"Boy, the pope must have REALLY liked it, to stand up and walk toward him," observes Tuck after watching Papa Ratzi's response to Placido Domingo's singing of Cesar Franck's version of St.Thomas Aquinus's Panis angelicus (The Bread of Angels) for him at yesterday's mass in Nationals Park. Or maybe it was relief at hearing his kind of music amidst the multi-culti cacophony of musical tributes to the Vicar of Christ. Above, Benedetto applauds following the world-renowned operatic tenor's performance.
"His body language is a little self-protective. He does not run out to meet you . . . instead, he draws you in, and his sweetness and transparent kindliness run completely counter to the whole 'rottweiller narrative,' which I think is taking a beating," writes The Anchoress in one of her glorious, link-rich -- including us! -- appreciations of this Holy Father who seems to be winning American hearts and minds, Catholic or not, left and right:
Did it seem to you, as it did to me, that we watched Benedict loosen up or break free a little bit at this mass? Watching him exit he seemed bigger and bolder to me, as though he was growing into his part.
I was inclined to like him, of course, through his writings, but I didn’t know if I would be put off by his manner. After half a lifetime watching the effusive, playful and outgoing John Paul II, I wondered if Benedict, in person, could manage to inspire in the same way. He does . . .
A “liberal catholic” friend of mine emailed: Don’t tell any of my liberal friends (that is, everyone) but I’m starting to really like the guy.
I think that sense of surprised delight is going both ways; I get a sense that just as we’re discovering we like the guy, the pope is also feeling like he likes us. I say that from an introvert’s standpoint (because I am one).
"Two things that strike you when you're 18 inches away from the Pope," writes Rocco Palmo of Whispers in the Loggia: "1. He's got a tan you can't really appreciate on TV; 2. The shoes are . . . red. Blazingly so. And, yep, you feel it. No question." Above, Placido Domingo definitely feels it.
"He does not run out to meet you . . . instead, he draws you in." That's just how it was for us back in April of 2005 when Cardinal Ratzinger first gave us "a glimpse of the clearing" through that much-cited homily before the College of Cardinals the day before he ascended the Throne of Peter:
We are building [misquoted by Fox at the time and then promulgated by us as "moving toward"] a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires..
Once Ratzinger became Benedict XVI, he "drew us in" further when we discovered his soulful love of cats and Mozart and sealed the deal when we learned that the dictatorial left was apoplectic.
Update: Screenshot from Fox News.
No caption necessary.
Update II: "He's saying good and important things and irritating the right people" says our beloved sub rosa blog buddy Binah of Kavanna. He and ourselves both were brought up as Unitarians. He then embraced Judaism, and we are still agnostic, even as we are in thrall to the pope that loves cats and Mozart.
Update III: Bloggers are irritating the right people at Dr. Sanity's Carnival of the Insanities.