As all the world knows, Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle will marry on Saturday, May 19. All the world seems sure that the event will be as grand as the speculation and publicity that have surrounded it,
Most likely Prince Harry’s bride is going to glide down that aisle with her mother rather than her father. As within any wedding worth the bother there seem to be some problems. In this case speculation and changes about the father of the bride’s actions, health, and attendance. With good intentions, the bride’s stepsister has contributed to the confusion. But not to worry, NBC is flying in Savannah and Hoda to cover the event. I have no doubt they will ferret out the truth and present it with the utmost fairness and delicacy. Britain and the rest of the world are going to coo, smile, and cheer.
Reporters and fashionistas wonder how Ms. Markel will adorn herself and consider who might be the wedding dress designer. According to reports that speculation is now at fever pitch! On Google I reviewed many of the wedding dress possibilities and their staggering costs. Whatever Ms. Markel wears, it had better be spectacular because the royal children could well steal the show. Ms. Markel will have no adult attendants. She could not decide between her friends. Instead she will be accompanied by children as page boys, bridesmaids, and flowers girls. There will be 10.
All the world will be watching.
Me? I’m buying a Fandango ticket to watch the Pope hold forth in the new documentary –“Pope Francis—A Man of is Word,” directed by Wim Wenders. Francis will be seated on a bench in a garden, speaking in Spanish with English subtitles. No notes, no wardrobe, no make-up. I want to hear what he has to say.
It’s not that I don’t want to see the bride in her gorgeous gown and jewelry. I do. And I am also curious to see the handsome royals in Uniforms and Morning Coats and their pampered ladies in colorful Day Dresses and hats. I especially love the hats! But I’m little closer in age and physique to Pope Francis so I’m going to watch the documentary at AMC. Having been educated by the Jesuits (some would say tortured) and then employed by them at John Carroll University, I’m automatically a fan.
When Francis becomes the 1st Jesuit Pope in 2013, I never left the TV. I thought to myself, it’s a new world. Catholics have elected a smart tough guy. “Fearless” is the way the documentary producer Wim Wenders describes him. We all know that he is fearless. He has been critical of the Vatican’s immense bureaucracy and the traditionalists have pushed back, accusing him of neglecting spiritual matters. He has also been vilified by some victims of the sex scandals. Though most of us love him, he is no stranger to opposition and criticism. He may have brought tears to John Boehner’s eyes, but some Catholics cannot abide his orthodox views of same sex marriage, contraception, and refusal to support women as priests. But I am glad that he has supported social outreach rather than doctrinal battles. He has taken on the global issues of climate change, poverty, and immigration.
Most interesting to me personally is that Time magazine’s decision to choose him for person of the year “was his ability to alter the minds of so many people who had given up on the Catholic Church in such a short period of time.”
Of homosexuality the compassionate conservative said “Who am I to judge?”
This is the man who used to ride the bus to work, who now lives in the Vatican guest house rather than the papal residence, who wears white cossacks instead of a red mozzetta, who chose an iron pectoral cross instead of a gold one. He has always been a patron of the poor; he criticized priests who were “rigid and afraid to communicate.” He worked with a “psychoanalyst for six months,” he spoke of childhood sweethearts and adolescent girlfriends, saying his relationships with women had enriched his life. “I thank God for having known these true women in my life… [Women see things differently from men] and it is important to listen to both.” He has shown his human rather than pontifical side.
It’s the mix that I like—he chose Francis, the saint who cared for the sick and the poor, for his papal name. Grandeur is not his style. He has demonstrated his human rather than his pontifical side. He likes being around people. He smiles, kisses, embraces, and laughs. He used to take the bus to work—what can I say? I love the man, as many do, Catholics or otherwise. I’ve followed him around the world. I have seen him fall. He walks like I walk. I can tell when his feet hurt.