Says a lot.
The two popes are seen again. :)
From the Vatican Insider.
It was supposed to be just an unveiling of a statue in the Vatican gardens: the bronze sculpture of the Archangel St Michael, an artistic work by Antonio Lomuscio, situated near the Governors palace. But with Pope Francesco nothing is ever what it seems, the same ordinary Vatican routine – Santa Marta docet – becomes distorted and surprises are sprung on a daily basis. [like the announcement about John XXIII!]
The first surprise: this morning, just before nine o’clock, in front of a small crowd of a few hundred people, , there was someone else taking part in the inaugural event. Together with the Bishop of Rome there was also his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Joseph Ratzinger was invited personally by Pope Francesco, and accepted willingly. The Pope emeritus was greeted warmly by those present – who even applauded him – dispensing smiles to all. [Considering that he wanted to be hidden from the world, spending a life of prayer.] On the same day that the Encyclical written by "quattro mani" [four "papal" hands] Lumen Fidei, is being presented to the world penned by Francesco but with a predominant Ratzinger influence, Pope Bergoglio asked his predecessor to appear at a “run of the mill” public event and so nonchalantly dispersed all the hype about the "two Popes" manifested by hoards of frowning analysts. If it was not for them, the people "would not have understood" and "would have been confused."
In reality , the people of God seem to understand instantly what is going on in Christ’s Church. Even in the friendship between Francesco and Benedict the sensus fidei captures a reflection of the light of grace that feeds and keeps the Church alive. Having Benedict present in the Vatican created no embarrassment for Francesco. He was happy for Benedict to receive the people as he does not want him to live an isolated life. For Pope Bergoglio, Ratzinger is like the “grandfather” of the Vatican. [great imagery! :)]
You just have to listen to the Bishop of Rome’s sermons - with memories of "Abuela Rosa," often cited as the one who taught the little Jorge Mario his first Christian prayers - to work out the full connection between the two. And so the reigning Pope scuppered the ruminations of those who would like eradicate the Pope emeritus, locked away in his golden circle. [Like that no-good Archbishop Piero Marini!!!!] In the eyes of Bergoglio, the intention expressed by his predecessor to live the last years of his life in silence and prayer, remaining "on St. Peter’s doorstep," ipso facto places Ratzinger at the heart of Church life. For Francesco - as he said at the Angelus on Sunday - Ratzinger gave "a wonderful example of what it really means to consciously follow the will of Jesus." "The example of our Father - he repeated - is good for us, good for all of us to follow ." This is also why he wanted him close today and why he asked to share this symbolic and eloquent gesture with him.
The unveiling of the bronze statue in the Vatican gardens turned into a consecration of the whole Vatican State to St Joseph and St Michael, the patron saints already chosen by the Governor. [Uhm...where is dear St. Joseph's statue?] And so Francesco and Benedict have once again entrusted the capable care of the State to the foster father of Jesus and the Archangel, constantly fighting the devil along the way through poverty and generosity, devotion and opportunism, evangelical enthusiasm and corruption that live beyond the Leonine Walls. Including the skull -duggery of those random trains of thought where resistance and nervousness can grow. These so-called "operations" are formed in the shadows and then brought out by way of "loyal" channels and agents according to the typical cliché of clerical power struggles that have recently plagued the Church: "Complaining and ranting is their forte. They grumble, moan and criticise . They are in a bad mood and, what is worse, they bear grudges "(Charles Peguy).
Here is the address of Pope Francis before the blessing of the statue.
In the Vatican Gardens there are several works of art. But this, which has now been added, takes on particular importance, in its location as well as the meaning it expresses. In fact it is not just celebratory work but an invitation to reflection and prayer, that fits well into the Year of Faith. Michael—which means “Who is like God?”—is the champion of the primacy of God, of His transcendence and power. Michael struggles to restore divine justice and defends the People of God from his enemies, above all by the enemy par excellence, the devil. And St. Michael wins because in him, there is He God who acts. This sculpture reminds us then that evil is overcome, the accuser is unmasked, his head crushed, because salvation was accomplished once and for all in the blood of Christ. Though the devil always tries to disfigure the face of the Archangel and that of humanity, God is stronger, it is His victory and His salvation that is offered to all men. We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life, we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down. In consecrating Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him.
We also consecrate Vatican City State in St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus, the guardian of the Holy Family. May his presence make us stronger and more courageous in making space for God in our lives to always defeat evil with good. We ask Him to protect, take care of us, so that a life of grace grows stronger in each of us every day.
The consecration is symbolical as these two powerful saints are invoked against the forces of Satan.
It is symbolical considering the buzz about the real reason why Benedict resigned and considering the news popping out of the "filth in the Church" which Benedict himself once said and which obviously Francis is cleaning out today.
Very symbolical and very opportune.
We are at battle dear brothers and sisters...
From the forces of evil outside the Church and even those within, camouflaged in sheep's clothing.
Christ Himself warned us against them.
Be on guard!
PS: Why not restore the Leonine Prayer to St. Michael after Mass. Uhm...credit the liturgical revolution for taking out that prayer. Yup. Bugnini et al. Include that Fr. Chupungco.