Thursday, July 29, 2010

About as Close to St. Peter's in Rome as I'm Likely to Get

From yesterday's news:
"Holy See website unveils virtual tour of St. Peter's Basilica"
EWTN News (July 28 2010)

"The Vatican has just released a unique virtual tour of St. Peter's Basilica through its web portal. The 3-D tour was created by students and faculty from Villanova University, but it is not the first project completed by the school for the Vatican.

"Images now available online through the Holy See's website,, provide an exceptional look both at the interior and exterior of St. Peter's Basilica. The tour joins those already offered for the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-walls and the Sistine Chapel...."
There's a link on's English-language home page - to this English-language version of the tour: "Papal Basilica of St. Peter. I visited that page, and followed links to the eight viewpoint locations:
  1. Apse
  2. Altar
  3. North Transept
  4. South Transept
  5. Nave
  6. Choir Chapel
  7. Pieta
  8. St. Peter's at Night
The last is near the obelisk in St. Peter's Square. Each is one of those spherical-360 viewers that you can pan around - and zoom. The one downside I found was that I had to use my browser's 'back' button to go back to the opening page: but that's a quibble.

I felt a little bashful, using the Altar viewpoint.

This was the first I remember seeing the Choir Chapel: like the rest of the basilica, it's impressive.

St. Peter's is huge: but it's a beautifully-proportioned building, with the sort of rich attention to detail that was so remarkably absent during much of the 20th century in the West. Which is another topic.

Impressive. It's late, and that's the only word that comes out just now, for what I saw.

And heard. There's a vocal sound track: a choir.

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.