Summary of today’s show: Continuing our live coverage from Rome, Scot Landry welcomed Fr. Roger Landry to discuss how the cardinals will be discerning who they will choose to be the next pope; Fr. Chris O’Connor and Mary Jo Kriz to reflect on being pilgrims in Rome at this time and on their pilgrimage in honor of Blessed John Paul II; Fr. Dennis Gill on Pope Benedict’s legacy through his emphasis on the liturgy as a catechism of our faith; and Lisa Hughes of WBZ-TV on how the Boston news station plans to cover the conclave. Also, a series of reflections from those involved in The Good Catholic Life on it’s two-year anniversary.
Listen to the show:
Watch the show via live video streaming or a recording later: BostonCatholicLive.com
Today’s host(s): Scot Landry
Today’s guest(s): Fr. Dennis Gill, Mary Jo Kriz, Fr. Chris O’Connor, Fr. Roger Landry, Lisa Hughes
Links from today’s show:
- George Martell’s photos from Rome at BostonCatholicPhotos.com
- Scot Landry’s video updates from Rome on YouTube.com
Today’s topics: LIVE from Rome: Conclave date set; In the Footsteps of John Paul II; Liturgy as Catechism; Two-Year Anniversary
1st segment: Scot Landry welcomed everyone to the show coming from Rome. It’s our two-year anniversary show. He welcomed Fr. Roger Landry to the show.
Scot said the Vatican press office had announced earlier today that the date for the conclave would be set today. Fr. Roger said that focuses the attention of the cardinals on their immediate preparations to whittle down their lists for who they will vote for on the first ballot. It helps us to expedite our own prayers to help them in their discernment. Every Catholic has a role to play in asking the Holy Spirit to guide them
Scot said Cardinal Seán had said he’d hoped the cardinals would choose to spend as much time as they needed in the general congregations to discern who they would vote for. Fr. Roger said he thinks the cardinals will pray for a way to discern out of 115 potential candidates the one choice. They have to get beyond the acquaintance stage to really get to know one another so they are comfortable entrusting the future of the Catholic Church to one man. They’re looking for someone to teach, to sanctify, and to govern.
Fr. Roger has been in Rome for four days now. Scot asked him what he’s been up to. Fr. Roger said for EWTN he was filming a lot of small segments connecting Church history with the present conclave. Much of the churches of Rome provide the context for the papacy. He shows the meaning of the things that we all see, like the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square, the façade, the statue of Christ, the inscriptions regarding St. Peter in the building. He said the Altar of the Chair has an inscription that “You the Shepherd of the Sheep, Shepherd the Sheep of God,” which is actually directed to Jesus as the True Shepherd by the Pope.
Fr. Roger asks listeners to pray that the Holy Spirit to give the cardinals the light whom they should choose and then to give them patience. The process is long and stressful with two votes in morning and then afternoon. We should also pray that whomever is elected that we can embrace as Peter’s successor and Christ’s Vicar, even if we don’t really know him yet. Trust in God’s work through the cardinals and follow him.
Scot said a lot has been made in the media about the clash of cultures between the American cardinals sharing in the media versus the curial cardinals who didn’t like it. Does that signal a long conclave? Fr. Roger thinks it will be a conclave. After the first few days of voting, they will pause for a day of meditation. He thinks no cardinal will get more than a handful of votes in the first few ballots and it will take time to whittle them down. But we can be assured that there will be a pope eventually on that balcony.
Scot asked Fr. Roger what he would say about the importance of Catholic radio. Fr. Roger said Catholic radio helps us to live the good Catholic life. It’s not enough just to know the truth, but how to live it. Each Thursday, when he’s on the show, we look at the news headlines through Catholic lenses. Sometimes it’s bad news, sometimes it’s great news. Regardless when we look at the news with the eyes of faith, there’s always hope. The Lord is always trying to bring good out of evil. It’s been a great joy for him to examine current events through Catholic lenses on this show.
2nd segment: Scot welcomes Fr. Chris O’Connor back to the show. He said Fr. Chris celebrated a Mass at the tomb of Bl. John Paul II. He said he is half-Polish and he is full of joy to see the good that this native son of Poland has done for the world. To be at the tomb of this holy man is to be inspired. It makes you want to deepen your prayer life.
Scot said more than half of the popes are buried in St. Peter’s but John Paul’s tomb is special to us. Fr. Chris said he called us to a greater sense of holiness and a greater respect for human life. He recalled an anecdote in which Mikhail Gorbachev called John Paul II the moral authority in the world today.
Fr. Chris said he was stubborn in the best sense of the word and bulldozed through any obstacles placed in the way of freedom for his homeland. He had great confidence in Christ giving him the strength to overcome the scourge of communism.
Scot noted that when John Paul was shot in St. Peter’s Square, he turned to the Blessed Mother. He asked Fr. Chris what he saw in Poland that exemplified that devotion. He said the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa is a sign of the country’s identity and devotion. The Poles are extremely devoted to her and every August millions of them walk dozens or hundreds of miles in pilgrimage to her shrine.
In a period waiting for the conclave, Scot asked Fr. Chris about wanting to have the next pope be of such quality that he is called “The Great” immediately after he goes home to God someday, just like with John Paul in 2005. Fr. Chris said as they’ve walked around Rome the last few days, people have engaged in the guessing game, but his sense is that whoever walks out on the balcony we’re all going to embrace and love.
Scot asked Fr. Chris about his favorite moments participating in the show the past two years. He said he’s impressed by the number of people who tell him they listen to the program and find it rewarding. He said he admires and respects the work Scot is doing to get the Catholic message out. Fr. Chris said it’s like we’re holding conferences every day with incredible topics. He said you’re always hearing people share their faith and how it’s impacted their lives.
Scot said one of the moving moments for him was Fr. Chris sharing how he visits Norfolk state prison and hears how many men there listen to the show. Scot said he heard from a firefighter who plays the show in the firehouse and turns it up to help evangelize his brother and sister firefighters.
Fr. Chris said of the men in Norfolk that many of them are saints. He hears from them that this is another resource for their faith. Christ said “when I was in prison, you visited me” and “when I was sick you visited with me” and Catholic media is a way of doing that.
Scot asked Fr. Chris’ hope for the Church with this opportunity to share with others in this media scrutiny. Fr. Chris said the Church has a long tradition and people will see that in the coming days, the grandiosity and beauty of Rome. In the midst of the chaos of the Church, we can witness that we are one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Jesus governs the Church through its visible head, the Pope. The Church can be seen to pray together in Masses. She is apostolic through the many trips of the pope throughout the world. We are catholic by the diversity of cardinals coming to Rome and the pilgrims see in the city.
The media will focus on the power of the papacy, but we focus on the service of the papacy, which serves us in every way.
Scot said we can see the disagreements in the Church and the different cultures, with an example in the different approaches to the media by the different groups of cardinals. Christ called us to love one another and we do see that love ultimately despite the differences.
Fr. Chris said it’s a blessing to be in Rome to see it all play out. The Church is like any human family, with strengths and weaknesses. He has the conviction that whomever walks out on that balcony, we will embrace him with great joy. We trust the decision is made by the cardinals with the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.
3rd segment: Scot welcomed Mary Jo Kriz, who’s been part of the St. John Seminary Master of Arts in Ministry pilgrimage in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II. Mary Jo said it’s been an amazing time. She said today they had a beautiful Mass at the altar of Bl. John Paul II with Fr. Chris O’Connor, Fr. Jonathan Gaspar and Fr. Eric Bennett. The message was to “be not afraid” in this time of transition.
Scot said it was clear in Fr. Chris’ homily how close he was to John Paul and many of us feel the same. Mary Jo said praying by the tomb made her feel like he was there. She met him in 1995 in Rome and she had the same feeling again.
Scot said more than half of all the popes are buried in St. Peter’s and that makes it awesome to pray in that place. John Paul leaves a great legacy for the Church. For those who haven’t been to Rome, he asked her to sum up what it means to be in Rome. She said they had the opportunity to pray Vespers in Assisi and before that with the cardinals in St. Peter’s. No matter where we go in the world, it’s the same prayers and the same Mass. The Lord affirmed her faith. If you can get to Rome, you will feel at home.
Scot asked Mary Jo about a story of a family member who was stunned to hear her voice on the radio yesterday. She’s originally from Buffalo and a family member from the area sent her an email saying she turned on the Catholic radio station there and heard her voice. That’s the power of Catholic radio.
Scot said when people tell him they hear the show, he asks them how often they listen. Some heard it while surfing the dial and others don’t miss it.
He asked Mary Jo if she’s disappointed that the election of the pope didn’t occur while she was there and she agreed she was, but Providence provides.
4th segment: Scot welcomes Fr. Dennis Gill, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and a former professor at the North American College. He said he is a professor of liturgy but is also an expert in the conclave.
He said he has no idea when it will start, but it appears the cardinals are taking the preparation time very seriously.
Scot asked if he thought it would be a short conclave. Fr. Gill said he thinks it will go quickly because the cardinals have had this lengthy preparation time and they will know early on the man they think should be the Vicar of Christ.
Scot asked his hopes for the focus on liturgy. Fr. Gill said it will take years for us to assess the affect that Pope Benedict had on the liturgy. He has a profound understanding of the liturgy as a divine event. He brought new light to a reading of Sacrosanctum concilium and his writing has helped clarify and reorient the Sacred Liturgy and that will endure. He thinks the next Holy Father will have to continue what Pope Benedict has done, which is an ongoing presentation of what the Vatican Council did. He said much of what Pope Benedict said and did was not fully accepted worldwide and so he hopes the next Holy Father will be even more proactive.
Scot said the liturgy teaches us so much about our faith. Fr. Gill said the liturgy is the principal catechism of the Church, in the way it’s celebrated as well as its content in the prayers and Biblical content. It’s important to highlight the liturgy in this Year of Faith.
5th segment: Scot welcomed Lisa Hughes of WBZ-TV to the show. He asked her how she got this assignment. She said she got very lucky. She was there when Cardinal Seán was made a cardinal.
Scot asked what it’s like to cover a story in Rome versus a story in Boston. She said the Internet connection isn’t as good, the streets are a bit more mysterious to them, but there’s something so exciting in being there, hearing the languages and the excitement. The Vatican is the epicenter of it all.
Scot said it’s like a journalist convention with more than 5,000 credentialed. Lisa said they see cameras everywhere they go. She said they went to Gammarelli, which is the tailor that makes the pope’s vestments, and there were already many cameras there, and she’s sure there will be many more wherever they go. It is such a big city that they’re not on top of each other yet.
Lisa said their reports will start airing Sunday night during the 6:30 broadcast, and when the conclave starts they will be on live on the 5 and 6pm shows Monday through Friday and live whenever the announcement comes.
Scot said as we close the show that he is happy to relay the news that the date for the conclave has been set by the cardinals to begin on Tuesday, March 12. He asked everyone to redouble their prayers for them as a group and to pray for the man who is elected who is taking on a significant ministry of service.
Scot reflected on being host of the show for the past two years.