Well, this morning it was off to the Questura, which is where you get the authorization to stand somewhere with stuff. The good news is that it wasn’t the sort of place that is run by government pencil-pushers, it was mostly cops and it was quite efficient. So I was ushered right away into an office and spoke to a person who was reasonably intelligent and capable, and within 20 minutes or less I had my authorization papers.
The bad news is that due to antiterrorism regulations, it is impossible for them to give me permission to have big bags and boxes in the area immediately surrounding St. Peter’s square, because they could have explosives in them.
No problem, when I arrive in the area, I will happily submit to having the boxes and bags searched!
Not possible. The closest we can get to the Vatican is Castel Sant’Angelo. (In case you were wondering why the Acies Ordinata protest was located there, I’d be willing to bet it’s for the same reason…)
So…that was that.
But like a river that has been dammed by a landslide, the force moving behind this project cannot be simply stopped. We have simply found other methods. Namely, getting these books by the boxload into the hands of priests and seminarians as well as Catholic tour guides.
Today my Friday Penance was to help deliver these boxes, including walking one up the hill to the North American College atop the Janiculum hill. The view of Rome from up there more than repaid me for my efforts.
Then in the afternoon we visited the Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the church of the Passionists here in Rome, where their founder, St. Paul of the Cross, died on this very day in 1775. We were treated to a tour of the room where he lived and died, and the extensive museum of relics of various Passionist saints, from St. Gabriel Possenti to Eugene Bossilkov to Gemma Galgani.
Since we were up late last night with all the excitement, we went to an evening Mass and then visited with friends while getting some much needed rest.
Tomorrow there is a pilgrimage in support of the Synod—which, from what I hear, needs all the support it can buy now—and some of our friends will be covering it so we will join them in our little ghetto of authorized space and offer them our own brand of support. We will see if they accept it.