Scenes from the first Papal Mass of Francis

Well, here it is. Have at it.

77 comments

  1. A number of things that have been cited by some commentators as a change in style seem to have possibly more mundane explanations.

    Mass was celebrated versus populum, but the temporary altar and floor were reportedly installed for the conclave and it’s not clear that they could have been moved out of the way in time to use the “high altar.” In addition, it requires some practice for celebrants used to versus populum celebration to adapt to celebrating ad orientem (e.g. knowing when to turn around and doing so gracefully), something the new Pope has clearly not had time for since last night. (I don’t rule out that he will change the style of papal celebrations, just that it’s too early to say with certainty what he will in the end choose to do.)

    The new Pope reportedly did not sing at all during the Mass, but he had a lung removed many years ago and it’s not clear to what extent he is able to chant.

    Similarly, I’ve seen reports that he did not genuflect, but we do not know about the health of his knees.

  2. Is my list complete?
    Versus populum (Pope Benedict had done a “reform of the reform” and celebrated facing away from the congregation in the Sistine Chapel).
    Wall of candles gone between celebrant and congregation – moved to side of altar.
    Black loafers (not princely red shoes ).
    Pectoral cross under chausible..
    In general, less lace.
    Hands folded (not the “pious” [some would say prissy] palms together).
    Showed more than elevated the elements.

    awr

  3. If we’re pointing out notable elements, Rocco over at Whispers notes that he gave the homily from the Ambo rather than from the chair and that he didn’t wear the miter during the homily.

    I definitely agree with #2 comment from Samuel Howard that it is far too early to make assumptions about his liturgical style as pope.

      1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #9:
        I don’t agree with my friend SJH, he’s grasping for straws and looking for excuses. RotR is dead, finis. I may be wrong but I don’t think so.
        It’s called change and Pope Francis is going to brush away lots of things.
        Btw, Guido looks absolutely apoplectic.

  4. Mons. Guido Marini has a continual look on his face like he is going to be sick ever since he appeared on the balcony last night……maybe Cardinal Burke is looking a new MC….i am sure Marini’s old boss would give a good reference.

  5. Pope Francis seemed to come more alive while preaching. His “ars celebrandi” seemed rather subdued to me.
    On the other hand, from some angels he just looked like Blessed Pope XXIII — what a delight to see that old, kind pope again…
    Oh but how these papal ritual handlers can drive one potty!

  6. If this is a foretaste he is not going to set the world afier with his liturgical style. It was pretty much “mass was said by Fr. N.” I also thought of the one lung business, but he sang the Ave Regina (and earlier in the day the Salve Regina). I once worked with a priest who was tone deaf, but he mouthed the words with perfection. Not so today.

    The only reason I ever watch papal ceremonies is to try to figure out what all the hand twitches of the Sistine choirmaster could possibly mean.

    While having no love of lace, I don’t think Guido will be dismissed, rather it will be Guido taking the initiative and having a serious discussion with his provincial about other opportunities.

  7. I don’t remember other popes wearing the pectoral cross over the chasuble. Also no pallium today, but maybe there is some rubrical explanation for its absence.

  8. I don’t think it’s that Marini’s expression is all that different from how it usually is as much as it’s a projection of the contrast/clash between his preferences which we have seen in the past few years and the (justified) expectations of the Pope’s preferences. I suspect that while Pope Francis will make SOME of his preferences and opinions clear, it will be the same situation as throughout Benedict’s papacy, where the style of the MC (both Piero and Guido) dictated a lot of things – except now, perhaps, we will not see it attributed to the Pope.

  9. Before everyone begins to make a mountain out of a molehill, it is well to read Nate Silver’s article on For Cardinals Advantages in Choosing an Older Pope
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/for-cardinals-advantages-in-choosing-an-older-pope/

    The reality is that this Pope is likely to be Pope for 5 to 10 years, on average about 7 years much like Benedict and most Popes in history.

    The Cardinals and the Curia may see a great advantage to choosing older Popes, especially now that B16 has made it OK to resign. It means most of the cardinals will get another chance to choose a Pope, and the Curia always gets to deal with an older and weaker Pope.

    For all his reputation Benedict disappointed many people. I thought for sure that I would get more Latin and more Chant in the OF. But his first Synod on the Eucharist clearly showed the bishops were not interested, so the best he could do was SP for a small minority.

    Bishops and priests who are uncomfortable with SP will likely feel free to ignore it under Francis. But in seven years, Francis will likely be gone, and the EF will still likely be around. Whether the EF or Latin or Chant is prospering then will depend much of what happens at the grassroots.

    If Francis is Pope for seven years, he will likely have appointed half the cardinals. Perhaps there will be more from Latin America and the Third World but the other half will have been appointed by Benedict.

    Francis will have to do something very unusual like call a Council to really change things, e.g. change the voting age of Cardinals to 75, have a Synod elect the Pope, etc. Watch for something like that to happen if you want or fear change.

  10. From the Associated Press:

    Sergio Rubin, Pope Francis’ authorized biographer, told The Associated Press that he expected to see more changes — even substantive ones — once Francis gets his footing.

  11. No red shoes! Saw black ones in the photos of Pope Francis at St. Mary Major. Check the bottom of this page: http://www.news.va/en

    I have to say I liked the traditional red shoes. But given what we know of Pope Frances, I suspect you won’t see him wearing them. I hope his staff at least prevails in getting him to wear brown ones like John Paul II. The black ones are clunky and unattractive particularly with bright white cassock. Also, here’s a very fine point: the very discerning eye can look at the closer photos in St. Mary major and see that he is still wearing black slacks under his cassock/simar instead of white ones. the black bleeds thru.

  12. As a former Jesuit, I think I can speak from expereince in saying Francis will likely continue to display an aversion to what he perceives as fussiness. Most Jesuits his age have just been tacitly formed that way. They have become accustomed to such a parred down “ars celebrandi” that acolytes, MCs, pomp are just hard to take.

    Most any liturgist/MC would likely have to lower his expectations, not just Guido Marini. That being said, I see Marini ‘dancing’ (again as any MC would) trying to figure out how to serve a new pope. He doesn’t look annoyed to me, just nervous: “How do I attend to this new guy?” Same thing yesterday on the balcony. There he even look as excited as everyone else. A newly elected pope would make most of us a bit giddy, I’d say. At the Sistine Marini looks like he is trying to adjust quickly, not crowding a man who is clearly not used to being ‘handled’ as much as Benedict XVI.

    Frances wants to be left alone to do his thing.

    Lastly, I think the miter does not fit him, a bad design for him. He would look much better in one of the ones we become accustomed to seeing from Piero Marini. You have to have a certain intentional presence to pull off a taller miter.

    1. @Eric Styles – comment #21:
      As a former Jesuit, I agree with this comment on Jesuit “ars celebrandi”; not surprising at all to witness Pope Francis’ ‘style’ at his first Mass as Pontiff.

  13. I’m also looking forward to seeing if the pallium has been adjusted again. I liked the flowing beauty of the Piero Marini design. I understand why the Pope changed it, since he was inclined to where a fiddleback sometimes. But the design of the second B16 pallium was just poor. not it’s layout, but it’s bulkiness, puffiness.
    I hope Guido Marini had the humility to recognize that and make some adjust it.

    I should say that I strongly dislike fiddleback chasubles, even if I appreciate Benedict’s broader sentiments. To be such a simple, quiet man, he has good taste.

    I too wonder what will happen to Guido Marini in let’s say 6 months time. I’d bet Francis would be averse to appointing him a bishop, up and away. If he were a bishop, its hard to imagine him an Ordinary anywhere. I would be most impressed if he could make the adjustment from Benedict to Francis so well that the new boss would say please stay. But I suspect that is not likely to happen.

  14. Here’s a question: was there a single woman present in the Sistine Chapel for this Mass? I can’t think of any woman who should, ex officio, have been included, but that in itself has given me pause and something to think about.

  15. Re: Ellen #24

    I was able to watch up to and including the homily, before duty called.

    There were quite a few women present among the non-cardinals behind the rood screen, opposite the choir. I recall seeing mostly religious women, but there they were.

    Early days yet and a lot more dusting has to be done than liturgical style.

  16. “Mass was celebrated versus populum, but the temporary altar and floor were reportedly installed for the conclave and it’s not clear that they could have been moved out of the way in time to use the “high altar.”

    The pictures clearly show that there was enough space to celebrate –even concelebrate — Mass at the main altar of the Sistine chapel. It’s time to stop explaining away the obvious.

    1. There was no altar in there at beginning of conclave, we have web images of that. So it was moved in for this Mass, apparently.
      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #27:
        You are correct that there was no altar there at the beginning of the conclave, but the temporary floor was there.

        Furthermore, it has long been the policy to erect a temporary altar in the sistine chapel during the papal conclave for the daily Mass and to not use the high altar. See this picture from the election of John XXIII:

        http:(slash slash) photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6322/78/1600/cappacardinals.jpg

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #27:

        You are correct that there was no altar there at the beginning of the conclave, but the temporary floor was there (and remained for the first Mass).

        It’s hard to say conclusively. John Paul II apparently celebrated his first Mass as Pope in the Sistine Chapel at the high altar. On the other hand, temporary altars were installed previously during conclaves. There are pictures on the web from both the election of Pius XII and John XXIII.

      3. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #31:

        Samuel,

        Watch the video.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBz0BnhskY0&list=UU7E-LYc1wivk33iyt5bR5zQ&index=6

        Beginning at the 09:29 mark you can clearly see that the temporary floor did not in any way obstruct the steps and the platform of the high altar; the temporary floor actually would have made it easier for concelebrants to go up the high altar. The high altar also has an antependium.

        Beginning at 13:10 you can see the SEVEN candles (including a very tall one behind the large crucifix) were lit on the high altar, as if prepared for Mass. In contrast there is no seventh candle at the ad populum altar.

        Stop grasping at straws, Samuel. The use of ad populum was clearly the Pope’s choice.

      4. @Ildefonso Juan – comment #41:

        Stop grasping at straws, Samuel. The use of ad populum was clearly the Pope’s choice.

        But none of us really knows, do we? The precedents on this, as Sam says, aren’t exactly striking, especially given that Benedict celebrated his first Mass in precisely the same way. We’re operating off little information.

        And yet . . . we likely both agree that the liturgical style of this pontificate is very likely to be something closer to John Paul II’s, not Benedict’s. That seems to be the way in which Francis has celebrated in the past, and in accord with his Jesuit-formed sensibility. I think we hardly need this first Mass to make that argument, however.

        This hardly “kills dead” RotR or traditionalism; the structures, the resources, the laws (yes, Pope Francis could theoretically wipe out all these laws, but that’s highly unlikely, or pastoral), the networks are still in place, as is the growing interest among many young clergy and seminarians, especially in the Anglophone world (about the rest I am less qualified to speak). What it does mean is that, to the extent that these liturgical movements remain alive and growing, impetus will have to come from below, and without nearly so much direct papal support or attention. And while I find that disappointing, it may not be an entirely bad thing for us.

      5. @Richard Malcolm – comment #44:
        “I find that disappointing, it may not be an entirely bad thing for us.”

        It will leave reform2 in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

        It will be difficult for people accustomed to the guidance of authority (at best) and the cult of celebrity (at worst) to soldier on. In the latter case, clearly people will no longer (want to) point to St Peter’s Basilica as optimal practice. And reform2 will recede to an ordinary subset of Catholics: interested in liturgy, committed to praying very well, and needful of comvincing the rest of the Church by their example. By their whole example.

  17. As both ad orientem and versus populum are valid, I’m not sure it matters; as far as I know, nothing in V2 documents mandated one over the other, so celebrating either way is in accordance with the council, right?
    Is Mass celebrated ad orientem “facing away from the congregation,” or facing the same direction as the congregation?

  18. At 1:12, he seems to be a beat behind the others in bowing (perhaps during the Credo?). Possibly his thoughts were momentarily straying, an eminently pardonable state of affairs for his situation. But I take this nearly-forgetting-to-bow business as yet one more bit of evidence that the Holy Father has the heart of a deacon. 🙂

  19. I finally got around to watching the video. If this is supposed to demonstrate a dramatic return to non-traditional or Vatican II liturgy, then it really is a testament to how Benedict changed the liturgical landscape in his time as Pope. It struck me as ROTR Lite more than anything.

  20. For the record, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his first Mass in the Sistine Chapel versus populum at a temporary altar. It was only later, for the Baptism of the Lord that he used the permanent altar.

    I must say that, in a way, I kind of like his “let’s get on with it” low church style. “It’s the Body and Blood however we do it” can indicate a powerful, deep-rooted belief.

    1. @Christopher Douglas – comment #33:

      Christopher: I must say that, in a way, I kind of like his “let’s get on with it” low church style. “It’s the Body and Blood however we do it” can indicate a powerful, deep-rooted belief.

      I agree. Pope Francis, despite being a “low churchman” from the perspective of many traditionalists, displays from what I can already sense as a great reverence towards the Eucharist. This “warm”, human reverence will win back many who perhaps perceived Pope Benedict as “cold” and distant, despite the fact that the pontiff emeritus is personally devout and has a profound spiritual life. In these very troubled times for the Church, I believe that a pontiff with interpersonal acumen will help mend deep wounds.

      After my four-alarm freakout over Pope Francis’s election, I’ve arrived at a different view. First, we traditionalists are going to get dished back at us the haughtiness we displayed to other Catholics during Pope Benedict’s traditionalist/ROTR reign. This is not necessarily bad. Maybe Pope Francis’ election will be the spark which finally stirs traditionalists towards a re-evaluation of not only the text and rubrics of our liturgical books, but also the way in which many times we do not welcome those who do not share our strict metrics of liturgy.

      1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #35:
        I agree. Well said.

        As an aside:

        Last night I was saying to friends. Well, I’ve been blessed to lived during the two terms of President Reagan and during the reign of Pope Benedict; I guess I shouldn’t expect another of either. And, at this early juncture, it seems that there are some rather strong aspects of the new Holy Father that I respect and admire.

      2. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #36:
        Jordan

        I think that the problem with much of the analysis on this blog is that it is plain that the current Holy Father does not care a row of buttons for the liturgy.

        My expectation is that Mgr Marini will remain in post for as long as he wishes to serve and that liturgies will continue in the line established by Pope Benedict, albeit that they will be shorn of any marks of ostentation that Pope Francis finds emburdening.

        In many ways, Pope Francis is the perfect ROTR Pope: emphasising Marian piety; resisting secular impingement in questions of faith and morals; buttressing the immemorial teaching of the Church on questions of faith and morals; and (DV) bearing down against laxity and immorality in the curia.

        In short, if “liberal” liturgy flourishes under this pontificate, it will be through lack of weeding, rather than through positive encouragement. As always, the good will endure, the rubbish will be forgotten.

        Unless there is some movement to suppress it, tradition will continue to flourish under this pontificate (as it did under the Papacy of Pope Benedict) simply because younger people are hungry for a counter-cultural faith and reject the reactionary fare peddled by some of those clinging to the withering corpse of the 1960s.

      3. @Thomas Dalby – comment #38:

        I shall definitely save this comment and others for future reference. It’s quite early yet, but I don’t for a minute believe he will ignore matters and let whatever happen. I sense he knows he’s been elected for a purpose, and his quick action on matters right from the start seem to indicate this. Time to strip away all the tacky gold, huge candlesticks, vestments that are scandalous, and tweaking liturgy to fit some people’s personal taste in something that was replaced in the 60’s, and return to the true path of Vatican II. God bless this holy man, gift of the Holy Spirit!

      4. @Sean Whelan – comment #39:
        Sean

        I agree with you: I am quite sure that Pope Francis *has* been elected with a firm mandate to reform, but I sincerely doubt that the reactionary changes to the liturgy that you’ve just expressed enthusiasm for are the issues weighing on his mind.

      5. @Sean Whelan – comment #39:
        So you want him instead to make the liturgy more to your personal tastes.

        At any rate, I’m sure locking away pretty liturgical things isn’t the sort of reform the vast majority of Catholics care about in the Church today. When Benedict brought out those elements and freed up traditional liturgy, it was important because those of a traditional bent had been treated in an un-Christian manner, but those who like 70s and 80s style liturgy haven’t had the same treatment.

      6. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #36:

        This is not necessarily bad. Maybe Pope Francis’ election will be the spark which finally stirs traditionalists towards a re-evaluation of not only the text and rubrics of our liturgical books, but also the way in which many times we do not welcome those who do not share our strict metrics of liturgy.

        The vast majority of traditionalists – excluding even the SSPX – see no need to revisit the texts of the 1962 Missal and Rituale Romanum, and setbacks in this pontificate won’t change that.

        But to the extent that some – some, not all, but some – traditionalist communities might not be as welcoming as they could be, or tolerant of those with slightly different valid approaches or variations (dialogue Mass, etc.), I second your hope.

      7. @Richard Malcolm – comment #43:

        Richard: The vast majority of traditionalists – excluding even the SSPX – see no need to revisit the texts of the 1962 Missal and Rituale Romanum, and setbacks in this pontificate won’t change that.

        Well I’m in the small minority of traditionalists. Pope Francis’s invitation of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as possibly Christian leaders from other communions, is in a small way a direct challenge for Catholic traditionalism to reckon with its skeletons and embrace the Council. A modern traditionalism must make serious overtures to combat latent anti-semitism among some in the community, and re-examine an intransigent stance towards ecumenism. A modern traditionalism will have to at least minimally conform to Sacrosanctum concilium, including modest vernacularization. I don’t see anything in the traditionalist community right now other than vitriol against Pope Francis (he hasn’t even been pope for a week!) The tradosphere is selfishly preoccupied with whether or not Pope Francis will preserve Summorum pontificum. Pope Francis’s got a huge housecleaning job to do. I don’t even think SP is on his mind.

        If Pope Francis or a successor abrogates or restricts SP, he might well be justified in doing so. Licit traditionalism has not at all conformed to the liturgical and theological teachings of the Council. Either we demonstrate to the Holy Father through various Vatican channels that traditionalists are making small but positive moves towards reform, or we will die out due to a paralyzing fundamentalism.

      8. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #51:
        “A modern traditionalism will have to at least minimally conform to Sacrosanctum concilium, including modest vernacularization.”

        I don’t see even a modest vernacularization as an inclusion here. It’s not in SC. I would just like an honest encounter with the constitution and an embrace of its genuine reforms. I have no worries about a Mass prayed in Latin, especially the MR3. I just want to see a faithfulness to church teaching and for the “tradosphere” to hush up on the “heretics.”

      9. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #51:

        We have been round and round on this before, but:

        A modern traditionalism must make serious overtures to combat latent anti-semitism among some in the community, and re-examine an intransigent stance towards ecumenism.

        I am gratified, like you, that relations with the Jewish people are much improved in the last two generations, and I hope this continues.

        But if ecumenism and interreligious dialogue result in blurring or erasing the distinction, told to us by Christ Himself, that salvation comes through Him alone (John 14:6) or that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church (LG 8), I suggest to you that it is harmful, not helpful. We should respect the rights of others to hold their beliefs, no question. But I am a Catholic, like Newman, because I believe that its claims are *true*.

        A modern traditionalism will have to at least minimally conform to Sacrosanctum concilium, including modest vernacularization.

        As I have noted before: I serve at an Ordinariate parish, where a traditional form (all in vernacular, albeit a hieratic one) of the BDW Missal is used. I don’t object to vernacular per se, properly and beautifully translated. Some traditionalists feel differently, but I think most are focused on the *substance* of the prayers themselves more than the language they are celebrated in.

        Licit traditionalism has not at all conformed to the liturgical and theological teachings of the Council.

        I really don’t see why it needs to, Jordan. I really don’t. You’ll have to explain why to me. There is no dogmatic content in SC, however worthy its aspirations or wise some of its prescriptions are. Where does SC mandate that every single act of worship in the Roman Rite world conform to its dictates, let alone to whatever missal might follow from them?

        I don’t even think SP is on his mind.

        On this much, I agree with you. He surely has bigger fish to fry.

      10. @Richard Malcolm – comment #56:

        Richard: But if ecumenism and interreligious dialogue result in blurring or erasing the distinction, told to us by Christ Himself, that salvation comes through Him alone (John 14:6) or that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church (LG 8), I suggest to you that it is harmful, not helpful.

        A meeting between a pope and a faith leader from another community, especially from another Christian communion, is not automatically “false ecumenism” or a betrayal of the faith. Some traditionalists cannot distinguish between a pope’s invitation of another Christian leader for a private audience and (hypothetically) concelebration of a liturgy. For radical traditionalists, any inter-Christian or interfaith meeting is a betrayal of faith. This fundamentalist approach is not only a travesty, but also entirely unwarranted. I really don’t know why the question of inter-Christian or interfaith dialogue is a paranoid obsession in some corners of traditionalism.

        I really don’t see why it [the EF] needs to, Jordan. I really don’t. You’ll have to explain why to me. (my addition)

        MR 1962 does not conform at all to Nostra aetate. Passiontide and Holy Week can be interpreted as anti-Jewish, and historically often has been explicitly interpreted this way. Rita Ferrone has convincingly illustrated that many prayers of the Breviarium Romanum are plausibly anti-Jewish/anti-semitic.

        Pope Francis’s different emphasis on liturgy is a prime opportunity to right MR 1962 and the Breviary. Sadly, and to our detriment, no change will take place because of ignorance and fundamentalism. Our beautiful and profound Tridentine liturgy deserves so much more. Now’s the time, let it not pass.

      11. @Richard Malcolm – comment #56:
        Sorry – your statement – “There is no dogmatic content in SC, however worthy its aspirations or wise some of its prescriptions are.” Suggest that this is inaccurate – it is the typical traddie dismissal of Vatican II as a *purely pastoral council*. You confuse the nature of councils and nuances between dogmas pronounced ex cathedra and councilar decisions that impacted the course of the church. (J. O’Malley & J. Komonchak have excellent analyses of this type of rationalization).

        To the same degree – your statement: “Where does SC mandate that every single act of worship in the Roman Rite world conform to its dictates, let alone to whatever missal might follow from them?” The VII council and more than 2400 bishops approved and confirmed SC which says exactly what you state. You can again dismiss or minimize but SC called for a reformed act of worship; called for the pope to implement (thus, Consilium); and (as constantly argued on PTB) as part of that implementation of Consilium’s decisions, Paul VI abrogated the 1962 Missal when promulgating the reformed Missal.

  21. Beginning at the 09:29 mark you can clearly see that the temporary floor did not in any way obstruct the steps and the platform of the high altar; the temporary floor actually would have made it easier for concelebrants to go up the high altar. The high altar also has an antependium.

    I’m sorry, but you’re engaging in some wishful thinking of your own. The steps of the high altar ARE obstructed. This is precisely why it is “easier for concelebrants to go up the high altar.”

    I didn’t deny that it was the Pope’s choice (through omission or commission) to celebrate versus populum. There are lots of other possibilities. If he thought ad orientem was key, there were other solutions though they might have required greater effort. But I don’t think we can say for sure how this came about. Had I been the MC, I would have discouraged a bishop newly pope who had no recent experience celebrating ad orientem from doing so for the first time at such a public Mass.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #46:

      Had I been the MC, I would have discouraged a bishop newly pope who had no recent experience celebrating ad orientem from doing so for the first time at such a public Mass.

      That makes good sense, Sam.

      1. Well, we’re all speculating here so I’ll add my own uninformed speculation.

        This is a take-charge Pope – he’s already changed at least a dozen things, knocking away left and right the things that were prepared for him (prince shoes, papal pectoral cross, papal miter, red cape thingy, wall of candles between celebrant and congregation, title “Lord” for cardinals, papal blessing of journalists, etc.etc.). He’s no shrinking violet waiting for Marini to tell him how best to celebrate ad orientem after someone teaches him how to do it. He’s doing everything HIS way.

        So it seems the direction of Mass was his decisive choice. All the evidence points in that direction. It could be otherwise, but it sure doesn’t look very likely.

        awr

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #48:

        Hello Fr Ruff,

        So it seems the direction of Mass was his decisive choice. All the evidence points in that direction. It could be otherwise, but it sure doesn’t look very likely.

        Deep down, my gut says you’re likely right. I *certainly* agree with your sense of Pope Francis’s character. He has strong ideas of how he wants to live, work, and worship, and is not afraid of insisting on them.

        And yet: many folks (not you, obviously) are building mighty castles (or feverishly preparing to defend them) on the basis of a 72 hour pontificate and a scanty past public record, at least in English. That Francis really will differ from Benedict in notable ways I do not doubt; that he’s less sympatico to me liturgically, I feel quite confident, even if Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ loves him. But beyond that, we simply have to wait and see what he does. He’s a more difficult character to judge than Benedict was on April 19, 2005; we know far less, and even Benedict surprised us all at some point. In this way, as in others (I suspect), Francis has something in common with John Paul II, a strong personality who was a stranger and an unknown to most Western Catholics when he was elected.

  22. Who were the three Bishop Cardinals at the first Mass who did not have white Mitres–one red, one bonnet-like with stars, one black (flat top with flowing veil)?

    1. @Kathryn Maier – comment #49:

      They were all Eastern Rite Cardinals. Each different Rite has its own head gear.

      Someone with more detailed knowledge might be able to sort out who is from what rite. Or if you googled a list of electors, located the Eastern Rite people, and then googled them you might be able to sort it out yourself.

  23. The following is a quote from a BBC News article:

    “Minutes after the election result was declared in the Sistine Chapel, a Vatican flunky 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!’ It was just one small sign out of many this week that as Massimo Franco, one of Italy’s shrewdest political editorial writers, commented in the Corriere Della Sera, ‘the era of the Pope-King and of the Vatican court is over’.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21813874

    Does anyone know if the above exchange between Pope Francis and Guido Marini actually happened, or is it a fabrication by a journalist? Does the BBC News have a reputation for accuracy?

    1. BBC News has a very good but not perfect reputation. They’re way above “Italian dailies” that reported, for example, that Cardinal Law was banished.

      Jim, I posted this as a separate story. Thanks for alerting me/us to it. I’ll be curious to see whether the BBC report can be confirmed.

      awr

  24. I saw my fellow traddies today for the first time since Francis was elected and they were very excited and bubbly about him. So I guess Rorate Coeli isn’t the sole voice of traditionalism.

    I agree with Jordan that SP will probably not even be on the new Pope’ s radar, at least not for some time. He has a different style from Benedict, but it doesn’t mean he will demand everyone else to conform to that style and forbid all else (especially if he truly wishes to be pastoral). Since the Latin Mass movement and ROTR are primarily grassroots movements of the people, they will likely not die out or diminish just because the Pope isn’t actively promoting them.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #54:

      I saw my fellow traddies today for the first time since Francis was elected and they were very excited and bubbly about him. So I guess Rorate Coeli isn’t the sole voice of traditionalism.

      Such has been my experience on the ground. Even among some of whom I expected more fiery reponses. Of course, I don’t attend any SSPX chapels.

      The internet draws the more antagonistic type of people disproportionately, as I think we all know – that applies to many things, not just Catholicism. I don’t mean to minimize the shift we’re likely to see on some things from Francis, at least on liturgy; he is not Benedict XVI, even if we don’t know everything about him yet. But I think most of us would like to give him a chance, whatever concerns we might have, and that we are praying for him, as we should.

      1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #58:
        Richard,
        Thanks for this reply and for your wise response. I hope there are more people out there like you and less of those “more antagonistic” people disproportionately on internet.
        awr

  25. I wonder if there is a deliberate attempt by the media to provoke division in the Church by making it look like Pope Francis is repudiating large chunks of his still living predessor’s papacy and life. If true or false all this could provoke an actual schism focused on Benedict and the conundrum of a pope and anti-pope scenario.

    1. @Fr. Allan. McDonald – comment #57:

      Could be a deliberate attempt by the media to provoke a schism – who knows. But I doubt it, and I’m hesitant to impugn such motives.

      I suspect they’re just reporting news. And the news is that a new pope has thrown out almost everything of the trappings and pretentiousness and silliness in no time at all. It’s a big story and the’re reporting it.

      I’ll be saying more about this in a long(ish) post, but for now I’ll say that I suspect Pope Francis is not renouncing anything in doctrine or morals from Benedict – and liberal will have their opportunity to wail sooner rather than later- , but he’s renouncing as much as possible in the court ceremonial nonsense and B16’s pulling out all this frufra from auntie’s attic to make the liturgy more “beautiful.” (sorry if the language is too sharp – but it’s been a long, difficult eight years for me, and I’m mostly been embarassed by a lot of that stuff)

      The interesting question will be in structural reforms and collegiality. It’s way too early to tell whether Pope Francis will do anything to undo the extreme centralism that got put into place under JP2 and B16, and whether he’ll do anything to implement Vatican II collegiality (for example, giving approval of translations back to bishops like Vatican II explicitly said). The pent up anger among bishops and cardinals toward the Roman curia is very strong. But it has been before – for hundreds of years according to then-cardinal Ratzinger – and it hasn’t led to much reform. As much as I hope Francis does reform the structures, I’m not going to get my hopes up.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #61:
        Like Anthony, OSB, I’m not expecting a radically more collegial leadership approach in the Church after so much time in a centralized neo-ultra montane culture…but a pope who was a 2-term president of a national episcopal conference leads me to some hope. Almost makes me wonder if the Roman-centric missal translation process would have happened under this pope…or how future such projects will go…

        Almost makes me wonder…

    2. @Fr. Allan. McDonald – comment #57:
      I’m not sure we’d find ourselves in an actual schism, especially since I can’t imagine either pontiff supporting such a state of affairs.

      However, I do think much of the reporting fervor the last few days has really taken the narrative of drastic change too far. It’s not a matter of ill-will or something (unless its directed at Benedict), but a matter of sticking to a story that sells. And right now, what sells is showing how different Francis is from Benedict. As some here have pointed out, and over on other posts, some things are being reported as signs of total change that are rather minor, or not actually changes at all.

      That’s not to say that there won’t be lasting and significant changes of style and policy between Francis and Benedict. There very well could be – and we’ve seen many indications of his very different personality and approach to the business of being Pope thus far.

      I just think in many cases our minds are running wild trying to (over)interpret everything since he’s the first complete change in leadership since 1978. When Benedict was elected, we all knew, by and large, what we were getting – though I think honest appraisal would see many positive surprises he may have given some of us).
      Francis is as yet a bit of an empty canvas for us so we imagine he will bring about our biggest fantasies (he’ll renounce SP and end all practice of the ’62!) or our worst nightmares (he’ll renounce SP and end all practice of the ’62!). Right now, his biggest challenge might not be to live up to the legacy of his predecessor, but to the (sometimes contradictory) expectations we’ve all made for him.

  26. My own impression is that he would probably want all of us to spend less time analyzing and more time doing. FWIW.

  27. Someone just commented on my blog (not to draw attention to it) that perhaps the Holy Father was joking with Marini, when the commenter wrote: “If such a report is true, and it does sound a bit farfetched, perhaps it was less of a swipe at his predecessor, whom he has praised considerably, and more of a note that the season of carnival (they have a big one in Buenos Aires) is over and it’s Lent now, so perhaps a stripped down ensemble is more Lenten? Just a thought.”

    Apart from that, I read somewhere that as Cardinal in Argentina he was also the Ordinary for the Eastern Rite which has far more “poof” than anything Benedict modeled or Marini. Would he have celebrated the Eastern Rite and have been bi-ritual?

  28. Thanks, Mr. McInerny – so he concelebrated. Not sure that those who think or wish that the Eastern Rite traditions should somehow justify EF, more lace, medieval vesture, etc. make a valid point.

    It appears that, if anything, he supports the separate liturgical traditions and respects that; even to his participation. But doubt that he buys into any concepts or ideas about *mutual enrichment* in terms of finery, etc. And would suggest that comments about his Anglican ordinarate statements confirm this.

  29. MR 1962 does not conform at all to Nostra aetate. Passiontide and Holy Week can be interpreted as anti-Jewish, and historically often has been explicitly interpreted this way.

    “Can be interpreted,” Jordan, is not the same as “are to be interpreted.” The Gospels also “can be inteerpreted” in this way, but they’re not going in the dustbin.

    Frankly, I often see in this insistence on changing the prayers an offensive instrumentalization of Jews and the Holocaust (and the tragic history of my ancestors) as a way of pushing a theological agenda that is not concerned in the first place with their well being or rememberence, but with removing what is rightly interpreted as an emphasis on the fact that salvation comes through Christ alone.

  30. I suspect Pope Francis will be more collegial, but he does have a personality that could rival Pope John Paul II and make more of us even more ultra-montanist

    John Allen has suggested that Saint Francis was really the winner of this conclave.

    So perhaps in this case it will be less Papal hero worship, and more the recovery of the spirit of Saint Francis.

    This blog piece pointed to by Rocco may give us some idea of how things might work out.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lisahendey/2013/03/following-papa-franciscos-lead-5-easy-ways-to-love-the-poor-in-honor-of-his-pontificate/

    Rather than looking up to a Father figure, I suspect many young people, as well as older people will head off to serve the poor in various ways.

    JP2 as a former actor was a master of the public media. However this Pope is not; we hear stories indirectly of what he has done that suggest to us simple ways that we can imitate Francis, paying our bills, riding the bus, etc. I think people will find very common ways of expressing the spirit of Francis.

    I think it is going to be more difficult for priests, bishops and cardinals to imitate the Pope. Are they going to start riding the bus? The Pope was known as Father Gorge not Cardinal Gorge or even Bishop Gorge. Are they going to begin cooking their own meals? Am I going to begin to meet priests in the grocery store?

    Sure some of them are probably dusting off pictures of being in a soup kitchen or planning to make an appearance in one for their vita. But we are all going to figure out pretty quickly who in Church are really imitating Francis and who are not. Of course many nuns and laywomen are already there.

    Consider that the Pope has chosen the name of a lay person not a priest, bishop or Pope. Francis only accepted ordination as a deacon in order to be able to continue to preach.

  31. As far as the consternation concerning Francis’ decision not to wear the papal mozzetta is concerned, it hasn’t been mentioned anywhere that they failed to provide the traditional satin mozzetta in the Room of Tears this time around, only the anachronistic velvet and ermine mozzetta (as if someone had decided for the new pope that he was going to walk out in ermine, like it or not).

    Well, he didn’t like it, obviously, so he dispensed with the mozzetta and rochet, altogether. The scheme backfired. Had they provided the satin mozzetta that all his predecessors used for their first balcony appearance, I suspect he would have worn it.

    As to the concern that Francis didn’t wear the pallium at his first Mass in the Sistine Chapel, no of course he didn’t. He hasn’t been in vested with it yet (as archbishop and metropolitan of the Roman province).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *