Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Papal Roundup: A New Coat, A Compassionate Embrace, and More

Pontiff's gestures, comments, and a modified coat of arms keep Pope Francis in the spotlight

Pope Francis' modified coat of arms (right) remains simple but emphasises both Mary and Saint Joseph with clearer details. His original coat of arms is pictured to the left for comparison.

Adjustments were made to Pope Francis' coat of arms and the new coat was published on the Vatican website last Wednesday:
The papal coat of arms has undergone a few major adjustments to more clearly reflect the symbolism of Mary and St. Joseph.

The five-pointed star has been replaced with an eight-pointed star, and the spikenard flower looks more like a flower rather than a bunch of grapes, as it did in its original form.
It has been reported that there may be some reform coming to the Vatican Bank at the hands of the new Pontiff although details are not yet clear:
Those close  to Pope Francis, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say that the Holy Father is considering plans to remove the head of the Vatican Bank, Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone, who is the Vatican's second-in-command and is largely blamed for failing to stop infighting and corruption within the Holy See.
The parents of Dominic Gondreau, the boy with cerebral palsy who Pope Francis embraced before his installation mass on March 19, were interviewed about the encounter. The boy's father, Paul Gondreau, a professor of theology at Providence College in Rhode Island, USA, reflected:
Pope Francis’ embrace of my son yesterday turns this logic completely on its head and, in its own small yet powerful way, shows once again how the wisdom of the Cross confounds human wisdom. Why is the whole world so moved by images of this embrace?
The Pope commented on the oft-debated Shroud of Turin before it was televised on March 30:
"How is this possible? How is it that the faithful, like you, pause before this icon of a man scourged and crucified? It is because the Man of the Shroud invites us to contemplate Jesus of Nazareth. This image, impressed upon the cloth, speaks to our heart and moves us to climb the hill of Calvary, to look upon the wood of the Cross, and to immerse ourselves in the eloquent silence of love."
He also had lunch with a few priests who "work with the poor and under-privileged in the suburbs of Rome", saying:
"Open the doors of the Church, and then the people will come in…if you keep the light on in the confessional and are available, then you will see what kind of line there is for confession."
There is no doubt that Pope Francis will continue to fascinate the public. Keep following The Busy Catholic blog for more on the Pope of many firsts.

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