|The Delivery of the Keys|
by Pietro Perugino
By many accounts over the past day, Pope Francis I is a humble man who eschews, as often as possible, all the trappings of his high office in the church. It is reported that, while Cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he rejected use of an official limousine and an official residence, opting instead to ride the bus and live in a modest apartment near his parishioners. It is said that he has personally washed the feet of the faithful during Holy Thursday Mass and that he regularly visits the slums and shantytowns fo Buenos Aires. It is also reported that he enjoys cooking his own food, drinking a local Argentinean drink known as "mate," and watching soccer.
As the mother of a Protestant who often sings in the Catholic Church (and who sometimes attends Mass as a result), it will be interesting to see if the humility and service of the new Holy Father will trickle down to the parish level. While Pope Benedict XVI was in charge of the Church, our local Catholics saw changes in their Missal and the type of music that was used at Mass, a return to an older style of worship and the use of more Latin chant. One of the parishes a few miles east of us even held a Tridentine Reguiem Mass on All Soul's Day. Since Pope Francis I appears to have a hands-on approach in the practice of his faith, I am curious if the local parish priests will begin to focus on and encourage outreach to the hurting populations in southeastern Connecticut, such as th ehomeless and those affected by unemployment and hunger.
So, as I waited for the results of the Papal Conclave, now I will wait to see what happens to the Catholic Church as she lives and serves under new leadership.
Also of interest:
Slideshow of Pope Francis I
Trading In the Bus for a Butler: The New Pope's New Lifestyle
The Conclave Meets Soon
The Papal Selection Process