Wednesday, April 20, 2005

White Smoke Means They're Down To The Vestments

Apparently there's a new Pope, whose name is... no, sorry, it's gone. Can we go back to not caring about Catholicism now, please? To the extent that it has an impact on policy in the world - contraception, etc - it is pretty unambiguously a force for evil, and its trappings and frippery are, not to put too fine a point on it, ridiculous. It's been a little unnerving to witness the twenty-four-seven Pope coverage that we have been subjected to from the very moment the last one became ex-Pope.

Even the mechanism by which the cardinals, or whoever, announce their decision to the world is very silly indeed:
Black smoke means an unsuccessful round of balloting; white smoke — accompanied by the ringing of bells — means there is a new pontiff.
I must admit, when I first heard about the white smoke/black smoke thing signifying a changing of the Pope-guard, I thought it had something to do with cremating the old one. I am a bad person.