Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Imposition of the Pallium

Francis in pallium.jpg

The Senior Cardinal Deacon prays,


May the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, bestow upon you the Pallium taken from the Tomb of the Apostle Peter.

The Good Shepherd charged Peter to feed his lambs and his sheep; today you succeed him as the Bishop of this Church to which he and the Apostle Paul were fathers in faith.


May the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, grant you his abundant gifts of wisdom and eloquence in the ministry of confirming your brethren in the unity of faith.


Let us pray.


O God, who do not disappoint those who call upon you with upright and devout hearts, hear the fervent prayer of your Church and pour forth your blessing upon your servant Francis, our Pope, to whom, through our humble service, you have granted primacy in the apostolic office. May he be strengthened by the gift of your Holy Spirit and worthily exercise his high ministry in accordance with the eminent charism he has received. Through Christ our Lord.


Bishop of Rome –appreciating its significance for the churches

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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Pope Francis’ coat of arms

Francis coat of arms.jpg

Pope Francis has decided to stick –more or less, with the heraldic art, that is, his coat of arms that he had when he was called to the Order of Bishop and then as a cardinal. The most identifiable change made is the replacing of the red cardinal’s galero and tassels with the papal keys and miter that Pope Benedict XVI chose for his arms in 2005 when he accepted the pontifical dignity but gone is the pallium. The other change is turning the star representing Mary, the Mother of God and the flower of nard representing Saint Joseph, to gold as opposed to silver. Add to the artscape is the image most associated to the Society of Jesus with the IHS sunburst. The Holy Family, hence, is illustrated here.
The keys of Saint Peter refer to the gospel passage of Saint Matthew 16:16 where Jesus says to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom.” The keys represent the pastoral authority of Jesus given to Peter and thus to Peter’s successor to forgive sins, and lead us to salvation. The silver key concerns things of earth, and the gold key things of heaven joined together by the red cord symbolizing the common witness of the blood of the Savior shed for humanity. You may want to read the Catechism on the Petrine ministry at paragraphs 880-882, the whole section “I believe in the holy Catholic Church is worth” some study and prayer.
By having mercy and making decisions” by following Christ
~the way Pope Francis intends to exercise the Petrine ministry he’s been called to~

Smearing the Pope

English: Monochrome version of the IHS emblem ...

The honeymoon was very short-lived: as tools of communication fling far and wide information and misinformation, social media gurus are now producing conflicting information about Pope Francis. But if you think I am talking exclusively of those who are Catholic haters think again; the Church has her detractors –enemies?– and sadly from within.┬áThere are some insightful readers that help us to connect the dots of a new papacy. Father Raymond de Souza, John Allen and John Thavis comes to mind as credible.

I am not surprised that smear campaigns are spreading pretty fast with a click of the button, for example of topics being covered: Francis dealing with dictatorships; Francis and liturgical practice; Francis and the moral teachings of the Church; Francis, the poor and the papal ministry; Cardinals turning on Benedic; Francis and the Ignatian (and Jesuit charism); Francis and Communion and Liberation; Francis and Benedict.

Many have fallen in love with Pope Francis –at the moment he’s the People’s Pope. It won’t be long before concerted ugliness is mainstream seeking to discredit, distract and divide, and lead away from the faith in Christ and the Church. Division has appeared and it’s the work of the devil, not of the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe me, just wait and see…

Stuff to read first…

Mary Anastasia O’Grady, “Behind the Campaign to Smear the Pope” (WSJ, March 17, 2013) —a must-read, a good job done

John Allen, “Path to the papacy: ‘Not him, not him, therefore him,” (NCR, March 17, 2013) –lots of good details and analysis

Ross Douthat, “What the Church Needs Now,” (NYT, March 15, 2013) –key points need heeding

To understand the problem of Ms Manson’s thinking see article below, you need to read what Father John Zuhlsdorf writes, “Liberals will soon turn on Pope Francis” -(my thoughts later on what Manson wrote).

A sampling of the detractors:

  • Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, “Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War,” (NCR,┬áMarch 17, 2013) –gives very questionable analysis of the political and religious landscape but identifies Francis’ “acceptability” within the Society of Jesus; recall that Father Reese was sacked by Pope Benedict

Pope Francis in Motion

This is THE funniest thing I’ve seen on Pope Francis and the cardinals thus far…Brandon Vogt’s humor refreshes…in Pope Francis in Motion.

h/t to Father John

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.
coat of arms

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