Yesterday was an interesting day in the homeschool, I'll tell you that. The kids were on after-lunch break and I had just settled down to work like mad on some planning for history lessons when I heard a roar from a crowd a quarter of the way around the world. I looked up to see the chimney in the video feed in the corner of my screen belching smoke. I called for the children and they came rushing down.
At one point they were singing "We just got a pope" to the tune of the Blue's Clues "we just got a letter" song.
+ + +
I had Facebook, Twitter, and IM going all at once -- oh, that was so much fun, all the tweeting and status-updating back and forth. Cracking stupid jokes about whether the conclave was peanut-free and #conclaveseagull and #reasonsthepopeislate (my favorite: he has to go through that really big packet from HR.)
+ + +
I was watching the vatican.va feed yesterday when Pope Francis came out for the first time, and so I watched the first speech in Italian, with no commentary whatsoever.
"Fratelli e sorelli -- buona sera..."
"Brothers and sisters -- good evening!" I whispered to the kids. After French, Latin, and Spanish, I can get that much. I also caught (mostly) the joke about the bishops going to the ends of the earth for their cardinal. We figured out pretty quickly what they were up to with the prayers and joined in in English.
Here's what I watched, and Vatican Radio's translation follows:
Brothers and sisters, good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the Earth to get him ... but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
First of all, I would say a prayer: Pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI ... Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.
Our Father ...Hail Mary ...Glory to the Father ...
And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me — the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer — your prayer for me — in silence.
There was more -- the blessing Urbi et Orbi -- but the video I have stops there, alas.
+ + +
That weird little smile. He looks downright bemused, doesn't he? Like the pope hat doesn't fit quite right. This went around yesterday:
+ + +
This is my favorite cellphone video from the crowd:
I love the news going through the crowd: "Argentina!" (Italian accent) followed by "Argentina?! A South American!" in an obviously North American accent followed by "Ar-hen-tin-a!" by the exuberant and apparently Spanish-speaking man behind the videographer.
+ + +
We don't know a whole lot about this man yet, but I'm sure some details will come out in the next few days.
At the moment, I would just like to point out that horror is emanating from all the right places.
And no, I don't just mean the let's-have-women-priests-and-contraception bunch. A friend of mine messaged me yesterday to point out that the uber-traditionalists are also horrified at the new pope's ecumenism, at the S.J. after his name, and a number of other things.
Any pope that has the uber-progressives AND the uber-traditionalists foaming at the mouth, and -- what's more important -- the journalists confused, is probably not so bad.
+ + +
We don't know very much yet. But I know this: the Spirit is in charge, and we can trust a Spirit that managed to get us through the Borgia popes. I think He can handle an elderly Argentinian soccer fan for a little while.