The world is pretty much awash with the news that Joseph Card. Ratzinger is the new Pope, under the name of Benedictus XVI. I’ll tell you a story about him that not many people know.
One of the Roman Catholic Church sectors most close to John Paul II was the Opus Dei. One day, while talking in a circle of friends on 1991, while visiting Rome, a seminarian from the Opus Dei seminary of Cavabianca (near Rome) told us that the big shots in the Opus Dei were “unsure” about Ratzinger, but they appreciated their commitment to Catholic orthodoxy. They concluded that they had to approach him in some way. They thought convenient to have Ratzinger’s approval and appreciation.
In due time, they invited Ratzinger to celebrate Mass and meet students at Cavabianca. The liturgy they organized established that in some time after Mass, Ratzinger and the two accolytes would turn their backs to the people and, facing the reredos of the beautiful Cavabianca chapel, sing a solemn Salve Regina (that is, “Hail, Queen”, an ancient hymn in honor of the Virgin Mary) with turibulum and full parafernalia.
They did so…
and the people and the accolytes had instructions to sing not so fast. Why? Because they wanted Ratzinger to see the beautiful and high reredos of the Cavabianca chapel. Crafty people, isn’t it?
Update, March 05, 2008: Diego was on the choir on the Ratzinger visit and he denies any kind of “special preparation” for it; therefore, the part of the anecdote that tells that the acolytes had special instructions to sing the Salve slowly must be factually incorrect. Thanks for the clarification.