"I am much too humble for the exalted office that the cardinals thrust on me," said the soon-to-be-ex-Pontiff. "I couldn't accept all those things... the red shoes, the fancy clothes, the crown. And now they wanted me to move into a luxury apartment when I could be perfectly happy to live in a hostel and eat at a soup kitchen. It's just too much!"
[Ed., I'm going to run this even though we don't have a second source as yet. Could you please make some phone calls? And try to find out where Bertone got our phone number. Thanks. Walt]
Seriously... isn't the New and Improved Holy Father's "humble shtick" getting to be a bit much? Driving through the crowd in St. Peter's Square in his Popemobile, kissing babies and invalids... You'd think he was running for the presidency of Italy. (Not such a bad idea, perhaps.) Here's one cartoonist's view.
I look at the signs and portents of the early days of Francis' papacy, and, in the immortal words of Indiana Jones, "I've got a bad feeling about this."
Cardinal Roger Mahony -- disgraced to the point of having to absent himself from the Conclave that elected Bergoglio -- exstatic. Towards the end of last week, during the "installation" of the new Pope, he Tweeted:
“SIMPLE is IN, extravagant is out!! Pope Francis is doing more for proclaiming Jesus Christ than thousands of ‘professionals’–praise God!”“So long, Papal ermine and fancy lace! Welcome, simple cassock, and hopefully, ordinary black shoes! St. Francis must be overjoyed!!”
“Mass with Pope Francis: moving from HIGH Church to LOW and humble Church! What a blessing that we are encountering Jesus without trappings!”
If the paedophiles' protector approves, Walt should not be the only one to disapprove. What Pope Francis is showing, in his every word and action, is a desire to ignore the extremely modest steps back to Tradition of his last two predecessors, and to return to the novelties and outright heresies of Vatican II.
Pope Francis is, in his own words, very much imbued with the spirit of Vatican II. And unlike Benedict XVI, he appears less concerned with continuity with the past and more intent on moving ahead with what he still regards as the Council’s correct agenda. So there is cause for concern... much concern.
Meanwhile, the Curia -- including Bertone -- remains in place, "for the time being", i.e. during the first formative days of the Bergoglio papacy. So what the Church has, in Francis, is a sheep amongst wolves, skipping his humble way down the Protestant path to perdition.
Fortunately, the grace of office has significantly changed the mindset and policies of popes of the past. Pope Pius IX -- the "Pio Nono" of Vatican I -- started his papacy as a liberal, but quickly became a staunch defender of Tradition.
The best thing faithful Catholics can do at the moment is to pray for the Pope, as Our Lady told us to do. And pray that the Holy Spirit will, as our Lord promised, preserve the Church from Her enemies... without and within.
Recommended reading: "Could the Criticism Have Merit?", by Louie Verrecchio, in Catholic Exchange.