Waiting, watching for new pope

By The Loquitur staff
April 14, 2005

Cecelia Francisco

I do everything possible to avoid anything having to do with death. If it deals with someone I know or even a complete stranger, just the word death absolutely terrifies me.

When I learned about Pope John Paul II’s “grave state,” for some reason, I became intrigued. Not intrigued with his soon to be passing, but with what would happen upon his death.

As much as I wanted to ignore the news and pretend the pictures of the Pope lying in state weren’t real, I found that I couldn’t help myself from watching.

In the 11 years I attended Catholic school, the process of electing a pope was never discussed. I can imagine this was because there wasn’t much of a reason to after all. Pope John Paul II was in good health and there wasn’t any concern for having to elect a new pope. Although it was inevitable, I never gave thought to seeing a new pope. It wasn’t until recently that I learned what a big deal it really was.

Upon the Pope’s passing, I immediately became preoccupied with the news coverage on television and in print.

I absolutely love Al’s Morning Meeting, a column through Poynter Online, a website for journalists, which provides story ideas. Al, in my opinion, provided a plethora of information regarding the Pope and his passing. There were various websites that dealt with how to handle coverage as a journalist and also information about what happens now.

Although overly interested, I have to admit that without Al’s help I wouldn’t have gone looking for information on my own. I began reading through the websites he provided on the conclave. I’m absolutely fascinated with how much effort goes into the process.

I had no idea about the tradition that involved a silver mallet and calling the Pope by his baptismal name. I think the only fact I knew about was the ringing of the bells upon his death and the white smoke appearing when a new pope was chosen. I only knew these facts because of the movie “Eurotrip.” Had I not had a love for humorous movies, I wouldn’t have even known that.

I’ve done some reading about the possible elects and I am actually really interested to see who is chosen. So much has changed in society, there are many who follow old traditions and there are those who are, ready for new.

Even though I feel as if I am probably the only college-age student who has become so informed with the whole process, I can’t help but wonder what it is like to be outside the Vatican right now either as a pilgrim, a native to the area or as a journalist. I would think that everyone there is in as much sense of wonder as I am. Although I know I now have to wait at least two weeks from Friday, I will most definitely be sticking with the daily coverage.

It is not only an interesting change of such a powerful figure, but it has already taught me a lot about society and the way different countries handle the coverage of such an event. The ways of covering it have obviously sparked my interest and I would like to think it has done the same for many others.

Leave a Comment

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

The Loquitur staff

Leave a Comment

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


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap