It was April in 2008, and I was walking down first avenue in Manhattan, when I was stopped by the police at 86th Street. I noticed that there were people congregating along the road – not a lot, but enough to know that someone important was coming by.“Who is it this time?” I asked the cop who stopped me. “It’s the Pope,” he said.Sure enough, a couple of minutes later Pope Benedict’s motorcade drove by.
He was sitting in a limousine behind the passenger seat, which was the side of the street I was on, so I saw him up close. The first thing I noticed was how small he was.
His head, adorned with the ever-present white cap, or zucchetto, barely cleared the window. Rather than engage the people lined up on the street, Benedict stared straight ahead.
He seemed cold and distant.A few days later, I had lunch with my wonderful friend, the late Father Angelo, and I told him that I had seen the Pope.