Friday, March 01, 2013


We are not even two hours into the interregnum. Yet already the Web is abuzz with the words " Sede Vacante"- " the Vacant See" or, more literally the " Vacant Seat" . But few seem to consider the actual Seat involved.

Here it is in the picture above the Cathedra of the Bishop of Rome in his Cathedral. No, not in Saint Peter's Basilica, but in the Cathedral of Rome - Saint John the Lateran Basilica seen below:

S.Giovanne in Laterano
Cathedral of Rome
Not many people to-day realise that for over a thousand years the Popes lived in the nearby Lateran Palace until the Quirinal Palace was completed in 1583 - on the more salubrious Quirinal Hill highest of Rome's seven hills.This remained the Papal Residence in Rome until 1870 when the Papal States fell and the Pope retired into the Vatican. 

Now when we hear, or use the term " Sede Vacante" a mental image of that seat is available to the inner eye!

1 comment:

Ramil said...

Excellent! Most don't realize that St. Peter's on the Vatican Hill is a 'shrine' dedicated to the memory of the blessed apostle.

However, it is his office as Bishop of Rome that has become vacant, located at San Giovanni in Laterano!

Thanks Tony!