Religion: On the Roads to Rome

Vatican workmen readied the ancient stage for the largest consistory in all the long centuries of the Church. Along the giant cornice high in St. Peter's nave, 100 of them walked surefooted, hanging draperies that would backdrop the venerable rites. Below them wooden stands, red-cloth covered, were going up so that the privileged public might witness the ceremonial high point. Carpet-layers were at work. The Pope's throne and the cardinals' chairs were put in place.

In the Hall of Benedictions, a long, corridor-like room with gold-ornamented walls and ceiling, the "imposition of the biretta"...

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