Alessandro Speciale of Religion News Service reports on the first 100 days of Pope Francis. From the article:
For the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit and editor of the Vatican-sanctioned magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, the most important change Francis brought to the papacy is his knack for “significant gestures that immediately convey very powerful messages.”
Francis started changing the tune of the papacy straight from day one, when – to the shock of his Vatican handlers – he insisted on personally settling his tab at the clerics’ residence where he stayed during the conclave that elected him.
The Argentine soon made it clear that he had no appetite for the creeping traditionalism and pomp of church power that had begun under his predecessor. He abandoned Benedict’s signature red cape, shoes and hats, preferring a simple white cassock and the plain iron cross he wore in Buenos Aires.
Francis says he’ll stay at the Vatican this summer rather than escape to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo. In a world so steeped in tradition and choreographed rituals as the Vatican, a change in style really is a matter of substance.
You can read the whole thing here.