Free the cardinals!

Yesterday tmatt asked readers to submit links to papal coverage that was particularly good or bad. I'm going to go ahead and put my responses in a separate post. It begins, as all our best material does, with a comment thread from last week:

Julia says:

Can’t find it now, but there was an article on (I think) that said JPII, in the 1990s, changed the ancient conclave rules so that the Cardinals could be let out of the Sistine Chapel now and then to sleep and eat, if necessary. I’m not kidding.

And it said that in the new hotel/residence on the grounds, the Cardinals are locked into their rooms!!! Where do the get this stuff? There are plenty of reliable sources, people and authoritative websites with the basic information.

And then there was this:

Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz says:

I couldn’t quite believe what you were saying, Julia, so I went looking — and you were right!It’s the last paragraph. Yikes!

Here it is, and it's actually from NBC:

The conclave process, in which cardinals are locked into their rooms until reaching a decision, was a tradition that began in 1271 following frustration at the failure of the church to agree on a replacement for Pope Clement IV, who died in 1268. Eventually, cardinals were locked inside the papal palace in Viterbo by exasperated magistrates.

Pope John Paul II changed the conclave rules in 1996, allowing cardinals to leave the Sistine Chapel during conclaves to eat and sleep if necessary.

Wow is that quite the collection of Dan Brown-level conspiracy thinking and attention to historical detail.

Do these people think cardinals didn't sleep or eat for years in previous conclaves? Or do they think they all just took a pew, had a three-year stockpile of food in the loft, and went at it?

But it might be this Vanity Fair piece "What the Pope Should Have Written for His Final Tweet" that wins the week's record for most errors per word:

As we mentioned earlier today, the Pope, now about an hour away from officially commencing his post-papacy retirement, announced he would put up a farewell tweet around 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. That tweet is as follows: “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.” Eh!

Despite our own mixed reviews, digitally savvy Catholics just love it, as the message has already been retweeted more than 23,000 times. As a matter of comparison, note that Harry Styles’s January 29 communiqué “Time to sleeeeeeeeeeeep” has four times as many retweets. However, just one of these tweets is, according to Scripture, to be interpreted by the faithful as the words of God himself—and it’s not the tweet you think it is. (It is exactly the tweet you think it is.)

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the Pope’s final tweet—there’s that papal infallibility again!—it’s just that we wished he’d have gone out with more of a bang.

Now, I know that Vanity Fair, which has so much courage in going after Roman Catholics, will be doing its own funny mockery of Islam any day now. Any day. Any day. Can't wait. It has to be coming very soon. But when they do, I sure hope they have fewer errors. "According to Scripture"? "Interpreted by the faithful as the words of God himself"? Where do they get this stuff?

Please respect our Commenting Policy