Granted, the hardworking staff doesn’t read everything, but the Weekend Wall Street Journal provides the first tick-tock we’ve seen on the Pope-a-Scope at the Vatican last month.
The inside story: From the Red Room where Bergoglio’s name was first dropped to a faithful night on Rome’s Piazza Navona
On Feb. 27, a mild, dewy morning, Alitalia Flight 681 landed at Leonardo da Vinci airport in Rome after 13 hours in the air. A balding man with gray-white wisps of thin hair stepped out of coach class. He wore thick-rimmed brown glasses, black orthopedic shoes and a dark overcoat. He had a slight limp, and his back was stiff from the long flight. His belly was a bit swollen, due to many decades of cortisone treatments to help him breathe after he had lost part of a lung as a young man. No one could see the silver pectoral cross he wore under his coat, though it was the symbol of his authority.
Back home in Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was a prominent figure, the highest-ranking Catholic prelate in his country and to many a beloved figure known especially for his work in the city’s teeming slums. Here he was one of 115 cardinals converging on Vatican City for important business: the election of a new leader for the Catholic Church.
As it turned out, Bergoglio was the one, chosen to be Pope in a Byzantine process nicely detailed in the Journal report. The hardfollowing staff can’t vouch for the accuracy of the piece, but we can say this: It’s damned impressive.