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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pope as liturgical tone setter

Austin Lipari watched clips of Pope Francis’s inaugural Mass on Tuesday like a detective spotting clues.

The music? Classic, but not ornate — the type that could be sung by a regular parish choir. Pope Francis’s clothing? A bit simpler than what Pope Benedict wore.

Gallery

Pope Francis: Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, is the first pontiff from South America. Here is a look at the Catholic leader.

To traditional Catholics like Lipari, who saw Benedict’s revival of ancient and grand worship styles as key to preserving Catholicism, a new, unknown pope is a bit nerve-racking. Particularly one known for a simple, modern approach.

“We’re still figuring this guy out,” said the 26-year-old Catholic University law school student. “There’s a feeling that the progress we made [under Benedict] was hard-won, and people don’t want to lose the gains they’ve made. A Pope is a tone-setter.”

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