Bella Italia– Part Six: The Pope’s Basilica


Directly behind Lateran University is the so-called Basilica of the Popes. What is even more confusing is that this is also where St. John Lateran is. This basilica is one of many many such churches in Rome. There are probably more churches per capita in Rome than in any comparably sized city in the world.
Here’s the impressive ceiling inside this basilica..

The two largest statues in this basilica are not of Popes…. not even close. They are of Constantine and Moses! What a combo….

This is in many ways odd, since Constantine was hardly the man who helped legitimize the Catholic Church. If anything he helped the Orthodox Church, setting up a capital in Constantinople in Turkey and hosting the crucial Nicean conference in Turkey.

Once again Moses has horns, due to a mistranslation of a key OT text in the Vulgate— Moses had the glory on his face, not the horns on his head says the Hebrew.

The ceiling of this basilica is not only flat, it is gilt in various places like near the low altar…

Instead of a normal high altar, instead you have a papal seat…

The aisles are long and of course made of marble…

When one goes down this corridor and exits to the right into the piazza, what do we see but another obelisk….are there any left in Egypt??


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