814 From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church's members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. "Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions." The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
815 What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity "binds everything together in perfect harmony." But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:
- profession of one faith received from the Apostles;
- common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;
- apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God's family.
1475 In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things." In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.
--Catechism of the Catholic Church (Emphasis mine)
From "Apostolic Penitentiary, The Gift of the Indulgence" via the Vatican (emphasis mine):
3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
—have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
—have sacramentally confessed their sins;
—receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
—pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.
An indulgence, which can be applied to either oneself or to the souls in purgatory, requires one to pray for the intentions of the Pope. The bond of charity which unites the communion of saints is the same that unites the pilgrim Church. There is no division between the charity shared by the saints in heaven and the charity that must run in the body of Christ, His pilgrim Church.
If this is not so, then an indulgence could not be applied to the souls in purgatory. If charity is the "perennial link" that exists between the faithful in heaven, purgatory, and in the pilgrim Church, then praying for the intentions of the Pope is a work that is of high importance in being a Catholic. In the highest prayer of the Church, the Holy Mass, the priest prays "...together with your servant Francis our Pope..."
Together with: unity in the love of Christ. Charity is the bond of unity, of which praying for the Pope is both a work towards edifying and maintaining unity, as well as an immediate consequence and fruit of unity, in the same manner that "as one acts and does, so he believes", and not, "I believe, and then I get to do some random acts as proof".
It is in the same manner of, "nobody is able to say, 'Jesus is Lord' except in the Holy Spirit." And, "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me." And, "Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."
These take the bearing of resemblance to be the essence. Likewise, this is at the heart of what we call penance: "...in this sense doing penance is completed by bringing forth fruits worthy of penance."
In other words, the act of praying for the Pope is not an optional addition. It is a fruit and consequence of being in communion with the Church, which is united in charity. It belongs to the order of charity which is the perennial link in the unity of the Church; so much so, that the Church makes praying for the Pope one of the requirements to be fulfilled in gaining an indulgence - which, to remind, operates in the above-mentioned unity between Pilgrim Church, Purgatory, and the Saints in Heaven.
"I was simply numb, and felt crestfallen. For me the hardest thing has been an inability to pray for Francis as Pope ever since. It might be scrupulosity on my part, but my intellect and my heart just can't be convinced he is Pope.
I remember exactly where I was and who I was with when Ratzinger was elected, and the sense of jubilation at the time, which in hindsight I feel was well deserved.
Not this time." --Comment from "BrianK" in Steve Skojec's combox
"I am a devotee, as many are, of the DIVINE MERCY. In Saint Faustina's diary, Our Lord asks her to pray 33 Blood and Water prayers for The Holy Father's intentions. I had done so for 20 years, but I stopped with Bergoglio. There are several back-stories, speculations, etc..as to why Benedict quit. In January of that year, the false mystics of Medjugorge were in Rome openly saying they would divulge secrets about Benedict, if, as expected, he forbid, under penalty of sin, any cooperation with this billion-dollar/occult fraud. I suppose I was hoping that Benedict could force the hand of God and Peter Romanus would be given us, the last great Roman Pontiff..." --Comment from "Joseph Dreamcoat" in Steve Skojec's combox
When Pope Francis, just elected, came out onto the loggia, he asked the crowds, everyone watching in fact, the whole Church, to pray for him, just as Popes have done previously. He bowed before God after asking the people to pray to God to bless him. Actually, I believe there is even an indulgence attached to the Pope's blessing from the loggia upon being elected, that his blessing extends even to those who are not present in St. Peter's square but are watching on television. The bond of unity.
"I got the creeps. And my reaction, in all honesty, was "man of perdition". I do not say he is that, or that I have not tried to squelch my own negative reaction. I just say gat was the inner word I felt when he stepped out onto that balcony and surveyed the scene. He looked like one who calmly assessed the crowd he would rule.
Like I said, I do not say that is what he is. But that was, honestly, my strong and immediate reaction. I felt strongly gist we were in trouble." --Comment from "Thetimman" in Steve Skojec's combox
Steve Skojec replies to the above comment with:
"'He looked like one who calmly assessed the crowd he would rule.'
Yes. Or eat them. It's hard to say how you can see so much in a blank face, but there was something disturbingly triumphant in it."
Oh, there' so much more where that came from. You're well aware of it I'm sure.
Funny way for Catholics to greet the election of a new Pope.
You will know them by their fruits.
First impressions rule only when people want them to. Especially when you're projecting your present feelings into the past to colour your precious "first impression".
Or perhaps they really did have those first impressions because out of lack of charity, and not being in union with the prayers of the Church which united Catholics the world over on that drizzly night - prayers led by the newly-elected head of the Church, the Pope - they made themselves ripe pickings for the Devil and his instigations? Perhaps the spiritual lines were being drawn from square one - literally, from St. Peter's square? If Pope Francis is a holy man and a God-send, then the Devil surely would have some cunning wiles to attack him, and thus the unity of the Church, right?
Or I guess being in the unity of prayer with the head of the Church that night was papolatry?
Yes, funny way for Catholics to greet the election of a new Pope. And for them to continue it onward and to propagate on their world-wide blogs.
By their fruits you will know them.
Be blessed, Papa Francisco! Amen!
Yes, and as can be seen in that video, there are always those who, unexpected and unlooked for, expiate and repair for the sins of others "well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others". As can be seen in that video, though unknowingly done, reparation for the division caused to the Body of Christ - division caused by Catholics who attack the Pope on their world-wide social media - finds willing takers in the Pentecostals. Existential peripheries. The wind blows where it will. Perhaps one day they will be Catholics on fire, and entering into the heavenly kingdom before many learned others.