And the Tradition is upheld, handed on and guarded…

Catholic Voices Comment

[From Austen Ivereigh in Rome*. NB The Mass booklet can be viewed or downloaded here.]

Today’s Mass of Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, beginning 9.30am local time (8.30 UK) and expected to last two hours, marks the official beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate. It is an ancient liturgy, rich in symbols which recall the Pope’s unbroken bond to St PIMG_1243eter, and which takes place in and around the place of his martrydom – St Peter’s Square, once Nero’s Circus.

It is not an ‘enthronement’ (the Pope is not a king, but Bishop of Rome, who “presides in love” over the universal Church) nor an ‘installation’, because the Pope was installed in his office at the moment of consenting to the cardinals’ election. The readings for the Mass are those of today’s Feast of St Joseph.

The Pope will preside at the…

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