Program #0485 for Monday, March 11, 2013: LIVE from Rome: Kathryn Lopez of National Review and Catholic Voices USA; Pilgrims from Buffalo

LIVE from Rome: Kathryn Lopez of National Review and Catholic Voices USA; Pilgrims from Buffalo

LIVE from Rome: Kathryn Lopez of National Review and Catholic Voices USA; Pilgrims from Buffalo

Summary of today’s show: Continuing our live coverage from Rome, Scot Landry talks with a group of pilgrims from Buffalo, New York, who happened to be in the city at this time and asks them about being on pilgrimage in the Eternal City and maybe getting to be there for the announcement of a new pope. Scot is also joined by Kathryn Lopez of National Review and Catholic Voices USA to discuss how the press is covering the event and how Catholics can use the occasion to talk to others about their Catholic faith.

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Today’s host(s): Scot Landry

Today’s guest(s): Kathryn Lopez, Fr. Jim Fugle, Deacon Mike McKeating, Patty Hughes, Caroline Weber, Edward Siudak, Pat Jaramillo, Pauline Turski, Lorraine Ulrich, Sue Denz, Mark Vilardo, Meredith Vilardo

Links from today’s show:

Today’s topics: LIVE from Rome: Kathryn Lopez of National Review and Catholic Voices USA; Pilgrims from Buffalo

1st segment: SCot welcomed everyone to the show. He said it’s likely we’ll have a new pope by the end of this week. The cardinals had their last general congregation and will be packing to move into Domus Santa Martae. Tomorrow they will have a Mass and then process into the Sistine Chapel where they will swear their oaths. They will hear a meditation and then take a vote.

Scot said tonight he will be presenting Catholic Faith Essentials at and He said George Martell has some great photos today. (See the link above.) Scot’s blog today asks the question “Who is Cardinal Seán?” Scot said most of our guests today are pilgrims from the Buffalo area.

2nd segment: Scot welcomed Kathryn Lopez of National Review. She said she just arrived in Rome and noticed a lot of difference from the last time she was there in December.


Scot asked Kathryn what she makes of all the hoopla over the American papabile. She said a month ago that there was an unwritten rule that an American couldn’t be elected. She said she’s from New York, so there’s a Yankees-Red Sox rivalry over Cardinals Dolan and O’Malley. She said what she hears about Cardinal Seán is how visibly and dramatically countercultural he is in his simple Franciscan habit as well as the turnaround in Boston.

Scot said he loved the line from Cardinal Dolan who said he had a better chance of taking A Rod’s place at third base than becoming pope. Scot said George Martell got a wonderful photo of all the cardinals on the bus.


Kathryn said she’s writing daily for the National Review. She said George Weigel’s book, Evangelical Catholicism had great timing and it was like a blueprint for how to handle this whole process. The press conference by the American cardinals last week brought the Church in her truth to the media that was hungry to report all things Catholic.

Scot said it’s a general good way to engage fallen-away Catholics as well as practicing Catholics. He said a lot of the secular media in town are interviewing people of faith who happen to be in Rome. Kathryn said the American cardinals have a lot of experience with institutional reform, which has been a big topic.

Scot asked Kathryn what principles she would encourage everyone to know when talking about this conclave from her perspective as a part of Catholic Voices USA. She said CV is about having conversations in the public square in a Catholic way. She said many people are confronted by others who question them about their faith now that it’s in all the news.

She said if you’re not sure where to start when talking about your faith, pick up this book and pick up the Catechism.

Scot said in 3 to 4 days someone will stand on the balcony and we’ll know who the next pope will be. This is not a hopeless period, just a popeless period. They predicted how long the conclave will last. Scot predicted that it will be about 4 days.

3rd segment: Scot Landry said he’s talking to a large pilgrimage from the Buffalo area right outside St. Peter’s Square. He welcomed Fr. Jim Fugle and Deacon Mike Keating. Fr. Jim talked about the stops that the pilgrims had made and then said the journey began last June when he was asked to lead the group. He said it’s very humbling, especially during this time of the papal transition.


Scot said millions of priests have walked the streets of Rome. He asked what they’re taking away so far that he knows he’ll preach about back home. He said each place they’ve visited has touched him in a different way. The Scavi tour was exceptionally moving to him as was climbing the Holy Steps on his knees, seeing the relics of the crucifixion, being at the tombs of Peter and Paul on the same day.


Scot said the Scavi is the excavations of the necropolis or cemetery underneath St. Peter’s where St. Peter is buried. Fr. Jim said that as soon as he saw the grave of St. Peter his heart leaped. It was the same in the San Clemente chapel. They ended up just feet away from the bones of the Apostle Peter.

Deacon Mike said it gives him a sense of being part of the universal Church. He said the crowd has grown each day since last Monday and you literally see people from every country in the world, and their cardinals and bishops. He said the length of time it took to choose the date for the conclave was partly because of how long it took all 115 cardinals to get to Rome.

Scot said Buffalo has a long Catholic history, but nothing compared to Rome where churches have been around for 1,800 years in some cases. Deacon Mike said an old church in the US is about 150 years old. He said the oldest church in Buffalo would be a new church in Rome. He said the current church of San Clemente was built in the 300s and there are older churches underneath it. Santa Maria in Trastevere is the oldest church, built in the 1st century. He said one of the reasons for the declaration of the Immaculate Conception was it’s depiction from antiquity on the murals of Santa Maria.

Fr. Jim said he hopes the pilgrims will draw closer to Chris and draw others to Christ by living everything that they’ve absorbed in this pilgrimage. He said he will take away the conviction that no matter what happens, Jesus remains with us as our friend.

In response to Scot’s question, Deacon Mike said he’s not leaving Rome until he sees the announcement of the new pope.

4th segment: Scot welcomed Patty Hughes and Carolyn Weber. Patty said being in St. Peter’s was overwhelming and realized that this is the Catholic Church. St. Peter is buried there and this church was built on top of him. This really brought home her Catholic faith to her. Carolyn said St. John Lateran stood out to her, especially the relics.


Scot said St. John Lateran is the pope’s own cathedral and it’s one of his favorite churches. Carolyn said an English-speaking priest there gave them a tour of the church.

Scot asked them what people should know about the Scavi tour. Patty said she was surprised how paganism and Christianity were mixed together in early Rome. Carolyn said the frescoes in the tombs were ancient and were incredible.

Patty said on her pilgrimage she’d like to visit Assisi, but being in Rome now means they could be there for the pope’s selection and that would be the best thing.

5th segment: Scot welcomed Edward Siudak and Pat Jaramillo. Edward said he’s been to Rome before but there’s always something new to see when you visit. He loves to visit the churches. His favorite is St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. He said two churches in the Buffalo diocese are copies of the basilica.


Pat said she last come to Rome in 2000 for the Jubilee Year. She walked to the top of the dome of St. Peter’s this time which was great. She on this trip she’s just soaking in all the details she missed before. Her favorite part of St. Peter’s is the Eucharistic adoration. She goes to adoration back at Christ the King parish in Buffalo and this one is so beautiful and quiet and prayerful.

6th segment: Scot now welcomes Pauline Turski who’s in Rome for the first time. She said she’s been preparing for six months with daily prayer. Scot asked her what makes her so emotional about being in Rome. She said she’s named after St. Paul and he was a wonderful evangelist. She said St. Paul Outside-the-Walls is her favorite church.


Scot asked her about the sacrifices to make to get on a pilgrimage to Rome. Pauline said the Holy Spirit made everything come together so she could be there.

7th segment: Scot welcomed Lorraine Uhrich and Sue Denz. Lorraine said her favorite part of the pilgrimage is being there with that group of people. Scot asked what it’s like to be there with 20 people she may or may not know. Lorraine said she’s been to Rome by herself and this time with a group of family and both were great. She said there’s nothing wrong with going with strangers because you get to know them.


Sue said her husband is the one who organized the tour because he wanted to go to Rome. Scot said they’ve packed the itinerary and seen much of Rome already. Sue said they’ve switched a few things around to stay close to St. Peter’s for the conclave. They’re supposed to be going to Assisi and Florence and other side trips. They stil have to see St. Cecilia and St. Mary Major in Rome. Sue said her two favorite parts of the trip so far are seeing the bones of St. Peter and realizing how large the Latin inscriptions inside St. Peter’s are.

Lorraine said she loved seeing St. Peter’s bones, but also the cloister at St. Paul Outside-the-Walls with an amazing collection of relics, including the arm of St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus.

Sue said it’s unbelievable that they’re in Rome at this time by chance. They started planning a year ago. Lorraine said the timing was so special.

8th segment: Scot welcomed Mark and Meredith Villardo. He said Meredith’s mom works at the Station of the Cross network and she said it sounds like a great place to work. Scot asked Mark how it is to be in Rome in their first year of marriage. He said it’s like a second honeymoon. He said they are expecting their first child in July. Meredith said her favorite part of being in Rome is being with her husband this time (she’s been once before).


Scot asked what their favorite place is so far. Mark said he studied in Rome as an undergraduate and used to walk through St. Peter’s Square every day to class and he has an appreciation for its beauty. He said the colonnade is like the embracing arms of the Church. Meredith said the loved St. Paul’s especially all the pictures of the popes around the interior church.

Mark said they’re excited by the conclave. He said they saw a bunch of the cardinals as they went to the Scavi tour. He said it’s been an exciting time and they’ve been praying for the cardinals and for the new pope. Meredith said this Lent she’s been letting God’s will reign in her life and she’s peaceful about what’s going to happen even down to whether they’ll be in Rome for the announcement.

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