May 10, 2018

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. October, 2011

Our last morning in Rome and our hotel was only three blocks from a major basilica I’d never visited in all of my many trips to the Eternal Città. I had to take a little passagiata and check it out. Grand, of course. And posted outside, a sign pronouncing vergogna (shame) on those who’d earlier pissed on the church walls. Also, to my discomfort, a posted announcement inside indicating that you could download the church’s app for iPhones and iPads. Somehow that didn’t seem right. What did seem right was this decidedly low-tech posting on one of the many confessionals, listing the different languages in which confessions could be heard. (Nearby confessionals listed other languages.) It reminded me, also with some personal discomfort, of the far-reaching and long-enduring arm of Mother Church.

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