I went to Rome with my mom a few years ago as part of a retreat in honor of the canonization of St. Eugene de Mazenod, the founder of the order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. My great-uncle, Father Andrew Kunz, who died when I was a little girl, was an Oblate and he was a very big deal. He was the treasurer of the Oblate order. He was also a Father What-a-Waste, a very good-looking man. Anyway, so there I was in Rome with my mom and we were at Mass in St. Peter's Square and the pope, John Paul II, was maybe 25 feet away from me. I don't really know how far away he was, because I was so distracted. The reason I was distracted was, there was this pervy guy pressing up against me in the crowd. At first I thought he had wanted to look over my shoulder at my prayer book but when I found out that wasn't what he wanted, it was too late and the crowd situation was such that I couldn't get away from him. What do you do? I actually remember starting to laugh. The situation was just so ridiculous.
My friend Lynn who is insanely funny came up with that phrase I quoted when I got home and told her about the incident. "Groped," she exclaimed, "in the shadow of the Pope!"
I am still laughing about that.
I admire Benedict a lot, not least because he plays classical piano and I'll bet he has a way or two with Beethoven's Op. 109. He is supposed to be flying in today. I hope he has a safe trip. With nobody groping anybody in his shadow.