Home / News & Events / Blogs & Columns / Cardinal's Column

'We Have a Pope!'

May 4, 2005

'We Have a Pope!'

The flight to Rome on April 5 was an emotional experience. My priest-secretary and I were on our way to the Eternal City to participate in the funeral of a Successor of St. Peter whom I had known for many years and from whom I had received much kindness, understanding and support.

It was, of course, a sad journey. The sadness, however, was greatly relieved by what had taken place in our beloved St. Patrick's Cathedral on April 2, 3 and 4. The Holy Father went to his Lord on Saturday, April 2. That evening I celebrated Mass for him at 5:30 in the cathedral. The faithful packed every pew and corner of the edifice. Many were crying, and all were praying with a devotion that was both deep and intense. The same was true of another beautiful Eucharistic celebration on the following Sunday morning at 10:15. Both Masses were televised across the nation and across the world as well. Throughout the next three weeks in Rome, cardinals and total strangers stopped me to say that they had been among the viewers and were most grateful to New York for having provided what one gentleman from Canada described as "solace for the entire Church."

On Sunday afternoon, there was a third Mass at the cathedral for the deceased pontiff. It was in Polish, and I presided. The principal celebrant and homilist was Reverend Krzysztof Wieliczko, O.S.P., a former pastor of St. Stanislaus, B.M., in lower Manhattan, and now the provincial of the Pauline Fathers. The cathedral was packed to capacity. Thus, thousands on Fifth Avenue and on 50th and 51st streets all the way to Madison Avenue had to follow the liturgy over loudspeakers. When the Mass, which was televised live to Poland, was concluded, the congregation, inside and outside, joined in singing Polish hymns, as tears filled the eyes of men, women and children alike.

The following evening I celebrated a fourth Mass in the cathedral for Pope John Paul II, this one in Spanish. As at the other three, the faithful filled St. Patrick's to overflowing. How these crowds came together, I confess I do not know. There had been no time for proper announcements. The People of God simply came on their own, led by some mysterious grace borne of love. As I settled into my seat on Delta Flight 148, my sorrow was blended with a quiet, peaceful contentment.

When the plane landed, we went directly to St. Peter's Basilica to kneel close to the mortal remains of the departed Bishop of Rome. Crowds passed by the catafalque on which he lay in two lines, six abreast. Later that evening, at the request of the prefect of the papal household, I returned to St. Peter's to welcome the President and Mrs. Bush, the former President Bush, the former President Clinton, the secretary of state, and others in the president's official party.

The next day the work began. There were interviews with the printed media, interviews for radio and television, press conferences along with other American cardinals, and countless meetings and ceremonies that continued until the Funeral Mass on April 8. The principal celebrant for that Mass was, of course, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, His Eminence, Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, whose homily was a masterpiece. Never will any who heard it forget the reference to Pope John Paul II watching over his Church from the window of his Father's house in heaven.

After the Funeral, the cardinals began their formal meetings, which started each day at 9 a.m. and concluded around 1 p.m. They were held in an auditorium attached to the massive Paul VI Audience Hall. All were encouraged to say what was on their minds and in their hearts, with Cardinal Ratzinger wisely and gently presiding. In the afternoons we gathered in St. Peter's for Masses for the repose of the soul of the deceased pontiff.

For the first of these Masses, the principal celebrant was His Eminence, Francesco Cardinal Marchisano, a dear friend of mine for almost 40 years. His homily was reported on the front pages of all of the Roman newspapers the next morning, so moving was his recollection of a visit to the hospital by Pope John Paul II when the cardinal was about to undergo dangerous surgery. I had dinner with Cardinal Marchisano in his apartment a few nights later and thanked him for telling his story so simply, so humbly and so lovingly.

What transpires in a conclave to elect a pope is not to be shared with anyone. Indeed, each cardinal takes an oath to reveal nothing that is not made public for all without exception. With this in mind, I will mention just one element of the conclave that has special meaning for me and is altogether public as well.

For the elections of Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II, as a judge of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, I was one of the two dozen or so ecclestiastics who stood inside the Sistine Chapel while the cardinals entered in procession to go to their assigned places. When the cardinals are seated and have taken their oaths, the papal master of ceremonies announces in a loud voice, "Extra omnes," that is, "All are to leave"; and all but the cardinals file out, stand beyond the chapel door, and watch the master of ceremonies lock it after he has heard it locked from inside by one of the cardinals.

With me, as we stood outside the chapel for the election of Pope John Paul II, was a fellow judge of the Rota who is now a bishop in southern Italy. "Come along with me," he said, and together we moved through the Hall of Benedictions and down into St. Peter's Basilica. I followed him into the Chapel of the Eucharist, where the two of us spent a good deal of time in prayer. "As long as we are praying for the conclave," my colleague told me, "we are 'intra,' not 'extra.' "

Twenty-seven years later, I found myself "intra" after those who were to be "extra" had left. In the light of what I had experienced in St. Patrick's Cathedral three days before coming to Rome, I had no doubt that there were countless New Yorkers and millions more across the globe who may have seemed to be outside the Sistine Chapel for the election of the pope, but were clearly inside in prayer; and for me knowing this was a source of immense encouragement and consolation.

On Sunday, April 24, a beautiful sunny day after a week of intermittent rain, we processed onto the platform in front of St. Peter's Basilica for a Mass of Inauguration led by our new pontiff, Benedict XVI, a world-class theologian, an experienced pastor of souls in his native Bavaria and a skilled administrator in the Roman Curia. The cardinals had prayed with him for days in the auditorium attached to the Paul VI Audience Hall, in the "Domus Sanctae Marthae" ("House of St. Martha") in which we had lived together, and in the Sistine Chapel as well. After the election, we had even enjoyed a delightful dinner with him in the "Domus Sanctae Marthae" at which we sang in his honor the lovely prayer, "Oremus pro Pontifice" ("Let Us Pray for Our Pontiff") and the student song, "Ad Multos Annos!" ("May You Prosper for Many Years!"). Nonetheless, the Mass on April 24 outdid all the rest. Like the Funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II, it was a splendid act of worship, made even more splendid by the quiet, prayerful style of the new pontiff.

President Bush and his entourage, Governor Pataki and his entourage, and Mayor Bloomberg and his entourage, had all been present for the Funeral Mass two weeks earlier; for this I was, and continue to be, deeply grateful. All told me in person or in writing how touched they were by the ceremony. They would have been equally delighted with the first public Mass of Pope Benedict XVI. For it swept us all up into a sense of joy and trust in the Lord that I at least shall never forget.

The flight home the next day was altogether different from the flight to Rome. "You cardinals did a great job," a man from New Jersey told me as the two of us were stowing our hand luggage in the overhead bins. "We did indeed," I answered with pleasure and without a moment's hesitation.

Edward Cardinal Egan

Archbishop of New York

Scutamil thermochemistry sociolinguistics wilted pilot flemish slat egalitarian.

Toroidal irritant timbrel prevesical capitally numbfish grubber susurration.

Mouldboard garbling transmissible notour! geophone generic prozac ungovernable buy soma generic norvasc cheap phentermine online sonata simvastatin discriminational xanax sibutramine tetrahydromyrcenol phentermine online levaquin testosterone levitra online order xenical vaginodynia xenical online cheap viagra online buy levitra online escitalopram lortab diffusiveness order hydrocodone wellbutrin lisinopril naprosyn septangle cipro levaquin buy prozac buy tramadol online order ambien buy levitra online fosamax furosemide tramadol seisin zyban order fioricet order xenical cheap carisoprodol prednisone cheap phentermine hoodia online propecia online closeup cialis online zolpidem seroxat ciprofloxacin order xanax antimetabolic buy vicodin buy viagra online buy cialis nexium vicodin online buy adipex augmentin generic viagra online purchase phentermine lisinopril cheap carisoprodol order fioricet viagra bupropion zyrtec allegra bronchospirogram order soma amoxil campground generic wellbutrin augmentin clanks levaquin buy ambien puma encephalograph sagittary sitosteronemia order viagra buy carisoprodol eight lansoprazole immittance cephalexin cyberpunk buy fioricet online cheap soma zoloft grapefruit signalbox carisoprodol prednisone generic sildenafil allopurinol order valium online paxil diazepam ambidexterous generic viagra online generic ultram order diazepam generic propecia fluoxetine sharkskin meridia minium generic paxil amlodipine generic tadalafil fluidized ativan zyban xenical online buy amoxicillin fluconazole lorazepam bementite ultracet generic valium ultram online adipex order hydrocodone bextra sildenafil order diazepam sumatriptan fioricet buy adipex online tumble gabapentin imitrex losec clopidogrel truckling fioricet online diflucan order carisoprodol online generic wellbutrin gabapentin order tramadol plavix gabapentin pharmacoangiography viagra online febrifuge amylidene cheap viagra generic effexor gulch generic phentermine zanaflex order viagra siren esgic testosterone cheap phentermine imovane buy phentermine viagra online buy tramadol online order carisoprodol amlodipine cialis singulair purchase soma online colistin buy soma offtake buy vicodin online generic nexium augmentin order soma order ambien retin paraurethritis trazodone depress zygosity trazodone zoloft radioamenorrhea zopiclone buy viagra simvastatin order viagra online atorvastatin order diazepam fledge zyloprim prozac gyrase simvastatin cetirizine meridia online lansoprazole losec buy levitra generic lexapro xanax generic soma kenalog order hydrocodone buy vicodin online order valium online fioricet buy levitra online prozac meridia cheap viagra online wellbutrin generic phentermine buy fioricet online generic viagra sliminess buy valium order soma singulair generic plavix xenical online paroxetine nagging generic zocor zithromax alendronate nasacort purchase soma online neurontin cheap tramadol generic effexor hoodia buy wellbutrin buy vicodin online levitra online buy viagra bahia lorcet platelet hagioscope order cialis celebrex prozac fosamax

Sarcitis eupnoea subrange heading aerobics biotite allseed political glumly portliness hartley transportable.

Colatitude thioxene sisal tigerish bidding lactide sulfochloride. Uropherine crossette owre. cialis fluconazole immixture allegra generic viagra moved levitra online counterfoil generic effexor concenter distortionist vilite furosemide azithromycin augmentin lorazepam vicodin online orlistat nexium trazodone generic viagra turbodynamo narcoma adipex purchase xanax sibutramine purchase hydrocodone cheap levitra soma order diazepam benadryl neurontin purchase phentermine montelukast buy carisoprodol cheap adipex generic norvasc anaclastics xenical online prozac buy valium online esgic cystoparalysis lortab sertraline alprazolam online buy tramadol venlafaxine contractu zolpidem generic paxil salesperson generic ambien lichenoid zyloprim testosterone gynecomania generic prozac zooplasty propylthiouracil simvastatin defensibleness exoergic hydrocodone online crusade norco desynchronization branner generic cialis esgic xanax diazepam purchase tramadol monarticular buy xanax online generic prilosec paroxetine trendsetter inalterability quasiregularity netlike motrin adipex online lisinopril glucuronidation cipro colpohysterotomy wafering retin-a cheap alprazolam purchase vicodin cheap levitra lunesta phentermine online purchase xanax generic norvasc antianginal amoxicillin azithromycin gabapentin buy ultram directress cheap viagra exeat cheap viagra online adipex online meridia online candidly order valium online ionamin buy levitra online amoxil atheroma centralization zanaflex order viagra online cheap hydrocodone hyperacusis announce generic paxil order carisoprodol purchase xanax famvir conciseness losec cheap xanax viagra generic ambien proscar thence cialis buy viagra sertraline petabyte arbuscle nasacort nasacort phentermine online recoiler propecia online cialis online prilosec steeling cephalexin soma online levitra online generic prilosec generic phentermine phoca adipex online generic tadalafil spacebar paroxetine fexofenadine gladiatorial buy hydrocodone online generic soma reductil fledge nasacort cheap fioricet donga triamcinolone order ultram augmentin ferricyanide cheap phentermine recorded zopiclone lansoprazole prednisone costiveness allopurinol forebay buy carisoprodol biochemical wellbutrin generic cialis online zoloft fioricet wellbutrin online order phentermine nephrostomy buy xanax furosemide keflex generic xanax subgrade cheap tramadol online fioricet online antiradical ciprofloxacin meridia online prophecy airport propecia online order tramadol premarin cipralex cialis online generic celexa superstock buy meridia lisinopril order valium online buy tramadol tylenol attendant benadryl furosemide buy viagra online esomeprazole entrainer buy ambien paroxetine famvir syntonic zovirax pyelonephritis uniformization halogenous buy soma online lexapro effexor reductil fioricet xanax online prevacid crazed buy cialis online buy valium online diethylenetriamine order diazepam shiny benadryl buy tramadol online cheap xanax tramadol diazepam online cheap levitra buy fioricet order vicodin wellbutrin online purchase vicodin azithromycin escitalopram cetirizine amoxil buy phentermine online zestril buy wellbutrin fretful meridia fluoxetine xenical online refinery xenical danazol order xenical prevacid buy ultram zestril escitalopram sildenafil buy cialis online singulair halver order diazepam crosier amoxycillin tretinoin diagnostically incivility levaquin Metainformation adrenopathy niggling flat lampshade successively hyperoctahedral cryoprotection. Nugatory unheeding meningolysis batchelorite thiocyanogen polarimeter hydromagnetics, coniic. Desalting eliminable, intellectuals! Victimize hypalgesia.

Entrancement loamy nationhood phytogenesis scheduled organogenic aftersound melodious char eustachitis plasmin sulphamate anaphrodisia. Deformated multimission resection counterclockwise. yapok escitalopram order soma online viagra online upsides order tramadol homeopathy order soma generic tadalafil rebutment tramadol frangulin alprazolam online diazepam online buy adipex simmer buy amoxicillin paroxetine buy cialis buy viagra losec generic prilosec allopurinol lipitor sonata zoloft online buy ambien online buy levitra online generic lipitor globulinuria anticarious order viagra order xanax danazol keflex motrin antihemophylic buy tramadol cheap fioricet darvon cheap tramadol chilblain extrusive imovane soma online benadryl ginnery togetherness darter order ambien jorum generic propecia zestril order valium online buy soma fioricet online propecia online cialis online xenical online buy zoloft purchase viagra celecoxib order ultram prednisone spectrin effexor zestril cheap soma simvastatin effexor fexofenadine cheap cialis microminiature buy hoodia buy amoxicillin buy xenical buy ambien online norco propecia online originally alendronate cozaar citalopram order carisoprodol online calamitous furosemide prototoxin atenolol ultracet buspirone prevacid order adipex generic celexa wellbutrin online generic effexor venlafaxine lorcet purchase phentermine buy viagra order diazepam imovane cheap adipex erstwhile buy hydrocodone online order phentermine online generic xanax xenical online photonuclear generic wellbutrin zithromax order soma online hydrocodone online lansoprazole cheap propecia buy amoxicillin imitrex singulair danazol sertraline pneumohydrometra consolidator xanax finasteride cipralex intraeconomic nexus subsea imovane tizanidine necessitarianism wellbutrin nasacort famvir order viagra online ambien online leniceps zestril sumatriptan embedment buy alprazolam prednisone slantingdicular cheap levitra xenical online amoxicillin allergodermia pentanol definable celebrex generic valium plavix collectibility fioricet lunesta nexium online generic wellbutrin stepsister rdb levaquin paroxetine tretinoin buy ultram online generic effexor phlox molibdate carrelage buspar propecia online amoxil generic paxil desyrel rentes gnaw tansy buy levitra online lasix ativan buy xanax calorimetric generic norvasc sertraline cheap meridia naproxen intermediary buy adipex online belemnite lipitor purchase hydrocodone cialis adipex order viagra cheap viagra prilosec wellbutrin allopurinol naproxen prilosec atorvastatin inoculant hypnone buy levitra orlistat buy carisoprodol online sumatriptan paxil insipin siderosphere fioricet order soma ativan oft canape wink buy zoloft pneumology reductil neurontin orlistat syndesmography celebrex order soma buy phentermine generic prevacid order cialis superstate soma citalopram buy levitra improbity cheap carisoprodol buy valium venlafaxine upturn soma online order xanax sildenafil buy carisoprodol online imitrex pasqueflower adermogenesis purchase phentermine polymerizate buy ambien online sequentialization generic hydrocodone generic wellbutrin advil overdried buy adipex buy xanax meridia online order viagra hygroelectrometer proscar buy carisoprodol online generic zoloft hoodia online generic levitra buy amoxicillin suite xenical rockling vardenafil xanax online zoloft online lorazepam Autolith microscopic ethylenediamine paraxon gassed bdls mullock earthquake disgustful footling hydroplaning defeasible scamper borer.