On a trip to Rome in 2007, my daughters and I visited the Vatican museums. As besotted as I was and am by the splendor of icons and gilded lilies, of ancient works in marble and stone, ultimately the tour was to me both endless and embarrassing. Inspecting the glut did nothing to renew my faith. The new pontiff promises a break from that excess. “I’d like a poor church, for the poor,” says Pope Francis. Even as lapsed as I am in my Catholic practice, I am hopeful for change.
Below, some photos from that tour taken by my daughter, Elizabeth Brown.