Friday, May 18, 2007

Fret Not -- He's Back

On his return from Brazil on Monday, the Pope headed straight to Castel Gandolfo, where he promptly disappeared from public (or even semi-public) view. For four days. No audiences, nor photo-ops -- "niente di niente," as they say.

Of course, the sheer fact of the unusually low papal profile became grist for the Roman mill.... None of which can be confirmed. At least, as of this writing.

But the seclusion is over; this morning, at the summer retreat, B16 received a group of bishops from Mali on their ad limina visits.

The remainder of May, however, will likely be a quiet time at the Vatican. Most of the dicastery heads are still in Brazil as visiting delegates to the CELAM, the slow trickle out of town with the end of classes and summer's start has begun, and the days between Ascension and Pentecost have long meant much to Joseph Ratzinger -- before his election, the cardinal-prefect was said to have taken these days for his annual retreat.

Still, there is the question of the motu proprio for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. The president of the dicastery charged with overseeing All Things Indult -- himself a Latin American -- says it's coming... as does the Times of London, which reports that it's been "signed"...

...and when resistance to it has been led by your curial heads, maybe there's no better time to let it drop than when they're half a world away.