Friday, March 8, 2013

VATICAN DISPATCHES: Scene in an Italian restaurant

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston enjoys pizza after cardinals' meetings
Cardinal O'Malley enjoys reading newspaper on a flight to Rome.
Photo credit: Cardin
al Seán's blog

VATICAN CITYHeads up, wannabe reporters: when reporting overseas, do NOT forget your camera even when you go out for a bite.

I was warned by the concierge at my Rome hotel March 6 that the pizzeria across the street was a favourite hang-out for cardinals, but I didn't heed the warning and left my camera in my room.

"Right," I thought, "as if a prince of the Church would hang out in a crowded, homey, Italian restaurant."

But lo and behold, when I walked in and sat down, a bearded man with a brown habit was only a table away.

My brain kept saying, 'You know that man.'  And guess what? I did know his face, at least. The friar tucking into a pizza was none other than Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston.

His distinctive accent gave his identity away as he sat with other self-described "Boston pilgrims."

"We brought our dear cardinal with us," one Bostonian said.

It was nice to see a prelate with enormous responsibilities having fun after a hard day's work at the Vatican.

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