Cardinal Electors swear secrecy before Michelangelo’s Last Judgement
Thankfully EWTN provided an uninterrupted opportunity to watch as each Cardinal took the oath before the massive doors closed. I waited and waited to see my adopted Cardinal, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi Prefect of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, take his oath. Of course he was next to last but I did watch and pray for him as he placed his hand upon the bible and swear the oath of secrecy. I confess I was moved to see these Princes of the Church, holy men, process into the chapel and take their oath.
What was really interesting was seeing how, as they lined up, each one lifted his eyes to drink their fill of Michelangel’s masterpiece depicting the last Judgement Day.
One can only imagine their thoughts as these men approached the opened Bible to take their oath, but we have a couple of guides. John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) shared their thoughts;
“…everything is conducive to an awareness of the presence of God, in whose sight each person will one day be judged,” John Paul II. 1996 Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis
“…insinuated in our soul the vastness of our responsibility.” – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, introduction Roman Triptych by John Paul II
Weighty thoughts must have filled their hearts and minds as the doors closed. They are charged with deeply serious spiritual business. This is not just any election. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with Cardinal Versaldi and the Conclave as they go about God’s business.
Today had an extra layer of meaning as I have a long history with Michelangelo going back to my first reading of The Agony and the Ecstasy. So wonderful to see those magnificent masterpieces.
How to adopt a Cardinal and watch all Conclave events
Adopt-a-Cardinal has the full approval of the Vatican. More than 500,000 Catholics have joined. If you’re of a mind to adopt a Cardinal, go to this site.
If, like me, you’d like to watch the live streaming video from EWTN for all the upcoming events related to the Conclave and the election of the new pope, visit EWTN Multimeda. I hope you’ll share your thoughts about these events below.
Here’s A quick prayer for the conclave
O God, Eternal Shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Prayer for the Conclave – USCCB via AirMaria)