I was struck by, and agreed with, Amy Welborn's post on reactions to Pope Francis and the sense in which they tie in with our feelings about Pope Benedict. (As I was reading down the post and the comments it also struck me that as we were all adjusting to the end of John Paul II's pontificate and the beginning of Benedict's, it was Amy Welborn's comboxes over at Open Book where I'd discuss things with other online Catholics. That was prior to my starting my blog.)
I want to write more about the beginning of Francis's papacy when I have a little more time, but one thing that has struck me as I examine my own excitement about every story that comes out about Pope Francis (and read the excitement of others via the semi-stream-of-consciousness of people's Facebook reactions) is that there is something deeply appealing to the human person about monarchy. As a Catholic, I find myself joyful at the new pope simply because he is the new pope. Not because I think there was something lacking in prior popes. I felt the same deep attachment to John Paul II and to Benedict XVI. I was excited that John Paul II hiked and skied. I was excited that Benedict XVI kept cats and played Mozart. I am excited that Francis rode in the bus with the rest of the cardinals and dropped by his old hotel in person to pay his bill. It's not that I prefer one pontif's personality to another, I simply enjoy "getting to know" these deeply holy men who lead our Church on earth.