What I appreciate is that he looks so rumpled! The robes are tight across his shoulders, his cross is hanging crookedly and you can see a wire or a rope hanging.
We have a papa who is not afraid - he listened to his predecessor and took his words to heart. Be not afraid.
Why are so many in the media surprised that the cardinals elected an orthodox (right believing) catholic as pope? God bless him, papa ratzi had tried several times to retire. Instead, he walked from the Sistine chapel into the room of tears and put on the ill fitting garments of his new position, and walked out on the balcony to confess his willingness to take on the mantle and to ask for our prayers. Urbi et orbi - he blessed us - gave an absolution,
and he said
Dear brothers and sisters, after our great pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard.
I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers.
In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help, and Mary, his most beloved mother, stands on our side.
Yesterday I was listening to NPR's daily show Talk of the Nation. I should probably have turned it off when I heard that they were bringing out Charlie Curran, but I had this almost sick fascination - kind of like slowing down to stare at a particularly gruesome accident. It was the predictable "why doesn't the church ordain women, allow contraception, etc" with the usual misinterpretation of the role of conscience and sensus fidei. What really got to me was that one of the first callers proclaimed her in-law's multigenerational Catholic heritage including one Blessed, stated that she had 'turned Catholic', and then went on to spout off about how the church was wrong about contraception, abortion, gay marriage, women's ordination, and a few other topics. If I hadn't been driving or I would called or sent in an email.
I don't understand anyone would join a group if you don't agree with core values. Well, maybe the caller didn't see those as core values. Charlie Curran certainly didn't. I couldn't disagree with what he did see as core, ( Trinity, sacraments, social justice) the list was accurate but incomplete. It excluded the right to life, the fulfillment of God's plan for us as individuals, sexual morality and the like.
I didn't listen all the way through. I got to the Catholic bookstore where I had been heading and went in. Had a chance to tell another customer about the Perpetual Adoration chapel just across the parking lot, bought myself a pocket medal of St Pio, and then headed on home. Didn't listen to NPR any more that day.