Greetings! As anyone who has been following the events leading up to this most momentous occasion when the 115 Cardinal Electors would finally file into la Capella Sistina and take the Oath of Secrecy as they finally get started to elect the Successor of Saint Peter, I was not surprised in the least when the smoke that began billowing from the chapel just about 15 minutes ago was black. Even though the Cardinal Electors have had a considerable amount of time to meet and greet and weigh the issues which face the Church of the 21st century, they still need to stand before the daVinci’s “Final Judgment” and open themselves to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The unprecedented events which have brought us to this occasion, namely, a Papal Election, gives testimony to the fact that people still pray and reflect on the good that their actions have on others. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI prayed and reflected on his own life and ability to lead. The truly humbling move to abdicate is such an act of humility that I can only hope and pray that those locked in the Sistine Chapel would see in his action a model to follow. The weighty task of leading the Church in the modern world is so tremendous and overwhelming but it must be done in the light of true faith. The speculations and musings of Vatican watchers and the press has been fascinating to follow. I’ve been asked on so many occasions, “Do you think Cardinal Sean has a chance? What about Cardinal Dolan?” I’ve responded with the same response: the Italians have a saying, “In a Pope, out a Cardinal.” 2013 is not 2005! I do not claim to have any inside knowledge but I think that the saying is true. Instead of wondering WHO perhaps we should pray that the Cardinal Electors will have had a good opportunity to reflect on the real pastoral needs facing the Church right now and listen to the Holy Spirit!
Come, Holy Spirit!!!