not criticising Papa Francesco for missing the concert on Saturday night, June 22nd. Some more conservative Catholics are up in arms that Francis suddenly scarpered before a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
In a blog for The Catholic Herald, I sympathise with the musicians who prepared for the honour of performing for the Pope, but were disappointed.
But I also argue that passing up an evening of sublime music, and fulfilling his 'urgent' commitments is in line with Pope Francis' character and his life choices. As a bishop in Argentina, he could have gone to glittering parties, but chose to visit AIDS victims and keep them company, or help in a soup kitchen.