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Pope Benedict uses rolling platform to save energy at Vatican liturgy

Catholic World News - October 17, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI was pulled down the aisle of St. Peter’s basilica on a rolling platform before he celebrated Mass on Sunday, October 16.

The platform—the same device that was used by Pope John Paul II in his later years—was used to spare the Pontiff’s energy, not because of any particular medical problem, the Vatican announced.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said that the platform was put to use “to alleviate the efforts of the Holy Father.” The Pope is not known to have any special health concerns, but at the age of 84 he has slowed noticeably, and walking the length of the immense Vatican basilica, while wearing heavy vestments, can be tiring.

Father Lombardi also pointed out that the platform elevates the Pontiff above the level of the congregation, making him somewhat more secure against potential assailants.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Oct. 18, 2011 9:42 AM ET USA

    ...and body armor too? (I hope)

  • Posted by: msgrjuan - Oct. 18, 2011 12:11 AM ET USA

    Perhaps there was a practical note to the use of the sedia gestatoria!

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Oct. 17, 2011 6:45 PM ET USA

    May the Lord grant His Holiness good health and long life.

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