Finally after what appeared to be several unexplained delays the Pope Francis flew by Papal helicopter to Castel Gandolfo to meet with former the Pope Benedict XVI for the two Popes to have lunch and pray together.
We say the "two Popes" because to the intense discomfort of many Roman Catholics of the Lay Community and one suspects many in the Religious Community as well, Pope Benedict XVI wore White normally the exclusive Papal colour. Just what many of us had feared would be allowed to happen since it is clear there is a reluctance by Pope Benedict XVI to completely let go of his Papal status.
This is the exact point that we had hoped Pope Francis would not allow and so establish in the minds of all, not just Catholics, that there is only one Pope and it is Pope Francis. Here we have the first major disappointment of the new Papacy and it is a most discomforting major point. This was an opportunity for Pope Francis to clearly establish his Papal Authority and have the Pope Benedict XVI wear Bishops Purple to the public meeting with him.
Many of us in the Roman Catholic Church Lay Community wonder whether this new Pope will actually execute his Papacy as we had hoped, fully revising and reforming the Roman Catholic Church. Having turned on the charm in public complete with kissing babies and closely interacting with the audiences, in St. Peters Square and elsewhere, from his open vehicle. Of course this could be just his opening approach to get everyone relaxed with him then in true Jesuit fashion come down like a tonne-of-bricks on the Religious Community from the Curia on down.
If not then it could well be that as the Irish Churchman Malachy predicted Pope Francis will be the last Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, at least as we know it today. So we respectfully feel that Pope Francis has reduced his position with many of us in the Roman Catholic Lay Community and no doubt many in the Religious Community as well by losing this unique opportunity by a simple act to publicly establish his Papal Authority by only one Pope - the Pope - wearing White.
Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.