I picked this up from the intrepid Andrea Tornielli.
Apparently from tomorrow onward, Sunday, Pope Benedict will start using the moving platform used by John Paul II when it became hard for him to walk. He will do this in the Vatican Basilica tomorrow for a Mass he will celebrate.
The papal spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, says: «Non c’è nessuna malattia o indicazione di tipo medico … There is no malady or suggestion of medical nature.» Thus, we are not supposed to read too much into this. Lombardi said that this is just to alleviate some of the fatigue the octogenarian pope feels when walking long distances, particularly in heavy vestments.
What immediately occurred to me is that it might also give him a little more protection in the case of an aggressor. Sure enough, Lombardi mentioned that as well.
If they want to alleviate fatigue, make the Holy Father more visible to people and keep people from jumping out at him as has happened a couple times already, I have a similar idea.
Remember the POLL we had in 2009? The plugin for that poll is long gone, though comments remain. Let’s have another WDTPRS POLL!
Chose your best answer and then leave a comment in the combox, below, about this new development for Pope Benedict, Popes in the past, and/or the Sedia Gestatoria.
From the Holy Father’s Mass this morning:
Not exactly the Sedia Gestatoria. Since the Holy Father is not very tall, this will help him to be more visible.