Is New Pope Sneaking Out At Night To Do Undercover Poping? You Bet Your Sweet Chasuble He Is
Would you believe we have another New Pope Does Awesome Thing story? Of course we do. We are totally gonna have to do a "Today in Pope" every freaking day to keep up with this guy. So the new thing: There's a pretty good chance that Pope Francis has beensneaking out of the Vatican at night to do some plainclothes ministering to homeless people in Rome. The rumors got started with some comments from Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who has the wonderfully steampunk-sounding title "Almoner of His Holiness," (sez here that's a "little-known post that dates back to the 13th century that involves distributing money from the Holy See to the poor and marginalized"). Krajewski said, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me,” but when asked directly if Francis ever actually taged along, he just smiled and said "Next question." Oooh, mysterious!
And then yesterday, HuffPo heard from a "knowledgable source in Rome" -- Fr. Guido Sarducci? -- that "Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women."
That there is a man who likes his job, sounds like to us.
We would also like to thank Gawker very much for completely botching their lede for this story:
He's been referred to as "Super-Pope" for his superheroic feats of faith, but is Pope Francis an honest-to-Godness superhero?
No, wrong secret-identity reference altogether. A superhero is someone who lives as a common schlub and then puts underwear on over their spandex when they go fight aliens and all the other things. The Pope, on the other hand, is a highly public figure sneaking out to go mingle quietly with the common folk. That's not Superman, that's Henry V in Act 4, going out to check the spirits of the troops the night before Agincourt. If you're going to do this, Gawker, do it right, please.
Our other favorite bit from the HuffPo story was the brief overview of other Popes' "nocturnal wanderings":
There are stories of Pope John XIII sneaking out to enjoy the beauty of Rome in the evenings, and reports tell of Pope Pius XII dressing as a Franciscan during WWII to help smuggle Rome's Jewish population to safety. More recently, Pope Benedict XVI popped out unannounced to visit an art exhibit.
Yep, sounds about the right speed for Ratzi. We far prefer the way New Pope rolls.
Also, too, this secret Pope business is not altogether disconnected from the day's other Pope News, which is this autobiographical tidbit: when he was a young man, he worked at some point as a nightclub bouncer, which you've got to guess means he can handle himself on the Mean Streets of the Holy City, where not even the U.S. State Department dares to tread. The other reason we mention it, of course, is as an excuse to pass along this bit of brilliance from New York magazine's Dan Amira:
Pope: Come in, please! All are welcome!
[Teens stream into nightclub.]
Club Owner: Look, uh, Jorge, is it? I know it's your first day, but you need to be a little more discerning about who you let in to the club. We're going for an "exclusive, V.I.P."-type vibe, and I'm seeing a lot of poorly dressed losers in here. Also a number of lepers.
Pope: Is not all of mankind deserving of respect? The street urchin and the nobleman alike are equally blessed by the Lord's grace.
Club Owner: You're fired.
Pope: Yup, okay.
Next year for Halloween, we're definitely dressing as Undercover Bouncer Pope. Though by then, who knows, maybe Astronaut Pope will be the thing.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.