My parents were Catholic and we were raised that way, but we weren’t Pope People. Which is to say, we knew who the Pope was (one of the Johns. I think.), but we didn’t pay him enough respect, if by “respect,” you mean “attention.” Granted, John was not a rock-star Pope, but the idea of my own mother calling him “the Holy Father” and sighing over his personal appearances is incomprehensible to me, and needless to say, there were no Peggy Noonans in the house:
When I was writing a book about John Paul, I’d ask those who’d met him or saw him go by: What did you think, or say? And they’d be startled and say, “I don’t know, I was crying.”
I remember Juan Pablo the Deuce’s first U.S. tour. The Columbus Dispatch send one of its star writer/editors to cover it. From her exhaustive reports, I learned that love beamed from the man’s face, and that everywhere he went, people felt the love. But Noonan is a serious Catholic intellectual, right? So, as we await Benedict XVI, what might we expect, Peggy?
Benedict… is the perfect pope for the Internet age. He is a man of the word. You download the text of what he said, print it, ponder it.
This is what I saw as his popemobile came close by in the square: tall man, white hair, shy eyes, deep-set. He is waving, trying to act out pleasure at being the focus of all eyes, center stage. He is not a showman but a scholar, an engaged philosopher nostalgic for the days – he has spoken of them – when he was a professor in a university classroom, surrounded by professors operating in a spirit of academic camaraderie and debate. But, his friends tell you, he enjoys being pope. He has become acclimated.
There is a sweetness about him – all in the Vatican who knew him in the old days speak of it – and a certain vagueness, as if he is preoccupied.
What is it about the Vicar of Christ that he brings out the swoon in middle-aged women? But what, Peggy, is Benedict likely to say?
Perhaps some variation on themes from his famous Regensburg address, in September 2006.
There he traced and limned some of the development of Christianity, but he turned first to Islam. Faith in God does not justify violence, he said. “The right use of reason” prompts us to understand that violence is incompatible with the nature of God, and the nature, therefore, of the soul. God, he quotes an ancient Byzantine ruler, “is not pleased by blood,” and “not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature.” More: “To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm.” This is a message for our time, and a courageous one, too. (The speech was followed by riots and by Osama bin Laden’s charge that the pope was starting a new “crusade.”)
There you have it. Folks, this is what we call a clip job. Plus a lot of swooning.
As for me, I’m going to follow the visit through the NYT’s Pope blog, to which Fort Wayne’s own Amy Welborn is contributing. Go, Amy.
Folks, I slept late today, and now I’m behind. Content yourself with some bloggage while I finish my taxes and drink the last of this morning’s coffee over ice:
No links in this one, but you get the gist. From the Will You Damn Kids Leave Me Alone file, via Brian:
Logansport woman reported missing by her son
A Logansport woman has been reported missing by her son and police are interested in talking to anyone who may have seen her.
Kim S. Steele, 41, was last seen on Thursday, just before meeting a man she had recently met through an Internet chat room. Repeated calls to her cell phone by friends, family and the Logansport police have gone unanswered.
…According to a police report, Steele left without extra clothing or personal items. The last contact she had with anyone was her son, who told police she was on her way to help move a trailer or camper with man from the Internet. Investigators have entered her name into a national database for missing person.
Woman reported missing had been camping
The Logansport woman reported missing by her son turned up late this morning.
Kim S. Steele, 41, had been camping out of town with her new boyfriend — the man she met through an Internet chat room. Steele told police her cell phone went dead and that’s why she had not returned the numerous calls made by her family, friends and Logansport police.
When she came into Logansport today, she saw the newspaper article and reported to police that she was all right.
Well, I guess it beats rotting in a ditch for two months until someone says, “Has anyone heard from Nance lately?”
Alan had to edit “MILF” out of a story a couple years ago — those sneaky reporters! — and at the time I think he was one of the very few who knew what a MILF was. Now it’s everywhere.
Hey, it’s J.C.’s birthday! Let’s steal some of his bandwidth:
No, I guess it’s Flickr’s bandwidth. Sign at the Buford Highway Farmers Market, Doraville, Ga., which you may know as “a touch of country in the city.”
Coffee’s done. Off to the bank.