Paul Wilkes: When in Rome

From John Paul II's funeral to Benedict XVI's election, Beliefnet's correspondent reports on the momentous events in Rome.

Read Paul Wilkes' on-scene reports:

Week 1:

Dispatches 1-6

Week 2:

Dispatches 7-11

Dispatch 12:

The Other German

Dispatch 13:

Snapshots from the Conclave

Dispatch 14:

Collegiality and the College of Cardinals

Dispatch 15:

Pope Benedict XVI

Dispatch 16:


Anatomy of an Election

Dispatch 17:

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As I rode to the airport after spending three weeks in Rome, the brilliant purple flowers of the Japanese cherry trees were blazing in their full spring glory. Three weeks before, there was nothing. Brown, naked branches. When I arrived, a pope had just died; I leave as his successor has just begun his reign.

That successor, who appeared unbending as the Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who unequivocally railed against relativism and extolled fundamentalism as the conclave began, became the Benedict XVI who at his installation Sunday proclaimed humbly that he would “...listen, together with the whole church, to the word and will of the Lord.”

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