Raymond de Souza remarks on what the election of Francis I means to the Church:
How will he lead the Church? It is too early to tell, but he sent two clear signals last night, unmistakable to papal Rome. He appeared in the simple papal cassock, declining to wear the accompanying red shoulder cape that his predecessors have always worn. Benedict XVI’s preferred liturgical style thus did not survive the first minutes of the new pontificate.
Additionally, he declined to use the term “pope emeritus” for Benedict, referring to him instead as “bishop emeritus,” thereby taking sides in a dispute within the Vatican about what Benedict should be called. Small things? Yes, but deliberate choices from an experienced pastor.
Rome has a new bishop. The world has a new pope. Pope Francis has a new program for his pontificate.
We can always hope.