From Christian Weisner in Rome
Today is the International Women's Day. In the morning Martha and I had the last briefing together. Change.org might start an international campaign with us about the main tasks of the next pope. Then Martha left for her home in Austria. At the moment I'm the last of IMWAC's team in Rome. I read in the news what the journalists wrote about our event yesterday evening and answered requests from other journalist who will come to Rome in the next few days.
It is still raining in Rome. At St. Peters Basilica a discovered that the pilgrims and tourists walk over the plaque which commemorates Pope John XXIII and the date of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.
At noon I went to the Vatican's press office Sala Stampa. I'm not an accredated journalist but I wanted to meet there some friendly journalists who I know. Just by chance the German television recognised me and asked me what we, the People of God, would want the next Pope to do first. I said the usual arguments. In the afternoon I just dropped in into an Orthodox liturgy - and enjoyed the richness of Chistian liturgies with a nice Choir, candles, and incense.
Tonight the Vatican announced that the Cardinals will start the Conclave on Tuesday. Now the date is fixed we have to plan for our second presentation which unfortunately will be without Anthony Padovano and Michael Walsh who already had to leave for home, but Martha will come back. Could it be seen as a slight sign of change that the Cardinals announced the date for the Conclave on the International Women's Day???
Elfriede Harth comments:
"It is indeed an additional good omen to announce the opening of the Conclave on International Women's Day. I am sure that things will continue changing. If you look back you will realize how many things have changed! We are at a cross roads and the current crisis bears lots of chances. So our presence (visibility) in Rome and elsewhere and our voices now are particularly important. I am further convinced that many diverging voices are better than one single strong voice. The Catholic faith community is like an orchestra that has largely learned to play on their own interpreting the symphony of the Good News. A large variety of instruments play different roles in that symphony. We are expecting a new director for this orchestra to be appointed soon - and hopefully he (no she possible for the moment! - unless...... a miracle would happen! -) he will be able to play this marvellous instrument that an Orchestra constitutes.... But a director without the orchestra.... is nobody!"