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Rome – The buzz around the Borgo Pio this afternoon was the pope taking the regular employee elevator today. There is an excitement here: All small initial indications, at least optically, there are great possibilities for 

In his homily yesterday at Mass with the college of cardinals, Pope Francis said: 

This Gospel continues with a situation of a particular kind. The same Peter who professed Jesus Christ, now says to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. That has nothing to do with it. I will follow you on other terms, but without the Cross. When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly: we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

That strikes me as a message that would strike people as real, that draws them in because they know life has the Cross. They want to know that life has meaning, that there is reason for hope. 

The pope also talked about evil: 

We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity. When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: “Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.” When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness.

A Vatican official tweeted earlier: 


Tomorrow, the pope meets the press in a media audience. 

On the streets here, you hear words like “authentic” to describe this new Holy Father. The streets include Vatican flags and warm welcomes to the new pontiff. Both Vatican watchers and everyday Romans expect the unexpected. The pope has been described to me by people who know him as no-nonsense. The next few months could be fascinating to watch. 


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