I think it was a Wednesday. We were in Rome and I said we had to have an audience with the Pope. Needless to say, it wasn’t a private one.
Once a week the Pope comes out to meet the masses who gather. It was 2009, so the Pope was Benedict XVI. It was a hot, sunny July day, and we go there early to get a good seat. I don’t remember bringing water, but maybe we weren’t allowed to bring it through security. I don’t remember the security either, which means it was less intrusive than your average airport.
When Benedict came out he circled St. Peter’s Square in the “Popemobile” so that people could get a relatively closeup view (like a rock concert there were big screens by the stage) before he gave his message. he was almost close enough to touch at one point, though I think the security detail would have taken a dim view of anyone who tried that. As I recall, he spoke in six different languages. It was a simple message, not theologically challenging, which may be why I don’t remember any of it. It wasn’t a long message, but I do remember that by the time he had finished we had been in the hot sun for a couple of hours and were feeling dehydrated. That was one of the drawbacks of getting there early.
I took a few pictures, though I wasn’t thinking of photography. I was more absorbing the place and thinking of the history in being at that location. St. Peter’s Basilica is a relatively new building, but there has been a church in that location in some form or another for at least 1,700 years. That makes the 1,000 year old church I was in last Sunday seem like new construction.
Anyway, just a few pictures of that visit, one that involved a mix of tradition and modernity.