Friday, April 01, 2005

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines....

8:25PM ROME - Reuters has just reported, for the first time, that Pope John Paul II has died. Needless to say, this story will flip back and forth several times as news agencies jockey to report the death of Pope John Paul II first.

Meanwhile, Wolf, Brian, Peter, and all the rest - well, you can feel them all pulling out their best pressed linen shirts, working the words in their mouth over and over again in the mirror, readying themselves to feed endlessly on the story.

As a side note, CNN has the "worsening condition" story running right now, while MSNBC is going with "lost consciousness" and Fox News is at Code Red with "The Pope is Dead".

The Catholic Church is full of symbolism and ceremony and ritual, of course. I found this "death test" interesting:

"When the pope dies, the cardinal chamberlain (Camerlengo) of the holy Roman Church (currently Eduardo Cardinal Martinez Somalo) ascertains the pope’s death, traditionally by calling the pope three times by his baptismal name without response. The ritual of striking the head with a silver hammer (which would later be used to break the Fisherman’s Ring and the papal seal) may be replaced by covering the face with a cloth. He then authorizes the secretary-chancellor to issue a death certificate and seals the pope's private apartments. After notifying the cardinal vicar for the diocese of Rome, the chamberlain secures the temporal goods and rights of the Holy See and attends to the details of the pope’s burial. "

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:37 PM /


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