Holy See: March 2013 Archives

Reading the notes from the pre-conclave meetings of the cardinals meeting in the General Congregation is not usual reading material for most people. One has to admit that it is interesting to know what the cardinals think and what they verbalize with regard to the life of the Church and the proposal for future ministry. Zenit.org published today the notes of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis). Nothing really new except that now we know with better certainty the perspective of the made elected the Supreme Pontiff. The notes follow:

The archbishop of Havana says that a speech given by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) during the cardinals' pre-conclave meetings was "masterful" and "clear."

Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino spoke of Cardinal Bergoglio's speech at a Mass on Saturday in Cuba, having returned home from his trip to Rome to bid farewell to Benedict, participate in the conclave, and welcome Francis.

Cardinal Ortega said that Cardinal Bergoglio gave him the handwritten notes of the speech, and the permission to share the contents.

"Allow me to let you know, almost as an absolute first fruit, the thought of the Holy Father Francis on the mission of the Church," Cardinal Ortega said.

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Pope Gregory XVI made gambling on papal electi...

Pope Gregory XVI, a Benedictine monk, made gambling on papal elections punishable by excommunication.

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th Roman Pontiff he was listed among a rather small and elite group of men who had their intellectual and spiritual formation in religious life. Bergoglio is a member of the Society of Jesus. But who are the others?

The Benedictine monks have 17

Gregory I, Boniface IV, Adeodatus II, Leo IV, John IX, Leo VII, Stephen IX, Gregory VII, Victor, III, Urban II, Paschal II, Gelasius, II, Celestine V, Clement VI, Urban V, Pius VII, Gregory XVI

The Augustine canons and friars have 6

Honorius II, Innocent II, Lucius II, Adrian IV, Gregory VIII, Eugene IV

The Franciscans friars have 4

Nicholas IV, Sixtus IV, Sixtus V, Clement XIV

Secular Franciscans have 2

Pius IX, Leo XIII

The Dominicans friars have 4

Innocent V, Benedict XI, Pius V, Benedict XIII

The Cistercian monks have 2

Eugene III, Benedict XII

The Theatine clerks regular have 

Paul IV

The Jesuit clerks regular have 1

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Speaking in French today, Pope Francis gave his talk in Italian outlined to the world's diplomats the mission of his pontificate: building peace AND constructing bridges of dialogue,  combatting spiritual AND material poverty. This is part 2 of his "pontifical program of ministry." The Pontiff met the more than 180 accredited diplomats in Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace, the Vatican.

English: world map of the Vatican foreign rela...

World map of the Vatican foreign relations; dark green: diplomatic relations, light green: other relations, gray: no official relations (credit: Wikipedia)

Heartfelt thanks to your Dean, Ambassador Jean-Claude Michel, for the kind words that he has addressed to me in the name of everyone present. It gives me joy to welcome you for this exchange of greetings: a simple yet deeply felt ceremony, that somehow seeks to express the Pope's embrace of the world. Through you, indeed, I encounter your peoples, and thus in a sense I can reach out to every one of your fellow citizens, with their joys, their troubles, their expectations, their desires.

Your presence here in such numbers is a sign that the relations between your countries and the Holy See are fruitful, that they are truly a source of benefit to mankind. That, indeed, is what matters to the Holy See: the good of every person upon this earth! And it is with this understanding that the Bishop of Rome embarks upon his ministry, in the knowledge that he can count on the friendship and affection of the countries you represent, and in the certainty that you share this objective. At the same time, I hope that it will also be an opportunity to begin a journey with those few countries that do not yet have diplomatic relations with the Holy See, some of which were present at the Mass for the beginning of my ministry, or sent messages as a sign of their closeness - for which I am truly grateful.

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Pope's chair, Basilica di San Giovanni in Late...

The chair of the Bishop of Rome, Basilica Saint John Lateran, Rome.

In the first moments of his introduction to the world, Pope Francis has spoken of his ministry as the bishop of Rome, and his exercise of said ministry. Nine times, in fact. I think many were surprised at the theological precision that Pope Francis expressed so quickly. How is this possible? Because Francis is clearly Christocentric, and the Petrine ministry located in service of the other and at the foot of the Cross.

We ought to recall that ministries in the Church have gradually taken on new significance over time as the issues of teaching, preaching and sanctifying and governing (leading) surfaced and challenged the unity of the faithful. We know historically that by the third century the parameters of the bishop of Rome began to develop because of the work of Saints Peter and Paul, and because of the importance of the imperial city of Rome, and by the fourth century the influence of the Roman bishop was well-situated; and by the fifth century "canonical" letters, i.e., decrees, were sent to the world's bishops carrying with them certain authority. One can posit that from almost the beginning bishops from across the Christian world had appealed to the bishop of Rome for assistance in resolving with pastoral problems. 

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Truly Catholic?

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Are you truly Catholic? No, I make the smoke.

We have a Pope!

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ombrellino-keys.pngIf you are looking for a quick run-through of the papal inter-regnum, almost over at this writing, you may be interested in the booklet by The Catholic Truth Society, a handy Step by Step Through the Papal Interregnum (2013) by Monsignor Charles Burns, OBE.

Step by Step does what it proposes to do: the booklet takes the reader through terms, legislation and processes of the period in the Church known as the interregnum and the subsequent papal election. Burns attempts to be exact in what is expected of the cardinals fulfilling their key work as a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church. Historians will like this brief booklet for its mentioning of key historical facts of the conclave.

Monsignor Burns, a priest of the Diocese of Paisely, has worked for the Holy See in the Vatican Secret Archives for more than 35 years; he taught for 25 years at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. Since 2012, Burns has been a Canon of Saint Peter's Basilica.

Here is an audio introduction with Monsignor Burns produced by Vatican Radio.
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"Christoph would not be up to the bitchiness in the Vatican. The intrigues in Vienna are enough for him."

What right-minded person wouldn't get annoyed at dishonesty?

"The whole family is afraid that Christoph will be elected pope," Eleonore Schoenborn, 92, told the Kleine Zeitung newspaper

Black smoke March 12 2013.jpegAt 2:40 DST black smoke emerged from the smoke stack today. Tomorrow morning at 4:30 DST the voting begins again. 2 votes in the morning, 2 votes in the afternoon.

Extra omnes

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At certain point the Papal Master of Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, a priest of the Archdiocese of Genova, announces "Extra omnes," a polite way of saying that all those not belonging in the conclave with the cardinals are to leave now. Monsignor Marini then walks through the center of the Sistine Chapel to the doors and closes them.

Cardinals take oath

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After a brief introduction and prayer in the Pauline Chapel, the cardinals walking in order of seniority beginning from the junior cardinal deacon to the cardinal bishops, walked to the Sistine Chapel. Once in their assigned places in the Sistine Chapel, the senior Cardinal, Giovanni Battista Re, read aloud the following formula of the oath prescribed by the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis:

"In conformity with the provisions of No. 52 of the Apostolic constitution Univesi Dominici Gregis, We, the Cardinal electors present in this election of the Supreme Pontiff promise, pledge and swear, as individuals and as a group, to observe faithfully and scrupulously the prescriptions contained in the Apostolic Constitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Universi Dominici Gregis, published on 22 February 1996. We likewise promise, pledge and swear that whichever of us by divine disposition is elected Roman Pontiff will commit himself faithfully to carrying out the munus Petrinum of Pastor of the Universal Church and will not fail to affirm and defend strenuously the spiritual and temporal rights and the liberty of the Holy See. In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorization is granted by the same Pontiff; and never to lend support or favor to any interference, opposition or any other form of intervention, whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree or any group of people or individuals might wish to intervene in the election of the Roman Pontiff."

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Then, one-by-one, each of the Cardinal electors, according to seniority, then personally took the oath according to the following formula:

"And I, N. Cardinal N., do so promise, pledge and swear. So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand."

After all not required to be in the Conclave are asked to depart, Prospero Cardinal Grech, OSA, (a non-electing cardinal) will give a meditation.

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The Sistine Chapel ready

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Going my way???

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George Alencherry.jpgThe Cardinals have determined that the Conclave will begin on 12 March 2013. The Votive Mass Pro Eligendo Pontifice (For the Election of the Pontiff) will be offered in the morning at Saint Peter's Basilica by the Cardinal Dean and later that afternoon the cardinals will process from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine praying the Litany of Saints.

The cardinals will follow rules set down in John Paul IIs 1996 Universi Dominicu Gregis with the amendments of Benedict XVI in his motu proprio, Normas Nonnullas; moreover, they will adhere to the norms of the Ordo Rituum Conclavis.

There are 115 cardinals voting, 77 of them need to agree on a single man. Mostly an European group of men with an average age of 72; Cardinal Kasper is the oldest at 80 (his birthday was March 5, after the sede vacnate) and the Cardinal Thottunka, the Syro-Malabar, the youngest at 53.

There are 67 created by the Pope-emeritus and 48 by Blessed John Paul; 19 were professed as religious; the majority are Italian trailed by the USA.

Saint Joseph, universal patron of the Church, pray for us, and the cardinals.

On the Roman liturgical calendar of Blessed John XXIII, March 12 is the feast of Saint Gregory the Great (+604).
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TODAY, let's join with the cardinals when they dedicate Wednesday afternoon to prayer and adoration in St. Peter's Basilica for the upcoming papal election.

The Holy Hour begins at 5pm Rome time (11a.m. EST). 

Edward Pentin's NCRegister article, "Entire Church Invited to Pray for Conclave."

The worship program.

Please, do your part!

The Room of Tears

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The Cardinal Dean of the College will ask  the cardinal who has received the votes, Acceptasne electionem de te canonice factam in Summum Pontificem? (Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?) Then, the new pope will be asked by what name he wants to be known. In this case, the Dean is too old to be in the Conclave and therefore the senior cardinal will ask the questions.

After the election is accepted, the new pope is brought to the "Room of Tears," near to the Sistine Chapel to gather his thoughts; the room is the Room of Tears insofar because at this point changing the clothing the one elected concretely he's now in-charge, his life life --and ours-- is irrevocably changed. Teaching, sanctifying and governing are the mark of the office of any priest, bishop and pope; they are marks of service, duty and responsibility. Emotions run high. 

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By the time of the Conclave new robes will be brought to the Sistine Chapel. The papal white cassocks are tailored in three basic sizes, plus there's the golden ceremonial cord for the cross and rochet, five pairs of the red shoes  and a choice of stoles are prepared ahead of time and made available by Gammarelli's. The CBS Morning Show has a story.

In this first picture you see a room displaying the new papal clothes. Recent updating the paint was removed revealing frescoes.

The Room of Tears is covered in a rich red damask.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

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If you want to read a beautiful letter from the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, Kyril I, to Pope Benedict XVI, read the following. 

On 1 March 2013, His Holiness, Patriarch Kyril I of Moscow sent a message to His Holiness, Benedict XVI, pope-emeritus.

Your Holiness!In these exceptional days for you, I would like to express the feelings of brotherly love in Christ and respect.

The decision to leave the position of Bishop of Rome, which you, with humility and simplicity, announced on February 11 this year, has found a ready response in the hearts of millions of Catholics.

We have always been close to your consistent ministry, marked by uncompromisingness in matters of faith and unswerving adherence to the living Tradition of the Church. At a time when the ideology of permissiveness and moral relativism tries to dislodge the moral values of life, you boldly raised your voice in defence of the ideals of the Gospel, the high dignity of man and his vocation to freedom from sin. 

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...
O Lord, with suppliant humility, we entreat You, that in Your boundless mercy You would grant the most Holy Roman Church a pontiff, who by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to You, and by his good government may be ever honored by Your people for the glory of Your  name. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son who with You lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

V. Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

R.  Pray for us who have recourse to you!

Saint Peter, pray for us.

Saint Linus, pray for us.

Saint Anacletus, pray for us.

Saint Clement, pray for us.

Saint Evaristus, pray for us.

Saint Celestine V, pray for us.

Saint Pius V, pray for us.

Saint Pius X, pray for us.

Blessed Pius IX, pray for us.

Blessed John XXIII, pray for us.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.

Collect for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff (Votive Mass Pro Eligendo Summo Pontifice)

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This is the letter the cardinals received from the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, calling them to the General Congregation. The meetings begin on Monday, March 4, at 9:30am.
Camerlengo sealing apt.jpgAt 8pm Rome time on 28 February 2013, the Chair of Saint Peter went empty. The period of time is called sede vacante, the empty see; that is, the Holy Roman Church has no visible head on earth. There is no pope.

Until the time the cardinal electors gather for the Conclave to elect the next bishop of Rome, the head of the Apostolic Chamber, the Carmerllengo (chamberlain), Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, SDB, will lead a small group of people in closing the papal apartments, and the private elevator. 

Prayers were prayed, and tasks identified. Doors were locked and a ribbon with wax seal secured the papal area.

The Camerlengo is the acting head of state and is the Church's administrator of the material holdings of the Church. This office is in distinction to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, who cares for the spiritual well-being of the cardinals and chairs the meetings prior to the conclave.

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The Vatican embassies also received communication  at 8pm saying that any diplomatic necessity ought to be addressed to Archbishop Giovanni Becciu and to the Dean of the College of Cardinals.

Today, at 12:30pm Rome time, Archbishop PierLuigi Celate, the vice-Camerlengo, sealed off the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. The basilica is the cathedral for the bishop of Rome.

Rome Reports has a good visual on the sealing of the papal apartments.
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Even though the Chair of Saint Peter is temporary empty, the ministry of the bishop of Rome, the Roman Pontiff, is not abolished. The work of the Church of Christ continues: the proclamation of the Gospel, the administration of the sacraments and interceding on behalf of other before the Throne of Grace continues. As the Roman Pontiff emeritus said, 

"I would like to invite everyone to renew firm trust in the Lord. I would like that we all, entrust ourselves as children to the arms of God, and rest assured that those arms support us and us to walk every day, even in times of struggle. I would like everyone to feel loved by the God who gave His Son for us and showed us His boundless love."

The general intention

That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility.

The missionary intention

That bishops, priests, and deacons may be tireless messengers of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Holy See category from March 2013.

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