Shot of the Day
At the end of one ceremony, word is that, as Msgr Ratzi was being led out, the congregation burst into applause. The pontiff's lone surviving relative was informed that it wasn't for Joseph... and he could hardly believe it.
For those still feeling Bayern Fever, Vic Simpson's put together a good piece on how everyone's feeling the Ratzi Glow this week:
Those who work closely with Benedict are convinced he has changed.The Schonborn comment reminds me of an observation from one of the Fluff's cooperatores at the CDF.
"He feels much freer than before," Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Austria told a group of American reporters after the pope celebrated Mass in Altoetting, his favorite pilgrimage spot.
"Happy is perhaps not the right word but he seems to be enjoying himself."
Although they stiffly shake hands in public, Benedict is particularly solicitous to his 82-year-old brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger. They had planned to retire together in Bavaria and Georg, who has been ailing, now is rumored to be planning to move to Rome.
In his memoirs, Benedict says he took a job teaching theology in Regensburg in part to be closer to Georg, who conducted the cathedral boys' choir there.
As many of you know, on the morning after his election, the Pope's first saunter outside the Vatican walls was to the old office, where he greeted his staff of 23 years. The big, white papal throne got lugged in, Cardinal Sodano came along, Mari was snapping photos, they packed the elevators -- i.e. enough entourage to frighten the poor people, ya know?
Anyways, after some brief words to the whole group, the staff came forward individually and knelt before Benedict, who spent an extended moment with each as the papal photographer kept snapping away. "You could already see the change," I was once told by one of the greeted, "it was clear even then that the grace of his election had begun to manifest itself," describing the former Grand Inquisitor as "resolute, joyful, smiling, at peace with what had happened."
To think, despite Cardinal Ratzinger's onetime dispute of the premise, the Holy Spirit knew what he was up to on 19 April last year... it just took the world a bit to catch up, but what's new?
PHOTO: AP/Maurizio Brambatti