The sound of the bell last night found me on my hands and knees with Mr B in the kitchen, mopping up the water pouring out of the dishwasher. Bathos is the word here, I think.
Apparently, the television pictures around the world showed the smoke for ten minutes without comment – against the gloaming sky, the colour was unclear: CNN called it black, while ANSA, the Italian news agency, called it white. People in St Peter’s Square alternately cheered and stood silently in confusion. The bell ringing was one of JPII’s posthumous wishes, to resolve this ambiguity. When habemus papum was announced an hour later, the response was also ambiguous, a mix of joy and disappointment, even anger. Although he wasn’t a favourite at the bookies, his recent high profile speeches might have tipped us off, for example, his repetition of the the words, “Follow me” at JPII’s funeral. His pre-conclave sermon about the “dictatorship of relativism” was also a reminder of why one of his nicknames is “The Enforcer”. Who knows what went on in the Sistine Chapel.
The best I’ve heard this morning is that he’s a transitional Pope, that the next one will be a non-European. It sounds like me talking to my kids: “I promise you can wear your summer dress soon”. Of course, the likelihood of hot weather in Rome is pretty certain and pretty soon. I can’t say the same for the next Pope.
Does the Pope shit in the woods?