression so far. I love him.

    What has been very painful to witness, has been the comparisons to his predecessor in both secular and Catholic media. Benedict, a man of deep humility is now being portrayed as frivolous, arrogant, triumphalistic, materialistic…and worse. It is as if Francis is a great relief after the burdensome and scandalous papacy of Benedict.

    Why is it that this saintly man (and I don’t use the term loosely) who has been such a treasure for the Church had to be unfairly compared to his predecessor and now his successor. It seems that all of the sins of the Church are dumped on him. It is so unwarranted and it is absolutely breaking my heart, at a time when I want to be joyful for the gift of our new pope.

    Francis has been nothing but kind and reverential to him. But I can’t help but think that he might take a lesson from Benedict, who removed his own desires and submitted himself to the demands of the office with grace and humility.

    I also worry that though Francis has beautiful intentions, his bold and perhaps impulsive gestures might add to the tensions and disunity that so disfigures out Church. I hope that he slows down a bit.

    God bless Papa Francesco!

  227. jmgarciajr says:

    Veronica, since you’re also fluid with Spanish, I strongly suggest you read the accumulated homilies and letters of then-Cdl. Bergoglio at http://arzbaires.org.ar/inicio/homilias.html which are a delight, moreso when you consider the homilies were all extemporanous.


  228. Montenegro says:

    @Veronica thank you for your post and your hopeful update. I truly hope and pray that Francis is a house cleaner as you say, b/c it appears that Benedict resigned b/c he knew he was unable to undertake the sort of “purge” of the curia that he knew was needed.

    God bless

  229. McCall1981 says:

    @ Veronica

    I was also struck (in a positive way) by Pope Francis mentioning the devil, which he’s done more than once now. I feel like it speaks volumes about his theology. He presented the devil and evil as matter-of fact reality, not some distant, theological conception.

  230. Denis says:

    Just when my pessimism was beginning to abate:

    “At the start of the Mass, Francis exchanged words with Monsignor Guido Marini, the Vatican’s master of liturgical ceremonies who under Benedict ushered in a far more traditional style of liturgy, heavy on Gregorian chant, Latin and the silk-brocaded vestments of the pre-Vatican II church…Vatican officials confirmed reports that Marini was somewhat put off by Francis’ refusal Wednesday night to wear the formal papal red cape when he emerged on the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square to be introduced to the crowd.”


  231. MarcAnthony says:

    Denis, how is that news? Hasn’t this what we’ve been discussing the whole time?

  232. Bea says:

    You asked for “first reaction” so, I voted “4”
    Mainly because of the TLM and I wondered what else that is traditional is he against?

    I have upgraded it, though, at this point in time, as I have read further into his other actions:

    He’s against Liberation Theology
    He (it seems) is for withholding communion to pro-abort politicians. (Let’s see what the future holds on this, if it is true or not).
    He (it appears) is against communion in the hand. (We’ll see on that, too.)
    His statement about “If we don’t proclaim Jesus, we become a pitiful NGO, not the bride of the Lord,”
    His statement about “When we walk without the cross, and when we preach about Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are mundane. We are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but we are not disciples of the Lord.”
    His humility and being “down to earth” is a BIG plus.
    And last but not least a priest/friend of ours from Argentina (FSSP) that was interviewed on PBS said his parents were married by him, he, himself and his sister were baptized by him and he was a family friend of his father’s.
    I heard through the grapevine as to why he is not pro-TLM and THAT, I don’t consider a proper reason. That is the one and only point, at this point in time, that I can find any fault in him.
    All in all, as Catholics, we must support and pray for him.
    The Holy Ghost does not make mistakes, only men do, so his appointment must be upheld by men (and women) of good will.

  233. poohbear says:

    Since the post asked for our first impressions, I voted a 3.

    1. The Jesuit factor is a grave concern for me.

    2. His appearance on the balcony was very sad for me. He did not look papal at all, and in fact looked like a scared little boy. I am sure all newly elected Popes are frightened and in shock, but by the time someone is at that level in any organization, he should be able to hide those thoughts and do as is expected. I felt sorry for him. Not wearing the traditional clothing makes him appear to not have respect for the office of Pope. Please note I said ‘appear’. I can’t read his mind, but this post is asking for impressions. If the trappings of papal attire are too much, how do we know the ‘trappings’ of other duties won’t be too much. The initial ‘wave’ from the balcony bothered me a lot, and looked like he couldn’t be bothered. However, after hearing he has only one lung, I am wondering if he is unable to raise his arms more than what he does. I will now give him the benefit of the doubt until I see otherwise.

    3. Taking the bus as Archbishop is one thing, taking the bus, not using a motorcade, going on visits on short notice and expecting those venues to remain open to the public as Pope is another thing and is very dangerous. He is not only the Bishop of Rome, but the Pope and, if I am not mistaken, the ruler of Vatican City. He is now a very public and important figure in the world, not just in the Church. His safety is of utmost importance, and I think his ignoring that safety is very foolish.

    4. I was delighted with his devotion to Our Lady.

    5. I won’t let negative or positive combox postings sway me either way, but I will form my own opinion based on what I see and hear in current news reports.

    6. I am, and will continue, praying for Pope Francis. I may have concerns, but that doesn’t mean I can’t honor him as Pope.

  234. anna 6 says:

    “Vatican officials” confirmed reports that Marini was somewhat “put off” ?

    You gotta love those “vatican officials”. Who are they, anyway? Cardinals? Swiss Guards? Tour guides? Butlers?

  235. priests wife says:

    He looked so much like Pius to me when he was silent on the balcony- speaking, his face changes. he seems very comfortable speaking and preaching.

    We are very excited with possible Eastern understanding coming from our Roman pontiff…

  236. Sean says:

    I’m excited, but I’m cautiously excited. I think this is a time where what the world needs the most is humility, prayer, silence, and charity. Look on FB and whatnot and you see none of these things. The world is lacking in the very virtue that Pope Francis is capable of demonstrating in persona.

    I’m cautiously excited because I have see the 2011 mass at the tennis courts in Argentina and it looked fearful. There were life sized puppets swaying to and fro, liturgical dancing, and it just looked very cheap knowing that the Divine Redeemer was being made manifest at that altar.

    There’s a time for being simple, and a time for being ceremonial – in the way our Catholic heritage has handed down, that is. I hope that our new Holy Father values our Catholic Latin Rite (complete with Palestrina, solemn high masses with chant, incense, and full ceremonial) just as much as he values the virtues of humility and poverty.

    God bless our Holy Father, Pope Francesco.

  237. McCall1981 says:

    @ Bea

    What is his reason for not being for the TLM?

  238. McCall1981 says:

    @ Bea

    I meant what is his reason for not being pro-TLM?

  239. Denis says:


    I guess I didn’t think that the Holy Father would enter into open confrontation with Guido Marini. Benedict XVI was considerably less abrupt and more sensitive in departing from Piero Marini’s way of doing things. It suggests a character that is charitable to everyone but those with who disagree with his approach to liturgical and ceremonial matters, which does not bode well. What, exactly, is so problematic about a papal mozzetta that warrants such abruptness and open confrontation? On the other hand, I recognize that I do tend toward pessimism and despair when it comes to what I see as the destructive protestantizing tendencies in the Church.

  240. RobertK says:

    And the Patriarch of Constantinople (New Rome) will be there to watch. Just to make sure the Pope doesn’t give communion to pro-abortionists.

  241. oakdiocesegirl says:

    Mary, Untier of Knots, Pray for us!

  242. Mike Morrow says:

    One can only hope that this pope will restore non-traditional Catholic liturgies to their proper place in the Church, since they were so forcefully suppressed while traditional liturgy was imposed universally upon all Catholic populations without pastoral concern or respect for the desires of congregations during the reign of the last pope.

    No…wait a moment…that’s what happened in 1965 to all who loved the traditional liturgy, and what continued even after Summorum Pontificum in regions of the world controlled by bishops like Jorge Bergoglio. I can not escape fear that what I experienced in 1965 is upon the Church again…that the Church hierarchy is about to return to the era of non-existent pastoral concern for, animosity to, and active suppression of those attached to the traditional liturgy.

    I hope I’m wrong…I sincerely do. But right now, I feel about the results of the Conclave what I felt about the results of the U.S. elections last November. I very much hope that I have incorrectly predicted Cardinal Bergoglio’s attitude as pope, but his episcopal history and the characteristics of his supporters are all that I and everyone else have upon which to base an evaluation at this time…and those are not encouraging. He seems like an outwardly-humble man, a likable man, even a decent man. Nothing will satisfy me more than to have cause to sing the praises of Pope Francis by the end of 2014! I hope for his papacy to be successful for the good of the Church.

  243. Stumbler but trying says:

    priests wife says:
    15 March 2013 at 6:19 pm
    He looked so much like Pius to me when he was silent on the balcony- speaking, his face changes. he seems very comfortable speaking and preaching.
    We are very excited with possible Eastern understanding coming from our Roman pontiff…

    I agree…I watched with tears, as he stood there and took it all in. I saw the gentleness of the shy smile, the calm before the storm. I remembered he had just come from spending time with our Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He brought that silence and gentleness of our Lord with him onto the balcony. ^^

    Stay tuned as we are headed for more history making with Papa Francisco!

  244. A German in France says:

    Concerning Pinocchio Mass

    Dear Janol. Have you SEEN the video ? There’s nothing that personal eyewitness, I have been tought. But please remember that I said : “there are so many fakes on the Internet”.

    So : is this TRUE or is this FALSE ? i. e. making a SHOW in liturgical EPISCOPAL vestments and with plenty of LITURGICAL PEOPLE all around, and a big cross with the CRUCIFIED in the background ?

    By the way, your mention “for a moment” went up to more than 10 full minutes …

  245. GAK says:

    9 – I consider the “1” missing in order for him to be a “10” is my prayers and sacrifices for him (which I hereby pledge).

    He came out so meek and quiet my first thought to the Holy Spirit was: “Are you sure?”

    Then he opened his mouth & I thought he was a doll.

    Then I heard the announcers talking about his simplicity and love of the poor.

    Then I Googled him and the first thing I saw on Wikipedia was regarding his comments on same-sex marriage in Argentina:

    “Let’s not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God’s plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that’s just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

    And I realized in that moment he was the Holy Spirit’s knockout punch.

    Then I realized he was the New York Times’s worst nightmare.

  246. Patrick-K says:

    I am not going to rate our Holy Father as if he’s a Chinese restaurant on Yelp. I will say this,,

    Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Franciscus
    Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.
    Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.
    Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.

  247. GAK says:

    Maybe Fr. Z (some day, when he is rested!) can put up a poll for us to rank ourselves from 1-10.

    I am completely serious.

  248. GAK says:

    Rank ourselves on how we fulfill our own vocations, I mean.

    I’m curious how many who low ball the Pope also low ball themselves. Versus those who low ball the Pope but maybe really haven’t considered his faithfulness in his vocation versus their faithfulness in their own vocations.

  249. Jason Keener says:

    I was hoping that Cardinal Burke would be elected to the office of Supreme Pontiff, but that did not happen, of course. I am still optimistic about the future of the Church and our new Pope. A couple of thoughts:

    1. I love beautiful Liturgy and vestments as much as most of the readers of this blog; however, we must remember that the New Liturgical Movement is going to be a slow and ongoing process, much of it carried out by the younger generation. I am not going to be upset if the papal stole and mozzetta remain in a drawer during this pontificate. Take heart, for all of the items of papal regalia will be there for future Supreme Pontiffs to use at some point down the road. After all, I do not imagine that Pope Francis will clean out the papal sacristies and sell everything on Ebay. :-)

    2. We must cut Pope Francis some slack when it comes to the Liturgy as the new Pope was trained during a time of poor liturgical formation on a continent not known for its liturgical excellence. It is interesting to also note that most of the Cardinals in the Catholic Church know little or no Latin at all, as was evident in the swearing of the oaths before the Conclave, the “Habemus Papam” announcement, etc. Again, the New Liturgical Movement is going to take time. Let us be patient and charitable.

  250. BLB Oregon says:

    “Silence does not further truth…So, either the Holy Father said this or he did not say it. True, or False.”

    Those are not the only two alternatives. At least one other alternative is that whether or not he ever said any such thing is no business of anyone who was not there, is it not? How is “truth” held back whatsoever when any of us refuses listen to gossip and instead choose the option of minding our own business and thinking the best of the actions and intentions of anyone whose actions we did not witness? After all, exactly what action would any of us be bound to take if the story proved true? If such knowledge is necessary for no duty of ours, if it will not help us to advance in virtue nor avoid the near occasion of sin, then what need have we to know whether this story is true or not? I can see none.

    The very simple test of the Golden Rule argues against spreading “news” of this kind. If the Holy Father means to make any such pronouncement for the consumption of the faithful, I have no doubt that he will do so. In contrast, what he says to private persons that is obviously not meant for public consumption should not be spread about, particularly not when the intention in spreading the news is not to edify any of those who learn of it. Besides, if our Holy Father ever says an unkind word about anyone or to anyone, the sooner it is passed over and forgotten, the better. I am sure any of us would want to be treated the same.

  251. Patrick-K says:

    Of course, “nostro Francisco,” (dative) not “Franciscus.” (nominative) Forgive me, it’s been over a decade since my last Latin class… :D

  252. spesalvi23 says:

    Anna said:

    Pope Francis has made a beautiful impression so far. I love him.
    What has been very painful to witness, has been the comparisons to his predecessor in both secular and Catholic media. Benedict, a man of deep humility is now being portrayed as frivolous, arrogant, triumphalistic, materialistic…and worse. It is as if Francis is a great relief after the burdensome and scandalous papacy of Benedict.
    Why is it that this saintly man (and I don’t use the term loosely) who has been such a treasure for the Church had to be unfairly compared to his predecessor and now his successor. It seems that all of the sins of the Church are dumped on him. It is so unwarranted and it is absolutely breaking my heart, at a time when I want to be joyful for the gift of our new pope.
    Francis has been nothing but kind and reverential to him. But I can’t help but think that he might take a lesson from Benedict, who removed his own desires and submitted himself to the demands of the office with grace and humility.
    I also worry that though Francis has beautiful intentions, his bold and perhaps impulsive gestures might add to the tensions and disunity that so disfigures out Church. I hope that he slows down a bit.
    God bless Papa Francesco!
    I agree 100%!! I’m heartbroken!

    Humility isn’t real when it imposes and when it insults others.
    I find the current ‘humility in your face’ attack a bit over the top. It’s too much and too pushy.

    Joseph Ratzinger spoiled us with perfect manners, class and a very high level of refinement, which never came across as phony or practiced.
    Being from a rather simple background, he lived a very simple life. He walked to work, took a bike to work, lived in very simple places; donated his book royalties and had a sister who kept a safety line on his high flying mind.
    Even though he is intellectually superior to many of his peers, he never treated others in a superior manner.
    He took on the papacy in a graceful, careful manner. Observing and acting accordingly; without fuss and strong, in your face gestures.
    I do get the opinion that he was /is simply too intelligent; too refined and too far ahead in his thinking and writing; most people didn’t get it, or never attempted to. Incl. the press.
    Now, that Francis seems to come to the rescue of the simple, poor folk, Benedict is being bashed once again. Sadly, I don’t see many people standing up for him.
    Shame on us for letting them insult him in such a horrible way!

  253. MarcAnthony says:

    “I guess I didn’t think that the Holy Father would enter into open confrontation with Guido Marini. ”

    That’s not what you wrote. You wrote that he was “somewhat put off”. That’s supposed to mean open confrontation?

  254. GAK says:

    Allan S.
    “According to Rorate*, Polish Media reports state that shortly before ‘Pope Franciskus’ entered the balcony the ceremony master gave him the red robe to put on but the Pope said to him ‘Put it on yourself. It’s time to stop this carnival.”

    Thanks so much for sharing this intel. Now I’ll share mine. Cardinal Arinze called Fr. Giuseppe who called Fr. Brian who is my second cousin. Fr. Brian called his mom who called my mom who sent my brother a text message and then my brother sent me a message on Facebook.

    Anyhow, Cardinal Arinze said he was there and this is what he saw: The ceremony master was wearing a red clown nose. He thought it would lighten the mood and make the new Pope less anxious. He then handed the new Pope a red wig and the Pope thought he had lost a few marbles and said crossly, “Put it on yourself, I’m not part of your clown show.”

    So you see there is nothing to worry about! Since I actually know someone who knows someone who knows someone….who was there, I knew you’d appreciate my intel. Of course, since I post covertly online you really have no idea who I am and what I know but I’m sure you are too charitable to let that cloud your judgment.

  255. MarcAnthony says:

    GAK, that made me laugh more than it should have!

  256. GAK says:

    MarcAnthony, good! Sometimes a good clown joke is the only way out of a tense situation.

  257. Miserando says:

    Benedict has pledged obedience to him;
    May God bless His Church and Pope Francis.

    “When we don’t preach the Lord, we preach the devil.”

    In charity and in unity, preach well the Lord (if necessary use words).

  258. sw85 says:

    His appearance without the Papal mozetta and traditional Papal pectoral cross struck me as hubristic rather than humble, and this impression was reinforced by his modest vesting for Mass the next day. Papal vestments aren’t intended to glorify the man wearing them but to communicate effectively the majesty of his office and the reverence to which it is entitled; when you take something that’s not about you and make it about you, well, that doesn’t seem like humility. My impression of him is slowly improving, but I wish he would stop the obvious discontinuity with his predecessor.

    I guess that, paired with his repeated, conspicuous reference to himself as merely the “bishop of Rome” rather than “Pope” makes my #2 worry that he’s debasing the majesty of the Papacy at, like, the worst possible time in history. My #1 worry is that he’s doing it on purpose.

    So, first impression: 4.

  259. Giuseppe says:

    What do you make of the announcement that the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is coming to the installation of the pope (or should I say the installaion of Bishop of Rome)? I wonder if Pope Francis, since it looked like he would be selected pope, has been thinking of a way to jump start a project near and dear to his heart (he was, after all, the Ordinary for the Faithful of Eastern Rites in Argentina). I believe we will see, within 1-2 years, full communion with our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters, and you will hear more and more an emphasis on the Bishop of Rome (a title he used on the balcony), head of the Roman Catholic Church, etc. Forget about reviving fanons and old chasubles: I predict a revival of the title Patriarch of the West.

  260. Lori Pieper says:

    It is a shame Benedict is now being criticized as though he were a lover of pomp because nothing could be further from the truth; he was a lover of tradition. But I don’t think he fetishized those garments the way that some of his supporters do.

    How many people remember Benedict’s first appearance on the balcony, when he was wearing his old black sweater under his whole elaborate ensemble, and the sleeves showed quite obviously under the white ones when he raised his arms? I grin to myself every time I watch it on video. I suppose if Msgr Guido were around at that time, he would have made a fuss about that non-regulation item of dress! Maybe it’s a good thing he wasn’t. But hey, the Pope wanted to be warm.

    And I recall when, after so many people swooned about Benedict wearing the camauro, and he said in an interview, “Oh I saw that lying there and thought it would keep my head warm.” I don’t think he took it too seriously, and was amused that other people did, which is quite endearing.

  261. Denis says:

    While it would be nice if Pope Francis were to reconcile with the eastern traditionalists, I am even more hopeful that he will reconcile with their western counterparts. I’ve never been able to understand why “neocon” (for lack of a better word) Catholics, so dismissive of Western liturgical traditions, are simultaneously respectful of the liturgically traditonalist Eastern Orthodox. It’s one of the many paradoxical fruits of VII.

  262. BLB Oregon says:

    Every single cardinal in the Sistine Chapel to elect our Holy Father was chosen by either John Paul II or Benedict XVI, and they know the brother cardinal whom they elected very well. He is no newcomer to them! His propensity to take public transportation and wear black watches and scramble his own eggs and his attitude towards the liturgy were by no means unknown to them. They know him well, and he is the one from among them whom they were inspired to elect for our particular time. They did it after much prayer, with the Last Judgment staring down at them, and in such a short time! They rejoiced when they did so. I am inclined to do the same.

    He is to face duties and confront problems that they known much more intimately than we do, as well. They all know the devil even now prowls the world like a lion, looking for his chances. I am sure they are all praying for our Holy Father and giving thanks that they themselves were not the ones chosen to be put to this particular test. I think we should do the same, too.

  263. TLM says:

    First impressions:
    The announcement of his name, Spanish and Italian. Warmth
    The announcement of his taken name, Francis of Assisi.
    He walked onto the balcony and I looked at his eyes, his expression, his stance.
    Courage, humility, strength.
    His opening prayer for Pope Emeritous Benedict.
    Joy, my heart loves him already
    His request for silence and prayers for him.
    In the 5 conclaves during my life, I felt this one most deeply.
    Overall first impression: Joy
    Now everyone – fasten seatbelts please

  264. Parasum says:

    First impression: 8/10 – which should perhaps have been nine.

    Current impression: 7, but no lower – the fewness of solid facts about what he did during the “Dirty War” under Videla, and the questions about how those facts are to be assessed, are worrying. On a liturgical matter, I hope he doesn’t confuse personal simplicity with making the Church’s public worship over-simple: it’s ornate & beautiful for very good reasons, and stripping it down would be a great disservice to the Church, & to the Church’s Tradition. Here’s hoping he doesn’t act as the master, rather than the servant, of Tradition – another JP2 = very bad idea.

  265. Parasum says:

    “Besides, if our Holy Father ever says an unkind word about anyone or to anyone, the sooner it is passed over and forgotten, the better. I am sure any of us would want to be treated the same.”

    ## A truly beautiful post, and excellent advice.

  266. Montenegro says:

    @GAK excellent ! Reminds me of the line from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – “my brother’s girlfriend said she saw Ferris at 31 Flavors”…or something to that effect. LOL!!!

  267. MarcAnthony says:

    Giuseppe, if he reunites the Catholic and Orthodox Churches he should go down as one of the greatest popes ever. But I’ve discussed things with some intelligent Eastern Orthodox and if that happens within two years, or even TEN years, I’ll eat my shirt.

  268. MarcAnthony says:

    “Every single cardinal in the Sistine Chapel to elect our Holy Father was chosen by either John Paul II or Benedict XVI, and they know the brother cardinal whom they elected very well. He is no newcomer to them! His propensity to take public transportation and wear black watches and scramble his own eggs and his attitude towards the liturgy were by no means unknown to them. They know him well, and he is the one from among them whom they were inspired to elect for our particular time. They did it after much prayer, with the Last Judgment staring down at them, and in such a short time! They rejoiced when they did so. I am inclined to do the same.”

    Excellently said, BLB Oregon.

  269. Darren says:

    Not sure anyone has mentioned this yet, but I just read this bit of interesting news at catholicculture.org (pardon that they misspelled FrancIs)


    Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has announced that he plans to attend the inaugural Mass of Pope Frances on March 19.

    The appearance by the Ecumenical Patriarch–the “first among equals” of all the world’s Orthodox leaders–is an unprecedented gesture. The Patriarch of Constantinople has not attended a papal installation since 1054, when Constantinople split from Rome.

    The pope of Christian unity?

  270. The_Scott says:

    I rarely post here (perhaps only twice before, and that was in relatively insignificant posts) but I am a daily visitor to Father Z’s blog.

    However, let me (perhaps) theorize on to why Pope Francis decided not to wear traditional papal vestments and seemingly emphasize fraternal relations among bishops, instead of superiority. I’m going to copy/paste what I said in another post on Catholic Answers Forum. Here’s hoping it works:

    “Let me say that, perhaps, Francis is uncomfortable with this abrupt change, and wants to make a steady transition in. After all, he went from a Cardinal who rode the public bus to the leader of the Catholic Church overnight. If that’s not abrupt, I don’t know what is!

    Maybe he’s carefully testing the water, instead of jumping straight in.”

    My life would turn completely upside down if I were in that situation.

  271. KAS says:

    I was thrilled. Then, as more has become known of him, I feel even more thrilled.

    I trust God knows what he is doing and this Pope Francis is going to be good.

  272. Giuseppe says:

    Can a Jesuit give up a vow of poverty?

  273. from kissing the Koran (JPII) to Regunsberg (BXVI,)not sure what to make of this, surprised he (Pope Francis)didnt give Pope Benedict more give the benefit of the contextual intellectual contextual doubt?i guess his views, procedure on Ecumenism/inter-religious dialogue are quite different..or is the Telegraph unreliable?
    ‘Pope Francis’ run-in with Benedict XVI over the Prophet Mohammed ‘


  274. Jackie L says:

    I’m concerned, I keep hearing words that don’t mean much, such as modesty, does this mean a disdain for beauty in favor of more plain churches, music, liturgy? I would ague that ad orientem is a FAR more modest posture, and the TLM the more modest mass. Perhaps it is the media, but I don’t think that this is what we’re talking about here. Other terms such as the Pope being Marian, pro-life, against same-sex marriage, don’t impress me as this is expected, but I keep hearing it repeated as if this reassurance should comfort trads.
    It will be interesting to see if this Pope moves forward with the Benedictine altar arraignment, and other elements of the Marshal Plan, or if we move backward.

  275. demigh says:

    I gave him 9/10, but that was before I realized that we were to vote on our FIRST impression. Although happy to have a new pope, I was …..underwhelmed. Later, I was doing some reading of the catechism for a Year Of Faith project and I came upon this:

    “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.” (Proverbs 19:21)

    Don’t worry, it’s all unfolding as it should.

  276. MikeM says:

    When I heard about the white smoke, I was working in the house of some non-Catholics. They knew that I would want to see it, and they seemed curious about the whole thing, too, so they turned it on. I was trying to at least pretend that I was still working (since they were, after all, paying me to work, not watch TV), so I didn’t quite catch the name when they announced it. I was told that “It’s an Argentine” and I was thoroughly confused. When I realized that it was Bergoglio, who I knew of already (though not necessarily that well), I noticed that they were looking at me for a reaction. I was shocked and still processing, but I felt the need to say something. I went with the most honest thing that I could think of… “Well… I’m very surprised. I’m not sure that I understand what direction that will take us, but he’s a very good man.”

    Since then, watching him, it’s my natural inclination to read into every little thing he does, to try to categorize things by which “camp” he must be supporting on social issues, theology, liturgy, church politics, etc. But, really, I’m still basically where I was with that first reaction. I’ll give him time to show us what he’s about before I start dissecting him and putting the pieces into labeled boxes. Like many here, my preference would be for a little bit more ceremony and ornateness to some things. I’m, on the other hand, very pleased to see his focus on the Cross, on walking with Christ… on the fundamentals in all of their simplicity. I doubt that I’ll like everything that he does because, well, I’m a critical kind of guy so that wouldn’t be my style. But, he certainly seems like a holy man who cares about Christ and His Church, so I’m going to pray for him, give him the trust that he asked for, and let Peter be Peter.

  277. stephen c says:

    8 of 10. Loves God, loves the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Bible, loves , loves Mary, loves Joseph, is pro-life (although probably not to the desirable maximum, but almost no Cardinals are), …
    I (possibly wrongly) took the “stunned” look of the first few moments on the balcony as an expression of an inner unconscious struggle against actual physical pain (migraines, angina, oxygen deprivation, sciatica from bad fitting clothes – who knows – he is 76, and it had been a long few days), a struggle of which he was probably not aware in the overwhelming joy of seeing all those people who had been praying on his behalf…usually old men can hide their pain, out of politeness, but that was sort of like a wedding day and who prepares for a wedding day at the age of 76?
    I like that he cooks for himself, I have no doubt that he is as good or a better cook than anyone he could have cheaply hired and that he enjoys making good food for his guests (and he is probably aware that for most of them it is one of the most wonderful meals in their life – I don’t see him as humble in that respect at all, rather as magnanimous – same thing with the bus, I bet that is more fun for all than interacting with the same chauffeur – possibly a crabby one, or an untalkative one, every single day), I am also sure that he found jobs for whoever would have cooked and chauffeured for him.
    Don’t know much about Argentina except that it is one of those sad recent-civil-war countries where the mutual criticisms in all philosophical fields are always unfathomably – to – the -non -expert harsh…so I proportionately discount local criticisms …
    Just 8 0f 10, not a 9 of 10 because St Peter himself was only a 9 of 10 (except of course on his best days)…

  278. Joe in Canada says:

    I thought this blog thread was about our reactions to the Holy Father, not to his predecessor, or to Msgr Marini. The Holy Father absolutely does not have to do anything to please Msgr Marini. As far as the mozzetta is concerned, the grandeur of the papacy does not depend on the trappings of medieval royalty. I think what discourages me the most is the negativity about the Holy Father taking the bus with the Cardinals, paying his bill, etc. No wonder Pope Celestine retired. Anyways, I hope those who (rightly) don’t want the Bishop Emeritus of Rome criticized by comparison, also defend Blessed John Paul II (“Benedict isn’t a showman“), the Servant of God Paul VI, etc.

  279. Bea says:

    I’m not really at liberty to say (though in the future it may become public).
    Suffice it to say it is more because of the country he is from.

  280. historyb says:

    My fiirst impression was shocked when I thought the liberals were giddy because they say he’s liberal like them, he is most assurdly not. I lie him the more I see of him

  281. frjim4321 says:

    I pray that the reports of prayer and penance for B. Law are accurate but I will believe it when I read it in a worthy news source.

  282. JacobWall says:

    Has anyone checked out The Chant Cafe? This one’s an inspiring thought: http://www.chantcafe.com/2013/03/is-chant-in-danger_15.html (but perhaps a little too optimistic?)

    This one’s is very realistic and an excellent assessment of the differences between Benedict XVI and Pope Francis: http://www.chantcafe.com/2013/03/is-there-rupture-between-benedict-and.html

    Very refreshing!

    Until Fr. Z has rested up and reflected on things (which I hope is soon, but long enough to give him the space he needs), I think that’ll be my new home for while.

    (Mind you, the combox there seems to be plagued by much of the same stuff as anywhere else, but the posts are wonderful, not to mention the music they share. I can live without comboxes for a while – I think. I have to admit, they are luring and addictive.)

  283. Virgile says:

    I gave the new Pope a 1…
    … and wait for a new poll in several months.

  284. guans says:

    I agree with this article: http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2013/03/god-just-short-circuited-dissenting.html (which would be a 10)
    also, based on a locution.org article on Spirit Daily, I’m hoping he will be the Pope to bring us
    the Fifth Marian Dogma.

  285. Kerry says:

    First impression, a warm man with a great heart.

  286. jbosco88 says:

    his will be a VERY different reign with a very Latin American flavor to it.”>

    And herein we come to the crux of the problem – what works in Latin America will most probably not work in the Universal Church. Even if the Pope views himself as a “first among equals” as the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury does, he is called to a different ministry. Even the Orthodox Church will agree that he is not simply another bishop, just as their Patriarchs are not.

    The Pope is a humble man. Indeed. Aggressively humble. Removing the marks of his Office places more emphasis on him personally – certainly not a mark of humility.

  287. I gave him 10/10, it was my first impression and continues to be my impression. I was delighted to see someone from Latin-America; also someone who is unlikely to cave in to secular pressure regarding matters like homosexuality and abortion. And, well, I prefer the Novus Ordo (when celebrated with decorum, I hasten to add) so I also like the fact that Pope Francis appeared without the mozzetta and only put on the stole for the blessing. May the Lord keep him in His Grace and in good health for a long-long time!

  288. A German in France says:

    Dear all,

    I think this rating should be more or less a kind of exercise. Exercise of our faculties to observe, to analyse, to synthethise, rapidly, and to see also if we can forge us a personal opinion instead of repeating what the whole (mediatic) world says about humility, bus drive, cleansing, etc. This – I think – could have been intended by Father Z. in order to guide him as to what his followers are now awaiting from him, it says a lot of us … By the way, the ratings may not reflect the reality as it is, as you can vote apparently as many times as you want. I tried to see that yesterday, voting twice the same day (so you can put off one vote for the 1).

    To Father Zuhlsdorf, as I don’t know how to send him an email: Father, do you think that Benedict XVI still handles his Twitter account? I haven’t myself a Twitter account so I could not participate in the grouped tweets you organised earlier, but I found the idea very nice. So why not stay in touch with Benedict XVI through this means of communications? Or another one, you’re so creative in handling IT!

    And also: I still continue to pray for Benedect XVI and the Church, as he asked us to do when he left.

  289. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    6-7 / 10. I think he will be more appealing to the world in a sort of Bl JP2 sort of way. That said, I think being appealing to the world is less relevant in our Church so divided by heterodoxy within itself from Bishops all the way down to the weekly Mass attenders on birth control and voting for gay marriage.

    I was praying for a Pope who would clean house and offer the world a refined and consistent vision of Catholicism well lived by an inspired and devout laity. Perhaps my prayer will be answered. I hope he surprises me by demonstrating the deep theological acumen to be the Pope of genuine Christian Unity that Benedict XVI proved himself to be. I tend to agree with what Father Z has said, I think the SSPX missed their chance for reconciliation for the foreseeable future. The pictures I have seen which seem to indicate he allowed ridiculous photo-ops of Prots praying over him in Bl JP2 like fashion is concerning. Like many others, I also have concern over his liturgical tastes and how they may stymie expansion of a traditional liturgy in continuity with tradition. I hope he doesn’t confuse personal humility with a fabricated impoverishment of the liturgy or liturgical accoutrement; John 12 comes to mind.
    I hope and pray this is not the case. I hope and pray I am totally surprised by this Pope in only positive ways.

  290. lmo1968 says:

    My very first impression was bewilderment — he seemed so overwhelmed and grim at first — but then he smiled and spoke and I realized that he was shy. Then he bowed his head after asking for our prayers and I realized he is humble. Speaking of Pope Francis’ apparent modesty and humility is not to say that our pope emeritus is not also humble: Indeed, my first and last impression of Benedict XVI is one of a shy, humble, profound man. Likewise Pope Francis. I would rate my reaction to him as 10. (Likewise for B16)

  291. Scott W. says:

    I know what happened. It’s still Lent and Lent brings all the crazies out.

  292. jflare says:

    I decided on a rating of 5, mostly because honestly have no idea what TO think.
    Granted, my first thought upon hearing that he’s a Jesuit was a genuine “Uh-oh”, but I think that’s mostly a result of my having heard quite a lot of nonsense from Jesuit priests both here and abroad..none of which necessarily reflects even one tidbit of what Pope Francis, himself, thinks or believes about anything. In this sense, given what I’ve heard about his distaste for Marx, I almost wonder if God might be using our new pope as a means of redeeming the Society of Jesus from some of the madness of the last 30 years.

    I HAVE been somewhat bothered by his apparent lack of interest in more..grand ..presentations of himself and his office. I have tended to think that there ARE times when a “commoners” look might not be quite so good; I’m not so sure our society benefits so much from one who looks like he might want to be our personal friend. I’ve met entirely too many people who really DO seem to need the appearance of that authority figure who makes plain his authority by his physical trappings.

    On the other hand, I’ve also heard that he has little difficulty with making plain what he believes morally virtuous vs not; his concern for the poor appears to be a little more like what I think more politicians should do: Actually walk the streets amongst the poor and see what they REALLY need. So it’s plausible that his approach may be more along the lines of insisting upon seeing BOTH Solidarity AND Subsidiarity in their proper balance.

    On the whole, time will tell.
    My one great worry: That he’d do anything that would effectively over-rule Summorum Pontificum. Benedict gave greater freedom to offer the traditional Mass and I’ve had cause these last years to become better acquainted. It’d be a shame if we lost that ground. Even so, considering that the only priests I’ve heard about in this area who actually OFFER the traditional Mass routinely are..FSSP..who offer that Mass anyway per their order, maybe that’s not a real problem exactly.

    OK, I lied. My second great worry: That Francis would do something that would undermine the growth of understanding of more traditional music within the Church. But my Novus Ordo parish already seems to have a trajectory to emphasize more beautiful music, regardless of the precise form of the rite, so banality might not be a huge concern. ..And considering that Pope Francis apparently has taste for opera, I’m thinking it unlikely that he’d do anything that’d detract from appreciation for the finer presentations of the Fine Arts.

    On the whole, I guess we’ll simply need to wait and see.

  293. jflare says:

    As I’ve been scrolling back through some of the entries, I’m seeing that I’m not the only one who’s concerned about the status of the traditional liturgy. Even so, I’m remembering something that I thought I heard before Pope Francis election: Pope Benedict was the last of the prelates who actually attended and lived through Vatican II.

    That’s a VERY interesting thought! How well does he REALLY know the traditional Mass? Granted, he’s 76, so he’s arguably old enough to remember well how the traditional form was celebrated. Then again, he’s arguably NOT old enough to actually have celebrated that Mass himself, or at least not that often. I understand the traditional Mass to have been imposed here in the ‘States in 1969. Well, it’s now 2013, some 34 years later. He would’ve been roughly 42 at the time. PROBABLY old enough to have celebrated the traditional form a bunch, but that also assumes that his seminary formation didn’t treat the Mass..with disdain..or subtlely declare it “old-fashioned” or something.

    Point is, I’m not sure we necessarily have much to worry about.
    John Paul II is not known for having celebrated the traditional Mass as pope either, but he DID cause FSSP to exist and DID make arrangements for bishops around the world to offer an “Indult Mass” so they could foster that frame of mind. He DID also inquire amongst his advisors about the wisdom of requiring more relaxed rules regarding the offering of the traditional Mass.

    On the whole, I think it plausible that Pope Francis may ultimately carry one where Benedict left off, allowing for greater use of the traditional Mass while avoiding the screams from those who detest it.

  294. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Well, I don’t know about crazies. But certainly Lent makes certain segments of the Internet have a tendency to argue hotly. I don’t know if it’s fasting or Spring fever, but I notice it every year.

  295. Juergensen says:

    In all fairness, given the fashionable shoot-from-the-hip criticism of Pope Francis for not wearing this or that, how about a poll from WDTPRS gauging Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy? Here’s a suggested poll question:

    Would you have traded Pope Benedict XVI’s wearing of WDTPRS-approved papal attire for his purging of the Church of “filth”?

    __ Yes

    __ No

  296. Maxiemom says:

    I believe that my first comment was moderated out.

    I look forward to the papacy of Pope Francis. His humility is a breath of fresh air.

    I realize that many “traddies” would have preferred that Cardinal Burke be elevated, but I think Pope Francis will respect those who wish to continue to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I believe that there is a place for all of us at God’s table. I believe that we must all pray that the controversies that have plagued the church for the past many years will be corrected and we can move on.

  297. Scott W. says:

    Good news! I found my first “Turn the clock back” quote. http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130314/BLOGS04/130319927

    The puff of white smoke appeared above the Sistene Chapel Wednesday night in Rome—and members of the Cuomo clan in New York City breathed a sigh of disappointment.

    The Roman Catholic family of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said they were discouraged by the choice of the traditionalist Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the church’s new Pope.

    “I don’t think he’s what we need right now in the Catholic church,” said Madeline Cuomo, Mr. Cuomo’s younger sister. “We’re looking to move the church forward, with gay marriage and women priests. He’s going to turn back the clock.”

    Well done Cardinals!

  298. racjax says:

    No one on this board has yet to comment about Cdl Mahony’s continued effusions about the new Pope. In addition to his being “estatic” after the election, he has now returned to his Twitter account to expound on the future. Oh, BTW, the LA Archdiocese paid out another $10 million this past week courtesy of said Cardinal (add that to the $666M previously paid).
    Do birds of a feather still flock together?

    Cardinal Mahony ?@CardinalMahony
    So long, Papal ermine and fancy lace! Welcome, simple cassock, and hopefully, ordinary black shoes! St. Francis must be overjoyed!!
    At our meeting today with Pope Francis, I noted that is still wearing his older black shoes. I pray that he keeps them as a sign for us all
    15 Mar
    Mass with Pope Francis: moving from HIGH Church to LOW and humble Church! What a blessing that we are encountering Jesus without trappings!
    14 Mar
    Don’t you feel the new energy in the Church, and being shared with one another? We will experience a new Pentecost as the early Christians.

  299. chantgirl says:

    I gave him a 7/10 as a first impression. History shows we can’t automatically give every Pope a 10. Also, in St. Louis, the word Jesuit can conjure images from the Reign of Terror.

    I am forever grateful to Benedict XVI for his gift of SP, as I am a JPII child and probably would never have gone to an EF if it were not for SP. Benedict’s reforms will continue to work their way through the Church, especially through younger priests.

    Now I suspect that Pope Francis will appeal to a great many souls who would not have responded to Benedict XVI. Every time I see him, I can’t get the phrase “seek and save the lost” out of my head. I think the Lord is trying to rescue as many souls as possible in our wicked time. While I don’t agree that informality is always a sign of humility, the majority of the public seems to equate the two and may come to Christ and His Church because of it. It seems the Lord is using every means possible to gather the lost. Finally, it seems that Pope Francis gave the Kirchners in Argentina a run for their money, which makes me hopeful that he will stand up for the unborn, traditional marriage and conscience protections in the face of political pressure.

  300. Indulgentiam says:

    “Those who voted 10 are Pollyanna’s” ? That gave me quite a chuckle considering that I am more often likened to chicken little :)
    Some of the comments I’ve been reading remind me of the reaction the Jews had to Our Lord.
    You know when they were expecting a king and got a carpenter. I can picture it so well, probably b/c, sadly, I can grumble with the best of them. “What ?!? Him?!? Nah, no way! That can not be God ‘s choice!!!!
    Isaias (Isaiah) 55:9 For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.

    I’m pretty sure that when Our Lord advised us to pick up our cross and follow Him that He was saying; it’s gonna get ugly and confusing but don’t try to figure it all out. Just follow me cuz I know where I AM going.
    I dunno from Pollyanna but I do know that ALL things come from the Hand of God. Peace or battle, He will send us what we need exactly when we need it, HE is good, our only good. This Pope, that Pope or any other (shrug) my hope is in God not man.

  301. VexillaRegis says:

    Chantgirl & others: The Kirchners sure have deviated far from their ancestors’ occupation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchner_(surname) !!!

  302. wecahill says:

    I would describe my attitude as “cautiously pessimistic”. My very first reaction, upon hearing his name, was “Dear God help us, a Jesuit from Argentina”. When you have a good Jesuit, there’s nothing better; but when you have a bad Jesuit, there’s nothing worse. And I have very little confidence in most of the South American clergy. When he came out on the balcony, I had the impression of a frail, ineffectual man, who will not be the strong hand that I think the Church needs. I was hoping for a new Hildebrand, or Pius V. I’m afraid we have another Paul VI- personally good and perhaps even holy, but incapable of governing. I hope I’m wrong.
    I’m not worried about him not wearing this-or-that; I think he’ll get it right over time. But I am worried about his approach to the liturgy. If a tenth of the things posted in other blogs are accurate, we don’t have a friend of the TLM in the papacy. My prayer is that he follows the wise advice of Hippocrates to physicians- “First, do no harm”. Leave it alone; make no changes
    On the positive side: It is said that he prays a 15-decade rosary every day. I will try to do the same, and offer these for him and the Church. Also, he was attacked immediately by the professional homosexual lobby for standing up for marriage in Argentina. Whether he did so effectively or timely is another matter. I only pray that he won’t backpedal when he is confronted, as he will be, on this issue.
    Finally, I think that the SSPX will be wise to hold the course, steady as she goes. They have always maintained, and I agree, that they never left the Church. DICI has posted very respectful and open-minded articles. Only time will tell how things develop.
    May God Bless our new Pope!

  303. Imrahil says:

    slightly OT, but never miss a chance to quote Chesterton.

    So, the dear @Scott W.’s quote obviously brought to my mind this one:

    It is astonishing to note how often, when we address a man with anything resembling an idea, he answers with some recognised metaphor, supposed to be appropriate to the case. If you say to him, “I myself prefer the principle of the Guild to the principle of the Trust,” he will not answer you by talking about principles. He can be counted on to say: “You can’t put the clock back,” with all the regularity of a ticking clock. This is a very extreme example of the mental breakdown that goes with a relapse into metaphor. For the man is actually under[estimating] his own case out of sheer love of metaphor. It may be that you cannot put time back, but you can put the clock back. He would be in a stronger position if he talked about the abstraction called time; but an all-devouring appetite for figurative language forces him to talk abut clocks. Of course the real question raised has nothing to do with either clocks or time. It is the question of whether certain abstract principles, which may or may not have been observed in the past, ought to be observed in future. But the point is here that even the man who means that we cannot reconstruct the past can hardly ever reconstruct his own sentence in any other form except this figurative form. Without his myth, or his metaphor, he is lost.
    (Myths and Metaphors, 1929)

  304. wecahill says:

    Oh, BTW, I gave him a 5/10. I thought he looked like a deer in the headlights when he came out on the balcony. But, I was moved to tears when he led us in prayer. Oremus pro Pontifice!

  305. catholicmidwest says:

    A German in France said, “I think this rating should be more or less a kind of exercise. Exercise of our faculties to observe, to analyse, to synthethise, rapidly, and to see also if we can forge us a personal opinion instead of repeating what the whole (mediatic) world says about humility, bus drive, cleansing, etc. This – I think – could have been intended by Father Z. in order to guide him as to what his followers are now awaiting from him, it says a lot of us … ”

    I think you are correct on all these counts, German person in France. I believe that this pope presents us with an entirely new mixture of concepts to comprehend, and that this new mix is if not the perfect mix for this minute in history, as close as could be arrived at in a room of 115 men chosen by God for the purpose. People tend to think of history as the past, but history is even now being written and the fact that there are huge numbers of Catholics leaving the Church in heart, and sometimes in body, is very important for the future, which will be history too. The faith itself, meaning the deposit of faith, doesn’t change because truths can’t change; but the cultures that the deposit of faith are expressed in and by does change. We must be willing and able to work with this idea because the Church must go on. It is our job and our vocation, no matter what station in life we have, to take responsibility for this with the grace of God acting through us. If this means that we are born at a difficult time, then so be it, because God ordains these things for each of us.

    For those worrying about the giddyness of the press, it doesn’t mean anything and it won’t last, believe me. When they get a load of his moral views and the steel set of nerves underneath that boyish smile, they’ll be very angry. They’re making their own bed; let them lie in it when the time comes.

    I do think that Fr. Z cares what his readers think and it’s a huge compliment to the readers of his blog that he has given his blog to help us to think this through with each other. Fr Z, please take the time you need to visit, rest and enjoy Rome. And stay dry in that Roman spring weather please. We need you when you come back. I’m going to go vote for this blog in that “best blog” contest now. Yours is the only blog that I have ever considered that for, let alone done it for. Thank you for all you do.

  306. e.e. says:

    When a friend first let me know that white smoke had been spotted, I was so excited. I spent the next hour-plus glued to the TV, ignoring all the other things I needed to do. Then, when the name of our new Holy Father was announced, I admit that I was a little baffled, thinking “who is that?” He won me over to an 8/10 when he led everyone in prayer.

    I was also optimistic to learn that he was the ordinary for the Ukrainian Catholics in Argentina and is reported to know the Byzantine liturgy well.

  307. mamajen says:


    I don’t see Cardinal Mahony’s effusions as a strike against Pope Francis. I see a cardinal trying to flatter the Pope in order to save his own skin (particularly if the rumors of Pope Francis’ recent dealings with Cardinal Law have some element of truth).

  308. Janol says:

    The BBC is repeating what Rorate Caeli had reported the other day and I hope someone will put down that rumor swiftly. (I really can’t believe that Pope Francis said what he’s reported to have said.) :

    “Minutes after the election result was declared in the Sistine Chapel, a Vatican official called the Master of Ceremonies offered to the new Pope the traditional papal red cape trimmed with ermine that his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI gladly wore on ceremonial occasions.

    “No thank you, Monsignore,” Pope Francis is reported to have replied. “You put it on instead. Carnival time is over!”


  309. sciencemom says:

    When I heard the news, I was with my mother in the hospital. At that point, I didn’t know who had been picked, just that someone had. When I did hear, I wondered — who is that?? And I was concerned because he is a Jesuit, and the Jesuits are like the girl with the curl in the old poem: When they are good, they are very, very good, but when they are bad, they are horrid.

    By the time Fr. Z put up the poll, I was feeling mostly reassured. Someone (sorry I don’t remember who it was) on one of the previous comment threads mentioned Fr. Fessio. He is the founder of Ignatius Press and himself a Jesuit — of the very, very good sort. He is happy and excited about this, as are Fr. McCloskey and Archbishop Chaput.

    You can see what they had to say at these links:
    Father Joseph Fessio on Pope Francis
    Father C.J. McCloskey Reacts To Pope Francis

  310. racjax says:

    The Vatican has refuted the claim about Law’s impending banishment. Please see John Allen’s blog and Rocco Palmo’s tweet.

    I well understand the implications of Cdl. Mahony’s effusions. They are not in supplication for a reprieve. The reprieve occurred upon the vote. My prayers are for Archbp. Gomez.

  311. MarcAnthony says:

    “The BBC is repeating what Rorate Caeli had reported the other day and I hope someone will put down that rumor swiftly.”

    Without a real source, rumor is the perfect word.

  312. JordanH says:

    jflare – Your math is off. 1969 was 44 years ago. he would have been 32. Bergoglio was ordained a Priest in 1969, having taken some years to get a degree in Chemistry and other things.

    He surely remembers having participating in the Latin Mass and most certainly was trained in it.

    I wonder about the training in Seminaries around that time. Was there a sudden retraining? Did this disrupt the schedules at all?

  313. Laura98 says:

    Just a couple of thoughts…. If I remember correctly, Pope St. Pius X was roundly criticized for many of these same “faults” as Pope Francis is being criticized for now. Such as not “dressing” or “presenting” himself properly to the chattering classes and the Curia.

    We need to remember that Pope Francis is a different man than Pope Benedict XVI was. They have different backgrounds and different comfort zones. They have different talents and strengths. Would not God use them in different ways and manners in the office of the Papacy? Do not the strengths of both have their places? Can we not learn from both Holy Fathers?

  314. BLB Oregon says:

    “I don’t think he’s what we need right now in the Catholic church,” said Madeline Cuomo, Mr. Cuomo’s younger sister. “We’re looking to move the church forward, with gay marriage and women priests. He’s going to turn back the clock.”…”

    If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. –C.S. Lewis

    “Have you no idea of progress, of development?”
    “I have seen them both in an egg,” said Caspian.
    “We call it ‘Going Bad’ in Narnia…”
    –Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis

  315. CatholicByChoice says:

    I wonder how people would be voting if the poll was: Your first impression of the works of the Holy Spirit, on a scale of 1-to-10?

  316. MikeM says:

    I gave my first reaction above, but I think that a second reaction reaction is in order. He alternates between moments of absolute greatness and moments at which I can only roll my eyes and groan. It strikes me that part of that is due to his being argentine. The social divisions in much of Latin America are truly shocking. Perhaps, in that context, telling people not to travel to Rome and to donate to the poor is a necessary lesson. But, if the Pope had been an American (from the US) and had told me that I shouldn’t be spending my meager earnings on a pilgrimage to our Church’s “capital,” I would have found it very off-putting. Whenever He’s about to get on my nerves, though, I see him speaking lovingly, directly, about Our Lord, the Cross, etc., and I feel delighted, and put in my place.

    I think about the fierce, at times quite sharp-tongued, arguments about Catholic practice among the fathers and saints in history. Jerome and Ambrose as one among many examples. Even the great saints weren’t always of one mind about everything. I suspect that many of us, here, will find plenty to disagree with Pope Francis about over his pontificate, but, that doesn’t make him a bad man or a bad Pope. The Church has gotten great benefit from very different, and sometimes, on some matter, opposing men over the centuries. I see a lot of benefit that we can get out of Francis. And some practice in respect for authority on matters of disagreement might serve me well, anyway.

  317. MarcAnthony says:

    “Your first impression of the works of the Holy Spirit, on a scale of 1-to-10?”

    If the Holy Spirit (directly) chose the Pope, this would be an interesting question. But as Pope emeritus Benedict once said:

    When asked whether the Holy Spirit is responsible for the election of a pope, he said:

    “I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. . . . I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-next-pope-will-be-gods-choice-.-.-.-right/#ixzz2NjTpeREo


    “Before I say “goodbye” to you personally, I would like to tell you that I shall continue to be close to you with prayers, especially in these coming days, so that you may be completely docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new pope. May the Lord show you the one whom he wants.”

    “His prayer that the cardinals be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit indicates that they could fail to be docile.

    ‘They could misuse their free will, clinging to their own ideas and perceptions about who ought to be pope, and resist the guidance God is offering them, so that they don’t clearly see the one whom God wants.'”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-next-pope-will-be-gods-choice-.-.-.-right/#ixzz2NjUCru5g

    So hey, if our Pope emeritus is right, I guess it’s not totally ruined, whatever happens!

  318. Fr Jackson says:

    Father, let’s watch and see how many “brick by brick” points our new pope earns. That’s what we’re all about here, right?

  319. APX says:

    I voted 5. While I think his humility is admirable, it pains me to see traditions thrown out the window in the name of “humility” and “simplicity”, and there is a certain sense of humility in not imposing one’s own feelings and personality on traditions, which belong to Catholics.

    I’m taking art history now focusing on religious art and church architecture. The more I learn about the symbolism and meanings in each little aspect, the more I appreciate it. I spend most of my class time contemplating on how awesome God is and on Jesus’ Passion because we spend our class time analyzing altar pieces and floor plans of the great cathedrals in Europe. It was experiencing and understanding the Church’s traditions in Mass and through the sacraments that strengthened my reversion. Sure, to people who don’t understand the meaning and symbolism behind these things, they look like mere empty pompess grandeur of the Church flaunting its riches, but these things are important in helping the faithful grow and be strengthened in their faith.

    I think some people take “sell off all your riches and give them to the poor” out of context and take them too literally. It’s not a sin to be rich. It’s when one becomes attached to them. The Church does more in the long run to help the poor by having its art and cathedrals, etc by attracting tourists and giving away its surplus revenue to the poor than it would in selling it all off and making a one time lump sum donation to the poor.

    One of the first things I texted to my friend after his election was a joking, “I hope he doesn’t sell off St. Peter’s for a shack.” I was planning on making a trip to Rome next year, but since hearing he “wants the church to be poor”, I’m thinking I should go this summer. I pray that he works through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and not from the influences of what a cardinal told him right after he was elected. (I thought speaking about what goes on during the conclave was strictly forbidden?)

  320. lmo1968 says:

    Would you have traded Pope Benedict XVI’s wearing of WDTPRS-approved papal attire for his purging of the Church of “filth”?


  321. jflare says:

    You could be right regarding my math this morning. I wrote those at about 7 AM after a work shift of 11 hours, so I might’ve erred somewhat.
    I think it’d be interesting to know the sentiments presented to now-Pope Francis during his seminary training. I think of my own father, who is also 76–or maybe 77 now, and who thought he’d been called to be a priest. Ultimately, he wound up following a different path, but he tends to be rather..unaffectionate..toward the traditional Mass. I think he sees it as a comparatively rigid and quasi-inhuman experience, where he might see the Novus Ordo as being somewhat more personal. By contrast, I’m inclined to see the Novus Ordo as being highly prone to too much rigidity against anything older and meaningful.
    I think it quite possible that Pope Francis may ultimately surprise us liturgically. Hard to tell.

  322. Anna says:

    I didn’t vote, because I don’t think I get to say. I mean, who am I to argue with the Holy Ghost? I will say, emotionally, I was thrilled, thinking, “The Holy Ghost has given us a new pontif, a new father. Blessed be God!” It doesn’t matter what he did in the past because now he has a new grace. There are many stories of saints who given the grace of office made a turn around. Satan tries to discourage, to breed fear, he tries to divide, but I take the attacks from both sides as good news, if the devil is trying so hard to stir people up it’s because he’s mad. I plead with the NO people to be the traditionalists who don’t cause a stir, who love the Pope as a faithful son loves a father, who pray for the Pope, who resist the devils tactics to divide the faithful. There is little in the world as beautiful as a tridentine Mass, it’s honour, it’s glory, all given to God, who deserves nothing but the best. If God does send us an evil pope, you can be sure it’s a punishment for our sins, because we have not been grateful enough for the blessings He has showered on us. We are like my little daughter, who today when I sewed her dolly’s skirt, whined that I did not make her a new sock. Let us embrace the cross. Let us love our pope, despite his wounds, they speak to us of our own weakness. (Thanks for giving us a place to vent Fr. Z)

  323. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Jackson:

    I’m not sure how many “brick by brick” points the new Pope will earn as far as Latin, chant, and elegant vestments. But I think that this blog is first and foremost about our sanctification in Jesus Christ, for without personal holiness and the heroic practice of faith, hope, and charity, we are useless to the Church, regardless of which external forms of the liturgy are available to us.

  324. jhayes says:

    The shoes of the Pope:


    It’s encouraging to see someone who presents himself as a real person rather than as a character playing a role.

  325. McCall1981 says:

    @ Bea

    Thanks for your response!
    Without getting into his personal reasons, do you have a guess as to how he’ll treat the TLM as a Pope?

  326. poohbear says:

    “he calls for communion to be withheld from pro-abortion politicians.”
    Lets see how this goes at the installation mass when Biden and Pelosi present themselves for communion.

    And now I would like to give the blessing, but first – first I ask a favour of you: before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop. Let us make, in silence, this prayer:your prayer over me. emphasis added

    The above is from the Vatican site. I would think the Vatican site would be concerned enough to publish an accurate translation. Do we know yet if this is an accurate translation?

  327. jhayes says:

    Poohbear, here is the Italian text as published by the Vatican:

    “E adesso vorrei dare la Benedizione, ma prima – prima, vi chiedo un favore: prima che il vescovo benedica il popolo, vi chiedo che voi preghiate il Signore perché mi benedica: la preghiera del popolo, chiedendo la Benedizione per il suo Vescovo. Facciamo in silenzio questa preghiera di voi su di me.”

    The English “pray to the Lord that He will bless me” agrees with this and is different from “[you] bless me”. The Pope blesses the people – the people don’t bless the Pope. They pray that God will bless him.

  328. jhayes says:

    Poohbear, here is the Italian text as published by the Vatican:

    “E adesso vorrei dare la Benedizione, ma prima – prima, vi chiedo un favore: prima che il vescovo benedica il popolo, vi chiedo che voi preghiate il Signore perché mi benedica: la preghiera del popolo, chiedendo la Benedizione per il suo Vescovo. Facciamo in silenzio questa preghiera di voi su di me.”

    The English “pray to the Lord that He will bless me” agrees with this and is different from “[you] bless me”. The Pope blesses the people – the people don’t bless the Pope. They pray that God will bless him.

  329. mamajen says:

    @Fr Jackson

    Incidentally, your group could be very instrumental in scoring quite a few “Brick by Brick” points for Pope Francis, if you weren’t so intent to remain on the opposing team. It’s sad to see SSPX members use this election as a vindication, rather than a fresh opportunity. I am disappointed in your comment.

  330. GAK says:

    If you can force your mind to jack hammer through the bedrock of bulky, stiff English, you’ll see he has a broad mind and a sharp intellect.

    (It says at the bottom that it was translated by the 3rd & 4th year modern language students. So it’s not like he gave a speech in crappy English.)

  331. lmo1968 says:

    Why can’t people bless the pope? The psalms tell us to bless God. “I will bless the Lord at all times.” — Psalm 34, and “Bless the Lord O My Soul” in Psalm 103. If the laity can bless God, surely we can bless the pope.

  332. robtbrown says:

    Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Jackson:

    I’m not sure how many “brick by brick” points the new Pope will earn as far as Latin, chant, and elegant vestments.

    I tend to think of liturgy being preserved in the monasteries rather than cathedrals. In the former the liturgy has been done for its own sake, not to inspire lay devotion. Consequently, I favor Latin and chant more than elegant vestments–and long for a return to the distinction between Monastic and Basilican liturgy.

  333. GAK says:

    Sorry, I thought I had posted a link & prior comment to go with my 2nd comment, but I don’t know why it didn’t work.

    Here goes again:

    On page 65, “The Old and the New Universidad del Salvador: Its Continuity in the Jesuitic Spirit according to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, Provincial”

    Very poor English translation yet interesting:HERE

  334. poohbear says: