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...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Era of "Video-Papa"

Do you know what is one cool country code? .va for the Vatican. Why did I never notice that before?

Shh! I'm on

Just now, as I was reading the news on the Pontiff's health, I went to the Vatican's official site, and saw that John Paul II is doing well. So much so the Vatican will discontinue it's daily updates since the acute phase of his illness is over. I hope this means that nice CNN beat reporter can finally go back to lounging around the Via Veneto, because he deserves it. Watch out for those 6 foot 'blondes' from Brazil though!

But what I guess is on everyone's mind right now is -- will the Pope be able to officiate in the upcoming Holy Week ceremonies, the most important part of the religious calender? The answer is a big Yes.

Tracheotomy or no, the Pope will be taped daily in a series of Easter Week cameo appearances already being called by the faithful, Video-Papa.

You know, for a man who represents the most ossified and traditional of institutions, The Holy See, this Pope is no Luddite.

He websurfs.

He calls in to Italian game shows.

He frequently reads Gazzetta dello Sport following his beloved Lazio with zeal.

And lest we forget, he is the most travelled Pope in history, having given the world the visual of him in that glass-golf-cart-coach thingie, which is in our lexicon as the Popemobile.

Now he's launched the era of the Video-Papa. If the mountain can't come to Mohammed, as it were...

In my opinion, this is great. This should also quell some of the nastier calls for his resignation as Pope, since one of the requisites everyone deems necessary to hold office is visibility. You must be seen to be followed, goes their thinking.

I seem to recall that when the Emperor Frederick III of Germany lay dying of throat cancer in 1888, the first famous victim of cancer due to smoking, Bismarck was heard to sneer, "A man can't be Emperor if he can't be heard".

It even has been suggested that efforts were made to rid themselves of a troublesome and liberal sovereign, and in their haste to get a speaking Kaiser, they got Wilhelm II. And we all know how THAT turned out, don't we.

No, I'd rather have a Pope who videotapes his homilies to the faithful, than any rush to abdication or retirement. What's the hurry? Better to have a hoarse Pope, than a Pope with really bad moustachios and a world-domination complex.

Anyway. Maybe Video-Papa can be made interactive, perhaps via email or stripper-slot wotsit. Put in a fiver, and get to ask the Pope your choice of any Vatican vetted and sanctioned question you desire.

It's a gold mine.


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