Bishop's installation Friday will pack cathedral
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Not only is St. Paul Cathedral expected to be packed Friday for Bishop David Zubik's installation as head of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, there is reportedly some sanctified scalping going on.
"The people I've talked to in Pittsburgh tell me that everyone is calling their uncles, godmothers and brothers asking, 'Who do you know who can get me a ticket?' " said Rocco Palmo, who blogs on ecclesiastical affairs in Whispers in the Loggia and covers the United States for the British Catholic weekly The Tablet.
"I was worried that there might be bloodshed over these tickets. You would think it was an AFC championship game at Heinz Field from the way people are going after them. There's a genuine enthusiasm because he is not only a native son, but a beloved native son."
The real riots may be over parking, as the service takes place in parking-deprived Oakland at 2 p.m. Some invited guests have been issued parking passes for outlying areas and will be shuttled to the cathedral, said Bill Hill in the diocesan communications department.
Those who attend on their own will have to fend for themselves, and are likely to watch by closed-circuit television next door in Synod Hall. With extra chairs added for the occasion, St. Paul Cathedral seats more than 1,500 people. But even before all the R.S.V.P.s were back from invited guests, "The cathedral is almost full," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese.
Synod Hall seats another 750.
The ritual will actually begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, when Bishop Zubik will knock on the cathedral door, then enter to begin a "holy hour" before the blessed sacrament. Parishes throughout the diocese have been asked to hold holy hours at the same time.
The pomp and circumstance will be Friday, when about 30 bishops, archbishops and cardinals will arrive for Bishop Zubik to take formal possession of the diocese. He will preach the homily. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to the United States, and Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., the previous bishop of Pittsburgh and Bishop Zubik's mentor, are also expected to speak.
The Friday installation will be carried live on the stations and networks of WPXI-TV, WTAE-TV and KQV 1410 radio. Christian Associates Channel 95 in Pittsburgh and cable channel PCNC will also have live coverage, and KDKA-TV will carry it live on www.kdka.com.
First Published September 24, 2007 12:24 am