Religion: Pope's Progress

Pope John XXIII rode through cheering crowds of Romans this week to take formal possession of the cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome—the great, grey basilica of St. John Lateran. Popes in bygone times used to make the short journey across the city on horseback, which sometimes enlivened the occasion with incident: Clement XIV (1769-74), for instance, fell from his horse on dismounting, only to assure alarmed aides that he was "confusus" but not "contusus." Sixtus V (1585-90) corrected the flattering observation of an ambassador that he had "mounted easily" with the admonition: "No, we are old and heavy...

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