Busted Halo
feature: religion & spirituality
March 13th, 2013

We Have a New Pope — Now What?

Pope Francis I appears for first time on balcony of St. Peter's Basilica (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis I appears for first time on balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Celebrations have spread throughout the world with the election of Pope Francis. Amidst all of the festivities and news coverage, you might be wondering, What does he do now? What are his first days on the job really like? We have the answers as Pope Francis begins his reign as the Bishop of Rome, the 266th pope, and the global leader of the Catholic Church.

‘Hello, my name is Francis — nice to meet you’
As soon as Cardinal Bergoglio was elected, and he accepted the job, he chose a new name. Next, he stepped onto the balcony at St. Peter’s Square and delivered the Apostolic Blessing. In case you have the chance to meet Pope Francis, remember to genuflect in front of him and call him “Your Holiness” or “Holy Father.” As a sign of respect to the papacy, you should also kiss his ring. After he’s done with all the revelry associated with his election, we can only assume he heads home and starts practicing his new name and signature.

Moving in
The Papal Apartments have been the official residence of the pope since the 17th century. The new pope will have to make arrangements to get all of his belongings packed up and sent to his new digs in Vatican City. But not before the renovations are done! It’s typical for the Papal Apartments to be repaired and refurbished upon the arrival of a new pontiff. And Fido or Fluffy will have to stay in Argentina. Apparently, the pope can’t have pets. But that didn’t stop some popes like Leo X, who had a white elephant anyway.

New clothes
Since the late 18th century, the tailors to the popes hail from Gammarelli in Rome. Wonder why Pope Francis’ vestments fit so well at his reveal? Well, the folks at Gammarelli make a set of papal vestments in various sizes (this year — small, medium, and large). So, whoever the new pope is, he’s dressed for success!

The new pope should download Rosetta Stone on his iPad and brush up on his Italian. The official language of the Vatican is Italian. So, day-to-day business will be conducted in it. After he’s mastered Italian, as a global Catholic leader, he’ll no doubt want to become familiar with the different languages of Catholic faithful around the world!

Pope Francis certainly has big shoes (or at least fancy red ones) to fill as far as social media goes. Pope Benedict XVI put the Chair of Peter in front of a laptop, so to speak, and became the first pope to use Twitter with the handle @pontifex. Benedict’s tweets from the account have been removed and archived. Presumably Pope Francis will tweet from @pontifex as well! We wonder, in social media-driven world, will he tweet before he waves?

New logo
Graphic designers — get to work! It’s time to create a new Papal Coat of Arms. Pope Benedict XVI’s coat of arms included a scallop shell, brown bear, and a Moor’s head — all three had religious and some personal meaning to Benedict. Blessed JP2’s coat of arms was a bit simpler with a prominently placed cross and an “M” beneath it to represent the presence of Mary at Jesus’ cross. What tradition and meaning will be communicated through the new pope’s coat of arms? We’ll have to wait and see!

Top Chef: Vatican Edition
Pope Francis got to eat! (And if he’s enjoying pasta and gelato everyday, he’s going to need to hit the treadmill, too!) Pope Francis might choose to hire a chef from Argentina to prepare some of his meals. Pope Benedict XVI enjoyed a feast prepared by Chef Lidia Bastianich, known for her PBS cooking show, during his 2008 visit to New York City. Might we see another celebrity chef preparing a papal meal? Or perhaps a culinary throwdown of the world’s top chefs at the Vatican? This might be the perfect opportunity for a papal-branded reality TV show!

Start your engines!
The Popemobile is the transportation method of choice when the pope makes outdoor public appearances. The new pope will sit back and relax as he’s driven around St. Peter’s or other destinations. But we wonder if just once, Pope Francis might hop in the driver’s seat, adjust the seat and mirrors in his new sweet ride and take the Popemobile out for a spin! (With the Swiss Guard chasing close behind.)

Holy Week
It’s about to get really busy at St. Peter’s and the new pope will have a lot of special Holy Week duties to attend to! We expect that Pope Francis will preside at the blessing of palms on Palm Sunday followed by mass in St. Peter’s Square. Later in the week, on Good Friday, he’ll preside at the reading of the Passion, adoration of the Cross, and Communion — in the Vatican basilica, perhaps. In the evening, he will walk the Stations of the Cross. (We suggest that as he prepares, he might use Busted Halo’s® Virtual Stations of the Cross.) Then, on Easter Sunday morning, he will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and deliver his Urbi et Orbi message.

Getting to work
Pope Francis is taking the reigns at a busy time in the life of the Church. Day-to-day, the new pope’s work will be focused on Church business, including appointing bishops, naming saints, and protecting the doctrine and beliefs of the Church. On top of all that, he’ll no doubt have a busy travel schedule. One of his first stops will be World Youth Day this summer in Rio de Janiero. The pope is a guide to faithful Catholics on their own personal spiritual journeys. Certainly fit for this and all the challenges of his holy office, we hold Pope Francis in our prayers as he takes his place on the Chair of St. Peter.

The Author : The Editors

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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • http://www.facebook.com/dapo.sobomehin Dapo Sobomehin

    We have a Pope. This one is real. A real human being. He would last. I wish he were 64-65 years old. I wish him well–very well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dapo.sobomehin Dapo Sobomehin

    The new Pope is a member of the Yoruba ethinic group in Nigeria. He is a member of my family. I don’t care for the brouhaha–Pope, but this one, I like. He likes moderation. I love his accent. He is good a man– if you refer to them as men. I would enjoy him. I’m afraid he hasn’t take a trip with me-I’m a war hater. He must declare that he would speak against war. War is an abomination. I want to hear him say–war ia an abomination. I love this guy.

  • Bella

    This article seems to be written a bit tounge in cheek. I hope that was your intent. Those of us who are older Catholics understand and know what the Pope has to go through in the upcoming weeks and months. I don’t think it is any different than when the President of US take office. Please do not try to make this into something funny. Once again I find articles such as these disrespectful.

    • kerrant

      Matthew 6 verse 1.

    • Rachel DB

      I am grateful for “those of you who are older Catholics” because you have been models of your faith. I would imagine that this site has been marketed for “those of us who are younger Catholics” and the last time a Pope was elected we were in high school– and that was our FIRST time. And as highschoolers, we didn’t really pay attention or care about who he was or what he did. Now we are curious and wondering. This article, like others by the editors, give information in a humorous way; in a way that “us younger Catholics” can appreciate and understand.

      • Frank Partsch

        I too am an “Older Catholic” 59 once lapsed and now enjoying my renewed Faith Journey. I believe the tone of this article is respectful just light. I teach Confirmation Classes to 9th and 10th graders and find much at Busted Halo that is helpful and Appropriate. We can certainly keep it light and respectful. Thank You Busted Halo Editors for all your good work.

    • Veronica

      I am one of those “older Catholics”, born and bred, and entered Catholic school with Latin Masses, and graduated with the Vatican II changes. I don’t find this article “disrespectful”. I love reading the blogs and articles on this site, and I welcome the open dialogue found here. And isn’t that one of the points our new Pope Francis emphasizes…open dialogue? I, for one, think Catholics have been unfairly characterized as “dour” and “guilt-ridden”…how refreshing to read articles with a touch of humor! I think Cardinal Timothy Dolan would get a good hearty laugh out of this article…and the other content of Busted Halo! This 55-year-old “cradle Catholic” enjoyed this article…thank you!

  • Rachel DB

    Thanks for this jump start into the new papacy. I would wonder if this really be a New papacy though. It just seems very materialistic all the things listed in this article. From what I have read, as Cardinal he did not own many things or even live in the ornate palaces that were supposed to be for him. Maybe he will start his papacy the same way?
    as for the clothes, those can, and have changed over the years. I wonder if a man so devoted to the poor will also make changes to the outfit he chooses to wear (in regards to the red fancy shoes)
    The Holy Spirit has blessed us with this holy man, and I am grateful for the opportunity we have as a faith community to already follow his example and his teachings.

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