20 March 2013

Popes Benedict And Francis: Even More Thoughts

The hindsight continues to well up. 

The fact that Pope Benedict began a Year of Faith and then renounced his position after it had started is just one sign that he saw his Pontificate and that of his successor as a process of continuity.  I have already talked about Pope Benedict's renunciation of the trappings of a sovereign, and of his reseating of the Papacy in the See of Rome (and yesterday's ceremony was that of the Assumption of the Petrine Ministry by the Bishop of Rome): perhaps Pope Francis' job is to conform the Church itself - the institutional Church as well as the Church of believers - to this new role, a role in which the Church is abandoning the status quo which has existed since 1870 (or 1929, but same difference).

And to everybody who worries about the Pope selling off the Sistine Chapel to Disney or whomever: that's not what Pope Francis did in Buenos Aires, is it.  He gave an example of poverty: travelling by bus and looking after an elderly Jesuit housemate instead of using a car and having more staff.  This message is for everybody, from the "Princes" of the Church down: it is evangelical poverty in which service comes before self.  (My response to that challenge worries me a lot more than whether Pope Francis wears a fanon or not.)

As Pope, Francis will have to behave as Bishop of Rome, not of Buenos Aires.  As an Archbishop in Argentina he might well have wondered at the Pope paying so much attention to the SSPX and to the Ordinariates: but they are his responsibility now.  It doesn't mean that they will come anywhere near the centre of his attention - but then they don't need to because they were sorted out under Benedict (even if, in the case of the SSPX, they decided that they knew better than the Holy Father: they really made a hash of things).

Another clue as to where Pope Francis' heart lies is the way he tore away from the altar at the end of the Mass to stand in front of the statue of Our Lady to sing the Salve Regina.  It's so not Cardinal Mahoney.

Pope Benedict said that he would be the last of his kind of Pope and would be succeeded by the first of a new type: I expect that Francis is the reverse to Benedict's obverse.  That could mean that for those of us for whom Pope Benedict's liturgical renewal was inspiring, Pope Francis' evangelical resourcissement might be quite demanding.


Ben Trovato said...

I agree: the challenges he poses us will be good for us!

Mike Cliffson said...

I know there's plenty of stuff on the internet rightly pointing out that material poverty is relatively immaterial, as twere. Nonetheless, be our new Holy Father howsoever he is, there are so many things to remind me that Im Eurocentric and Anglospherecentric. Argentina was once very rich, and BA still is, comparatively - but I know a European priest in a country bordering Argentina , with, of course, the same language, who is his Bishop's complete diocesan curia, along with a car boot and a table top in a back room at the Cathedral church for an office.We Europeans are just not representative of most of the world nor most of the church, and we're deliberately dying out with it. Individually, as the Holy Father says, it's not God who tires of giving us his mercy and forgiveness, but rather we who tire of asking for it.
I don't like the thought of actually being a little too comfortable, but it's true.

Left-footer said...

Ttony, Ben, and Mike - Agreed. I worry a bit about Pope Francis's stance on abortion since it is reported that Biden and Pelosi received Holy Communion at the Papal Inauguration Mass in Rome. I had hoped that they would be warned off, and still hope that they were.

Like Mike, I prefer not to be too comfortable, but I do hate uncertainty in matters of Faith.

Mike Cliffson said...

Lfooter:Without alzheimer or incredibly successful diabolic temptation-(the prevention of which is after all up to us to pray hard on, there arent the industrial scale phlanxes of comteplatives praying flat out no more)On past form I don't think you need worry about where the Holy father is on abortion - only a little internet in Spanish brings you up against eg,among much and many, a published interview , my translation .../..
interviewer: "Many say opposition to abortion is a religious(implicit: only) question"
"No way...A n expectant woman is not carrying a toothbrush in her womb, nor a tumor.Science teaches that from ther moment of conception, the new being has complete genetic code.It's impressive.(This) is not, then a (implicit :purely)religious question , but rather clearly a moral one on a scientific base, becuase we are in the presence of a human being."
Int.:" But the moral grading of The woman who aborts is the same as the person who carries it out?"
" I wouldn't talk of grading. But I feel much greater, I wouldn't call it pity , but rather compassion, in the biblical sense of that word, being and suffering with, for a woman who aborts under who should know what pressures, than for those professionals- or unprofessionals
who act for money and with an unique coldness..../... this coldness contrasts with the problems of conscience , the pangs of remorse which many women who have aborted have after a few years .(You) have to be in the confessional and listen to these (colloquial augmentative) dramas, because they KNOW they killed their child."
And plenty more where that came from.
I don't know what God wants Pope Francis to do on this or anything else , as Pope; He has been perfectly consistent, warts and all, for his entire life with the Argentine authorities who are , perforce, on his radar.
I find it perfectly believable that pelosis and Gores arent even on his radar in the first place. I like to see cannon whatever applied, myself, but did any US bish send him a line about them, saying locally they are refused communion?
Don't worry till you have to.

Ben Trovato said...

BTW, Ttony, I've awarded you a Liebster Award - see here http://ccfather.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-liebster-award-helping-blog.html Onerous, but may result in some new people passing by...