The Pope Does Not Sing?

When you attend a Mass said by a Cardinal, Arch-Bishop, or a Pope, you will find a lot of the Mass is sung. The Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was known for being musically proficient in his Masses. After the election of the new Pope Francis, members of the Catholic community assumed this would continue. Little did they know Mass was going to be a little different. When the Pope recited his first Mass with the College of Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel on March 14, they were surprised to see that Pope Francis did not chant or sing during the Mass. Parts of the liturgy usually sung, for example before the Eucharistic prayer, were spoke like any other part of Mass. Some people thought maybe it was just this once, but too much dismay, on April 1 during the “Regina Coeli” Pope Francis spoke the Marian prayer. Vatican spokesman, also a Jesuit priest, Father Federico Lombardi stated the Pope does not necessarily follow the “nec rubricat, nec cantat” logic all Jesuit priest do. Meaning the Pope is not very strong on liturgical song and experts. The Pope singing capabilities are also impaired by a medical procedure performed in his twenties. The uppers half of his right lung was removed after a cysts cause for him to get a lung infection. Father Lomardi also stated that it could do with the huskiness and hoarseness in Pope Francis voice. Along with the Pope’s lack of singing, the public has noticed, even though he is fluent in many languages, he does not speak anything but Italian to the public. The pope’s book was released in 2010 “El Jesuita” (The Jesuit) that he was perfectly fluent in Spanish and Italian and his French was really well, and his German was understandable. The language that he struggled with the most was English do to all of the pronunciations because he was “very tone-deaf.” On Easter Sunday the Pope did not greet the people in St. Peters Square in many languages like his predecessors and he did not read or talk to the people in any language except for Italian. Some may think he is showing favoritism, but Father Lombardi stated “It’s pretty clear that he wishes to not discriminate and show favoritism by choosing to speak some languages and not others, even his native Spanish.” I agree with Father Lombardi, the Pope is sticking to what he is good at, and I believe that he means no disrespect to languages and cultures around the world.

-Shelby Trahan

4 thoughts on “The Pope Does Not Sing?

  1. This is so interesting how tradition can be changed after all these years, and this will also draw more attention and admiration to the new pope for also reminding us that he is too, human just like us so we can relate to him more, because sometime I think that the pope is such a divine being that it is easy to forget the human aspects that which makes us all equal and understanding.

  2. It was very interesting learning that Pope Francis does not sing during mass because he has trouble with his voice. It is different and unusual for this to happen and i think it is good because the Catholic church is use to traditions and Pope Francis is changing it up a little. He only speaks in Italian instead of other languages because he feels the most comfortable speaking Italian and this just shows us how the Pope is down to earth and wants to say what is in his heart. I believe if he feels more comfortable speaking Italian he should speak Italian because in this way he will be able to give his message to the world more loud and clear.
    -Melody Flores

  3. I agree with Melody on this matter. Pope Francis is indeed changing up the way things are usually executed in masses. He calmly accepts his in-capabilities and is honest with himself and the people around him with the fact that he is unable to physically chant and that he is more comfortable speaking one language–Italian–more than the other. I guess this is what makes Pope Francis stand out a bit from past Popes: he is the first to be truly honest which shows nothing but his humility.
    Kristen Longoria

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