A Roman Weekend to Remember, by Robert Royal

Fr. Mario Alexis Portella: Church Teaching Is Not Up for Vote
October 11, 2021
What Exorcists Say About Cancel Culture and Forgiveness, by Patti Maguire Armstrong
October 11, 2021

*Image: Party in a Garden with Roman Artists by Michelangelo Cerquozzi, c. 1640 [Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel, Germany]

By Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, Oct. 11, 2021

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent books are Columbus and the Crisis of the West and A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.

Note: Robert Royal is in Rome this week and will be submitting several reports on the Synod on Synods, as well as other Vatican developments. As in the past, The Catholic Thing will be doing extensive coverage of this synod over the next two years and bringing you regular analysis of the most important events.


Robert RoyalRome is unusually quiet these days. Few tourists. And their absence even seems to have calmed (somewhat) the (normally) loud Romans themselves. Crossing a street in Italy’s capital used to be something like a bullfight: you had to gauge how close you could come to the charging beasts if you wanted to live to fight another day. But – is it just my own illusion? – in the absence of crowds, even Roman drivers show a certain – dare one say? – calm. It’s all unexpected, unnatural, and almost soothing, unless you care about what’s going on in the global public square and more particularly in the Vatican.

This weekend, Rome hosted the “Pre-COP26 Parliamentary Meeting,” which is to say the meeting before the 26thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties to the 1994 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (pause for breath) scheduled later this month in Scotland. Pope Francis was supposed to be in Glasgow, but the Vatican recently announced he won’t, perhaps for health reasons. …