Home World Europe News Pope Francis snub of Vatican Beethoven concert stuns cardinals and sends clear...

Pope Francis snub of Vatican Beethoven concert stuns cardinals and sends clear signal


Pope Francis’ last-minute no-show at a concert where he was to have been the guest of honor has sent another clear signal that he is going to do things his way and does not like the Vatican high life.

The gala classical concert on Saturday was scheduled before his election in March. But the white papal armchair set up in the presumption that Pope Francis would be there remained empty.

Minutes before the concert was due to start, an archbishop told the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries that an “urgent commitment that cannot be postponed” would prevent Pope Francis from attending.

The white papal armchair set up in the presumption that Pope Francis would be there remained empty during Vatican Beethoven concert

The white papal armchair set up in the presumption that Pope Francis would be there remained empty during Vatican Beethoven concert

The prelates, assured that health was not the reason for the no-show, looked disoriented, realizing that the message he wanted to send was that, with the Church in crisis, he – and perhaps they – had too much pastoral work to do to attend social events.

“It took us by surprise,” said one Vatican source on Monday.

“We are still in a period of growing pains. He is still learning how to be pope and we are still learning how he wants to do it.”

“In Argentina, they probably knew not to arrange social events like concerts for him because he probably wouldn’t go,” said the source, who spoke anonymously because he is not authorized to discuss the issue.

The picture of the empty chair was used in many Italian papers, with Monday’s Corriere della Sera newspaper calling his decision “a show of force” to illustrate the simple style Pope Francis wants Church officials to embrace.

Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.