Video: Kathryn Jean Lopez and the Vatican Dispatch

posted at 5:21 pm on March 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

(VATICAN CITY) It’s a cold, wet, and windy day here at the Vatican, but that hasn’t kept tourists from filling St. Peter’s Square to tour the Basilica or the Vatican Museums.  It also didn’t keep me from interviewing Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review, Patheos, and Catholic Voices USA about the election of Pope Francis, the media response, and the signals we’re already getting about this new pontificate.  K-Lo proves herself quite the trouper here in this 10-minute interview:

Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be nicer, with more sunshine than clouds and no rain.  Warm dress will be the order of the day, for those on the ground and especially for those of us on the braccio again to cover the inauguration Mass.

Meanwhile, the personal stories of Francis as a boy continue to pop up in the media, all of them humorous and heartwarming.  Today’s Washington Post amplifies an Agence France-Presse report that tracked down the nuns who served as then-Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s teachers. Holiness wasn’t exactly innate in the young lad:

The Argentine cardinal memorized his multiplication tables aloud as he skipped steps at the De la Misericordia school, where he celebrated his First Communion at the age of nine, Sister Martha Rabino remembered.

“He was a devil, a little devil, very mischievous, like every boy,” the 71-year-old nun said with a smile.

“Who would have known that he would become pope!”

Rabino wept tears of joy when the 76-year-old Jesuit, who still shares tea with milk with the school’s nuns, was elected to the throne of St. Peter on Wednesday, becoming the first Latin American leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. …

Rabino told AFP that after he became a priest, he liked to ask the nuns what he was like when he was a child. One nun he talked to often was his first teacher, Sister Rosa, who died last year at age 101. She said:

He liked to ask Sister Rosa what he was like when he was a child, and the sister, who was old but very lucid, would reply: ‘You were a devil. Did you get better?’ And he would roar with laughter. Sister Rosa would tell him: ‘I remember when you learned your multiplication table on the stairs and you jumped the steps, two by two, repeating: two, four six. You were tireless.’

Just a few moments ago, the press office distributed the list of nations who have announced delegations to attend the event tomorrow — to which the Vatican issued no invitations, just announcements.  A few of the notable arrivals:

  • Iran – Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, with three others
  • Israel – The vice-PM (name not listed), the ambassador, and one other; Barack Obama is in the middle of a state visit to Israel
  • Cuba – the VP, listed as a Head of Government, plus four others
  • China – President Ma Ying-Jeou and four others of Taiwan. Mainland China is not representing itself here, and the listing of Ma as China’s president is not likely to make relations better between the Holy See and Beijing.
  • Egypt – Cultural Minister and two others
  • Palestinian Authority – Minister Amira Hanna and three others
  • UK – The Duke of Gloucester and three others, apparently none of ambassadorial rank.  The current Duke of Gloucester is Prince Richard, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, listed as 21st in line of succession.

The list of organizations sending delegations is also interesting:

  • All of the Orthodox churches in the West and East
  • The Anglican communion, although this is no surprise; the ecumenical ties between the Vatican and the Anglicans are strong
  • Most of the Protestant groups, including the Baptist World Alliance, the World Evangelical Alliance, and even the Salvation Army
  • A 16-member delegation of Jewish faith leaders, including a familiar name: Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, which will send three representatives, including Foxman.

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Hot Air at the Vatican?

Insert your own joke…

22044 on March 18, 2013 at 5:23 PM

“He was a devil, a little devil, very mischievous, like every boy

Uh oh. In today’s American educational system, they would have medicated him.

Fallon on March 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM

“He was a devil, a little devil, very mischievous, like every boy,” the 71-year-old nun said with a smile……

“Who would have known that he would become pope!”

Rabino wept tears of joy when the 76-year-old Jesuit, who still shares tea with milk with the school’s nuns, was elected to the throne of St. Peter on Wednesday, becoming the first Latin American leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. …

He had a nun as a teacher who was five years younger than he is?

I must be missing something.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Oh that was a great interview. It was so nice to hear Kathryn Jean Lopez and her perspective on the new Pope. I have to agree having the installation mass on St. Joseph’s day is a huge message. March 19, the day the swallows return from their winter in Argentina, is a very hopeful symbol.

msmveritas on March 18, 2013 at 5:43 PM

He had a nun as a teacher who was five years younger than he is?

I must be missing something.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

The nun was recounting stories of his former teacher who recently passed away at ripe old age of 101.

msmveritas on March 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

it’s kind of refreshing to see the coverage of the new Pope–a welcome reprieve from the breathless pop culture news that is often celebrity focused, thin, and irrelevant.

Steven McGregor on March 18, 2013 at 5:50 PM

He had a nun as a teacher who was five years younger than he is?

I must be missing something.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

I’ve been running the math in my head too thinking I was missing something.

I’m guessing it’s either a typo and she’s much older or she wasn’t actually his teacher but she was recounting stories that she had heard frequently from other sisters that were his teachers.

JadeNYU on March 18, 2013 at 5:51 PM

He had a nun as a teacher who was five years younger than he is?

I must be missing something.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

verbaluce on March 18, 2013 at 5:59 PM

…the press office distributed the list of nations who have announced delegations to attend the event tomorrow…

Is the US on that list somewhere???

Let me guess… Sequester cuts?

taznar on March 18, 2013 at 6:05 PM

The nun was recounting stories of his former teacher who recently passed away at ripe old age of 101.

msmveritas on March 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

I figured it probably was something like that. But nothing in the way the thread is set up suggests that Agence France-Presse tracked down the nuns who served with nuns who served as then-Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s teachers. And I was too lazy to explore the links since they often take forever to load and don’t tell much more than the thread.

Of course, there can’t be many teachers around who taught a 76-year-old so I should have known better.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Is the US on that list somewhere???

Let me guess… Sequester cuts?

taznar on March 18, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Of course sequester is involved. Look at the delegation which includes Biden and Pelosi. We’ve sent half-Catholics.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I did a double take with that one as well. I assumed that it was either a classmate who became a nun or one of the nuns who served with nuns who taught Papa Francisco.

Oh and I still really, really like this guy alot. I think more than JP II. I’m still surprised that he didn’t get elected in 2005.

Illinidiva on March 18, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Of course sequester is involved. Look at the delegation which includes Biden and Pelosi. We’ve sent half-Catholics.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

They should get the treatment that that Nicaraguan LT priest (Ernesto Cardenal) got from John Paul, when JP went on that first visit to Latin America – a stern rebuke and a dressing-down.

Ward Cleaver on March 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Of course sequester is involved. Look at the delegation which includes Biden and Pelosi. We’ve sent half-Catholics.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

D’oh! I just got your joke. Hilarious!

Ward Cleaver on March 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

It sounds to me as the nun being questioned had sat with Father Gergoglio and the one that was his teacher having tea and listening to them talk of his time as a student.

Jvette on March 18, 2013 at 7:25 PM

D’oh! I just got your joke. Hilarious!

Ward Cleaver on March 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Yeah and in the meantime, the White House is threatening to shut down the Easter Egg Roll due to sequestrtation. My parents had to wait hours to get off their cruise ship in Miami because they sent three people to process the thousands leaving the ship. And all this other “firemen first” crap.

I just couldn’t resist the idea that as part of sequestration we didn’t send full Catholics to the Vatican. ;0

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

No links required. Just read the second half of the quoted portion of the article.

blink on March 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

The last two paragraphs were added after my post. But thank you for calling me an idiot who can’t read.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM

No links required. Just read the second half of the quoted portion of the article.

blink on March 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

The last two paragraphs were added after my post. But thank you for calling me an idiot who can’t read.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM

And might I add that I’m irritated that somebody edited the initial thread to add those paragraphs which added clarity that should have been there from the beginning. I wasn’t the only one confused. Would an “update” comment have been that hard to add?

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 8:11 PM

“He was a devil, a little devil, very mischievous, like every boy,” the 71-year-old nun said with a smile……

“Who would have known that he would become pope!”

Rabino wept tears of joy when the 76-year-old Jesuit, who still shares tea with milk with the school’s nuns, was elected to the throne of St. Peter on Wednesday, becoming the first Latin American leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. …

He had a nun as a teacher who was five years younger than he is?

I must be missing something.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Sister Rosa who died last year at 101 was the elderly nun who taught him. Sister Rabina was repeating the stories the older nuns told.

That he still visits the sisters for Tea is quite a story.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2013 at 11:19 PM

New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith will be leading the 10-member House delegation bound for Vatican City for the historic ceremony. Smith has called the new pontiff holy and wise ahead of his trip abroad.

“It’s an honor and it’s a privilege and I am grateful to Speaker [John] Boehner for tasking me to do this,” Rep. Smith told WCBS 880′s Jim Smith.

Other members of the House delegation to the Vatican are Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/03/17/nj-rep-smith-leads-ten-member-congressional-delegation-to-vatican/

workingclass artist on March 18, 2013 at 11:24 PM