Madri Pie, 29 June 2010
We're taking a break - after Mass we went to the Pontifical North American College (a seminary near the Vatican) to a reception for the three North American archbishops - besides Miami, Milwaukee and Cincinnati also got new archbishops.
The Pallium Mass was lengthy, but rather neat - most of the Mass was in Latin, but the homily and greetings were Italian. The Prayers of the Faithful were a varied collection of languages, including Korean and Vietnamese. It was fitting,though, considering the 38 new archbishops are spread throughout every populated continent except Australia (which is small enough that they probably don't need new archbishops very often).
Communion was a slightly chaotic affair - although there were quite a number of priests dispensing, spread throughout the nave, it seemed like people would still try to shove their way forward. I suppose, though, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Exiting the basilica was demonstration of that! I got separated from my family several times in the press of the crowd. Kind of embarrassing being cut off by packs of diminutive nuns, but I suppose I probably cut folks off myself trying to catch up to my family. There seem to be two kinds of people when it comes to crowd control - those who tend to queue and wait, and those who just shove their way forward without regard for others. But I suppose that's human nature.
Other than the crowd issues, it was enjoyable. On both the procession and recession, groups of folks applauded or cheered their archbishop as he passed, and of course the Holy Father was the center of attention. And of security - the rather colorful Vatican guards preceded and followed the procession, and a number of other, less conspicuous, men in suits were spaced throughout the nave, keeping people from hanging over the barrier or standing on chairs. I imagine it's a very restrictive mix, being spiritual leader of a billion people with numerous public responsibilities, combined with the necessary security protocols for a head of state.