A Little Story About the New Pope

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.


  1. That is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard! The Opus Dei is a “Prelatura personal” (sorry, i don´t know how to say that in english) and it´s place is absolutely secured in the church since the approval of it on the 28 november 1982

    Obviously Juan Pablo II favoured the OD since we meet his goal in serving God and the Church above all things. Pure logic.

    My name is Elisa Navarro, i am from Uruguay, 24 years old and i am a happy member of the Opus Dei
    If you want to find out more about the prelatura (sorry again) go to http://www.opusdei.org.ar there you have all explained in detail.

    Happy Easter to you all,

  2. Well, Elisa, thanks for your comment. I guess there should be something lost in translation, because I don’t think there is a demeaning thing on the blog post about the Opus Dei to justify your tone. I answered you in Spanish, via e-mail.

    Tim: I don’t know whether it worked or not… 🙂

  3. In the Opus Dei we love the Pope. Any Pope. Robert, Gotteborg, Sweeden.

  4. Dear friend, Saint Josemaria, founder of the Opus Dei said: ‘Your deepest love, your greatest esteem, your most heartfelt veneration, your most complete obedience and your warmest affection have also to be shown towards the Vicar of Christ on earth, towards the Pope.

    We Catholics should consider that after God and the most Blessed Virgin, our Mother, the Holy Father comes next in the hierarchy of love and authority’. I think all is said. Love, Jose Antonio.

  5. Robert, Jose Antonio: Thanks for your comments. I know that, and I think that’s a good thing for a Roman Catholic. Blessings!

  6. I attend the masses of the feast of St. JoseMaria Escriva the founder of Opus Dei in Kenya and the choir always sing the solemn Salve Regina after the mass. The Celebrants face the image of Our Lady while the salve is being sang. I think this is what happened then.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bible verses brought to you by bVerse Convert and Biblia.com