As soon as he was settled on the Sedes Petri and had drafted his Christmas allocution to the Curia on their Seventeen Vices, PF sent a letter to his new nominees to the College of Cardinals ... telling them to receive their new status in a way "far from any expression of worldliness or from any form of celebration contrary to the evangelical spirit of austerity, sobriety, and poverty".
The memory of this came back to me when I read Traditionis custodes ... especially the bit about new priests, ordained after July 16 2021, not being permitted to say their First Mass ... or any of their Masses ... in the Usus Authenticus.
You see, hanging up here in my study I have this year's Papa Stronsay Calendar, which, for August, shows Father Martin Mary saying his First Mass (which, of course, happened last year).
It must be something like a decade or more since a group of the Transalpine Redemptorists, as we then called them, turned up at my house next to S Thomas's in Oxford. Sadly, I was out; Pam dispensed hospitality, and a few years later I had the inestimable privilege of spending some days on Papa Stronsay. And, when I said my First Mass "In Full Communion" at that joyous pietra dura Lady Altar in the Brompton Oratory, there, to serve it, I had ... You've guessed!! ... but, sadly, the restaurant we rejoiced in afterwards is no more ...
Surely, it is a natural human instinct to celebrate New Beginnings ... so natural a human joy that it stretches far beyond the bounds of Christianity. We all know that, after the initial glee, days may come when the sun does not shine quite so brightly. But Rites of Passage ineluctably draw forth Celebration. Baptisms and the Bar Mitzvah; First Communions; Confirmations; Weddings; Professions; Ordinations; First Masses; Passing Out Parades; the winning of General Elections ...
... perhaps they even draw forth "wine to gladden the heart of man", as the psalmist suggested. Horace wouldn't have contradicted him!
Human Beings, Christian or non-Christian, will not normally or naturally respond to such occasions in a "spirit of austerity, sobriety, and poverty". Unless they are rigid followers of the present Holy Father!
After the Conclave of 2005, even such a shy retiring academic as Benedict XVI hurried out onto the balcony, cheerfully dressed and with a beaming smile, receiving and sharing the joy of the crowds awaiting the appearance and Blessing of their new Pope.
But PF ... well, we soon learned that the Carnival was, indeed, over.
Carni vale was Laetitiae vale.