Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Priest, Two Popes and Lots of Guns

Tuesday, October 2, 2007






I’m not Catholic, but I admit to being intrigued by the pageantry and pomp and circumstance surrounding much of what they do. The garb and the processions and the majesty of it all. I find that kind of stuff interesting. Besides, Baltimore, like Boston and Los Angeles, is such a Catholic town that us non-Catholics can’t help but to know what’s going on in their world. Hell, the City of Baltimore (1729) barely pre-dated the Diocese of Baltimore (1789).

Anyway, the Archdiocese of Baltimore installed Edwin F. O’Brien as the 15th Archbishop of Baltimore yesterday and it was a sight to see. Streets around the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (is this not the longest church name on earth?) were closed, traffic was diverted, police were perched on street corners with guns, local news helicopters were in the air, and hoards of priests were parading through the streets [insert requisite 'quick, hide the little boys' joke here]. I honestly though the President (or somebody like that) was in town.

Baltimore catholics go off for their religion. I remember thousands and thousands of people lining the streets for Pope John Paul II's visit in the mid-90's. It was an absolute mess. A traffic nightmare. It took 2 hours for my mom and I to drive from the eastside to the westside. Usually, that ride takes 45 minutes....and that's with traffic.

Apparently, I should get ready for that to happen again as the Vactician finalizes plans for Pope Benedict XVI first US Papal visit in April 08. I won't be alone though. In addition to Baltimore, the Pope could also be visiting Boston, New York, Philly and Washington.

4 comments:

yet another black guy said...

pomp and pageantry are exactly why i don't subscribe to organized religion. that said, i'm still a bit curious to some of the rituals.

Kensilo said...

Get your religion on!

ReggieH said...

Actually, the Basilica is downtown (across from us at the Central Library). The pageantry was out at The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen off Northern Parkway. And I was part of that crowd for John-Paul II when he was at Camden Yards - it's not everyday you get to see The PopeMobile on Pratt Street!

The new Pope was invited to attend the reopening of the Basilica but didn't. Had no idea he might be making a visit next year. You're right it'll be a mad house if he comes here.

Michael said...

I'm a recovering Catholic myself.

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