National Geographic : 1970 Jun
National Geographic, June 1970 Later, Mancini led me through long corri dors hung with helmets, halberds, crossbows, swords, spears, and firearms-evidence sup porting the managing director's claim, "We could equip an army of 9,000 men represent ing 17 periods of history." Sometimes props cannot be supplied out of stock; then SET's artists go to work with plas tics, papier-mache, research, and imagination. A real challenge came when John Huston, directing The Bible, needed trees and other scenery for the Garden of Eden. "Who really knows what the Garden of Eden looked like?" asked Mr. Mancini. "But we did it, and Mr. Huston said, 'Ah, this is Paradise enow.'" And by way of contrast, he said, just that morning SET had filled an order from the Sabata producers: three quill pens, an ink well, a roulette wheel, and a framed crayon portrait of President James K. Polk. Muscular Archbishop Guards the Pope As I drove back to the city from the world of movie folk, I realized with a shock that I was nearing the end of my stay in Rome. Top ping a hill, I caught a glimpse of St. Peter's dome in the distance, that solid, magnificent reality brooding over the glitter and make believe of modern Rome. Weeks earlier, Win Parks and I had ap plied to the Vatican press office for a good po sition from which to photograph and observe the Easter Sunday Mass, with Pope Paul VI as celebrant, in the great piazza spreading out before the Basilica of St. Peter. During Holy Week, at events in St. Peter's and other churches, we realized that the vio lent temper of the times, plus the fact that Paul VI travels more than any other Pope in history, had caused a tightening of security precautions. Wherever the Holy Father ap peared in public, plain-clothes officers of the Vatican gendarmeria were stationed unob trusively near him and in the crowds. They were young and muscular, looking remark ably like the Secret Service agents who protect the President of the United States. On journeys abroad the Pope enjoys addi tional protection in the person of Bishop Paul Marcinkus, a powerfully built six-foot-three native of Cicero, Illinois. "A lesson was learned on the first trip abroad, to the Holy Land in 1964," the bishop told me. "There was no hostility; it was sim ply a case of too much enthusiasm, too many people trying to get close to the Holy Father. I wasn't along on that trip, but since then I have accompanied him to the United States, Portugal, Turkey, Switzerland, South Ameri ca, and Africa. "It just happens," the bishop continued, "that this Green Bay Packer conformation of mine is useful in plowing a path through crowds." As one of the Pope's closest aides, Bishop Marcinkus devotes himself mainly to the Vatican's far-flung financial affairs, which have included interests in such enterprises as Rome's Cavalieri Hilton Hotel and the Water gate apartment complex in Washington, D. C. As we concluded our talk, he glanced from his office window and remarked upon the beautiful weather. "With luck," he said, "I will be out at Acqua Santa tomorrow." "Acqua Santa?" "'Holy Water,'" he translated. "It's the club where I play golf." When Win Parks and I reported back to St. Peter's on Easter Sunday morning, a plain-clothes officer led us up dark spiral stairs to the top of a colonnade. It was a su perb position, commanding the entire piazza, giving us an unobstructed view of the crowd, the temporary outdoor altar where Mass would be said, and the balcony where Paul VI would reappear to pronounce his Easter bless ing upon the world (foldout, pages 778-80). We gazed down upon 100,000 people, al most filling the vast piazza. Radiant children and nuns clutched the strings of rabbit shaped balloons. An airplane flew over, tow ing a streamer advertising a brand of coffee. Vendors of ice cream, souvenirs, and Appia Cola did a brisk business. Vicar of Christ, Pope Paul VI acknowledges the homage of thousands after a public audi ence in St. Peter's. Sediari, laymen in scarlet damask, carry his throne past the 95-foot baldachin, or canopy, that covers the Papal Altar. Beyond shines the gilded bronze of the throne; both works by Bernini exemplify the church's ornate baroque decor. The Papacy, only Western institution in continuous existence since the Roman Empire, commands the alle giance of 580,000,000 people-one-sixth of mankind-the largest congregation in the world. EKTACHROME BYTEDSPIEGEL,RAPHOGUILLUMETTE© N.G .S .