I have absolutely no comment about the following RNS piece at all. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Niente.
I mean, I have no comment other than that I am shocked, shocked, that this globe-shaking religion-news story did not receive more coverage in the mainstream press.
Are you sitting down?
BERLIN -- Pope Benedict XVI can cross an outstanding charge of failing to use a seatbelt from his list of worries. The southern German city of Freiburg ... threw out charges against the pontiff for riding in his popemobile without a seatbelt during a September visit.
“There will be no fine for the pope,” city spokeswoman Edith Lamersdorf, told the daily Badische Zeitung. “The charges were quashed.”
Although there is a requirement in Germany to wear seatbelts, even in slow-moving vehicles, city officials ruled that the law didn’t apply in the pope’s case because the street on which he was spotted without a seatbelt had been closed for public traffic the day of his visit. Attorney Christian Sundermann had filed the complaint on behalf of an unnamed German resident of Dortmund. ...
The unnamed plaintiff argued that the pope was seen several times during the visit without a seat belt. The complaint offered several eyewitnesses, including the archbishop of Freiburg, the head of the German Conference of Bishops and the premier of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Sundermann’s office had also entered a YouTube clip of the visit, which shows Benedict touring in a German-made Mercedes-Benz popemobile. ...
Actually, it is possible that this riveting story received more coverage in Europe than in the United States. See what I mean?
Also, this blog item may also be evidence that your GetReligionistas will post almost anything during extremely busy weeks (it is exit week for students here at the Washington Journalism Center) that also happen to coincide with weeks that take the Divine Mrs. M.Z. Hemingway into corners of the world that do not contain wifi.
Feel free to discuss this news item, however. Make my day.
IMAGE: Crucial evidence is found at the end of this YouTube clip.