Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Few Thoughts On Days Gone By

Pope Bergoglio has been elected and it is now the middle of the night in Rome.  I can't help feeling a sense of letdown now that it's all over.  This is my second conclave and as I compare this experience to 2005, the differences are making themselves known as I think back.

Eight years ago we had the moving experience of the last days of John Paul II taking place on the stage of Holy Week and Easter.  There was the sorrowful period of mourning with the procession of the body and the funeral Mass celebrated by Cardinal Ratzinger.  Then a time of waiting as the cardinals met before the conclave finally arrived.  Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, and the rest is now history.

This time around though feels much different as I think back.  It seems like Benedict announced his stepping down only the other day.  There was his final public Mass, his final audiences, the flight over Rome, and his final words at Castel Gandolfo before the Swiss Guards marched away.  That was it.  Then the conclave began and boom, "Habemus Papum!"

We'll see what happens with our new Holy Father.

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