Roma IV

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Roma, Wednesday, 10 Sept
On Wednesday we started the day be visiting the Church of Saint Clement. It’s an interesting church in that it is actually a church built on ancient byzantine church, built on the sight of a “home” where the Eucharist was first celebrated. The home is also next to a ancient pagan temple. This one site reveals a synopsis of the history of the Church and of Rome.
From there we went off to St. John in the Lateran which is the Cathedral of Rome. It is here that St. Francis came to see Pope Innocent III and who approved the Rule and Life of the friars. This oral approval of the Rule of St. Francis was given in 1208. This year is our 800 anniversary as an Order.
We then went to the Spanish steps to look around and for a late panino for lunch.
That night we met up with some of the same friends I saw in Assisi who were now in Rome. They got caught by the failure of Zoom Airlines and were waiting to find a way home to Canada. It was good to see them and we enjoyed a nice meal at Da Mario.

Roma, Thursday, 11 Sept
Today we walked to the Trevi fountain for this remarkable work of art and water! I had to visit my father’s favourite gelato store for some kiwi gelato. It was pretty good. A  couple of years ago, when I was here with some youth I was able to take my nephew Tony to this same gelateria!
We then walked to the Capuchin church of the bones! It’s a church that has a crypt full of the bones of friars arranged in various decorations and positions. It’s quite gross in my opinion. They did this supposedly because there was no room for them in the cemetery. I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem right.
We also visit St. Mary Major, another one of the great Basilicas of Rome.  There we saw some people in strange outfits… like out of Alice in Wonderland. It’s a pious association known as the Heralds of the Gospel. They were these very elaborate uniforms with knee-high leather boots.  It almost looks like a Mel Brooks take on religious life. Very strange… and not a very happy looking group of people. Then we made our way to the Catacombs of St. Calista where we had a tour and celebrated mass. We prayed in a special way for all victims of violence on this 11th of September.
Friday 12
Fr. George gave us an amazing  tour of St. Peter’s Basilica.  We had headsets so that he could speak softly and could hear him. The church was quite full of people and so it was difficult to move about at times. No matter how many times you go there, it is always impressive to visit that church, if alone for the size! The beauty and majesty are amazing. Fr. George pointed out many interesting facts including the tombs of Queen Bridgit of Sweden, who abdicated her throne to become a Catholic and the tombs of the Royal Stewarts who were also Catholic.  We also got to see the tomb of  Blessed Pope John XXIII which was moved up to the main floor of the basilica for easy access of the faithful.
We had lunch at a local trattoria and then some time for shopping at the religious shops around the Vatican.
In the afternoon we had wonderful visit of the Scavi. These are the excavations under and around the tomb of St. Peter. There the archeologists found a necropolis, (above ground cemetery) where people came and prayed at the tomb of Peter. It is in this place where they found human bones of a man. It is presumed they are those of St. Peter, but there is no way to be sure.  It was quite fascinating.
That evening a couple invited us for dinner at Da Fortunado, a nice restaurant near the Pantheon where the U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney had dinner the night before. It was very generous of our hosts and we had a really nice meal.


  1. “Very strange… and not a very happy looking group of people.”

    Heralds of the Gospel must have just received the news that the Pope has not restored the mass to full latin;>) They are after all associated with the Diocese of Campo Limpo and I would suspect rejoined the church back in 2001(?) from the SSPX group.

  2. The Church of the Bones …. I agree that having those dead people in different positions is not the right thing …. they’re certainly not resting In Pace. It’s high time the Church authorities did something.

  3. Friar Rick & Michael,

    There is a much deeper meaning to the “church of the bones” than you suggest. The fact that you were bothered by it is part of its lesson. But this harkens back to a time when the church actually taught things in a straight forward manner. Not in the abstract with butterflies and bunny rabbits.

    I suppose that once the church does away with this church we should do something about the poor fella hanging from the cross….

    Rather than tossing off a rather simplistic criticism of this you should perhaps meditate on what this is supposed to teach you. In the era of its construction people couldn’t read and would learn their catechism from the contents of the church. Be it in the statues, paintings, murals, (no banners) or crypts. By the way Micheal did you ever get around to reading Humane Vitae as someone suggested you on another posting. Please stop airing your dislike in these pages.

  4. I am a little surprised by the polemic criticism of Heralds of the Gospel. Who are you Quickbeam to make such an uncharitable statement. Did you not read the Holy Father’s recent homilies or statements from Lourdes and Paris that specifically death with the matter of tradition and Latin?

    What kind of Catholic are you that throws out an ignorant insult to good Catholic people who might prefer Mass in Latin. Who are you to accuse them of being schismatic and part of the SSPX when at the consecration of their new church it was clearly the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which I witnessed broadcast on EWTN!

    Who are you to mock the SSPX when the Pope has asked in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum for an “interior reconciliation?”

    Just as when Archbishop Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments said that those bishops in the world thwarting theHoly Father’s legislation in SP are doing the “work of Satan” so are you in your ignorant, vile, polemic and gross statements on good Catholic people.

    I suppose you believe that Opus Dei is a conspiracy too!

    You read Dan Brown and Oprah too much my friend. I suggest you substitute it with Teresa of Avila.

    Perhaps, you should go to Sandra Magister here

    and read everything the Holy Father said about liturgy and beauty and Latin just last weekend while in France.

    While you’re at it, you might wish to reflect on your lack of a Catholic heart and basic Christian caritas to others within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    As for the bones, is all you desire a happy, clappy church in your image?

    Who cares what you think of them bones!

    Perhaps you might consider the cathedral at Otranto which has 800 skulls of men who lost their necks that day rather than submit to the diabolical forces of the Mohammedans. Their skulls are relics lining the sanctuary walls from floor to ceiling proclaiming loudly their fidelity to Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    “And turning to the Christians, Primaldo spoke these words: ‘My brothers, until today we have fought in defense of our homeland, to save our lives, and for our earthly governors; now it is time for us to fight to save our souls for our Lord. And since he died on the cross for us, it is fitting that we should die for him, remaining firm and constant in the faith, and with this earthly death we will earn eternal life and the glory of martyrdom.’ At these words, all began to shout with one voice and with great fervor that they wanted to die a thousand times, by any sort of death, rather than renounce Christ.”…from the Roman Martyrology.

    If it were not for Antonio Primaldo who is recorded in the Roman Martyrology, all of you would be bowing to Mecca. For it was Otranto that delayed long enough the Mohammedan invasion which allowed Don Juan and the others to come together to finally defeat them with the help of Our Lady of Victory (the Rosary) at Lepanto.

    You can read about it here:

    Pax vobiscum!

  5. I think you are very mistaken about the Heralds of the Gospel. They have nothing to do with SSPX. In fact I heard they are at odds with those rad-trads because they tend to be conservative without being rad-tradish. I have never heard they celebrate in the EF. I know they seem like they are very serious. I thought so too. They are serious in their religious life but still very kind when you talk to them.
    I don’t think they have any wierd ties since the Pope seems to have made the founder a monsignor of St. Mary Major. Any one got news about this?

  6. It is always good to get good infos before giving an opinion to the world. The Heralds are not members of a circus. Take a look at their website, their blog, even the Vatican website… just an idea.

  7. I find it sad that there should be such a polemical diatrabe against an Association of Pontifical Right known as the Heralds of the Gospel. Perhaps you think the same of my Fourth Degree Brothers in the Knights of Columbus. I am only a First Degree myself, so I don’t get to dress up for a Mel Gibson movie.

    As for your comments on the bones, you show such an ignorance of history Friar that I have a hard time believing it.

    Perhaps while you are in Italy you could visit Otranto and visit the cathedral wherein are 800 skulls surrounding the sanctuary. Skulls of those who chose to lose their heads for Christ at the scimitars of the Mohammedans then submit to that Satanic cult.

    If not for them and their skulls, victory at Lepanto would have not been possible.

  8. Friar seems not to like anything he is not.

    Bad thing. Esspecially in Rome. You’ll get put in your place faster than you can say mi scusi . Even bishops who stroll in here like they do in their diocese get bit hard.

  9. Karl,

    There may be a deeper meaning as you say … I am certainly not contesting that …. So please tell me what is the Church trying to teach me by keeping the skeletons of those poor souls in all possible postures … In practically all religions believers use phrases and sentences such as: “Rest in Peace” …. “His/Her body was laid to rest” …etc … and in that chapel, after years of hard work, they are still forced to stand …. and I personally do not find this as being very civilised. Or maybe is this a way to attract visitors …. if *yes* then it’s of very bad taste. I would certainly not take my children to such a place.

    Point two: Why am I not allowed to air my dislike on these pages? I am a free man living in democratic Europe. You have, with due respect, no right to say such a thing to me.

  10. Dear Vox Cantor,

    You seem to be mixing up everything in your message. What have the bones to do with a “clappy Church”? Re Opus Dei …. well they’re not saints are they? Be honest. Have you read any books on the Opus Dei movement by any chance? I don’t think you have.

    One question which has been in my mind for quite some time now …. I was wondering why you hadn’t written your note in Latin so that we could all get a deeper knowledge of the message you wished to convey.

    Take care

  11. It’s a good “punching” of ideas. Who wins? Everybody. That’s the beauty in living in a “democratic” country and Church. I am enjoying reading without making any contributions for I might add to the confusion…. Thanks to all!!!

  12. Michael,

    I don’t think that you could quite appreciate the subtleties of any explanation I may offer on the bones. You seem to be acting with a certain contempt for all things Catholic and leveragine your credibility on your brothers vocation. I won’t play into your games. By the way I haven’t read the Da Vinci code. I heard it wasn’t that great. However I do feel the best way to get to know something is to learn about it first hand. To rely on heresay and conjecture is pure ignorance. I do believe that the founder of Opus Dei is a St. I have family members in the organization. So I do know something about it. They are a bit different I will admit from progressive liberal Franciscans.

  13. I wonder if this Friar will take down all our comments that are against him. I hope he realizes that coming to Rome and critizizing like that can only be done by people who are actually worth something. No offense, but some random canadian trying to mouth off is more like the american tourists here that say the dumbest things.
    And I’m from the US so I can say that.
    I’ve never been a tourist in Rome, nor am I dumb so I guess I can say that without feeling bad.
    And the Church is very rich in charisms and expressions of faith. The church of bones on the Lungotevere happens to be a really nice church. I mean if there is only one gothic church in Rome it has to be nice.

    No one makes fun of you for running around in a rag colored tunic with a flag with a maple leaf in Rome, so I think you should not make fun of people and churches alot more important than you.

    God bless.

  14. Karl,

    You have the right to say whatever you wish on the bones and I have the right to say that those dead people are not resting in peace. Just makes me feel uneasy. Contempt for all things Catholic ?… no you must be joking … how long have you known me to use the word *all* , I wonder … I never mentioned the Da Vinci Code …it’s you who did that. I just advised you to read a bit what people have written about the OD, written by people who were in and who are, Deo Gratias out. If books have been published, then there must be a reason, a feeling of uneasiness ….. Personally I’d rather opt for progressive liberals, be they Franciscans, Lazarists or Jesuits.

  15. Enough guyssss!!!!! You are very noisy. I cannot sleeppppp.

    You are like siblings fighting over something without parents to “referee.”

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