Thursday, June 18, 2009

Letter from Rome: Under the Roman Sun

insidethevatican - Jun 18, 2009

Much is happening in Rome: the departure of Archbishop Ranjith and the arrival of American theologian Augustine Di Noia in the liturgy Congregation have been officially announced; the Pope has issued a letter on the Year of the Priest, which begins tomorrow; the embattled editor of the Osservatore Romano has defended himself; Benedict has changed his doctor, while he continues to write his second book on Jesus; and I have spent a wonderful day with my son, Christopher, who just passed through the Eternal City on his way to Russia...

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

Rome is peaceful this week, even as the Vatican "wraps up" the year of work in preparation for summer. So there are many things to report, but I thought I'd start with the most important to me: I just experienced a shining morning with my son, Christopher, who visited Rome for a day, after long absence. He was en route from the United State to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he will spend the summer studying the Russian language. Now he has gone, and the internet in our office is down, so here I am sitting in a cafe on the via delle Fornaci, just 100 yards from the Vatican, with my laptop, writing this newsflash...

Two days ago, Christopher, who is 19 and has been attending college in America, arrived with his fellow scholar, Will. After I picked them up at the airport, we walked at night through the old city, and ate at Mario's in Trastevere just before midnight.

Yesterday morning, we were able to go into the Vatican, where I had a brief meeting, and to see the hall of maps, which runs along the terza loggia (where the Secretariat of State is), and go out on the balcony overlooking the square. There we stood, in the blazing morning sun, silent at the scene spread out below.

The Pope was holding his general audience in a colorful, crowded square. (Years ago, when Christopher was just a year old, and his head a mass of yellow curls, we once met Joseph Ratzinger on the square, and the Pope picked Christopher up and held him.)


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