Yesterday the Cardinals of the Catholic Church selected a new Pope.  I read about it when I went to check facebook in the afternoon after running errands all morning and ‘Viva il Papa’ was all over it with the words ‘white smoke’.  How exciting!  I turned the TV on immediately to catch up.

One of the most powerful books I ever read was “The Shoes of the Fisherman” by Maurice West.  I do know I mentioned this before.  In the book, and subsequent movie, West was very careful to lay out in great details what happened behind closed doors when a Pope is chosen.

The first thing the Cardinal – Pope elect has to do is to accept the results of the election.  He chooses the papal name by which he will now be known.  Then it is my understanding that there is prayer.  I found the following on:

Once the new pope is elected, he meets with the Cardinal Deacon, the Secretary of the College of Cardinals, the Cardinal Dean, and the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. The Cardinal Dean asks the elected pope two questions:

1. Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?

2. By what name do you wish to be called?

All of the Cardinals then come up and pledge their loyalty and fidelity to him. Then – I will refer to Wikipedia now:

Later, the new pope goes to the “Room of Tears”, a small red room next to the Sistine Chapel. The new pope dresses by himself, choosing a set of pontifical choir robes–consisting of a whitecassockrochet, and red mozzetta–from three sizes provided. He then wears a gold corded pectoral cross, a red and gold embroidered stole, and then dons the white papal zucchetto on his head.

Next, the Cardinal Protodeacon (the senior Cardinal Deacon) appears at the central balcony of the Basilica to proclaim the new pope. He first addresses the crowds below in several national languages, and then proceeds with the traditional Latin formula (assuming the new Pope was a cardinal)

As I watched St. Peter’s square on the TV there were jubilant crowds.  I watched the Swiss Guard moving out getting ready for the new Pope’s appearance.  I remember from the book ‘The Shoes of the Fisherman’ how hard it was for that man to accept that he was chosen.   He was filled with humility and disbelief and accepted the choice of the Cardinals.  I wonder if this new Pope selected today is going through the same heartfelt gut wrenching emotions.  While all this may be going on in the Vatican the scene on the Square is joy and pageantry with bands playing as all take their positions and await the Protodeacon to come through the curtain with the announcement “We have a Pope” and make the introduction.  I sat with anticipation watching for the movement of the curtains at the balcony.  I wonder what he is thinking.  I wonder what his first words will be.

I wondered what name he would choose as I watched.  He has minutes to come up with a name as I read.  Imagine this man went into the Chapel as a Cardinal on Tuesday!  He was chosen on the fifth ballot.  What an amazing example of a peaceful change for the Vicar of Christ.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was selected as the new Pope.  He is from Buenos Aeries, Argentina and the commentator I was listening to said he was a man of the people who rides the bus with the people not use limousines.  He lived in a one bedroom apartment as a Cardinal instead of the Cardinal’s Palace.  He did his own cooking.  He has been described as compassionate and conservative.

Pope Francis I appeared and after sharing, with no notes, that he thought the Cardinals went to the end of the world to find him he blessed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  He said he needed our help, and bowed humbly to those gathered.  He asked that the people pray over him so that he could lead from love and prayed a blessing on all for all over the world after praying the Our Father, a Hail Mary ending with Glory Be to the Father.  I am certain his exact words can be found on the internet.

I watched this man come out dressed in white.  He wore no fancy red robes or crowns.  I saw a simple man.  His face seemed to be calm as he saw and looked over the crowd before him.  I had tears in my eyes and was filled with joy and hope.   I believe this man is a humble man who now will lead the Catholics of the world.  God Bless Pope Francis I.


By ktsquared Posted in Faith

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