Summary of today’s show: On a day for unprecedented news happenings, Scot Landry, Susan Abbott and Fr. Roger Landry are joined by Gregory Tracy, calling in from Rome, to report his experiences so far traveling with Cardinal Sean on Benedict XVI’s last days as pope. From the last meeting with the cardinals to Benedict’s departure from the Vatican, including Cardinal Seán’s press conference with the world’s media, we got an insider’s view of all the events and what it was like to be in the Eternal City. Also, back in Boston, the first four pastors of Phase 1 pastoral collaboratives were named as part of the Disciples in Mission plan.
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Today’s host(s): Scot Landry and Susan Abbott
Today’s guest(s): Gregory Tracy, managing editor of the Pilot, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, and Fr. Roger Landry, pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Fall River
Links from today’s show:
- The Anchor
- The Pilot
- Some of the stories discussed on this show will be available on The Pilot’s and The Anchor’s websites on Friday morning. Please check those sites for the latest links.
Today’s topics: Benedict’s Last Day; Cardinals’ presser; Phase 1 Pastors
1st segment: Scot Landry welcomed everyone to the show and welcomed Gregopry Tracy calling in from Rome and Fr. Roger Landry, who is traveling today. Greg related what it is like to be in Rome in these days.
Scot read from Benedict’s farewell discourse to the cardinals and the final words to all of us at Castel Gandolfo. Susan Abbott reflected on her admiration for the Holy Father and her sadness that we will likely never see him again.
Greg related how he went to St. Peter’s Square at 8pm and how very moving it was to see everyone there. The bells tolled and the hundreds gathered stood silently before St. Peter’s, some holding candles, others praying in groups. After a moment of silence after the bells stopped ringing and then spontaneously the people applauded. Scot noted that most of the churches across the country rang their bells from 1:52 to 2pm, eight minutes for the eight years of Benedict’s pontificate.
Susan said Cardinal Dolan talked on TV this morning about how the people is our father and we are stunned that he is no longer there for us. Scot said he is know know as Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. He will wear white cassock, but not the white cape that is a sign of office. He will also trade in the red shoes, for plain brown loafers.
- “Cardinals bid Pope farewell with hearts full of thanks”, CNA/EWTN News, 2/28/13
- “Benedict XVI pledges respect, obedience to future Pope”, CNA/EWTN News, 2/28/13
- “Pope: Farewell discourse to College of Cardinals (full text)”
- “The Journey to Rome”, Gregory Tracy, The Good Catholic Life
- “Pope Benedict: I am not abandoning the church”, The Boston Pilot/CNS, 2/26/13
- “Pope Benedict to be ‘pope emeritus’ or “Roman pontif emeritus’, The Boston Pilot/CNS, 2/26/13
- “Changing rules, pope allows cardinals to move up conclave date”, Catholic News Service, 2/25/13
- “Preliminary pope talk focuses on teaching, preaching, holiness”, Catholic News Service, 2/26/13
- “Age matters: Popes elected as young as 24, as old as 81”, Catholic News Service, 2/21/13
- “Between popes: Vatican business continues as usual — almost”, Catholic News Service, 2/20/13
- “Faithful throw big farewell at pope’s last general audience”, Catholic News Service, 2/27/13
2nd segment: Scot said to Fr. Roger that Benedict packed in so much in the last few days that we will be unpacking for years to come. Fr. Roger said first of all in importance is that Christ is the Supreme Pastor of the Church, not the pope. Another important message from him is the importance of the Mass and the way we pray must be centered on the Lord, rather than ourselves.
Fr. Roger is boarding a flight, but Scot noted that Fr. Roger will be part of EWTN’s coverage of the papal conclave starting next week. He will also be hosting a new series on EWTN on living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Scot said earlier today that Cardinal Seán, Cardinal DiNardo from Houston, and Cardinal George of Chicago had a press conference held at the Pontifical North American College. Greg set the sense of what the press conference like and how many were there. He said all the major international news networks were present and the major US media as well, plus others from South America and elsewhere. Greg said you see around the city, for the media much of what’s going on in Rome isn’t very public or to fill airtime so the media is voracious for anything they can find to fill the news cycle.
Greg said some of the questions were predictable, asking about the change in the Church. A few were good because the cardinals didn’t have a rote answer for them. The press conference started with each of the cardinals relating what each of them said to the Holy Father. They were asked the effect of the precedent of the pope resigning. Cardinal George said the Holy Father is a father and a father can’t resign, but now a father has resigned. Even though it’s been in canon law, it’s been so rare that practically speaking the pope was pope for life. Cardinal Sean said maybe someone who is older might be more possible now because if it became overwhelming for him he could resign.
Scot said Cardinal Seán was asked what qualities Americans would like in a new pope. Cardinal Seán responded that certainly holiness given that we’ve had such holy popes for the last century. Also, someone who loves the youth. Asked how he’s preparing for the conclave, he’s been praying a lot and trying to read up on the other cardinals, spending a lot of time on the Internet. He joked with the reporter John Allen, who prior to the last conclave wrote a book called “Conclave” which described how it worked and who some of the leading candidates were, and said that Allen hadn’t written “Conclave II”. Scot said everyone watching could see Cardinal Seán’s sense of humor. Susan said Cardinal Seán is so in tune with the popular culture. She noted that every time someone lists the qualities of a potential pope, she sees Cardinal Seán.
She asked Greg if he will be able to update his blog. He said his sense is that there will be a blog post this week and each week that he isn’t in the conclave. Greg said each of the moments today were very moving, with the cardinals saying goodbye for the last time, the seminarians waving goodbye as the helicopter flew away, the people in the square crying at his leaving, or being with the people applauding for him after he was long gone. Greg also noted that Benedict pledged obedience to the future pope who was present in the audience with the cardinals this morning.
Scot also noted Greg’s blog posts on The Good Catholic Life and how they have brought us along with him with an insider’s view.
Susan said the Holy Father’s discourse to the cardinals was also a beautiful reflection, modeling for us what we’re called to do to work together in harmony. Parish staffs and ministries could meditate on this together.
Scot and Susan also talked about yesterday’s remarks at the Wednesday General audience, which was very personal.
Scot said during the individual greetings of cardinals with Benedict, Cardinal Tagle of Manila whispered something to the Holy Father that caused them to laugh together.
Scot wrote in the Pilot this week about the type of coverage we’ll be offering on the Pilot, the Good Catholic Life, and online. Scot said anyone who sends a prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org, he will bring them to the tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican to bring all our listeners to a deeper appreciation and sense of discipleship.
in local news, the Disciples in Mission pastoral planning initiative has significant news. The first four pastors of Phase 1 collaboratives have been named. They become effective on June 4.
Father Mark Mahoney, to be the Pastor in Beverly (Saint Margaret, Saint Mary Star of the Sea, and Saint John). Father Mahoney will be leaving his current position as Pastor of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Topsfield to take this new assignment.
Monsignor William Fay, to be the Pastor of the Collaborative in Methuen (Saint Lucy and Saint Monica). Monsignor Fay will be leaving his current position as Pastor of Saint Columbkille in Brighton to take this new assignment. He was co-chair of the Pastoral Planning Commission and is a former secretary-general of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Father Shawn Allen, to be the Pastor of the Billerica Collaborative (Saint Theresa, Saint Mary, and Saint Andrew). Father Allen is currently the Pastor of Saint Theresa in Billerica.
Father Carlos Flor, to be the Pastor of Saint Mary of the Angels in Roxbury and Saint Thomas Aquinas and Our Lady of Lourdes in Jamaica Plain. Father Flor is currently the Pastor of those three Parishes.
Scot expects that many more pastors of the new collaboratives will be named over the next four to six weeks. Susan said she was surprised by the appointments and knows that the review process was very thorough. Scot noted that this transition affects the current pastors, pastoral staff, and parishioners and asked for prayers for them as they go through this change.