Well, this has been fun! Thank heavens. Twitter had just run out of pope jokes. We only had enough to last a day, and it’s been weeks. It was a miracle we stretched them this far.
The new pope is the cardinal from Argentina. He is the artist formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. His new pope name is Francis. He is the first Latin American pope. He is also the first Jesuit pope. He is the first pope named Francis. He is breaking all kinds of traditions here! He is seventy-six-years old.
Given that some bookies had Bergoglio as a 33-to-1 underdog, I guess something must have gone wrong in the pommel horse portion of the competition. Or maybe Marc Ouellet had overestimated the strength of his ventriloquism.
Yes, Francis cleaves to Catholic orthodoxy on social issues (what were we expecting?) but he used to ride the bus and cook his own food, which gives me two more things to talk about with him before the conversation lapses.
It’s been an interesting few weeks. Anyone who had ever been to Catholic school (or Episcopalian school, which we figured was within rounding error) decided to weigh in, sometimes multiple times. We had hashtags on Twitter — ReplaceMovieTitlesWithPope. ReasonsTheNewPopeIsLate. There was that golf-level commentary as the Cardinals filed slowly into the conclave. (“Conclave,” the announcer explained, “from Latin, meaning ‘with clave.’”) We used more Latin than we ever would have after leaving high school, except in the rare event that we were possessed by Satan. It was fun to watch the application of New Media to Old Spectacle. “Here comes the White Smoke!,” we tweeted. No wonder the pope’s on Twitter. It’s a natural combination.
Now we can go back to our old hobbies: forgetting Latin, sinning and ignoring anything the Vatican wants us to do.
Other highlights of the conclave that went under-reported:
- Timothy Dolan was considered a possibility until he revealed that he was thinking “Gelasius” would be a good pope name.
- Rose Ceremony concluding with Cardinal Angelo Scola running out to the hot tub in tears.
- Several efforts to decide pope by doing the “nose game,” which ended when Cardinal Scherer kept going one second earlier than everyone else and the other Cardinals were getting frustrated.
- Leaked footage of Cardinal O’Malley telling a dinner party that “47 percent of the world commits venial sins anyway, and it is not my job to worry about them.”
- Awkward moment when the Mitre whispered to Cardinal Bergoglio that he should be in Hufflepuff.