Pool Reporter Peeks Into Benedict's Papacy
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - "You must know everything about this place," Pope Benedict said.
"Not as much as I would like to, Your Holiness," I replied.
It was June 17, 2005 and I was one of two journalists present in the papal apartments in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to cover a visit by the president of Slovakia as a "pool reporter" for the Vatican press corps.
It was my first time under the new papacy, then little more than two months old. Under John Paul, I had been in that same room with the likes of Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Nelson Mandela.
After the Pope and the visit or conclude private talks, delegations and pool reporters are allowed into the private study.
The hope is that a newsworthy tidbit will emerge from the pleasantries.
However, this is not the White House. Reporters are told not to ask questions -- on pain of not being allowed back. You try to behave like a fly on a wall, albeit a frescoed wall.
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