Friday, July 10, 2009

Letter from Rome, #17: Obama's Gift

insidethevatican - Jul 10, 2009

The city of Rome is waiting for the meeting today of US President Barack Obama with Pope Benedict XVI

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome


"True humanism in Christianity... true Christianity — we repeat — is the sacrifice of self for others, because of Christ, because of God. It is shown by signs; it is manifested in deeds. Christianity is sensitive to the suffering and oppression and sorrow of others, to poverty, to all human needs, the first of which is truth." —Pope Paul VI, Homily at the Mass for the Canonization of St. John Neumann, June 19, 1977

In about three hours, US President Barack Obama will arrive in the Vatican to meet Pope Benedict XVI.

The leader of the world's greatest temporal power will carry a gift for the leader of the world's greatest spiritual power.

He will drive in his limousine into Vatican City, and into the Cortile San Damaso (photo, left, taken in 1930), the little square at the very heart of the Vatican.

He will get out of his car (parked more or less where the single car in this photo is parked), go into the door at the far end of the square, and, accompanied by American Archbishop James Harvey, the head of the papal household, take the elevator up to the fourth floor.


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