Furnishings Fit for the Pope

Pope Benedict XVI sure is gathering a heap of furniture. Altars, chairs, kneelers, pulpits and lecterns are being made especially for him for his stay in the U.S. The guy is lucky it's all staying here when he goes back to Rome, otherwise he'd need a flying moving van to get it home.

Yesterday was the unveiling of a chair and two kneelers to be used by the pontiff for his vespers service and address to the U.S. bishops on April 16 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. They were definitely gorgeous. Designed by Lou DiCocco II, a Havertown, Pa., owner of a liturgical arts studio, they are "dignified, elegant, simple," said DiCocco.

The chair -- or papal throne if you want to call it that -- was constructed in American walnut with woven silk damask cushions. The headrest features hand-done needlework of the papal coat of arms. Handcarved raised crosses are on each side below the handrests. No nails were used. Everything was lock-mitered or dove-tailed.

After the pope uses the chair and the kneelers, they will be placed on display at the Basilica "until the pope comes back," according the Msgr. Walter R. Rossi, rector of the basilica.

And that would be....when?

By Jacqueline L. Salmon |  April 3, 2008; 10:20 AM ET
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