Hurry up and wait

Worker prepares Sistine Chapel for conclave. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

Worker prepares Sistine Chapel for conclave. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

VATICAN CITY — There were plenty of mixed feelings at the Vatican in recent days.

Tweeting cardinals are no longer talking to the media

The sense of urgency in starting the conclave was going against the idea that choosing a new pope requires ample time for discernment, contemplation, prayer and also conversation.

But Rome itself seems a contradiction. The recent days have been both sunny and rainy. Fast cars and motorcycles zoom across the ancient cobblestone streets. Litugical vestment stores bump up against high-end fashion stores and tourist shops sell postcards, T-shirts, magnets and snow globes along with rosaries, holy cards, crosses and images of Pope John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI.

The interregnum by its very nature also produces mixed feelings, as Father Gustavo Castillo, a priest from the Los Angeles Archdiocese pointed out. Father Castillo, currently studying in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, known as the Angelicum, said he still feels an “emptiness” after the resignation of Pope Benedict but at the same time he has hope that a young pope will be elected who will “have the strength to deal with the things the church has to face.”

3 Responses

  1. not a very enlightening post, Tuesday will see it sorting out.- betting is legal here so I am hoping my top three choices are aligned with the Holy Spirit as we all pray for his choice.

  2. Thank you Carol Zimmerman
    for your contribution/coverage
    to the election of the new Pope
    of the Catholic Church +.+.+

  3. Regarding the age of a pope at the time of his election: A younger man would have decades ahead of him as pope, and there’s the risk of “ossifying” on the job, so to speak, thereby losing meaningful control of the Curia and not perceiving what are concerns that should be of paramount importance.

    Election of an older person already has in it the inherent risks of having a person in charge who cannot really be in charge. There’s a rationale for electing a “caretaker” pope, especially when the College cannot agree on another candidate. There’s risk here, too, for we had one pople who died in office at 93, meaning that a caretaker could be caretaking for a couple decades.

    We can only hope that the recent resignation of Joseph Ratzinger establishes within the College a new mindset: that there’s a time to leave the papacy before death mandates it and that the pope should not feel dutybound to remain in office beyond his abilitiy to be effective.

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