I don’t get it.
I mean, I do: the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God, aka, the Pope, is the head of a church with approximately a kabillion and 3 followers and Demeter-only-knows how much land, cash, bullion, baubles, and breweries.
He’s got some pull in the world, I’m trying to say. (Anywhere else, I got nothin’ to say.)
Still, when I peer over the elbows of fellow 4-train travelers to scan the double-page spreads in their newspapers on the papal conclave, I think, Huh.
This seems more like Oscar coverage, or Fashion Week: a Celebrity Conclave for old men in red hats.
There are the reports on what Il Papa will wear (white, to go with the smoke, I suppose), what are the odds of Ouellet or Scola or Turkson (cf. the Sweet Sistine), will the new man (duh) be more of a manager or a spiritual leader because (heads nodding all around) what the papacy needs is someone to lift up the faithful while simultaneously cracking down on corruption in the Vatican and also getting rid of all of the abusers and their enablers and reaching out to victims and bringing light and love to the world.
If you threatened to withhold my morning coffee I’d agree to write out (as soon as you gave me back my java) all of the reasons why the Papal
kaffeeklatsch Conclave is a substantive matter worthy of all of the media attention (and live blogs of what’s smokin’ in the Curia’s Faraday cage); I might even toss in for extra credit a meditation on why this matters to a heathen like me.
But, honestly, the media coverage strikes me as nothing so much as furrowed-brow gossip, and the event itself as just another version of Meet the New Boss. . . .
*Sigh* Some days I am a terrible social scientist.