Whispers in the Loggia: “This Is How God Is” – At First Audience, Francis “Steps Outside”

Whispers in the Loggia: “This Is How God Is” At First Audience, Francis “Steps Outside”

Continuing the weekly tradition of his predecessors, this morning saw Pope Francis’ first turn at the General Audience, his focus on Holy Week.

Speaking only in Italian, the new pontiff made it a point to note his intent to resume the topic begun by Benedict XVI in his Wednesday talks “after Easter.”

For now, though – just two weeks since his election – today’s appearance launches Francis into the intense cycle of Holy Week’s climactic days.

While Papa Bergoglio will celebrate and preach at the Chrism Mass in St Peter’s tomorrow morning, the widely-noted Evening Mass in Rome’s youth prison will be a private affair closed to press (even if photos might still emerge). By tradition, the pontiff doesn’t give the homily at the Good Friday liturgy in St Peter’s, but will likely offer closing remarks during the nighttime Via Crucis at the Colosseum.

In the Triduum’s home stretch, Francis will preside and preach the Easter Vigil in the Vatican basilica on Saturday night, and give his Urbi et Orbi message following the morning Mass in lieu of a liturgical sermon.

As future plans go, meanwhile, this morning the Vatican announced that the 266th bishop of Rome – the title by which Francis has most often defined himself – will formally take possession of his cathedral, St John Lateran, at an evening Mass on April 7th, the Second Sunday of Easter.

(Note: As seen above today, Francis has kept to employing his personal silver ring in everyday use, wearing the Fisherman’s Ring with which he was invested solelyfor major liturgies.)