More was the theme of the weekend in Rome. There are more pilgrims, more media and on Saturday the local firefighters added more pipe to extend the Sistine Chapel chimney so the smoke could be more visible to the world.
I stopped by the EWTN perch overlooking Vatican City Saturday. There I met Jane Adolphe who serves in the office of the Vatican Secretariat of State. She was about go on camera with Ashley McGuire of The Catholic Association to talk about the role of women in the Catholic Church.
With the world’s attention on the Church, those demanding changes in Church teachings have been handed a media platform. Ashley and Jane did a great job talking about how the Church honors and respects women.
In fact Ashley had an opinion piece in the Washington Post titled; Are women already running the Catholic Church?
I found this quote enlightening; “The Vatican, whose workforce is approximately 40 percent female, has a very progressive maternity leave policy, allowing women paid leave beginning two months before their due date and allowing them a year of paid leave after birth. When the women return, they are allowed to create a “milk schedule” so that they can structure their hours around their nursing needs.
By contrast, the United States only ensures that women cannot be fired for becoming pregnant and mandates that women who have given birth be granted a certain period of “disability” leave and mandates that a woman’s job be held for her for three months.”
Sunday, Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, DC celebrated Mass at San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains). The basilica is home to the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. The chains are kept in a glass case under the main altar. If that wasn’t enough, just a few paces away sits Michelangelo’s statue of Moses. I promised I waited until Mass ended to take these photos.
One more day of preparation before the Conclave kicks off on Tuesday. Do you have a favorite among the Papabili? Will there be an American Pope? Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle received a much early attention. Lately the trio of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Cardinal Angelo Scola seem to be getting a lot of attention.
New Advent has a neat graphic. It’s NOT a poll. They “rank the 115 Cardinal according to a “buzz.” The score is based on a cardinal’s relative influence and visibility, and adjusted daily based on Google search activity in various languages (see Google Trends).” It’s pretty ingenious.
I hope you continue to pray to the Holy Spirit.