Rorate Caeli

Pope's greatest friend and most influential Cardinal:
"way of celebrating Mass" will have to be "reformed" - once again...

The man closest to the new Pope at the moment of his presentation to the world at the night of his election was Cardinal Hummes, standing by his side at the loggia.

On Saturday, the Pope revealed that even the choice of his name was due to Cardinal Hummes, O.F.M., Archbishop Emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and former Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, a man certain to yield immense influence in the new pontificate, even if (probably) not in formal positions of power:

Some people wanted to know why the Bishop of Rome wished to be called Francis. Some thought of Francis Xavier, Francis de Sales, and also Francis of Assisi. I will tell you the story. During the election, I was seated next to the Archbishop Emeritus of Sao Paulo and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes: a good friend, a good friend! When things were looking dangerous, he encouraged me. And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: “Don't forget the poor!” And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi.

On this same day, Cardinal Hummes granted an extensive interview on the plans of the new pontificate to the largest Brazilian daily, Folha de Sao Paulo, speaking on the future of the Church and the reforms that must happen; the interview was published under the title "The Church does not work anymore". [Tip and translation: Reader; source.] Here is one of his most relevant answers:

[Q:] In what sense is reform necessary?

[Cardinal Hummes:] Not just of the Curia, but many other things: our way of celebrating ["fazer", lit. "making", "doing"] mass, of doing evangelization, this new evangelization needs new methods. The pope spoke in the meeting with the cardinals of new methods, we need to find new methods.

But mainly the Roman Curia was mentioned, that it needs to be reformed structurally. It is too large, but all this need a study, we do not have many coordinates.

Many say it is too large, that an extension was made here, another there, another room here, another commission there, but this one here does not have sufficient prestige... All these things that happen in such a structure.

The church does not work anymore. This whole question that happened lately shows how she does not work. And, once this new design is made, you have to look for the people adapted to fill these positions, these jobs.