Before the rush of Holy Week...on Saturday Francis decided to go to Castel Gandolfo to visit Benedict, who has yet to move into his monastic foundation. Benedict looks ten times worse then he did before
Anyway, they went into the little chapel for prayer, and there is only one kneeler set up before the alter. Francis takes one look at the kneeler, and decides to head for the front row of the congregational chairs instead. Benedict stops him and says that as Pope, he should go pray at the kneeler, and Francis terns round and says, but you are my Brother so we shall pray together on the front row, because there is only one Kneeler before the Alter
Benedict sort of shrugs and then joins him on the front row
The kneeler before the Alter remains empty.
This kinda sums up what I like best about this Pope. He really couldnt care less about the importance of his position when in the company of others. He was the one who, on the night of his ellection, left the Papal Car waiting, and instead go back on the bus with all the other Cardinals to travel to the hotel. He's the person who has, outside of formal ceremonial, pretty much banished the Papal Thrones, to sit on proper chairs, and where possible, has removed the platforms so that he sits on the same level as everyone else rather then elivated. I like that fact...and the fact that he's enforced gestures like that which are contrary to Vatican and Church methodology. I like that he has returned to using the open top Pope-Mobile so that he can get on and off and have contact with his flock, rather then just waving like an automated statue
He is doing his best to denote the status of the Papacy by removing stumbling blocks which the Church has put in place to try and make him look bigger and more important, and by doing so...make itself look big and important. He's so not into the Church as an institution...and clearly the Cardinals as Prince of The Church have recognised that still the Roman Catholic Church needs to be more simple, and less about itself, and more about GOD...much to the horror I imagine of The Roman Curia...for the less the value of the Roman Church, the less the value of the Roman Curia