[stately classical music]
Female Narrator: The scene before us - the consecration of a new archbishop - took place in the church of San Carlo al Corso in Rome in 1743. Just to the left of center, you’ll see three bishops wearing pointed hats called mitres. The man in the golden one is Archbishop Pozzobonelli - he has just been consecrated by the bishops to either side, and by Pope Benedict the Fourteenth. You can find the pope all the way in the background at the high altar, a small, seated figure in white robes. Here’s how an eyewitness described the event.
Male Actor with Italian Accent: “Since the Pope was responsible for the formation of such a worthy archbishop, he wished to consecrate him by own hands. This took place on the 21st of July in the church of San Carlo, with the assistance of Patriarch Pallavicini, and Archbishop Cavalchini, attended by all the Prelates of the highest rank, and a great number of the nobility and the general populace.”
Female Narrator: You can see the nobility - the finely-dressed men and women in front of the arches on the right, next to a row of Swiss guards in the colorful uniforms they still wear today. The “general populace” refers to all social classes, from the young men who spill out of the bays at left, pushing forward to get a better view, to the kneeling beggars in the foreground, hoping to receive alms. There weren’t many opportunities for rich and poor to mingle in the eighteenth century, but,
Male Actor with Italian Accent: “All came together for this magnificent occasion held with the musicians of the papal household, under the happy auspices of his benign esteem towards the city, and his demonstration of affection towards the new Archbishop, to whom [the Pope] spoke these very words: ‘Take heart, Monsignor, you have safely arrived in the Holy of Holies’.”