What exquisite threads the Pope has:
In the AP photo to the left, the Pope is standing next to Turkey's president (I believe it's Ahmet Necdet Sezer ). Full-length white camel hair, beautiful. Love the red Prada shoes peeking out!
Yesterday we saw a picture of the Pope with Ali Bardakoglu, head of religious affairs in Turkey. His threads were quite fine as well (photo below). Ali made a number of blunt (one might say say rude) statements before the Pope arrived, including suggesting that Pope Benedict should not visit Turkey.
I watched EWTN, the Catholic cable channel which is covering the Papal visit, for a short while today. Pope Benedict was in Ephesus today, visiting a shrine to Mary and celebrating Mass. According to local legend, Mary lived her last few years there. It was so moving! The place was packed, there were security people everywhere, but the people there were thrilled, they were singing songs and Alleluia, mothers handed their babies up to be held by Papa Ratzi, people were smiling and looking absolutely joyous.
"A closely watched moment of the trip will come Thursday during Benedict's visit to Haghia Sophia, a 1,500-year-old site that was originally a Byzantine church and then turned into a mosque after the Muslim conquest of Istanbul - then known as Constantinople - in 1453. It is now a museum, and Turks would take offense at any religious gestures by the pontiff, who also plans to visit the nearby Blue Mosque. In 1967, Pope Paul VI fell to his knees in prayer, touching off protests by Turks claiming he violated the secular nature of the domed complex. In 1979, Pope John Paul II made no overt religious signs during his visit. "
I'd bet big money that Papa Ratzi will pray there. As The Anchoress suggests, it's a good time to pray for the Pope and the President.