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PopeWatch: First Sight

 

An interesting observation by Steve Skojec in regard to his first viewing Pope Francis:

 

 

On March 13, 2013, I sat in my office and watched my screen as a new pope — a man whom I had never seen before that moment — walked out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. I had never heard of him. I did not even know his name. Like most Catholics, I had approached the papal conclave with a sense of hopeful anticipation. But the feeling that came over me when I saw the man the cardinals had elected was shockingly forceful. It was a feeling of icy cold dread. As I looked at him, standing there, staring out at the crowd, I heard seven words distinctly in my mind, unbidden: “This man is no friend of Tradition.”

It was a strange sentence. Oddly phrased. I knew, just as surely as one knows that the voice of someone speaking to them in a quiet room is not their own, that this was not my thought, but some sort of external prompting. It would have been impossible for me to even attempt such an assessment, since I knew literally nothing about the man, this Argentinian cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio.

I am admittedly oblivious to the minutiae of ecclesiastical dress or custom. I cannot, therefore, claim that my feeling was rooted in the observance of some obvious deviation from the protocols of a papal election. I did not notice, for example, that he chose not to wear the papal mozetta. I was not jarred by his unusual greeting of the crowd with a “good evening,” instead of something more spiritually profound. I can’t say I recall hearing, in those first moments, that he was a Jesuit. To be honest, I may very well not have noticed these things even under normal circumstances, but these were not normal circumstances. My impression of the man was something that took place on a visceral level. And the feeling was so strong, it distracted me from everything else.

There was something in his face. In the way he stared down at the gathered crowd. There was something…wrong about his eyes. What I saw — what I thought I saw — was something other, looking out through that unreadable mask. Something triumphant, haughty, contemptuous, leering out at long last from atop the pinnacle of a long and hard-fought battle. It was incredibly strange.

 

 

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch did not experience such a reaction, rather concentrating on how sparse the information was about the new Pope.  However he has heard from many people who have said that they experienced an odd feeling on seeing the Pope, reactions ranging from a fear that something was not right, to fear and revulsion.  Not the type of reaction one would expect from Catholics getting their first view of a Pope.  How odd, which might well be one of the main themes of this Pontificate.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

10 Comments

  1. Can’t say I had that premonition, but I went to a CCD seminar later and there were many persons saying Pope Francis this and Pope Francis that, a man selling a young person’s magazine with Pope Francis on the cover. I thought to myself “no, Jesus, is our savior”. Glancing around I realized something was indeed wrong.

  2. I still feel uneasy when I see his photo as I enter the vestibule or on a magazine somewhere.

    The clergy at the novus ordinary parish I’ve been attending have quit mentioning him. The photo in the hallway is the only acknowledgement of him.

  3. While not as strong as Steve’s, I felt a sense of unease. Something was off.

    The last four years have confirmed that first impression, and then some.

  4. If you haven’t read Eponymous Flower’s Mar 10th post, “Why Can’t He Just Knell?”, I recommend it:

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2017/03/lenten-exercise-2017-for-pope-and-roman.html

    It is originally from the German site, Katholischesnet.de FYI. Especially, the comments and their citations are very good: the present Pope is alleged to have “sciatica” and unable to kneel: but there are many occasions (such as washing of the [Muslim women’s and other’s] feet on Holy Thursday) when, if he wished to make a point, he has knelt and knelt at length. Why is this? Why this clear obstinate refusal to kneel, especially when he wishes to make a bold statement?

    Now, couple that with EF’s comment on “The Invisible Last Supper under Pope Francis” (3/5/17). The Lateran Basilica is the ancient seat of the Pope going back to (at least the site) of Constantine and the year 313AD when a synod was held against the Donatist heresy. EF makes the point that the Lateran Basilica celebration of the Mass In Coena Domini was historically always open to the public and maintained the ancient tradition going back via the popes to Peter and the Apostles celebrating the Mass with Our Lord in the Upper Room.

    So where has Pope Frank celebrated the Last Supper these years of his pontificate?
    2013: Visit to the Youth Prison
    2014: visit to a disabled facility
    2015: visit to prison
    2016: visit to refugee home
    2017 😕
    (source: EF: http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-invisible-last-super-under-pope.html )


    Like Skojec (and I have read and pondered his comments before), there is something unsettling about this pontiff’s opposition to giving absolute honor to Christ in the Sacrament, and to respecting the ancient Petrine tradition, without which he would just be another babbling Argentine socialist.

  5. Jorge Bergoglio had no business being elected Pope and he had no business ever being a Cardinal. Like so many Latin American prelates, his diocese has suffered a lack of vocations. Rorate had to shut down its combox which was melting down over his election.

    For someone who spends too much time castigating capitalism, he sure is friendly with the German bishops, who live fat and happy…at least Marx and Kasper do.

  6. Not all of us have Steve’s gift of premonition. My immediate reaction was to find out more about Pope Francis. And the more I found out the more I was concerned. Note at that time I was not into the Catholic blogosphere in any way. Basically, it was Pope Francis that got me interested in learning more about Traditional Catholicism. Anyway, the blog sites such as American Catholic were most helpful in sorting out Pope Francis as a proponent of Modernism.

    By the way, for a stinging premonition of Pope Francis papacy try Ann Barnhardt:
    http://www.barnhardt.biz/2017/03/13/a-call-for-penance-four-years-ago-today-bergoglio-usurped-the-see-of-peter-and-this-antipapacy-began/

  7. @Steve Phoenix

    Holy Thursday night and the Pope?

    My guess….He will be washing the feet of these criminals from his beloved Argentina; http://www.lifenews.com/2017/03/15/abortion-activists-kill-baby-jesus-in-graphic-abortion-on-virgin-mary-outside-catholic-church/

    A hometown boy in the Vatican…
    ….a bloody mess indeed.

    Jesus Christ alive in the Blessed Sacrament will not be mocked forever.
    Even if the mocking comes from the so-called leader of the Holy Church.

  8. My first impression of Pope Francis is that this Pope cannot be serious, that Pope Francis is a joke. Stan Laurel comes to mind. Pope Francis even looks like Stan Laurel with a silly smirk on his face. However, Pope Francis’ aggression against tradition is simply his abdication of his office.

  9. I was disconcerted a bit and felt let down when, as Pope Francis made his first appearance he said a rather banal, “Good evening”.

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