Pastoral Notes November 5th, 2017

Where does the Pope live ?
9th November is the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the official cathedral of the Popes since around 320 AD. The Emperor Constantinople gave the Pope the palace in that area, now a cathedral, and went to live in Constantinople – better known to us as Istanbul, from the time the city was conquered by the Muslim armies in the 15th century. The Popes have continued to live in Rome (with a notable exception) since then gradually becoming rulers of a sizeable portion of Italy. These so-called Papal States were taken over by the Italian forces for the unification of the whole of Italy under one central government. Since 1870 the Popes first considered themselves as semi-prisoners, but gradually made their peace with the civil government, with the tiny Vatican State in Rome being their home today. But the Lateran Basilica is still the Cathedral of the Pope, Bishop of Rome.