The Joy of Rome

Robert Royal reflects here on his few days in Rome as a commentator for EWTN at the double canonization this weekend.

As the events of the canonizations wound down this weekend, one of the most remarkable things about the atmosphere in Rome was not the usual Church politics of left and right, progressives and conservatives. It was the outpouring of a universal Catholicity that seemed to unite the two popes being canonized, the two living popes concelebrating – and to transcend all merely passing differences.

It’s good for us to remember this universal quality of the Church – the Church that has adherents in far-flung lands and that is able to draw even its highest leadership from countries as diverse as Italy, Germany, Poland, and Argentina.

This observation is excellent because it reminds us that for millions of ordinary Catholics the division that the members of the press love to talk about: the clash between conservatives and progressives is not very important. For most Catholics distinctions between left and right don’t matter. They are Catholics because they love the Lord Jesus and the Catholic Church brings them into the fullest of communion with him.

Especially during this time of Easter joy we focus on this fact: it’s not about church politics, progressive agenda or conservative anger. It’s about following the Master with joy, with zeal and with open hearts.