Rorate Caeli

Take your concert and do whatever you want to do with it

Paul VI Hall
June 22, 2013
Pope misses Vatican concert due to other commitments
Published June 22, 2013

Organizers say Pope Francis didn't show up for a concert in the Vatican due to other commitments.

The pontiff was expected at a Beethoven concert, but Monsignor Rino Fisichella told the audience just before the concert was to start that Francis couldn't make it due to "commitments that could not be postponed." He did not elaborate.

The pope was smiling with no signs of tiredness when he greeted worshippers at a Mass in St. Peter's earlier Saturday. Unlike his predecessor Benedict, who was well-known as a music lover, Francis has shown scant interest in music, liturgical or otherwise.

Papal spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said he had nothing to add to Fisichella's statement, and that the pope has confirmed his Sunday commitments.
La Stampa's Vatican Insider adds that the Pope said the following:

For the entire afternoon, Francis did not leave his room at [Domus] Sanctae Marthae and simply told his associates: "I am not a Renaissance Prince who listens to music instead of working."*

[Several sources, including Fox News. It was a concert that had been long planned in honor of the Year of the Faith and in the presence of the Supreme Pontiff, with the Orchestra of the Italian public broadcaster, RAI, held in the Paul VI Hall, a few yards from the Domus Sanctae Marthae.]

*Rorate note: this was the exact text at Vatican Insider at posting time: "Per l'intero pomeriggio Francesco non si è mosso dalla sua camera a Santa Marta e ai suoi collaboratori ha semplicemente detto: 'Non sono un principe rinascimentale che ascolta musica invece di lavorare'." After our blog and an Italian blog expressed our surprise, the author, Giacomo Galeazzi, modified it somewhat, keeping its general sense - we saved the original article in our repository. We emphasize that the main news is the absence itself, and the empty chair, not the alleged comment.