The Leonine Throne, or the Throne of the Second Vatican Council or as some might call it the Throne of Continuity made another appearance. The Pope exchanged Christmas greetings with the memebers of the College of Cardinals resident in Rome yesterday. I just wonder what they say:
Cardinal, "Are you doing anything special for Christmas Holy Father?
Pope, "Ah, the usual the Christmas thing, I'll go to Church, as it its Christmas, but really it'll be the normal quiet time".
2nd Cardinal, "I'm getting a scaletrix do want to ome around play with it on Boxing Day? Cardinal Daneels is getting a new bike."
3rd Cardinal, "What I want for Christmas is my own Dicastery, I have been very good".
There is a report of his speech here.
You know, that chair makes a lot of appearances these days in a lot of different places; it must be a struggle to move it from one location to another. Wouldn't it be simpler to mount it on a platform with some handy carrying poles? They could save time by the Holy Father sitting in it while they are doing so. Time and motion studies would recommend it.
After all, we are all trying to live simply these days.
Oh, and think of the carbon footprint of those popemobiles!
Did appreciate your 'imagined conversation' - It's great to start the day with a laugh! Thank you father!
If you want to know something about how the Holy Father spends Christmas, German magazine "Focus" talked to his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger (http://www.focus.de/panorama/welt/georg-ratzinger_aid_230472.html), and there is an article in "Südtirol online" (http://www.stol.it/nachrichten/artikel.asp?ArtID=105912&p=4&KatID=e&SID=10002759904281384208). Msgr. Georg will only join his brother on December 28th, because the Pope "has to work at Christmas", and then stay until his 84th birthday on January 15th. The pope will give his brother an electric foot warmer.
In the living room of the appartamento the candles will be lit on a Christmas tree from a forest in Upper Bavaria, which was brought to Rome by Joseph Ratzinger's former private chauffeur. He also brought lots of parcels from Bavaria. Among other things, there will be [as is traditional in Germany] a plate with assorted cookies ("Plätzchen") from different Bavarian monasteries (the Pope is known to have a sweet tooth). Presents will be given (again, as is traditional in Germany) on the evening of the 24th, and the celebration will include the papal family, including the two secretaries, the valets and the "Memores Domini" consecrated women. Before handing out the presents, the Holy Father reads the Gospel according to St. Luke.
It is interesting to see that the Holy Father is not only using old furniture and vestments but some of the magnificent old rooms in the Vatican. When it is remembered that, as a small boy, he changed his mind from wanting to he a house-painter to a cardinal I expect he has been dreaming of this for most of his life.
I wonder if JPI got seasick being carried in the chair. I didn't care for that little moving staircase JPII used in his last years, but I cut him some slack -- figuring maybe he also felt he'd get seasick being carried.
As to Benedict, I expect he probably enjoys his afternoon sleep before Vespers. :-D
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