So, following Pope John Paul II, perhaps best known for being an Honourary Harlem Globetrotter, we now have a new Pope: The Blessed Pope Benedict XVI
Yeah, he's conservative. But he's a very smart guy. And although I would have liked to have seen the new Pope to have come from Africa, the reality is that there simply was not a superior candidate from that continent. And anyone from Africa who might have been elected Pope would have been much more conservative than Joseph Ratzinger anyway, despite the ignorant belief among Western liberals that a Pope from Africa would have been behind any of their causes.
All in all, I'm happy with the choice.
But watching the coverage on BBC, I couldn't help but to grimace listening to The Faithful turn St Peter's Square into a spectacle of tackiness with a Frat-Boy-cadenced cheering of "Here's the new Pope!" or something like that, as though they were cheering on their favourite athletics team. I kept remembering back to walking along the Via della Conciliazione in 1999 and seeing hundreds of postcards that made the rather noble Pope John Paul II look like little more than a pop star. With a 2000-year history of inspiring some of the most beautiful art and music ever created, I will never understand how or why the average Catholic reverts so frequently to such low brow dalliances.
Perhaps most important of all, though, is that we now need a new mould for Pope-on-a-Rope.