My wife and I visited Vatican City, the Vatican Museum and St Peter's Basilica last July when we were in Rome, so now I have a personal connection to the church. The Catholic Church is in a crisis that rivals the time when Pope Paul VI died in 1978 and his successor, Pope John Paul I died after only thirty-four days in office.
Back then, the rumors were rife that the new Pope had been poisoned, or somehow assassinated. Today, there are rumors of a homosexual cabal, blackmail and financial skullduggery added to fact of child sexual abuse throughout the United States and Europe. What a mess for the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. To say that Pope Benedict XVI was a bad manager is to make an understatement of world-class proportions.
Drawing St. Peter's Basilica was a challenge. It reminded me of when I was at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. The assignment in my fundamentals class was to draw an interior in perspective. I chose the grand staircase of the Paris Opera House. What an ego. I got a B on it, but I caused myself way too much trouble for the effort.
I was telling a colleague that I've said all I have to say about the child sexual abuse in the church. We all know about it now; it's not news anymore. After seeing the beauty and grandeur of the church in Rome, I've begun to feel sad for the church. My colleague said, "You've come full circle." I guess I have.