Thursday, March 28, 2013


I just got a call from my first cousin, Gina Bartolomeo, who has been in Chicago since 1958, but is still an Italian citizen and does not speak English as well as my mother did! She's having a heart valve replacement in two weeks, so please say a prayer for her. Italians milk these sorts of things for all their worth, but at heart they can be quite pessimistic and morose about these sorts of things filled with legitimate worry. I told her not to worry, but to be happy. She said in Italian, "that's easy for you to say!"

So in Italian she asked me "do you like the pope? I love him very much!" I told her in my mix of Italian and English that I like him very much too, he's very Italian I said!

This pope will win over Italians and already has done so and if he can get them back to church in big numbers, well then, he's a godsend.

I've always stated that while I might not like this, that or the other and can see many sides to most issues, religious or otherwise, as a Catholic I'm sticking with the pope through thick and thin and casting aside my expertise if I were pope, which I have none obviously.

So Italians bend the rules, care for people and if the light is red and there isn't anyone around, especially the police, you go. And when everyone is driving in a crazy manner, for someone to think that he can change the Italian way of things by obeying the rules will be martyred in no time soon on the Italian streets.

I'm discomforted by some of the iconoclasm of this pope; I was discomforted by some of the things of the other popes. But you know what? This is Christ's Church and surely during this Holy Week we know that Christ discomforted many people, especially the most religious of His day to include the most irreligious in His plan of salvation.

So in the Church there is room for the EF, the OF, the EP and the OP. There is room for chant and more contemporary forms of singing and instrumentation. We don't have to like it all, but we do have to love God and neighbor, the first three Commandments focusing on love of God and the next seven focusing on love of neighbor. I wonder why there are more Commandments on love of neighbor than on love of God. Did God make a mistake?

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