habemus papam announcement

The “Habemus papam” announcement in the modern age: Twitter and live video feeds

It’s hard not to smile today!

I woke at 4am this morning, before the alarm, and my first thought was to check my phone.  The “white smoke” messages were all just starting to land, so I thought, “should I go to the TV or the computer.”  I was glad I chose the computer, because I had the twitter feed up, two live video feeds (showing different images) and the commentary from EWTN.  I was captivated for the next hour and a half.

I think there was a universal moment of surprise upon the announcement.  Is the Pope to be called Francis, or is it a Cardinal by the name of Francis?  [That was quickly made clear thanks to Twitter].  Who is the man who is our new Pope?

When the Holy Father appeared and for a while stood, looking at the crowd, I thought “gravitas.”  A few comments on Twitter wondered if he was frozen with fear, or didn’t know what to say.

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Our Holy Father, Pope Francis

But when he began to speak I had the sense that we were indeed listening to our holy father, our supreme pastor.

Some of my friends will be amused that I did become a little emotional (not much, just a little) when he immediately suggested that everyone pray.  Here was our shepherd leading us all in prayer as one of his first acts.  And the fact that he was asking us to pray for our beloved pope-emeritus, Benedict XVI, made it all the more moving.

After he asked everyone to pray for him before he gave the blessing, the cameras looked towards the faithful in the square – all united in heartfelt, silent prayer.

Pope Francis blessed us all – and mention was made of those watching or listening on radio and TV (and the internet of course).  He concluded by wishing everyone a good night and a good rest.

habemus papam pell & george

George Cardinal Pell (Sydney) & Francis Cardinal George (Chicago)

In a scene reminiscent of the last conclave, the cameras showed Cardinal Pell (Sydney) and Cardinal George (Chicago) after the new Holy Father had spoken (right).

On Thursdays I concelebrate the 8am Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane, and as the concelebrant I got to say Francis’ name in the eucharistic prayer – the first of many times.

God bless Pope Francis!

Viva il papa!

Statement from Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane.