Tag Archives: Election of the Pope

Sede Vacante

4 Mar

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Some of us like to act like we’re smart. So, we use Latin phrases, like saying “sede vacante” to mean that there is no Pope. Literally, it means “the seat being vacant.” There is no one who sits in the Pope’s seat. There is no one who has the authority of the Pope, who exercises the role of the Pope, who holds the office of the Pope, who does the ministry of the Pope. You got it. There is no Pope.

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We are popeless, but not hopeless. Benedict XVI has gotten up from the chair and has left it empty. But soon someone else will sit in that chair. The fact that there is no Pope makes for good conversation. The election of a new Pope provides entertainment. But we do not experience serious grief or anxiety over “the seat being vacant.” The sede vacante of the Pope doesn’t really immediately and intimately affect our lives.

What grieves us more are the empty seats in our own personal lives that will never be filled. There is that empty seat at the Thanksgiving table, because that was dad’s chair, and he is no longer with us. You sit in your pew at Mass on Sunday morning with an empty space next to you, because that was where mom sat, until she left you. There is an empty stool at the breakfast counter. There is the empty seat on the passenger’s side of the car. There is an empty chair at “our” table in our favorite restaurant.

Sure, we pray for our church, for the election of a new pope. But that prayer will be answered, and we will stop praying it. We will get a new Pope.

During the “sede vacante” it seems right and good and just to also acknowledge and reverence the empty chairs, the empty seats, the empty places in our own personal lives or in the lives of those who will never recover from the loss.

EmptyChair

electing the new Pope

3 Mar

“Extra Omnes!”

Outside, all [of you]!

It might be in Latin. It might be formal. It might be ceremonial. But the Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies means what he says.

Everybody git out!

Everyone who is not permitted to be in the Conclave for the election of the new Pope must leave the Sisteen Chapel, and the doors are locked until a Pope is elected.

 

Prayer for the Election of a Pope

O God, eternal shepherd,
who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love
a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness
and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

not smart, holy or confident (enough)

2 Mar

Cardinal Pope election

What do you hope we will find in our new Pope?

When people tell me that I would make a good bishop, I realize that many parishioners of many parishes say the same thing to their pastors. People love their parish priests. Period. Then I am quick to add, “I am not smart enough, not holy enough, and not confident enough. ” I mean it. I am not.

So, I guess I think that the new Pope should be smart, holy and confident.

When I asked a parishioner what he thought the Cardinal-electors should be looking for, he said that they should keep everybody in the whole world in mind, not just the Catholics. Charlie said the Pope needs to be a Pope for all people and good for all people, not just for us Catholics.

Father Peter Daly writes a good article (translate: one with which I agree) about what his hopes are for the next Pope. Just in case you don’t click your way to the entire article, here is some of what he says. Be aware that his article in printed in the National Catholic Reporter, known for its (far) left-leaning editorial slant.

Father Daly, himself a parish priest, hopes we get somebody who:

–       has at least some experience as a parish priest

–       is from a big family

–       has a niece who has married outside the church and a nephew who has come out to him as gay

–       has several strong-willed and outspoken biological sisters who have more than a streak of feminism

–       has old friends who can remind him of the stupid things he did or impetuous statements he made in his youth

–       has a sense of humor.

So do I. What do you hope for in the next Pope?

Ouellet and Tagle: John XXIV and Paul VII

1 Mar

Sweet Sisteen 2

I am putting my money and my reputation on the line for this man.

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Cardinal Marc Ouellet will be elected on the third day of the Conclave and will take the name John XXIV.

My second guess is that

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Cardinal Luis Tagle will be chosen on the second day, taking the name Paul VII.