Updates on Pope Francis’ first day as Pope – Great moments! (live blogging)

During the press briefing today, we were told that after the first appearance and blessing last night, Pope Francis went back to the cardinal’s residence, Casa Santa Marta, on the little bus with the other cardinals rather than take the car with the plates SCV1.

At end of the meal they had together, at the time of toasts and little speeches (absolutely necessary in Italy), he quipped “God forgive you for what you have done.”

As mentioned before, he spoke last night with the former Pope, Benedict. He will visit him soon at Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis went this morning, his first full day as Pope, to the Basilia St. Mary Major to venerate the Madonna “Salus Populi Romani“.  She is especially dear to the Roman people. Classy.  He carried with him a little bouquet of flowers which he left at the altar. He prayed for a while.  He visited also the relic of the crib, the manger, of the Nativity, and then went to the Sistine chapel of that Basilica, upon which altar St. Ignatius Loyola said his first Mass on Christmas Eve.  And he prayed before the tomb of St. Pius V, also in that chapel.

He returned in one of the squad cars of the Vatican Gendarmes without the big entourage of cars.

He went to the house where I used to live on the V. della Scrofa, to collect his luggage.  That is where he was before the conclave.  That is where I had met him on various occasions.  He went to the office and paid the bill for his room!

He went back to Santa Marta then, to meet people and get organized for the next days.

This evening is the Mass with Cardinals.  The Mass will be in Latin with readings in Italian. The sermon could be in Italian.  It might be pretty spontaneous.  It is probable that we in the press won’t have advance texts, so we will all have to be pretty careful in talking about his words.  (What do you want to bet there were speeches prepared already?)

After the Mass tonight, the seals will be removed by Francis from the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace.  It sounds as if he is going to move fairly soon to the Apostolic Palace after small adjustments are made.

After, they just went through some schedule stuff, which will already be everywhere by now.

We were told that the General of the Jesuits issued a statement about the election of Francis, a Jesuit.  He referred to the special bond of Jesuits with the Pope and their vow of obedience.  I look forward to seeing that in some certain Jesuits I have in mind.

The Pope knows Spanish, Italian, German, English, and French and probably some Portuguese.

A question was raised about security given that this Pope is rather spontaneous and informal. The security team will have to do its best given the Pope’s style.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Sofia Guerra says:

    Priceless… thanks Father!

  2. Muv says:

    Thank you for your posts over the past few days, Fr. Z.

    I have just watched the video at Rome Reports of our new Pope visiting the basilica and leaving flowers at the altar. We can all take heart at the fact that he took the first opportunity to honour Our Lady . I cannot think of a more touching and heartfelt gesture with which to begin his papacy.

  3. Muv says:


    But Father, but Father, why have you spelt peel as peal? Were the bells a bit loud yesterday? No, I’m not green all over with envy. Seven deadly sins, and all that.

  4. My children are so enthralled by our new Pope, we listened to EWTN radio all the way home from school waiting for the name and rushed inside to watch it streamed online. This morning they were asking me to repeat what I had found out about him. “Mommy, you have said he is a humble man about 8 times!” He sounds like just what the Church needs right now. Our prayers are with Pope Francis as he begins his pontificate.

  5. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Dispensing with protocol is perhaps a sign of humility — but it’s also a sign of strongmindedness, when dispensing with a protocol as pre-determined as Vatican protocol. For the most part, JPII and Benedict didn’t get their way about such things in their time, but apparently this guy is managing it.

    OTOH, the poor security guys are definitely having to keep on their toes.

  6. Darren says:

    Thank you Father!

    I think Holy Father Francis is going to surprise a lot of people. The more I think of him, the more I am loving him. Maybe it is a movement of the Spirit within me, but all I can picture is how he exuded humility as he stepped onto the balcony.

    May God bless him with many years!

  7. Darren says:

    @Suburbanbanshee: the poor security guys are definitely having to keep on their toes

    I was thinking the same thing!

  8. Jim of Bowie says:

    Thank you Father for your posts today and what you wrote in 2009. They have given me a lot of reassurance. I was pretty low yesterday when one of the dozen men who I thought would be great popes wasn’t elected. My only remaining concern is the liturgical example he will set. In all the videos I’ve seen of him saying mass, he doesn’t wear an amice. I usually associate not wearing an amice with priests disrespectful of the liturgy. Also his appearance on the loggia was not reassuring. Maybe being in the Vatican will change that.

  9. GordonB says:

    Reading the various articles about what the Pope has been up to, and his “style”, they refer back to Benedict XVI as though he was some arrogant shut-it who sought out all manner of princely treatment. But I’ve always seen Benedict as paying heed to the tradition of his office. Not that a man whose spiritual discernment has led him to reject any trappings or advantages that come with high office of the Church, but it does not mean Benedict was some aristocrat, which is what the media presentation seems aimed to project.

  10. Joboww says:

    Didnt JPI say something also like “God forgive you for what you have done”?

  11. ReginaMarie says:

    +Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for sending us a shepherd! As our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, quipped “God forgive you for what you have done”…may God forgive us in our failure to offer the prayers and sacrifices we ought to offer on behalf of our Pontiff…both Benedict XVI and Francis. May we resolve to offer prayers and sacrifices for these men who carry such a heavy burden.

  12. Mary T says:

    “In all the videos I’ve seen of him saying mass, he doesn’t wear an amice. I usually associate not wearing an amice with priests disrespectful of the liturgy. Also his appearance on the loggia was not reassuring. Maybe being in the Vatican will change that.”

    Oh dear. Seriously? In the midst of what we are going through, the amice is the litmus test? This is a man who stood up to the Jesuits when they all moved to the left on Liberation Theology, and the government in the face of everything antithetical to Catholic moral teaching. A man Blessed John Paul II rescued from oblivion when the Jesuits consigned him to be a rector at a seminary (JPII made him a Bishop and then Cardinal) and who was named in one of the acts of Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for Latin America.

    This is a man who has severely, severely disappointed every dissident Catholic, the NY Times, Father Thomas Reese, Hans Kung, etc. etc. etc., and during the first 24 hours as Pope, this man is berated in a combox for lack of an amice?

    Well, here’s hoping that the man chosen by the Holy Spirit will eventually pass the higher standards of “Jim.”

  13. ladytatslace says:

    I am looking forward to learning more about this gift from God. All the second guessing and whining seems very ungrateful. Who are we to think that we know better then God. He knows the interior landscape of Pope Francis heart and soul, all we know are the exterior signs and what the news media chooses to tell us.
    Let us all thank God for this gift of a Holy Father, and be quiet and listen and watch, maybe we will learn something.

  14. mamajen says:

    I see Pope Francis as an important part of the New Evangelization, and I think Benedict probably feels the same way. This does not feel to me like a rejection of Benedict’s papacy, but a continuation of certain aspects of it…it’s beginning to make sense. I think his humility will win over a lot of people. Except for those on the most extreme ends of the spectrum, I am noticing that a very wide swath of Catholics are finding something to be excited about with this new pope. I was very taken aback at first, but the more I learn, the more he seems like a good, holy man.

  15. Legisperitus says:

    Joboww: I think you are right.

    Suburbanbanshee: I’m not sure that dispensing with protocol is always a sign of humility. It may be an incomplete grasp of the fact that the protocols and trappings of office are employed out of respect for the office created by God, not for the individual holding the office. Thus the “trappings” and traditions, when dutifully employed by a Pope, can themselves be a gesture of humility and respect on his part for the sacred office he holds. The veneration and pomp are never for the man, but for the extrinsic glory of God.

  16. Father, thank you for your recent posts. I’m feeling a bit more encouraged because of them. I admit to fear for continued progress on re-instating the Church’s liturgical practices. Its too early to tell how our blackrobe Pope will behave. Pope Francis venerated Our Lady immediately, yes!!!
    Jesuit…when these brilliant men go bad, they are really bad, so creatively bad LOL. But oh, there is nothing like a GOOD Jesuit when grace, humility, testosterone, and intelligence combine to promote the Will of God.

    In reference to protocol, yes humility is preferred, but I hope I’m not too legalistic by mentioning that the Office is due every honor. Its not about the man.

  17. Michael says:

    I am conflicted, but mostly very happy about this choice. I am overjoyed by Papa Francis’ obvious devotion to Our Lady. From what we have seen of him so far (which isn’t much), I think he is a warm and charitable person. The limited news we have on him indicates that he has taken strong stands against Kirchner’s idiocy in Argentina and that his positions on abortion, homosexual relationships, and contraception are unwavering. And it seems has has both lived a humble life himself and always been mindful of the poor, as we all should be.

    Of course I have concerns. His stance on liturgical issues is up in the air. His role in the Argentine war is muddled. While it is clear that he has a personal will to set his own course, it is not clear to me that will translate to a governing will to reform the curia and bring wayward dioceses into line. (If that makes any sense.) And as Fr. Z has said, a Pope from the developing world comes with the substantial risk that child abuse allegations have not been fully aired and resolved.

    Everyone is entitled to concerns and is entitled to respectfully voice them. (The “respectfully” part has been much ignored in the past day.) But disobedience and disrespect are another thing entirely. God bless our Holy Father Francis. May he have a long life and serve Our Lord and His Church well and faithfully. I stand with Peter. When called to Judgment, I could justify no other choice.

  18. ocalatrad says:

    I had my knee-jerk reactions upon reading the mixed reviews but then I reminded myself that Pope Francis hasn’t even been in 24 hours. I can’t imagine the immense burden that he is undergoing. So, I will love him as our new Holy Father and pray earnestly for him. The graces of the office are powerful, indeed. Let us pray that he will carry on Pope Benedict’s vision.

  19. Muv says:

    Follow Fr Z.s advice everyone – just watch what he is doing on his first full day as Pope, and take it from there.

    I have had tears in my eyes watching the Rome Reports video on Youtube of the visit to the Basilica.

    He speaks to a small group of people towards the end of the video, a dark haired lady steps forward, the young man is asking for a blessing for his child who is not yet born. The Pope asks when, the young man says five months. The camera is behind the Pope, but it is obvious that the Pope is looking down and directing the blessing to the child.



  20. Darren says:

    I love his motto as Archbishop: Miserando atque eligendo – Miserable yet chosen.

    @mamajen: the more I learn, the more he seems like a good, holy man.
    I totally agree.

    I graduated from New Jersey’s one Jesuit High School. I have seen great Jesuits, and others I just can’t wait for to retire. I am hoping that Pope Francis will bring order to the order. As Tina in Ashburn indicated… bad Jesuits can be really bad, but great Jesuits are truly wonderfully humble and holy men…thinking of some great Jesuit saints after Ignatius and Francis Xavier, such as Sts. Aloysius Gonzaga and Claude de la Colombiere, and of course St. Robert Bellarmine (who was St. Aloysius’ spiritual director, and I beleve also confirmed him)

  21. Southern Baron says:

    Having been Jesuit-educated, my first thoughts were “Which Jesuit is he?” I love the Society as I love my own family: there is always the odd relative who made odd decisions, but you still reach out to him.

    Pope Francis, however, is not that. He seems to be one in the earl Jesuits’ mold, as are many of the newest generation in the Society of Jesus. The classical Jesuits, and many who entered the society in the past two decades, combined loyalty and devotion with flexibility according to context, much as the Spiritual Exercises were meant to be adapted to an individual’s situation. Faithfulness to teaching, but at the same time, finding people where they are, be it in a Chinese palace or in a Paraguayan rainforest, hiding in Elizabethan London or studying in a school in the modern US. This never presumed that one could stay where he was, spiritually speaking, but this was where to start. The “profile of a graduate” from my high school listed various things we would be beginning to understand, presuming that our faith journey would continue as we constantly adjusted our aim more closely to God. And so must we all. I expect Pope Francis to be a great leader on this path.


  22. Imrahil says:

    As to all sorts of law which are not Divine or natural, the Pope is legibus absolutus (as the phrase goes). The Pope (and he alone) can freely choose to say something else than the black and do something else than the red. Excepting, at least for safety’s sake, the Words of Consecration.

    Of course, it is not a Catholic principle to like anything a Pope does.

    Dear @Legisperitus, that is true — yet we had better remember what the most traditional Catholic I can think of, Reinhard Raffalt, put roughly this way: “Protocol exists for the reason that those honored with it may honor the others by dispensing with it.”
    After all, a nco that habitually orders “without formal report!” when a subordinate attempts to go through the whole protocol of standing at attention, salute, “Mr Staffsergeant, Private firstclass Anthony Warrior need to make a report in an affair of service”, — such a nco is not theirby shaking military hierarchy to the ground. On the contrary, too all appearances he is fostering it.

    As to me personally, I did like the “buona sera”, the prayers, and also that he said “bishop of Rome” first and foremostly. This is simply the systematical case. I did think, though, that after this first time, he said “bishop of Rome” a bit too often. He did allude to his primacy, by quoting his order founder’s name patron; but unfortunately “having the presidency within love” is not necessarily understood (though it means) “among other things having the power to command in holy obedience”.

    All those who say that he has no sense of liturgy are disproven by the fact that when he did an actual liturgical act, he put the Stole on. I’m not saying that in this he is different from many others, but that does show that all those he is not different from do have a sense of liturgy.

    God bless the Pope.

  23. StWinefride says:

    Thank you for your insights, Father! I was not happy last night that you are on the same time zone – I turned in after midnight without knowing your thoughts on Pope Francis I! Commentary elsewhere was upsetting so had to wait till this morning for what I hoped would be a more balanced view. Thank you for calling for respectful comments on your blog with regard to our new Pope and have a safe trip home.

    I will be in Rome/Assisi for Holy Week and when I found out this morning that Pope Francis took the name Francis after St Francis of Assisi I thought how lucky to be able to pray for our new Pope in Assisi! I have never been there before and it will be interesting to see how the residents feel about it – delighted no doubt!

  24. gracie says:

    I hope the new Pope will tell us why he chose the name ‘Francis’.

  25. GregH says:

    Where and when did he learn English?!?

  26. Christopher says:

    Thank you Father,

    God Bless Pope Francis.

    God Bless you also Father.

  27. Christine says:

    I am pretty much ignoring everything the media says (except this blog and maybe one or two others) and have been focusing on prayers of thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for His choice of Holy Father. Whatever Pope Francis’ liturgical issues may be, he is the man the Holy Spirit has decided that we need right now and my family and I will be offering many rosaries for his intentions and for his growth in holiness.

  28. BillyT92679 says:

    He physically reminds me of both John Paul I and Bl John XXIII, which might scare some folks around here, but are undeniably holy men.

  29. Darren says:

    And how perfect, as I just heard on EWTN, that the inaugural mass will be on Tuesday the 19th, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. How perfectly this is playing out! (Oh how I wish they would make this a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States… after Our Blessed Mother, who among the saints is greater than Saint Joseph?)

    And, he told the cardinals at dinner last night (according to HE Dolan) that he chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis will rebuild the church!

    God Bless the Pope.

  30. Dennis Martin says:

    Regardless of the exact reasons why he was chosen (inability to find sufficient unity on any of the other leading possible choices), his age is significant. He entered the Society in 1958. Yes, he was ordained in 1969, in the middle of the Great Chaos. But his formation as a human person and the initial years of his formation in the Society of Jesus took place before the Council.

    This means that the Church will have had leadership for more than fifty years after the upheavals of the Council and a good 45 or close to 50 years after the Great Revolt of 1968 from bishops of Rome who were formed most fundamentally before the Council.

    Of course, many of the most damaging “Spirit of Vatican II” dissidents were also of his age cohort and thus formed before the council. So it all depends on how he (and they) reacted to the initial mis-interpretation of the council as a great Rupture.

    Still, had they chosen someone even 5 years younger, we would have someone whose basic personal formation was still in process as the craziness unfolded. (He was born 1936, someone born in 1941 would have been 21 years old when the council began; he was 26, was 4 years into his Jesuit formation.)

    We are at the very edge of the transition from a generation of leaders who grew up before the council to those who grew up during it and it’s initial aftermath. I thought that transition would be complete when Benedict’s successor was elected. We’ve been granted a stay of execution for the duration of his pontificate, however long or short it may be.

    Thank and bless God for that, regardless of the specific actions that may follow in the next few years.

    It did not have to be this way. We might already have had a pope whose formation took place in the early to late 1960s.

    The age factor is no guarantee that he will lead in the manner some of us think he should lead. But then we were not elected bishop of Rome. He was. He deserves space to unfold his program and fervent prayers to accompany him as he does so.

  31. ckdexterhaven says:

    I am enjoying the little tidbits about Pope Francis, especially that he went back and paid for his room. (I hope they gave him a Papal discount, or at least let him keep the soap and shampoo).

    I am encouraged that he is a Jesuit. May Pope Francis’ example be an example to all Jesuits around the world.

  32. I like the way he is acting so far. I have the feeling (admittedly based on VERY limited information) to be the kind of man who takes his position and responsibilities seriously, yet doesn’t take himself too seriously.

  33. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Earlier Great Moments.

    His Hermeneuticalness reports that there are plenty of Traditional Latin Masses in Argentina, and that Francis supported Summorum Pontificum from the start
    the-hermeneutic-of-continuity [dot] blogspot [dot] com/2013/03/old-rite-mass-in-argentina [dot] html

  34. LouiseA says:

    Wonder how long before he schedules a visit to the Roman Synagogue yet.
    But, go ahead, put those rose-colored glasses on, Fr. Z. et al., because Pope Francis is oh-so-humble.

  35. Blaine says:


    Wikipedia is reporting: “Catholic traditionalism – Cardinal Bergoglio was one of the first bishops in the world to respond to Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum by instituting a regular traditional Latin Mass in Buenos Aires within just two days of the Papal motu proprio.[67]”

    The linked article is: Rubin, Sergio (17 September 2007). “Regresó la misa en latín, con mujeres cubiertas por mantillas”, http://edant.clarin.com/diario/2007/09/17/sociedad/s-03001.htm
    I did a google translate, and it seemed positive. Could someone with a little more knowledge of Spanish give an impression please?

    In any case, I’m very excited to have a new Holy Father and may God bless and guide him in all he does. Your last few articles have been awesome, by the way, Father Z. Thanks for the reports, and please enjoy yourself and stay safe!

  36. Legisperitus says:

    Blaine: WikiMissa confirms the existence of a diocesan TLM in La Plata (provincia de Buenos Aires) on Sundays and holy days of obligation. http://honneurs.free.fr/Wikini/wakka.php?wiki=ArgentinE

  37. Gemma says:

    Just a note. The date this pope was picked is interesting. Our Lady loves the the number 3. 03/13/2013

  38. ckdexterhaven says:

    In other news, our media is still insane. Headline on NBC News right now says: ‘Status quo’ Leader: Same sex marriage, abortion unlikely under Pope Francis’

    They beclown themselves.

  39. Gaetano says:

    Imrahil, you are on the right tract when you noted that “All those who say that he has no sense of liturgy are disproven by the fact that when he did an actual liturgical act, he put the Stole on. I’m not saying that in this he is different from many others, but that does show that all those he is not different from do have a sense of liturgy.”

    I was initially disturbed when I saw certain standard protocols not being observed, but upon further reflection, I realized that the essentials were observed. I’m not holding my breath that we’ll see him in a fanon any time soon, but time will tell once we see him at his first Papal Mass and Holy Week – which should be fascinating this year.

    The Jesuits were the genius behind much of baroque liturgy, architecture and music. The great liturgical scholar Josef Jungmann was a Jesuit. Perhaps this might be the Jesuits “Only Nixon Could Go To China” moment.

  40. VivatCorJesu says:

    Padre, like you I am hopeful with our new pope. Though I am a bit nervous with the heritage of some Jesuits, I trust in the Holy Spirit and hope for a Jesuit like Fr. Mitch Pacwa and the late Fr. John Hardon! Thank you for your insights. May God bless us all with a true spirit of obedience. VCJ

  41. Found at http://www.taylormarshall.com/2013/03/10-facts-about-pope-francis.html#comment-828678278
    “Shortly after the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, Cardinal Bergoglio did arrange for a Traditional Mass to be said regularly in Buenos Aires, in the cathedral no less (the crypt). However, he assigned as chaplain a priest who was unfriendly to tradition and kept innovating and making “mistakes.” People eventually stopped going and so this TLM no longer exists. One example of his innovations: he would follow the calendar of the Ordinary Form, therefore doing the readings of the Ordinary Form in the TLM (Responsorial Psalm instead of Gradual and all). The readings were said by lay people.”

    The statement above would have to be verified.

    Clearly NONE OF US have enough or even accurate information to know how supportive of tradition Pope Francis’ diocese is. And as Fr Z has said, its way too early to tell what is GOING to happen.

    I sure would like to hear from folks in Argentina here! We in the States here have a different understanding of ‘traditional’; while Argentinians probably see the Pope Francis as traditional, we might view him as not-so-traditional-middle-of-the-road. We need context.

    I pray that Pope Francis continues the good that he has achieved and is able to rebuild the Church, in the path of St. Francis of Assisi. And ah, yes, elected on the 13th, a date Our Lady has used! Let’s see how the Office changes the man.

  42. heway says:

    Thanks be to God!!! As a daughter of VaticanII ,Jesuit educated and from a Franciscan family, I am delighted and so very thankful for this choice. Why worry about his stole and amice when he has embraced Francis as a model. Francis was not a priest so he didn’t have to worry about such things. And Francis toppled everyone’s thinking in his age. My whole family has been deeply touched by the direction the Holy Spirit has given. Please do not try to put square pegs in round holes and vice versa. Pray for this holy, humble, ‘servant’.

  43. Kathleen10 says:

    Thank you for these insights Father. It is exciting to hear about these matters!
    My husband said, as soon as we heard the name, the hush fell over the crowd, “whoever he is, the Holy Spirit wanted him” and I agreed. It was a bit of an unnerving moment. The universe held still for a moment or so. I wasn’t sure what to think. But now I know love at first sight can happen.
    I absolutely love his little jest! How sweet!
    I am concerned about his informality in public. He is no doubt strong-minded, but, he must take the measures of security and caution. He will worry us to death if he does not faithfully exercise due diligence in security measures! He is not the man that woke up yesterday morning. He is Holy Father to the world and the world has evil people in it. He must alter his style in that one regard. I hope that can be impressed on him.
    We need a humble Pope, to be sure, but he must have the personality of both a dove AND a lion! We need a man who is strong of mind and personality, with lots of vigor to take on the threats that exist inside and out of the Vatican. He will be what he will be, but I am hoping he demonstrates both those aspects of personality. St. Michael, be his guide.

  44. ckdexterhaven says: “In other news, our media is still insane.” bwahahahha
    True on both sides I’m afraid.

  45. Catholictothecore says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z., for giving us the updates on Pope Francis. God Bless you for your work, your love of God and the Liturgy. God Bless our Holy Father, Pope Francis. May he be filled with the Holy Spirit in shepherding his flock. And lest we forget God Bless the Cardinals who took part in the conclave.

  46. Jason Keener says:

    Father Z, thank you for your wonderful and sensible commentary. As Catholics, we all have a sacred duty to love and pray for the Pope. We also have a duty to be patient and to give our Holy Father the benefit of the doubt. The Pope is a weak human being like the rest of us, and no Pope will be perfect. We should all get that into our heads right now. Only Christ is perfect, and only life in Heaven will be perfect. If we are tempted to complain about something, we should instead offer it up, pray, fast, and worry about our own failings in the Christian life.

    It is clear that Pope Francis will bring many of his own gifts to the Papacy. Let us rejoice that our new Pope is especially devoted to the poor. Let us rejoice that the sagging Church in Latin America will get a shot in the arm. Let us rejoice that many people not previously drawn to the Faith will perhaps now be drawn through the humility of our new Supreme Pontiff. Let us rejoice that our new Pope is a great defender of traditional marriage and the unborn. In the end, the Catholic Faith is about the salvation of souls, and I’m sure this new Pope will have many good attributes that will help further that end. As this new pontificate begins, let us all focus on the good.

    Habemus Papam! Viva il Papa!

  47. mamajen says:

    Perhaps the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in Argentina wasn’t done well, but it seems pretty clear, especially from that article Blaine linked to, that Bergoglio is not and was not the enemy of tradition that some are making him out to be. He quickly implemented Summorum Pontificum and personally set aside a parish where the TLM could be celebrated without question. I wonder how many well-educated, traditional priests he had to draw from when selecting the chaplain? Maybe he did the best he could with what he had.

    I think Rorate Caeli in particular owe a retraction of at least one post, and a heartfelt apology. They were actually deleting comments on the post titled “The Horror” by an “Argentinian journalist” when people questioned the author’s assertions and provided contrary evidence (because those people were not Argentinian and didn’t know everything about Bergoglio like this “journalist” did). It is really sad that our new pope was so quickly smeared by people on our own side.

  48. SimonDodd says:

    Mary, I don’t think it’s about an amice, per se, any more than it’s about a mozzetta. What I think Jim is driving at is that when a person places their own tastes and preferences—even with the best and most humble intentions—above a particular tradition, that tells you something about their attitude toward tradition generally. Humility is generally a good thing, but there’s a point at which humility can become a kind of inverse arrogance, when one subordinates traditional obligations and perquisites to one’s own sense of what it means to be humble. It’s hard to draw the line. Bergoglio’s decision as cardinal archbishop to abandon many of the worldly trappings of his office strikes me as humility. His decision to decline the mozzetta strikes me as being on the other side of the line, because the mozzetta is not simply a perk that goes with the office, a nice bauble, but has symbolic value. To give another, hypothetical example: If Francis decides to continue wearing a simple wooden pectoral cross rather than the gold one to which he is entitled, that is humility, and I approve. If he refuses to wear the pallium, thinking himself (in all sincerity) unworthy, that is arrogance dressed as humility, and I do not apprve.

  49. Jean Marie says:

    You know he’s a great choice when the dissenters are unhappy. Someone I work with said she’s upset because he still has the same ideology as Benedict. Well what the heck do you expect! The Church will not change for you – YOU must accept the teachings of the Church or leave. These people need so much prayer!

  50. tealady24 says:

    I am loving this Pope’s devotion to Mary already! Let him, please God, bring our beautiful faith back to the world, and teach us how to be unabashedly Catholic in our daily lives!

    Just listening mostly to EWTN; the networks are treating this as a papal “election” which is silly.

  51. JacobWall says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z! As you said, “Great Moments!”

  52. JacobWall says:

    I generally agree with what you say. I would only add that there can also be a difference in motivation. If a pope “decides to continue wearing a simple wooden pectoral cross rather than the gold one to which he is entitled” it could in fact be the result of either a spirit of humility or a spirit of reckless innovation. In the case of Pope Francis, I sense that it would be surely humility. I also believe that the motivation, even if not readily visible to others, will make all the difference in the outcome. I.e. if Pope Francis acts in true humility (which I believe he does) then even if not immediately, at some point he will be guided by the Spirit to preserve what must be preserved. If a bishop were to act likewise in a spirit of recklessness or innovation than the fruits of the action would bear witness to that.

  53. mamajen says:

    This is perhaps a very stupid (and/or shallow) comparison, but the humility stuff is reminding me of the character Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey who at first resisted the aristocratic way of life when he suddenly found himself the heir, and he left his valet with nothing to do. Eventually Lord Grantham explained that it wasn’t about class, it was about duty, and besides these servants needed a job! He changed gears in order to fulfill his role without completely abandoning his middle-class sensibilities.

    I greatly respect Pope Francis’ humility, but I think perhaps some of the stuff that seems a little “over-the-top” or even arrogant to some will eventually resolve. I imagine he’s kind of shell-shocked, and it’s got to be difficult suddenly changing one’s way of life. He has a special dedication to helping the poor and connecting with “the people”, and I think he’s probably very concerned with sending the right messages so he can continue on that path. There are many, many people who simply don’t understand that the apparent “oppulence” of the Vatican is meant to glorify God, not man. I’m sure he’ll find a happy medium if we give it time. In any case, I am quite certain that he is not intentionally trying to send a message that the papacy is unimportant.

  54. mamajen: Another typical good Sensible Observation of yours. Agreed. There’s just too much we don’t know yet.

    SimonDodd: Good differentiation of protocols that honor the Office from those that are expendable. We need more demonstrations of the Office, whether priest, Cardinal, Abbot or Pope, to illustrate the difference between the unordained and the ordained, and the holy gifts of the Church that honor God. Too many people see these practices as honoring man, and miss the symbolism. No wonder people today are confused about the ‘role of the laity’.

  55. PadreOP says:

    Stealing this from another priest on the web, but I think it is a fitting remark:

    “If your first thought, or even your second or third or fourth or fifth thought, is something along the lines of, ‘How will Pope Francis affect my favorite causes in the Church?’, then here’s a hint: You’re doing it wrong.”

  56. jmgarciajr says:

    As someone who has, for many, many years sweated in prayer out the future and direction of the Society of Jesus and, therefore, have been familiar with then-Cdl. Bergoglio, I am very pleased by his election.

    To underscore something Fr. Z. noted, then-Cdl. Bergoglio has been near-legendary for his extemporaneous homilies. Whether this (or to what degree) continues is an open question, but I’m sure there are many Curial trousers yet to dry at the mere possibility of Pope Francis “just going off.”

    I’ve sometimes taken the liberty of translating a few of his homilies, and what strikes me most is his bluntness, couched in good cheer. The focus always seems to be something like: “You. Not the guy next to you, YOU. God is talking to YOU, personally. Quit goofing around and pay attention, because God wants to meet up with YOU.”


  57. JacobWall says:


    With great hesitation I went over and took a look at Rorate. It was heartbreaking. I had only visited their blog a few times before, but those few times I had gained a fair bit of respect. At the moment I have almost no respect left for them. I hope that something changes so I can gain that respect back.

    At one point yesterday, I was actually considering abandoning even this blog for a few days, or at least until I thought our great blog-master had brought sanity back to his commenters, which I do believe he is now doing extremely well! Other commenters also managed to put things back on track somewhat as the day went on.

    Again, Fr. Z, thank you for this update!

  58. Fr Zuhlsdorf, I just want to take moment to thank you for your words. They are truly consoling words of just plain common sense among all the ‘spittle flecked nutties.’ THANK YOU! I also want to say I LOVE your banner!!

    I think I know why some of the SSPX type people I know (speaking from my own experience) don’t like Pope Francis……he isn’t very pompous and is humble. He’d rather walk the slums of Buenos Aires, wash the feet of beggars, and dine with prostitutes than sip wine over a feast discussing Vatican II with some gentlemen in tuxes smoking cigars…..

    Or maybe it’s because he takes public transportation. :)

  59. GAK says:

    We’re on a good roll here. Let’s keep it up.
    Please Do Not Feed the Trolls.

  60. JKnott says:

    Like most here I am so glad Fr Z is back to give us his wisdom and direction in this significant moment. I confess it was disconcerting to see the absence of symbols of the office of papacy discarded. I agree with Simon Dodd’s comments here on true humility. Nevertheless, as Fr Z asks us, we owe love and obedience to our new pope.

    This is a good time for the LC Prayer for the Pope
    Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the Church: one, holy. catholic and apostolic.
    Grant me the grace to love, live and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in her belief and action that she may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen

  61. NBW says:

    Thank you so much Father Z. for all the wonderful coverage and photos!

  62. The Masked Chicken says:

    It is a pity that Scripture does not include some contemporary examples. Yesterday, at the White Smoke hour, I was busy running after a bus…

    I had planned it all. I had taken my time. I got the first bus without trouble and made it downtown with ten minutes to spare. I stood there, thinking about a reply I might write at another blog about intrinsicly disorder passions. Then, I saw it, two busses behind in the line up – the number 8, my bus home. I rushed to get it, beating out an old lady (ha!) and boarded the bus. My, it was uncrowned, just as I like it. Things were not going to be so bad.

    I sat down and the bus got under way. Then, an odd thing happened – the bus turned the corner. Ever wishing to deceive and placate me, the voice on my left said, “There’s construction near here. It’s probably just a detour.” The voice on my right shook me and said, “Look up!” I unwittingly obeyed (sometimes, you do the right thing by accident – that right-sided voice is getting hoarse from yelling and, you know, it grates on me, so I often ignore it). I saw, to my horror, that I was on the number 6 bus.

    Who had broken off the top? I was certain that upper loop connected on the number.

    “Oh, no. Let me off (I shouted). I thought this was the number 8. It will take me 10 minutes to get back. I’m going to miss my bus.”

    I tried to tell the bus driver that he missed an old outdated stop that he could have left me off at, but he insisted that it was up ahead. As the bus continued in the wrong direction, I saw the stop. He was right.

    I leaped off of the bus and began wildly running back to the main intersection. I was quite sure that when the officer came to arrest me that I would be able to explain that the wild cries emanating from my mouth were not from insanity, but, rather, prayer. I doubt he would have believed me, since very seldom does authentic prayer begin, “God, how could you do this to me? I’ll never make the bus. I tried, I really did. I started early. I was more careful than yesterday, just as you asked. Was my thinking on intrinsiclly disordered passions wrong (running does not admit of complex words, so I really didn’t say that – but surely, I did think it)? Was I prideful? Are you punishing me? Okay, I’ll offer it up for the Papal elections, but this is really messing up my timing.”

    I hit the intersection at a red light with the number 8 sitting right in front of it. What luck, but the bus stop was a block back. “Maybe, he’ll let me on,” I thought, approaching the bus. Surely, he’ll be sympathetic to my plight. Another woman approached and began to rap on the door. “Let me in. My bus pass is going to expire.” The bus driver mouthed something I couldn’t hear and the doors stayed closed.. The lady turned and said, “He said he would let us on at the next stop.” We both ran, frantically (I’m getting too old for this!) to the next bus stop – one of us risking death by charging across the street (the light hadn’t changed, after all). We made it and the bus-driver-saint let us on. The lady sat up front and kept talking (quite loudly) about Jesus and quoting Scripture for a good ten minutes while conversing with a woman in a wheelchair she apparently knew. I was just glad to catch my breath.

    When I got home, I tried to look up Fr. Z’s blog, but it was a no-go. I googled Fr. Z., and among the list was something by Damien Thompson of the Telegraph. It said something about a cardinal from Argentina and Pope Francis. The left voice said, “Pay no heed. It is fantasy. You often accidentally pass into alternate versions of the universe. You’ll come back to your reality in a moment.”

    The right voice said, “Son of Man, did you see what I did? You set out well to catch a bus, but you got so caught up in things that you lost true sight and saw what you wanted to see. You paid a price to come back, but I was waiting for you even when you didn’t think it could happen, that all would be well. Learn the lesson.”

    “Have I not been with My Church? Did it not set out well to elect a Pope? Some people got caught up in the process and started to see what they wanted to see. It will cost them some effort to come back to their senses, but I will be waiting for them, even to the last. Let them not yell and scream, as you did, that it was all for naught, that I have forgotten my promise. Perhaps, I wanted things differently than they think. I have my reasons. As I told Peter when he asked me about how long John would live, ‘…what is that to you? Follow me!’ ”

    Yes, maybe we live Scripture, every day, with a little help from a missed bus or a Papal election.

    The Chicken

  63. jaykay says:

    “A question was raised about security given that this Pope is rather spontaneous and informal. The security team will have to do its best given the Pope’s style.”

    They’ve been there before in that respect, with Bl. John Paul II – at least in his earlier times. But then, that’s 30 years ago so they’ll have a bit of re-learning to do. Loved the photos, Father, especially in Santa Maria Maggiore at the Salus Populi Romani. If he’s a “Marian” Pope I wonder whether he’ll incorporate a reference into his coat of arms? Many interesting days lie ahead.

    And may many fruitful years lie ahead for our new Holy Father.

  64. mburduck says:

    It’s been a few years since I’ve posted a comment here, but I have checked in and read Father Z.’s splendid commentaries from time to time. I apologize for my invisibility, but I have been busy dispelling my students’ ignorance of American literature.

    As Father Z. and many others here have stated, it is far to0 early for us to either rejoice or lament the election of our new leader Francis. Indeed, we all hope he will encourage the promulgation of the extraordinary form of The Mass. We must pray for him, for The Church, and for all Catholics of good will who have come to love the most beautiful thing this side of heaven. And we must all thank our charming host Father Z. for his untiring dedication to The Church and to those of us who cherish the traditional treasures of our Church. Thanks, Father. As a famous English writer once said, “God Bless us, every one.”

    And, of course, God Bless our Holy Father Francis!

  65. MAJ Tony says:

    Habemus Papam, Franciscum. I pray for the Pope! Viva il Papa!

    I pray that he take to heart the words of the Gospel of John (21:18) as regards his vestments:

    Believe me when I tell thee this; as a young man, thou wouldst gird thyself and walk where thou hadst the will to go, but when thou hast grown old, thou wilt stretch out thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee where thou goest, not of thy own will.

    LouiseA says:

    Wonder how long before he schedules a visit to the Roman Synagogue yet. Blech! But, go ahead, put those rose-colored glasses on, Fr. Z. et al., because Pope Francis is oh-so-humble.



    Is this your BIGGEST concern in life, that a Pope merely visits another religion’s house of worship and pays respect due to others also made in the same Image and Likeness?

  66. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I have not read all the previous comments carefully, but it is pleasing to think that “The Pope [not only] knows Spanish, Italian, German, English, and French and probably some Portuguese” but chose his episcopal motto from a Latin homily by the Venerable Bede!

  67. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Visiting a synagogue is well within any pope’s purview. Sorta like Jesus did, or our Blessed Mother, or Peter, or Paul….

    Beyond that, a pope can visit anywhere he wants. Because he’s the Vicar of Christ, and the entire world comes under his purview. Also, the entire known universe. He can go wherever the sheep are, or wherever there’s a critter that might possibly grow up to be a sheep.

    Basically, I find that most critics of papal outreach are just not transmontane or tiar-ist enough. They just don’t take the pope’s temporal and spiritual powers seriously. :) But yeppers, popes can do stuff as outreach that normal bishops and priests can’t properly do. Because Jesus left Peter in charge of the whole shebang until further notice. So yes, to a certain extent he does make the rules.

  68. mburduck says:

    Great point, VST!

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