There has been a flurry of traffic to my blog from google searches about Pope Francis in the few hours since his election was announced. I thought it interesting that two dominant patterns emerge:
- Pope Francis / Bergoglio + "Neocatechumenal Way" / "Neocatechumenate"
- Pope Francis / Bergoglio + "summorum pontificum" / "extraordinary form"
I think the truth is that as Pope Francis is unknown to most of us, many people are apprehensive about what the future may bring. The anxiety appears to be most acute among those who feel that their celebration of the liturgy may be under threat. The most sensible thing to do is to ignore the hysteria in the blogosphere and pray for our new Pope, for Holy Mother Church, for our priests and our bishops and for ourselves. I should take my own advice: I've been driving my husband mad with incessant pacing around the house, punctuated by web searches followed by more pacing throughout the evening and into the small hours.
Really, this anxiety is misplaced. The reform of the reform has gained its own momentum: think about the growth in traditional masses, communities and clergy in the last eight years. There is no reason to assume that anything will change with regard to Summorum pontificum, and so equally there is no reason to assume that the brick by brick reform will not continue to gain momentum. On the other hand, the former Cardinal Bergoglio has a track record as a staunch defender of natural law, having opposed homosexual "marriage", adoption of children by same sex couples, and abortion. He has shown that he is not afraid to confront secular authorities where moral issues are at stake. With homosexual "marriage" being promoted across the planet, and abortion being redefined as a human "right" by NGOs whist at the same time German Bishops approve the morning after pill, it could be that Pope Francis is a truly inspired choice, and that his own choice of name reflects his understanding of the enormity of the task ahead.
UPDATE: according to Holy Souls Hermitage, as Cardinal Bergoglio, Pope Francis promoted the Traditional Latin Mass immediately the Publication of Summorum Pontificum. Here's a link to a map showing locations of parishes with Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite in Argentina.