Wednesday, March 13, 2013
What I Learned Wednesday #12: Habemus Papam Edition
As we awaited to see whether we had a new Pope or not, my heart raced and I was shaking with nerves/excitement. When we finally saw the white smoke, my ugly crying face came out and then I alternated between crying, thanking God, and laughing. Yeah, I was an emotional mess. lol. I was surprised when Pope Francis was announced as our new Pope because, honestly, I thought it was either going to be Cardinal Scola or a North American Cardinal. I don't know much about Pope Francis but here are a few things I have learned thus far.
1) First off, it's Pope Francis, not Pope Francis I. Yes, he's the first Pope Francis (and first Pope from the Americas... and first Jesuit Pope) but we won't use the number one. If you don't believe me, check the Vatican's website. I made this mistake early on (tweeting "Pope Francis I" before a twitter friend in seminary corrected it) and I have seen many fellow Catholics do the same. It makes sense. There is no reason to add the number if he's the first and there hasn't been a second. Maybe we're just used to using numbers (i.e. Bl. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI). Anyone around the time of Pope John Paul I remember whether they had this same problem? I was born when Bl. JPII was Pope so *shrugs*.
2) I learned this before the conclave but I tweeted it for those who didn't know; you earn a plenary indulgence by watching or listening to the Pope's first blessing. When I learnt this, I saw that it counted even if you watched it on TV or heard it on the radio. This time around it was extended to those who were watching online, a first! I thought it was very telling that he asked us to bless him before he blessed us. That's a first as well, right? And if you're wondering, the first televised Papal conclave happened in August 1978. I'm so glad that they included "new media" outlets (Vatican's YouTube live feed, EWTN, CatholicTV, various internet sources) because that's where most of us get our news. Not only that, Catholic New Media evangelization efforts are fruitful online and it's great that the Vatican recognizes this fact. (Side note: Reminds me of my Senior Thesis on Catholic New Media which I may or may not post sometime this year).
3) I think it's safe to say that the majority of us don't (or didn't) know squat about Pope Francis prior to his becoming Pope. After reading the latest Canterbury Tales blog post by Dr. Marshall, I learned a bit more. Some of my favorite facts include: "In Argentina, he has been accused by anti-clericalists as being 'medieval'", "was concurrently named ordinary for Eastern Catholics in Argentina, who lacked their own prelate. So he can, presumably, celebrate the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom", and "has been critical of liberation theology." That last one reminded me of how liberation theology is taught at my CINO alma mater... and how they'll more than likely have issues with Pope Francis. To quote Montgomery Burns, "excellent."
Anyway, that's it for now. It's 90+ degrees in my part of L.A. and all I want to do is cool down and relax after all the excitement from today.
Don't forget to pray for Pope Francis, the Holy Church, and, well, everyone. May his Papacy be fruitful and everything that is in God's will for us as a holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. ;)
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D