Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Bishop Skylstad reports from Rome
the Inland Register
(From the April 7, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)
Bishop William Skylstad left Spokane Friday morning, April 1, bound for Rome for previously scheduled meetings with various Vatican Congregations and offices in his role as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He has kept in touch with occasional reports to diocesan staff via e-mail.
On Sunday, April 3, Bishop Skylstad mentioned the hectic round of interviews he had been doing with various national news media from the United States and elsewhere.
Sunday afternoon he viewed the body of the late pontiff in the papal palace. “There is no attempt here to beautify the bodies — the stark reality is death of the body,” he wrote.
“The room where the Holy Father was laid out was filled with people praying the rosary when I was there,” with people constantly filing by. “After the rosary there was just a simple silence and reflective spiritof prayer,” said the bishop.
“One estimate I heard was that they expect about 2 million people to view the body lying in state,” he said.
As of Sunday evening, Bishop Skylstad was unsure what his schedule would be in Rome, since “the prefects of the congregations and pontifical councils automatically lose their jobs” upon the death of a pope. Those were the individuals with whom he had been scheduled to meet this week.
“I ask you to remember John Paul II in your prayers and pray for the selection of new pope when the process begins in two weeks,” said Bishop Skylstad. “As always, I appreciate you prayers and be assured of mine.”