SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

March 15, 2015

Crystal-balling Pope’s tenure

 (I feel like I’m being evicted by WORD PRESS, my home for the last 8 years. All of my posts are being stripped of the pictures or images I put up. I don’t think I’ve got it in me to start over.  I am however one who is devoted to beauty in all forms, having been a painter for quite a lot of my life – since childhood.  So much of what I choose to post  has a visual component;   therefore contemplating a text-only blog without images is a no-go for me.    Several years ago I inquired about this and received no response in return.  It seems my days of tending ‘smokinchoices’ will be over sooner.  It is a stress I do not choose to live with. Jan)

The Vatican

Francis says he expects to be pope only a short time


   VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said in an interview published yesterday that he thinks his pontificate will be short and that he will probably resign like his predecessor, rather than rule for life.  

In the long interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa, released on the second anniversary of his election, Francis also said he “did not mind” being pope but would like to be able to go out in Rome unrecognized for a pizza.   “I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief — four or five years, even two or three. Two have already passed. It’s a somewhat strange sensation,” he said, according to a Vatican translation from the Spanish version.  

“I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time,” the Argentine-born pontiff said.  

Francis, apparently in good health at 78, said, “I share the idea of what Benedict did.”   In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI became the first head of the Roman Catholic Church in 600 years to resign rather than rule until he died.   “In general, I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the popes emeritus. Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution,” Francis said.   However, he said he did not like the idea of an automatic retirement age for popes, such as at 80.  

Also yesterday, Francis announced that the Roman Catholic Church will mark an extraordinary holy year, one of its most important events, in which faithful make pilgrimages to Rome and other religious sites around the world.   During the last holy year — or jubilee — in 2000, millions of pilgrims came to Rome to take part in religious festivities throughout the year.   Making the surprise announcement in St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis said the holy year will focus on the topic of mercy, one of the most important themes of his papacy.   It will start on Dec. 8 and end on Nov. 20, 2016. This will be only the 29th holy year in the church since the tradition started more than 700 years ago.  

Holy years normally take place every 25 years unless a pope decrees an extraordinary one to bring attention to a particular topic or need. The next one had been scheduled for 2025.  

Francis, who said he wants his 1.2 billion church members to be more merciful and less rigid toward sinners, said the jubilee would be an occasion for all members to rediscover the need to be forgiving and generous.   “The church is the home that accepts everyone and refuses no one … The greater the sin, the greater the love that the church should show towards those who convert,” he said.   The last extraordinary holy year was called in 1983 by Pope John Paul II to mark 1,950 years after the death of Jesus.  

During a holy year, an entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica known as the Holy Door that is normally bricked up is opened so pilgrims can pass through it. The holy doors of Rome’s other basilicas also are opened.

(Observation:  This does not seem in any manner a prophesy of an early demise, for It seems the adoration of the millions who love him — that alone could and would shore him up.  This man is such a doer and has such high priorities and he GETS STUFF DONE!  

There are those who have been made uncomfortable by some of the changes which have come about.  But all of it needed doing for the blessed church to survive and thrive.  It can only do this if the original mission remains true to the teachings of the Lord Jesus.  Any who have ever cared about such as this, understand that it is not to build ornate chapels and huge hard structure — no matter how beautiful or ethereal it may seem, but to serve the masses and spread the blessings and teachings of LOVE. He does that.  Jesus did that as did the disciples.  As any can see — we’ve come a long way since then and some of it hasn’t been too good.  His plate remains too full to leave now, but I see great wisdom in what he is seeing – – the ‘pope’s emeritus’ – – and why not.  

For Lord’s sake, why doesn’t someone get this dear man a Pizza?   . . .seriously!     Jan)



  1. Jan, Your words were always what people tuned in for. You do not know me, but I have enjoyed the blog and shared it without messaging back. Perhaps the perspective of your generation is so few and far beetween. You will be missed. Chris

    Comment by Christine Nuzum — March 16, 2015 @ 9:51 am | Reply

    • Thank you Chris. It’s been a long run, one I have very much enjoyed. Your name is familiar to me however and yet you say, have not chimed in before. . . do you have a relative, perhaps a sister who might have mentioned you in passing by?
      Not gone yet, still winding down. I appreciate your kind intent, Jan

      Comment by Jan Turner — March 16, 2015 @ 10:48 am | Reply

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