Thursday, 14 March 2013

Still Slightly Stunned...

... But, I suspect that I'm not half as stunned as Pope Francis!

When he first cam out onto the balcony, he had that slightly glazed expression of a rabbit caught in the headlights. It can't be easy, suddenly finding yourself responsible for the souls of all the world's Catholics. And remember, one day he will have to account for any who were lost through his actions (or lack of them) before Almighty God.

I wonder if the Holy Father thought at all of Jonah? After all, at the last Conclave, he apparently begged his supporters in a heartfelt plea not to vote for him, and so those votes went towards electing Benedict XVI. So, having dodged the bullet first time around, it must be slightly disconcerting to feel that God has now caught up with him again.

Anyway, I'm still trying to take in the news. Several sources seem to be trying to put a dampener on things. I refuse to take them seriously. The huge disappointment for many people will have been that the Conclave elected a Catholic as Pope. Even worse, he's a man. How terribly reactionary!

I read on one blog that this was a real disaster for the Church because the Holy Father was opposed to the TLM, and didn't allow any to be said in his diocese. In fact, this seems not to be the case - whatever his personal preferences, he arranged for the TLM to be celebrated 48 hours after Summorum Pontificum was promulgated.

Yes, Liturgy is important. But the Holy Father doesn't have to like the TLM, he just has to allow it to continue. Good Liturgy has its own momentum, and will become more and more widespread: clown-Masses and other liturgical abuses are just not attractive to younger people (from what I've seen in the last decade.)

UPDATE: It seems that the implementation had its problems, but my point still stands: Pope Francis isn't likely to do away with Summorum Pontificum. As long as abuses aren't tolerated, personal liturgical preferences and inclinations aren't an issue.

The more I read about our Holy Father, the more I am drawn to him.

The Holy Father is staunchly pro-life. He's spoken out strongly against abortion, against euthanasia and against same-sex "marriage." In talking about these evils,he has mentioned the devil, the Father of Lies. No mealy-mouthed, half-hearted platitudes these, uttered with an idea of appealing to popular opinion.

The Holy Father spent time talking to Benedict XVI before coming out onto the balcony after his election. The delay in coming out to greet the people is an indication that this was no mere courtesy call, and that they had a real heart-to-heart.

Finally, Pope Francis told everyone from the balcony that he intended to go to pray for the people of Rome before Our Lady, and, sure enough, that is what he did.

A Pope with a true devotion to Our Lady. What more could any faithful Catholic need?


~Katherine~ said...

Thank you, Mac. When I read a couple of other blogs yesterday, I'm afraid that I definitely "let my heart be troubled," to the point that I was in tears last night. To my generation (Pope Benedict was, for reference, elected the spring I graduated high school), Pope Benedict was (is) this "captain" figure: we'd take care of the trenches and get together to learn chant and polyphony and persuade parishes to let us bring this music to them, and he had our back. With the certainty of a Pope who cared about something so vital to us and who was so encouraging in our actions, we believed that we could win the field.

Today I am better, particularly after having read the Holy Souls link early this morning. (I then rather fiercely splashed it all over Facebook to deal summarily with the other "The Pope hates the Latin Mass!" links I found on my news feed.) You know what? From all accounts, this is a good, gentle, holy man who has been elected to lead us. I believe he will, as I believe that Pope Benedict still loves us and is praying for us. We can still do this.

1569 Rising said...

Mac, thank you for your posts.

From my point of view, Pope Francis has one great thing going for him - the fact that Madame Kerchner doesn't like him.

Good enough for me.

Matthew Roth said...

It took me about 8 hours to truly soak it in. Look, for all we know, the chancery clamped down on the TLM and he didn't know much about it.
Agreed: reform is bottom-up, not top-down.
The people are in place to help the hermeneutic of continuity chugging along.

Small One said...

Yes Mac Thank you so much. Had the same joy/angst/oh-oh..oh-no reaction after reading too much on the blogs that warn of turning the clock back on TLM. Then I read Fr. Z's blog and more reading. The fear has ceased. He is precious and already leading us to prayerfulness from the very beginning of his greeting. This is a very good sign. There was Silence in the square! He is a man not afraid of silence in order to hear the voice of God. Then he schedules a visit (according to reports)Benedict. What humility, what gentleness. I am exhaling now.

Muret said...

Dear Mac: Thank you very much for your blog. I have been following your Posts for some years now, and I would like, if permitted, to say something about this new Pope.
I met him several times over the last years, since I live in Buenos Aires, but I can´t say I know him well. However, this is what I do know for a fact:

Liturgy: He is no liturgist, I´m sorry to say. And no, the MP was never really fomented here in Buenos Aires. He was not death set against it, but he never really liked it. But then again, you do not see most of the liturgical horrors you can find in other places. 99% of the Masses here are particularly well said and performed. In the Novus Ordo rite, of course. And yes, he corrected many abuses by unworthy priests. I know some cases myself. I will not enter into the debate on whether it should be different. I am a late converted myself and the only Liturgy I ever knew is the Novus Ordo. That is, until a good friend introduced me to the TLM. And yes, it is to me a more perfect form of Liturgy, although I admit that it is still hard for me to get used to. Maybe that is why, although I devoured the books on Liturgy of Benedict XVI, and was stunned to discover its richness, I also believe that that particular battle is lost in this culture. Worth fighting it, certainly, but from a cultural point of view, it is over. I can extend over this, but will certainly bore you to death, and I am no expert on this matters.

I also know for a fact that His Holiness Francis is also a very pious man. His personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is well known here. He is also a friend of cillicium and mortifies himself regularly whithout a fuss (I know this from people who know him very very well).
Every time I had the chance to talk to him, his last words were: “Pray for me”. Always. He is very much in touch with the reality of things here, and well known for passing a lot of time with the poors and in the most needed parts of the City, while always having his doors open to anyone (anyone, really) who wanted to talk to him.

I can also attest to the fact that he personally saved many a Priest with a vocational crisis (in fact he had a special phone number reserved only to his Priests, open 24/7). He once said to his Priests: “I want my Priests to smell like the flock”. That is how much he wants to be close to us. And he is.

Let’s not compare him with the mighty intellect of Benedict, of the Charisma of John Paul II. He can never be like them (He said so many times himself). But make no mistake: He is a Pastor. And although I personally criticized some of his decisions when he was Cardinal Bergoglio (and how fool I was/am), I recognize in him a deep and profound love for Christ, His Church, and the Holy Blessed Virgin Mary.
I whish I could express myself better in English, but in any case I believe that the Holy Spirit saw fit to give us a new Pope with different talents when Benedict saw his task complete. A turn on the road, maybe, but never a turn around.
Thanks again for your blog and all the laugh I get from reading it.
In Christ


Recusant said...

Having lived in Latin America whenever I see the initials 'TLM' (especially in connection with that continent) I immediately think teología de la liberación marxista (Marxist Liberation Theology). So when I see a statement like 'Pope Francis was against TLM' I think, thank goodness for that!

Unknown said...

I tool much from the Pope's first homily, we build and move.
Pope Benedict was one of those blocks, we will continue to build on what he has done and on the liturgical foundations he has set, but we as a Church move on. It is time to build again on what has been given.

Mulier Fortis said...

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone.

I experienced a pang when I saw the photos of the first Mass, but, as I said, personal preferences are things we can live with.

Muret, thank you for your kind words, and the comment - I value your opinion very much, especially as you are actually from Argentina. Your comment didn't bore me, and you express yourself extremely well. You have confirmed my instincts to love and trust our Holy Father!

Montenegro said...

Mac - thank you for your thoughtful blog post.

Thank you all for your comments.

Muret - thank you for posting about your experiences in an open, honest and objective manner.

God bless!

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