The puff of smoke came faster than expected.    Like the genie out of the bottle, the incumbent was not perhaps what was expected, and once let out, cannot be put back in again.

All the following remarks are without any proof whatsoever, and are therefore merely conjecture, but here’s my impressions for what they’re worth.    I observe, of course, from a point of view of detachment not being one of what the Roman Catholic church would call ‘ the faithful’.

My impression was that from the church hierarchy’s point of view,  the election of this candidate was a mistake.   I wonder if it turned out rather as Margaret Thatcher’s election apparently did, where no-one actually intended that she would be the final selected candidate but somehow things went wrong and they were stuck with her.   I wonder whether the opposing factions were balanced in opposition, and voted for the successful candidate as an exercise to buy time and regroup, choosing some-one sufficiently obscure that nobody thought he had any chance of winning.   Clearly God does work in mysterious ways…   I felt those officials whom one did see or hear were gob-smacked, unprepared and dismayed, for all their fair words.

Pope Francis 1’s appearance reminded me of the ambiguous scripture, (Isaiah 53:2) ‘(The Son of Man) hath no beauty that men should desire him’.    I hadn’t previously  considered that Popes John Paul and Benedict were strikingly handsome men, even in old age, whereas this man’s physical appearance would never draw a second glance.   He had, however, a powerful presence.   He has the look of a man it would be wise not to cross.   He looks merciful and fair, but not weak.   A formidable man in every respect.    It seemed to me that he had not desired the appointment, that it had come to him entirely as a surprise, and not by any means a pleasant one, and he was gathering his courage and resources for the task ahead of him.   He was calm, accepting of Fate.

The crowd was polite and welcoming and responded to him, but it was not overly enthusiastic.    They did not know him.

One could speculate that possibly when Pope Benedict received the report on corruption and malpractice within the Vatican, he felt that he  himself, having been a Vatican insider, was not the man to tackle the job, and possibly that age and infirmity meant he lacked the strength.   Did he decide I wonder that he would help a new incumbent, if his successor were so minded, to deal with the problem, so that the new Pope had an advisor, and did not face the difficulty of being a newcomer, and perhaps  rather like an incoming Cabinet Minister at the mercy of entrenched civil servants?   Already the Press, which sits in moral judgement on everyone though it lives in a glass house, is pursuing the aspect of his relationship with the Argentinian dictatorship.   I am not certain that outright opposition to the party in power in a country, with the result that your religion might be driven underground and yourself ‘disappeared’ would be the wisest action nor in the best interests of ‘the faithful’.   One has to suppose there is no shadow of sexual misconduct associated with him, otherwise  we should certainly have heard of it by now.

Pope Francis spoke well.   He reached out.   He asked the crowd to pray for him which suggests that he remembers that we are all sinners and have much need of blessing.    He said his blessing was for ‘all men and women of goodwill throughout the world’.    Even I, though the church would regard me as an heretic and apostate, could say Amen.

It is just possible that he is genuinely a man of God.    Merely a mortal, and subject to human weakness like every one of us.   But still, a stout-hearted man is certainly a blessing to be counted.

May he walk in the light.


About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: