Yesterday, being a fourth Sunday of the month, we had our Extraordinary Form Mass in Steyning. Afterwards, outside, there was a little (it was very cold!) discussion about our new Holy Father: we all agreed that we felt very positive about him.
This seems to be the general opinion. On all the important things, we think he will be solid. He does not appear to be a theological tinkerer, or to want to turn the liturgical clock back to 1970, but he does seem to be addressing some other issues that are really important for the faith, not least charity.
I have seen around on the net opinions suggesting that he might sell off some of the Church's worldly treasures. I'm not so sure that disposing of patrimony is a completely good idea, but I wouldn't shed any tears. St Ambrose was very clear that when people are starving even the chalices should be melted down. And it would do a great deal of good for the credibility of our message.
One person yesterday commented that Pope John Paul had taught us to hope, Pope Benedict taught us to think, and perhaps Pope Francis will teach us to love.
Here are a couple of photographs of yesterday's celebration in St Peter's Square. I call them very reassuring.
These pictures are copyright, belonging to Fotografia Felici, so I hope the good Signori won't mind me giving their excellent service a little advertisement by putting screenshots of the pics here. Needless to say, I will remove them if required.