Fuma Lei, Santità?
Benedict’s personal style as Pope has been good-humoured, even making self-effacing jokes about being German. On one occasion he wore a white baseball cap; he smokes, plays the piano and likes cats.He smokes?! I sure haven't heard that one.... This is a good place to note that in the last revision of the Legge Fondamentale, the legal code of the Vatican City State, smoking was banned in the entirety of Vatican City, indoors and out. Se e' vero, this might explain why Papa Bear slips out of the Office so much. Don't forget that felines, too, are banned within the walls.
I'm still waiting for Joe Fessio to release the "Pope Speaks to Cats" CD. Beats JP saying the Rosary... When it comes out, I will back a truck into Ignatius' loading dock and stock up.
Elsewhere in the World's Best Catholic Paper, we have a review of a new book on the papal gravy train: Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy, by Cambridge don John Pollard. He seems to uncover that The Tab had something to do with the resurrection of Peter's Pence, a revelation which should shut up the ideologues who call it a liberal publication.
Pollard only covers the period of 1850-1950. It gets much more interesting after that time -- enter Chink, Calvi and a golf course in Arizona.... And it would be another 15 years before The Pro (he who is "amazing" with money and monied people) would arrive in Rome. The place would never be the same again.
Would love to get the book and critique it, but it's $85 and my two donors have given too much already. Now if the guitar case were a bit fuller....