A last-minute no-show by Pope Francis at a concert where he was to have been the guest of honor has sent another clear signal that he is going to do things his way and does not like the Vatican high life.
The gala classical concert on Saturday was scheduled before his election in March. But the white papal armchair set up in the presumption that he would be there remained empty.
Minutes before the concert was due to start, an archbishop told the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries that an “urgent commitment that cannot be postponed” would prevent Francis from attending.
The prelates, assured that health was not the reason for the no-show, looked disoriented, realizing that the message he wanted to send was that, with the Church in crisis, he – and perhaps they – had too much pastoral work to do to attend social events.