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If the Pope dies.......

Old Aug 21st, 2004, 03:18 AM
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If the Pope dies.......

Not to be morbid - - but the news seems to indicate that the Pope may be in grave health these days. We are headed to Rome on Sept. 23 - Oct 1. If and when a Pope dies - - how does it affect Rome and the tourist trade? I have read that the Vatican museums, the Basiclica and the Scavi would be closed! Closed??!!! For how long??!!
What about other things in Rome? Does the whole city go into "lock down" for a day or more? You'd have to know my history of vacation bad luck to understand my concern!!
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 04:06 AM
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That's a perfectly legitimate concern. Here's a recent thread asking the same question that already has several responses:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34521739

Have a great time in Rome.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 04:06 AM
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Dorgal, you have a very valid concern. His death could have a major impact on your plans.

It is prudent to research ahead and have some alternatives in hand. Still, Rome has enough grand attractions to ensure you have a fine trip no matter what happens.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 05:14 AM
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Try looking at it this way: If it happens during your time in Rome, you will be witness to a rare and interesting historical event. The city will fill up with cardinals from all over the world. You won't be able to enter the Sistine Chapel, but you can join the throng outside in the square to watch for smoke.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 05:19 AM
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I agree with the previous post. Plus you can buy stamps from the Vatican Post Office that are only issued between the death of the old pope and the election of the new pope. They say "Sede Vacante", meaning "Seat Vacant" and are extremely valuable. Maybe somebody will think that is morbid, but it is rather historical, especially if one is waiting for a less dogmatic church leader...
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 05:43 AM
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Thanks Patrick! Being a postal worker for 26 years - I would LOVE to get ahold of a few of those stamps!
I'm sure we could find other things to do - - but the Vatican and Scavi tour are highlights of our trip planing. But then......it would be a perfect reason to go back!
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 05:50 AM
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>You won't be able to enter the Sistine Chapel, but you can join the throng outside in the square to watch for smoke.<

They allow smoking in the Sistine Chapel?
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 05:52 AM
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I just got my Scavi reservations confirmed, will be there 2 weeks from today. I certainly hope the old gent can hang on until after my visit, but if he is needed elsewhere, well, I will have to make the best of it. Have a great trip. It is certainly possible that the Sede Vacante stamps are for sale in some of the many souvenir shops in the area from the interim periods between Paul VI and John Paul I / John Paul I and John Paul II.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 06:03 AM
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This is probably even more morbid, but I'd love to be in Rome when it happens, for the reasons Karen W states.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 06:52 AM
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Two years ago, I had the privelege to be seated in the VIP section of the Holy Father's Wednesday Audience. He was so close I felt I could actually reach out and touch him. At the conclusion of the audience, and after he had been driven around the top of the steps of St. Peters right in front of us, I turned to a man sitting next to me and we both commented that it would be a miracle if he was alive in the next 6 months. Well, those 6 months have passed now four times, and he is still alive. Sadly, he will die someday, but I think he has a strong will to live that no other man can match. As sad is it would be, it would be something very special to be in Rome during the funeral and selection process of the new Pope. Don't let the possibilty of the Pope's death change your plans, just make sure you have confirmed lodging reservations. Anything that is closed on this trip, would give you an excuse to return in a year or so anyway.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 07:23 AM
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I doubt it will happen. Although he was tired in Lourdes and is in poor health, he managed to sit and speak throughout a 3 hour mass that I attended in front of St. Peters on June 29th. I couldn't believe he had that kind of stamina. It was hard enough for me to sit there the whole time, and I'm half his age.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 08:37 AM
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Ira, Aparently the convocation for electing the new Pope is held in the Sistine Chapel. Comprised of all the world's cardinals, they vote via secret ballot, the ballots are tallied and either white smoke or black smoke is somehow created by burning the ballots and released through a chimney. People in the square watch for the results of the election. As many rounds of voting are held as necessary to reach a majority vote for one individual who then becomes the new Pope. All this info from reading "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 08:55 AM
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How do they control the color of the smoke? White smoke means it is over and the new pope has been elected?
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 11:02 AM
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Various chemicals are added to the ballots to create either black or white smoke, depending on the outcome of the vote.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Traditionnally, they added wet wood or straw to get the black smoke. But since, during a recent election (Paul VI, perhaps), the smoke came grey, confusing everybody, they choose to add a properly coloured smoke-producing chemical.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 05:46 PM
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ttt
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 08:49 PM
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Unless there is a major turn for the better, the news I am reading does not give much encouragement that the Pope will live more than a few more hours.

If you are not there until Sept 23, I think a new Pope will have been announced by then.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 08:55 PM
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Bob, that post is from last year. Not sure if Dorgal knew that when it was TTT
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 08:57 PM
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Take that back, must've known as Dorgal started the thread.

Okay, time for bed! I am not thinking too well obviously.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 02:27 AM
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It's interesting that the OP date is from 8 months ago - it made me realize how long this "death watch" has been going on. I pray that his suffering ends soon. Peace.

Robyn
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