P&J have had little good to say about the Catholic Church hierarchy, but Pope Frankie seems to at least have a proper sense of decorum. Riding around in a Ford Focus instead of some pimped-out Mercedes favored only by pontiffs, African cabinet ministers, and Beverly Hills dentists (thank you, Paul Fussell), the guy is showing a nicely nuanced recognition of the world’s poverty vis-à-vis the swanning around in velvet robes and golden bling-bling traditionally favored by the boys in dresses at the Vatican.
But your superior correspondents were amused by the recent Associated Press coverage of Frankie’s visit to Brazil, where he is being treated like a rock star in Rio de Janeiro, and has continued to make the “Popemobile” more well known than the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile or the Dogmobile from the Farrelly Brothers’ Dumb and Dumber.
(True story: portions of Dumb and Dumber were shot in Little Rhody, because the Farrellys grew up here. Totally unaware of the movie in production at the time, Phillipe was driving up Route 295 one day when he saw the Dogmobile across the highway. It was one of those, “Did I really see that? And if I did, I want to meet whoever is behind the wheel of that baby!” moments. Too bad we don’t have more tricked-out vehicles like that one, it would make driving a great deal more interesting.)
But we digress. One part of a recent AP report reads, “A Vatican official also said that authorities had found a small, homemade bomb near a church the pope plans to visit [in two days] but that it didn’t appear connected to the pontiff’s visit.”
Oh, OK. And that August 2001 “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” briefing memo to Dubya Bush about the threat of Al Qaeda had nothing to do with 9/11.
The other thing that caught P&J’s eye was “Before singing, [three dozen World Youth Day participants] robustly yelled soccer-like chants in the pope’s honor.” Phillipe and Jorge hope it wasn’t one of famed chants by the historically Protestant Glasgow Rangers fans — for example, the song, “The Billy Boys,” which includes the line “We’re up to our knees in Fenian [a derogatory term referring to historic Catholic warriors] blood.” Bad form, don’tcha know. That ditty helped get a law passed in Scotland prohibiting religious and racist verbal attacks at soccer matches
Rangers’ archrival, Glasgow Celtic (think Red Sox-Yankees with three times the violence and religious hatred added to the mix), were founded as a Catholic team, with long-held ties to Northern Ireland and the IRA, and their fans had no problem verbally assaulting the Queen, British monarchy, and the Church of England at matches over the years. P. remembers a Rangers chant from when he lived in the UK in the early ’70s that pretty well summed up the feelings, while mentioning Celtic manager Jock Stein and star David Hay, and Rangers’ own captain John Greig and player Sandy Jardine:
Kick Jock Stein and David Hay /Fuck the pope and the IRA /God bless John Greig and Jardine /And God save the Queen