Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The mysterious sign of Jonah

"Extra Omnes." But Michelangelo Will Be Voting, Too

The microculture typical of the conclave. The effect of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel upon the cardinal electors. The mysterious sign of Jonah

by Sandro Magister

ROME, March 12, 2013 – This afternoon, the 115 cardinals who will elect the pope will make their solemn entrance into the Sistine Chapel.

The place in which the conclave will be carried out is unique in the world. And the frescoes upon which the eyes of the cardinal electors will fall will have an effect on them that is also unique.

As Joseph Ratzinger recognized in recalling the conclaves in which he participated:

"I know well how we were exposed to those images in the hours of the great decision, how they called us to task, how they insinuated into our souls a sense of the greatness of the responsibility. The word "con-clave" brings forward the thought of the keys, of the heritage of the keys left to Peter. To place these keys in the right hands: this is the immense responsibility in those days.”

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