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Pope Francis’s second full day in office – live updates

By on Friday, 15 March 2013

Pope Francis greets his fellow cardinals

15.30 GMT That wraps up our live coverage for today. We’ll be back on Tuesday morning at 8.30am GMT for live coverage of the Pope’s inaugural Mass.

In the meantime, Pope Francis has already inspired many. Here’s a tour operator – quick off the mark  – offering a Pope Francis Pilgrimage Package in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

From all The Catholic Herald’s staff, God bless and have a good weekend.

15.15 GMT John Allen reflects on Pope Francis’s very first action as Supreme Pontiff:

No matter how long his papacy lasts, the new pontiff’s very first decision will probably rate as among his boldest. Over the years, I’ve talked to historians of the papacy who regarded “Francis” as a name no pope could, or should, ever take. It’s like “Jesus” or “Peter,” they argued – there’s only one, so it would be borderline sacrilegious for a pope to claim it for himself.

On TV, I tried to explain what the name “Francis” conjures up in the Catholic imagination. For most Catholics, I said, there are two faces of the church. There’s the institutional church, with its rules and dogma, its wealth and power, its hierarchical chain of command. Then there’s the church of the spirit, a humble and simple community of equals with a special love for the least of this world. Ideally, the two go together, but in any case, they’re distinct.

By taking the name “Francis,” the pope effectively said the spirit of that second face of the church needs to shine through anew in the first.

15.07 GMT Ignatius Press is to publish the “definitive biography” of the new Pope.

Drawing from the words, ideas, and the personal recollection of Pope Francis – including inside material made available right up to the final hours before his election – the most highly regarded Vatican observer, Andrea Tornielli, reveals who the new Pope will be for both a Church and a world in need of transformation.

“Francis, Pope of a New World,” published by Ignatius Press, is a definitive and complete biography on Pope Francis. It will provide the keys to understanding the man who was a surprise choice, even a revolutionary choice, for pope. It is the story of a humble pastor of one of the world’s largest archdioceses; a cardinal, who takes the bus, spends time in the street talking to the community, pays his own bills and makes his own meals, and lives simply. It is the story of why the cardinal electors of the Catholic Church set aside political and diplomatic calculations to elect a pope who will lead the renewal and purification of the worldwide Church of our time.

15.00 GMT Pope Francis has told his fellow countrymen that they do not have to come to Rome for his inauguration.

The Holy Father called the Vatican envoy to Argentina, Emil Paul Tscherrig, on the night of his election “to let the bishops and the faithful know they did not have to make the costly journey to Rome and could instead do an act of charity, of solidarity with the poor, according to the Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi.

Fr Lombardi said today that:”He has not forbidden people from coming, he has only said that it is not necessary,” he said.

City authorities were preparing for a million people to come to the mass in St Peter’s Square, Rome prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro said.

14.01 GMT Mathew Schmitz on why it’s significant that evangelicals love Pope Francis. He says:

“Francis’ spontaneity—already on display in the first days of his papacy—resonates with Evangelical Protestants but is in its way deeply Catholic. As R.R. Reno observed on Francis’ election, Jesuits “break the rules,” which helps explain why Francis “took the name of the most severe critic of the papacy before Martin Luther [and] bowed to receive the crowd’s blessing.” Protestants see one of their own in the new pope, which might prompt a Catholic to say that much of what we see as Protestant can be found more fully realized and rightly oriented in the heart of the Church.”

13.55 GMT: Evangelical leader Luis Palau has been discussing his friendship with Pope Francis. He says:

“He’s a very Bible-centered man, a very Jesus Christ-centered man. He’s more spiritual than he is administrative, although he’s going to have to exercise his administrative skills now! But personally, he is more known for his personal love for Christ. He’s really centered on Jesus and the Gospel, the pure Gospel.

“We’ll see what the effects will be for international relationships and openness, because he’s not a manipulator. He’s a straightforward, straight-shooting person. He says what he thinks and he does it sincerely.

“Although he’s gentle, he has strong moral convictions and he stands by them even if he has to confront the government. And he’s done it before. With the evangelical community, it was a very big day when we realized that he really was open, that he has great respect for Bible-believing Christians, and that he basically sides with them. … They work together. That takes courage. That takes respect. It takes conviction. So the leaders of the evangelical church in Argentina have a high regard for him, simply because of his personal lifestyle, his respect, his reaching out and spending time with them privately.”

13.53 GMT: We should not categorise Pope Francis. We have seen images of joy and Gospel placed values taking flesh. Let’s just enjoy this and love him. Now is not the time to categorise and then be disappointed if someome does not live up to these categories.

13.47 GMT: We have very good relations with the Anglican Church and we cannot help but think of Pope Benedict XVI’s wonderful visit to the United Kingdom in 2010. That relationship will only go forwards not backwards.

13.36 GMT: Fr Lombardi: Next Wednesday there will be no General Audience with Pope Francis because we will have had the papal inaugural Mass on Tuesday. On Wednesday the Pope will meet a delegation of the Christian churches and communities present for the Mass.

13.31 GMT: Fr Lombardi says we have a lot of experience with defamation campaigns against the Church and we are assured by the credibilty of Pope Francis. Regarding the Pope Emeritus taking posession of his new residence, it will be two more months until he can move to the convent in the Vatican gardens.

13.27 GMT: Fr Lombardi: We know nothing about the significance of the bracelet Pope Francis received from Cardinal Napier this morning.

13.22 GMT: Pope Francis will not take possesion of his cathedral, Basilica of St John Lateran, until after Easter. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper, although traditionally celebrated there on Maundy Thursday, will not be held there this year because he will not have taken possession yet. Instead it will be celebrated at St Peter’s Basillica.

13.19 GMT: Fr Lombardi: Pope Francis still has not finalised his motto and coat of arms.

13.13 GMT: A journalist has asked Fr Lombardi is Pope Francis is the 266th Pope or the 266th Succesor to St Peter? Fr Lombardi confirms Pope Francis is the 266th Pope and the 265th Succesor to St Peter.

13.10 GMT: We are not expecting the creation of new dicasteries. We don’t yet have the re-confirmation of the heads of new dicasteries. There is no ceremony to reconfirm someone they simply pick up where they left off.

13.07 GMT: Fr Lombardi says our eyes and hearts are fixed on Rio, Brazil for World Youth Day before speculating about the next location for 2016.

13.01 GMT: Fr Lombardi said that for the inaugural Mass on Tuesday there will be different sections for, governments, priests, cardinals, the disabled and the sick. This is because they have to make sure access is tailored to each group with their different needs.

12.57 GMT: Fr Lombardi said that they have no record indicating that the Holy Father will be making any formal appointments at present.

12.49 GMT: The Vatican does not send out personal invites to anyone. Governments are simply informed of the papal inauguration ceremony. It is up to them if they attend. The Church merely informs countries with and without diplomatic relations with the Holy See. This was the same as John Paul II’s funeral.

12.47 GMT: Fr Lombardi says there never has been a credible, concrete accusation against Pope Francis, but only the testimony of the many he helped. The discredited accusations against him are driven by anticlerical, Left-wing ideology. He says the Argentine Nobel peace laureate Perez Esquivel absolved Pope Francis of collaboration with dictatorship.

12.44 GMT: During the press conference taking place now, Fr Lombardi says Pope Francis met the two Jesuits who were kidnapped by the Argentinian dictatorship and celebrated Mass with them afterwards.

12.11 GMT: Alejandro Bermudez writes about the profound minimalism of Francis.

11.58am GMT: A nifty graphic from the Daily Telegraph on the story of every pope in history.

11.50am GMT: ‘Humble’ pope photographed travelling on minibus to first engagement rather than taking chauffeur-driven Vatican limousine.

11.32am GMT: Rocco Palmo tweets: “For the record, Pope Francis still wearing black shoes from home and his prior silver cross and ring.”

11.18am GMT: John Allen tweets: “For those whose memories reach back this far, Francis so far is eerily reminiscent of Papa Luciani, John Paul I.”

11.07am GMT: Writing in the Telegraph, Peter Stanford reflects on Pope Francis’s record in his native Argentina:

“His record as archbishop ­Father Jorge, to the poor, marginalised and dispossessed whose cause he promoted tirelessly ­ was Jesuitical in the best sense of the world. His notion of Christian liberation is not simply about being free from sin, but also from poverty and injustice. Such sentiments are rooted broadly in Catholic social teaching, but it is the unique mixture of contemplation and activity that is the hallmark of the Spiritual Exercises, and which now appears set to define the reign of Pope Francis I SJ.”

11.01am GMT: Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor are having a long and in-depth conversation it seems.

10.46am GMT: An extremely brief but cheerful exchange between Pope Francis and Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

10.42am GMT: Pope Francis and Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila greet eachother with warmth and laughter.

10.25am GMT: Pope Francis warmly greets each cardinal.

10.18am GMT: Pope Francis offers the cardinals his apostolic blessing. Pope Francis receives a standing ovation from his cardinals

Pope Francis said:

“One day we will look upon the face of the risen Christ and the powerful intercession of Mary his Mother. Under her watchful gaze each of us may walk.”

10.17am GMT: Pope Francis says that the cardinals should share with the youth our wisdom which is like good wine. “One German poet said old age is the time of tranquility and peace and we should give to the youth this wisdom.”

10.12am GMT: Pope Francis is now speaking off the cuff. The Pope says we are united in the community of Church which adores the Father, Son and Holy Spririt. He invites the cardinals to become evermore “of Christ and in Christ.”

Pope Francis said: “Stimulated by the Year of Faith, we will work harder to carry about the mission of always, to bring Christ to mankind and to bring mankind to an encounter with Christ.

“Let us never give in to pessimism and to discouragement we have the certainty that the Holy Spirit guides the Church with his powerful breath,encouraging us to seek new methods of evangelisation and bringing his word to the ends of the earth. The Christian faith is powerful because it responds to the deepest needs of the human spirit. This is as valid today as it ever was.

“Dear brothers, maybe half of us are in old age. Old age is the seat of the wisdom of life. We have the wisdom of having walked through life like Simeon and Anna. Let us give this wisdom to the youth, like good wine, that with age becomes even better.

“Return now to your various ministries to continue with your ministry enriched by this experience, singular and incomparable which has allowed us to experience the reality of the ecclesial mission. One day we will look upon that beautiful face of the Risen Christ.”

10.11am GMT: Pope Francis is using a prepared text for the first time. Pope Francis says:

“We are a community based on friendship and this experience will be good for all of us. This allows us to be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit. The Paraclete makes all the difference in the Church. He gives us
harmony. He gives each of us different charisms and unites us in the Church.

“I extend my warmest greetings to the College of Cardinals and invite you to be ever more of Christ. We will work harder to bring Christ to mankind and mankind to Christ. This mission will bring joy to humanity.
As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us with his grand gesture the Church is permeated with the Holy Spirit who makes one mystical body of Christ.”

10.10am GMT: The Pope also asks for prayers for Cardinal Jorge María Mejía who suffered a heart attack last night.

10.08am GMT: The Pope thanks especially Cardinal Sodano and Cardinal Bertone. He extends his thanks to cardianls who could not attend the conclave and supported us in “suffering and prayer.”

10.07am GMT: Pope Francis thanks everyone for their “sprititual vigilance.”

10.05am GMT: Pope Francis says the papal conclave was of great significance. “We have felt the affection and the solidarity of the universal church.”

10.04am GMT: Cardinal Angelo Sodano is addressing Poep Francis in the Clementine Hall

9.57am GMT: The internet is already having fun with the news Pope Francis dropped by to pay his hotel bill yesterday

9.50am GMT: American theologian George Weigel argues that not all Jesuits are delighted by the election of Pope Francis:

Bergoglio is an old-school Jesuit, formed by classic Ignatian spirituality and deeply committed to an intelligent, sophisticated appropriation and proclamation of the full symphony of Catholic truth — qualities not notable for their prevalence among members of the Society of Jesus in the early 21st century. I suspect there were not all that many champagne corks flying last night in those Jesuit residences throughout the world where the Catholic Revolution That Never Was is still regarded as the ecclesiastical holy grail. For the shrewder of the new pope’s Jesuit brothers know full well that that dream was just dealt another severe blow. And they perhaps fear that this pope, knowing the Society of Jesus and its contemporary confusions and corruptions as he does, just might take in hand the reform of the Jesuits that was one of the signal failures of the pontificate of John Paul II.

There will be endless readings of the tea leaves in the days ahead as the new pope, by word and gesture, offers certain signals as to his intentions and his program. But the essentials are already known. This is a keenly intelligent, deeply holy, humble, and shrewd man of the Gospel. He knows that he has been elected as a reformer, and the reforms he will implement are the reforms that will advance the New Evangelization. The rest is detail: important detail, to be sure, but still detail. The course is set, and the Church’s drive into the Evangelical Catholicism of the future has been accelerated by the pope who introduced himself to his diocese, and to the world, by bowing deeply as he asked for our prayers.

9.40am GMT: Veteran Catholic journalist Margaret Hebblethwaite, who met the future Pope Francis during a visit to Buenos Aires, says that he reaches out to those who are alienated from the Church:

When I spoke with fellow Jesuits from other countries about Bergoglio’s prospects for becoming pope, I was taken aback by their dislike. He was harsh and disciplinarian, they said, and never went to visit his Jesuit brothers in the curia in Rome. According to Marcó, the alienation between Bergoglio and the Jesuits was a thorn in his side that he bore with silent patience.

Because of issues like this, and his confrontations with the Argentinian government on questions such as same-sex marriage, he has been classed as a conservative. But a different picture has been painted by one of Bergoglio’s friends, a radical feminist and Catholic called Clelia Luro, who is about as far to the left on the ecclesial spectrum as you can go. She married a prominent and respected bishop, Jerónimo Podestá – one of the leaders of the progressive reforms that followed the second Vatican council – and was sometimes seen concelebrating Mass with him, the kind of thing that makes a Catholic cleric’s hair stand on end. But Bergoglio reacted differently.

Luro talked to me at length about her friend, of whom she has the highest opinion, and told me how she would write to him almost weekly, and he would always reply by ringing her up and having a short chat. When Podesta was dying, Bergoglio was the only Catholic cleric who went to visit him in hospital, and, when he died, the only one who showed public recognition of his great contribution to the Argentinian Church.

9.00am GMT: Welcome to our live blog on the second day of Pope Francis’s papal ministry.

The key event today will be at 10am GMT, when the Pope will meet members of the College of Cardinals, including those aged over 80, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

Yesterday Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome, stopped off to pay his hotel bill, then returned to the Vatican to celebrate Mass with the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel.

Here is a run-down of Pope Francis’s schedule for the next few days:

On Saturday, March 16, at 10am GMT he will meet the 5,600 members of the media who reported on the conclave from the Vatican to thank them for their coverage.

At noon on Sunday, March 17 he will recite the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square.

His inaugural Mass will take place from 8:30am GMT on Tuesday, March 19, the feast of St Joseph, in St Peter’s Square.

On Wednesday, March 20, Pope Francis will meet “fraternal delegates” from other Christian churches and ecclesial groups, who attended his installation the day before.

  • NatOns

    A touch of the sour grapes from me, on this one: ‘Inauguration’. I know that is the term used, at least since John Paul I did away with the Sovereign Coronation (as head of State). Nonetheless, the very idea of ripping out the entails to read them appals me; the augurs of ancient and modern times were/ are mere charlatans – reading ‘signs’ into occult scraps or visions.

    No doubt this is suitable enough to a politician being raised to the presidential imperium, or an emperor hoist on the shield, it is misplaced in the enthronement of a Christian patriarch. In fact it is not the sign of humility that the humble soul John Paul I intended, any moreso than Queen Elizabeth I’s successor setting aside the sovereign crown for a felt hat and a handshake might be .. that is the very opposite of humility, being a grandiose affectation. That Blessed John Paul II and the awesome Benedict XVI followed in this affected humility, as a symbol of rejecting sovereign rule (while maintaining monarchical authority) cannot make the rule of the augurs any more accurate or apposite to the enthronement of the Sovereign Pontiff .. for such the Pope must be .. the Successor to Peter must be elevated to his Chair i.e. enthroned or he is not a successor to Peter’s teaching authority over the Holy See, and – at the same time – crowned sovereign and ruling head of the Vatican State (whether with a cloth cap or metal crown, it matters not).

    “And whereas it was obligatory, for the purpose of assuring the absolute and visible independence of the Holy See, likewise to guarantee its indisputable sovereignty in international matters, it has been found necessary to create under special conditions the Vatican City, recognizing the full ownership, exclusive and absolute dominion and sovereign jurisdiction of the Holy See over that City”

  • Cosmos

    St. Francis was a critic of the papacy? Hmmm…. Francis was neither a theologian or a reformer, in fact, he was more like a Russian “holy fool.” From what I remember, Francis made a point of being incredibly flattering of the ordained clergy–insisting on treating them based on the dignity of their office rather than their personal virtues (kind of like most do with the President). It was often so over-the-top and undeserved that it embarrassed them. I’d love to see the basis for that statement.

  • Pat

    Catholics love and read the Bible(be wieird if we didn’t). Christ said of His new church “…the gates of hell will not prevail against it…”. Jesus commanded Peter “Feed my sheep” 3 times. Must we always be so obstinate? Yeah, Peter was a sinner too, but Jesus had it in his plan that Peter would be the first to proclaim Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the LIving God. If the Holy Spirit decides it’s ok to impart that info on Peter, are you really going to argue the point. To what end? Take your eyes off of Paul(for a moment : >) and read the rest of the Bible(perhaps stop marking up the margins of the Good Book…use a notebook, for “important comments”.) As an example, I happen to be reading the book of Numbers, look how foolish Aaron’s naysayers look…and then look what happens to them(ex:we can all look at our Sunday observances and see whether it is God’s day or “sports” day) Just be honest, if you can’t bear to be obedient to the church. I’m not obedient either…but I ask Jesus for forgiveness for being so foolish, instead of throwing rocks at Aaron, Moses and Peter(his successors). The Church(it’s people) loves Peter, he can be compared to every man or woman, watch him watch “yourself”…”depart from me Lord for I am a sinful man”, the upside down crucifixion etc. Protestants are like Saul …throwing rocks at Stephen/Jesus, the Church, then Christ asks (in the most loving and merciful way I might add) “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?” the parallels are startling. Jesus had a plan, and regardless of the number of evildoers…he still proclaims on the cross…”it is accomplished”. Protestants can also be likened to the guys on the road to Emmaeus, Jesus is right there but they cannot recognize him….it isn’t until the breaking of the bread that they do. Do you think there is a reason why he did that? Even after He rose from the dead, He wanted to emphasize we “will” recognize Him in the breaking of the Bread (the Eucharist!) ” Is it so hard to believe? Even though he broke bread 3 days earlier…He wanted the point to made again(“I am with you always”), that’s Love isn’t it. He knew they would need food for task/
    journey ahead, but just “bread”…c’mon, that is old testament stuff. “I am the bread of life..” for the whole Universal(Catholic) Church… and so here we are. Jesus feeds us spiritually and physically!


  • Daniel Davis

    Thank the lord Almighty for hearing our payers. All Along we prayed that all the front runners with ambition be humbled and the one humble and working according to lords will be elevated. So we have Pope Francis.After all Lord chose imperfect people (according to world’s standards ) like Moses , David ,Peter … to lead his people. We also know Pope Francis has only one lungs. But the spirit of the lord is on him. God bless our Beloved Pope abundantly in his big tasks ahead of him to lead humanity out of the attack from the enemy. Praise God.

  • Alba

    This man may initiate a cold winter for traditionalists. He is not known for interest in liturgy. The liturgies he has offered have been middling and uninspiring. Expect a growth in the SSPX during his pontificate

  • Howard Hines

    I definitely think Pope Francis will make a mistake, if he does not figure out a face-saving way (for the SSPX) to incorporate the SSPX canonically in the Church. Make no mistake about it – they are indeed Catholic. As Catholics they have much to offer the Church in re-evangelization of the world! The fact of the matter is that the Church has always referred to the novus ordo Mass as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Church has obviously agreed with Cardinal Ottaviani’s “Intervention,” with some corrections. More to the point, the Church now needs to clarify some interpretations of Vatican II documents. The “Media Council” steered the Church the wrong way in many things following Vatican II, and many religious congregations followed their line and imposed on us flawed directionalities.

  • Alba

    So far this man does not impress. He gives the impression of someone who wishes he had not been chosen. The humility shtick is rather cloying. He ought to rise to the office not drag the office down to his level. Liturgy, the great prayer of the Church, must not be sidelined during his reign. The liturgical slatterns that, despite the interventions of Benedict XVI, still seem ubiquitous must not be allowed to re-establish their hold. I trust the SSPX, should it most likely not be incorporated, will remain a thorn in the side.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    “….insisting on treating them based on the dignity of their office rather than their personal virtues..”

    This is due to common sense and divine grace present in the person concerned..and this same mentality is seen also in some simple un-educted people full of Divine faith.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • Michelle Egan

    Actually so far he does impress me, never I have heard a post Vatican II prelate speak with such vigor and clarity on the reality of Satan and his tricks. This is something that has been lost today, the reality of the evil one. Having said that you are right, liturgy can not afford to be sidelined, it is truly a great crisis that we are confronting regarding common worship today. We must make our views known to the Holy Father regarding the importance of the liturgy.