Peter’s Toes


In the Middle Ages, pilgrims who made the arduous trip to Rome to visit St. Peter’s Basilica gazed with fondness and awe upon a larger-than-life bronze statue of St. Peter.  The statue, sculpted by Arnolfo di Cambio in the 13th century, depicted the first pope—his right hand extended to confer a blessing, while his left hand clutched the keys of the Kingdom, holding them close to his heart.But for many pilgrims who snaked, single-file, into the great Basilica, it was Peter’s feet that captur … [Read more...]

How a Pope Is Elected

Habemus Papam at the Council of Constance

As Pope Benedict prepares to step down from the papacy on February 28, we look ahead to the Conclave which will determine who will lead the Church into the future.Vatican Insider, an on-line publication of the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa, has produced an excellent multimedia tutorial, showing us just how it’s done.  This may clear up some of the confusion which is likely in the interregnum, the period after February 28 when the Chair of Peter is vacant, and before the Cardinal Pr … [Read more...]

THE CHAIR OF KATHY: From Which I Ponder the Chair of Peter, and Its Significance in the History of the Church

Chair of Kathy

Here is my chair.  It is where I sit, watching the soup pot and watching the birds, and pondering the mysteries of the universe.Today I’ve been thinking about the Chair of Peter, the feast of which we celebrate on February 22.“A feast for a chair?” you ask. Yep.  You see, Peter wasn’t just any old apostle.  Oh, sure, he made a lot of mistakes.  (Pretending not to know Jesus, when approached by that woman at the fire after Jesus’ arrest, was a BIG mistake!)  He was impulsive and blust … [Read more...]