Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bertone: "I Had A Dream"

Adding an even more bizarre twist to his appointment to head the Vatican's geopolitical apparatus without ever having spent a day in it, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -- who takes office you know where in two weeks -- revealed at the close of his farewell Mass in Genoa that "On the night between 15 and 16 August, Pope John Paul II appeared to me in a dream."

This is not a joke; we couldn't make this up if we wanted to.

"In the dream, the Pope was very old, with his cane and very serene. We spoke of the young," Bertone, a Salesian, told the gathered faithful and media, "and I told him that World Youth Day was his most beautiful invention; he was happy [to hear that]."

The incoming Secretary of State said he had asked the late Pope -- who, over time, named him archbishop of Vercelli, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, archbishop of Genoa and, in 2003, a cardinal -- for his blessing. Said Bertone, "He replied, 'I bless you gladly.' I knelt, he gave me his blessing and said 'from now on, do not be afraid.'"

A week later, on the 23rd, the cardinal told Benedict XVI of his dream and, he says, the Pope replied, "Don't be afraid, then."

Meanwhile, one of Rome's veteran Americans is dreaming of an undersecretary's job.

And which dream is more unusual?