I’m not a Catholic, nor a Christian for that matter, nor an ardent follower of the Vatican. Among my favorite « pope » moments recently was the terrific Nanni Moretti film « Habeus Papum » starring Michel Piccoli as the man-who-wouldn’t-be-pope. I couldn’t help but chuckle while thinking of that delightful film’s impeccable staging of the conclave, vote, white smoke, etc. as I watched the real-life Vatican’s impeccably staged version of the same thing on live television Wednesday night. Also kept thinking of Fellini’s hilarious ecclesiastic fashion show in his « Roma »! (Supposedly the Vatican censored some of the designs.)
But ultimately, what now ranks as another favorite « pope » moment must be the silence that befell the crowd when the name of the new pope was pronounced (who? they seemed to be thinking), then his request that the « faithful » might offer a blessing for him and the immense task that is now his. And most of all, his choice of Francis as his name. If he can return the Catholic Church to the spirit of Francis of Assisi, who knows what kind of change we may see in the world.