Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Papal Transition: Saturday smokestacks

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

Saturday morning was interesting. The Vatican erected the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel at 11 a.m. At the same time we had a briefing at the North American College about the rituals of the Conclave. We presented Msgr. Kevin Irwin, of The Catholic University of America, and Archbishop Piero Marini, who was the master of pontifical ceremonies for Pope John Paul II. About 40 people showed up, ten of them photographers. Archbishop Marini spoke in Italian and Father Tom Rosica, a friend of the archbishop’s and president of Salt and Light TV, translated. Msgr. Irwin, a native New Yorker, explained the Conclave was really prayer and not a matter of hanging chads. Msgr. Irwin captivated the CBS people, who booked him for next week.

Many of the cardinals will celebrate Mass in their titular churches tomorrow. Media are spreading resources trying to cover as many liturgies as possible. I will probably go to the American church in Rome, Santa Susanna, where WUSA will be filming. Mar Munoz will go with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to Santi Nereo ed Achilleo and Don Clemmer will accompany Cardinal Daniel DiNardo to Sant’Eusebio. A few people stopped by the office, including a producer from ABC News/Good Morning America who delivered wonderful cookies from France. A priest from Louisiana whom we hope to place on a TV network stopped by this morning.

Father Lombardi, Vatican press secretary, said that the cardinals could send a spiritual message to their people at home, even via television tomorrow, which will give something to TV cameras as they try to capture the titular church experience. At the daily briefing he also gave out the cardinals’ schedule for the Conclave. On day one, March 12, they leave their residence, the Domus Santae Marthae (St. Martha’s House,) for the Apostolic Palace at 3:45 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. they process from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel. At 4:45 p.m. they take the individual oath of office and possibly hold the first ballot. At 5:15 p.m. they celebrate vespers, leaving at 7:30 p.m. for the Domus where they have supper at eight p.m.

The following days begin with breakfast, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.; 8:15 a.m. Mass in the Pauline Chapel; 9:30 a.m. mid-morning prayer from the Divine Office in the Sistine Chapel and voting. At 12:30 p.m. they return to the Domus for one p.m. lunch. At 4 p.m. they return to the Apostolic Palace for voting in the Sistine Chapel at 4:50 p.m. At 6:15 p.m. they pray Vespers in the Sistine Chapel, then depart at 7:30 p.m. to have dinner at 8 p.m.

Media are still arriving, seeking stories and commentators. Leno Rulli, the comedian on the Catholic Channel of Sirius Radio, is setting up to do three or more hours of programming daily during the white smoke watch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Conclave is a major event in the Church and the world, as are the General Councils of the Church. I think it is interesting that Vatican I happened and the final session was ended in 1870 about when the unification of Italy occured under Garibaldi, which included the invasion of the Papal States (formerly about 1/3rd of Italy) militarily and the seige of Rome. Rome did not get back its status legally with Italy until the Concordat between Rome and Italy under Mussolinni decades later. Mike M.