Papal Audience

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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. IMG_1156

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.

 

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