This monarchy depiction of Pope John XXIII is an outdated image, but please don't replace it with a dictatorship image, or a democratic republic politician depiction either!
There are obvious elements of discontinuity between Pope Francis and Pope Benedict:
1. Francis is an extrovert and wants to be around people and guard the hen house
2. Pope Francis has in his short papacy called the Church meaning each and everyone of us to fidelity to the Magisterium and has done so far more frequently than Pope Benedict ever did.
3. Pope Francis is going to rely more upon collegiality with the college of bishops and consult with them through the synod of bishops. He is going to emphasize the authority of local bishops, but only when they act in union with Peter and the Apostles, the Pope and the other bishops--no lone rangers in other words.
4. The only difference I detect in the big papal Masses is in style of vesture and the Holy Father can't chant, but he is austere as was Benedict and not into exaggerated gestures which extends to a minimalism that is appropriate for the Latin Rite even the offertory procession is quite perfunctory and one detects that the Holy Father would rather not even have it
Now for the continuity
1. The biggest bombshell is that the encylical on faith is being released this Friday, July 5th and is written by Pope Benedict with some minor alterations by Pope Francis
2. Praytell reports that an "ecumenical celebration of the 'Holy Eucharist'" with Catholic priests participating was to occur over the weekend in Switzerland. At the last minute the Catholic priests were told not to participate and withdrew. The implication is that pressure from Rome was placed upon the local bishops to make sure that the priests did not participate in such an illicit and sacrilegious celebration of a so-called "Eucharist." The Swiss bishops were to meet with Archbishop Muller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Monday, July 1. No reporting apart from this tidbit has leaked concerning this meeting as of this writing.
3. Cardinal O'Malley one of the closest consultants of Pope Francis forbade a renegade Austrian priest, schismatic to say the least, from speaking on Church property in the Archdiocese of Boston. This schismatic priest is calling for active disobedience of clergy to their bishops. One presumes that Cardinal O'Malley acted in concert with the blessings of the Holy Father.
My final comment: Some pundits are carping that the Bishop of Rome has made no comment on the recent Supreme Court decision concerning gay marriage and DOMA, one more step toward a nationwide acceptance of legal gay marriage, the redefinition nationwide of what marriage is in civil law.
Many American bishops individually have made important comments including the Bishop of Savannah, Bishop Gregory Hartmayer. Should the Bishop of Rome usurp their local responsibilities and make his own statements that would trump theirs?
I don't think the Holy Father wants to do that. He wants to lift up the legitimate authority of local bishops in union with him. Now if a local bishop starting blessing same sex civil unions, I think they would be called to the woodshed by the CDF like the Swiss bishops.
Pope Francis is said to have said that he doesn't want to act as a Renaissance prince. He doesn't want to act as a monarch. But he doesn't want to act as a South American dictator either, a more appropriate image for him to eschew given his South American background albeit he is definitely an Italian.
At the same time, he doesn't want to be an American style or European style politician, which is even worse than a monarch to say the least. He doesn't want to be democratic shill.
He wants to model for the bishops of the world and priests of the world and the laity, that bishops and priests are pastors and fathers. That is refreshing! Get rid of the politics, monarchical, dictatorship and democratic! This is good indeed.