Thursday, 27 September 2007

My embarassing conclave conclusion....



late afternoon...
radio4 hinted the conclave would be over soon, so there was a disconsolate howl from the children when 'Yu-gi-oh' was replaced with BBC news 24.
Who was it going to be ? That Ukrainian ? Arinze or his protege ? Crom Cruach - Heaven forfend !? Martino - please no !? That Latin American Opus Dei guy the US blogs were recommending ?
My partner arrived home with a mountain of stories ready to relate about work,after my abrupt shushing her and two minutes of desperate apologes and an explanation as to why I was rude, she charitably calmed down and asked me nonchalantly who it was going to be ?
My response of how the bloody hell should I know went down like a lead balloon ! More apologies ensued.
Who did I want it to be ?
My reply of we'll get who the Holy spirit wants sounded naiively superstitious and credulous to my over-rationally agnostic spouse; so I changed tack...
' We need Ratzinger or someone like him; but there isn't a hope in hell - too many progressive bastards around - he's a bloody brilliant demi-god - but he's hated by so many ! Your mother has more chance of becoming Pope.'
I turned to the kids...
'say a quick prayer it's not Martino or a liberal !' they obliged having no idea what they were asking for; but trusted my sincere fervour in the request.

Then who should come on the screen but David-bloody-Barrett?? My best mate from my seminary days - I ended up the shelf-stacker in ASDA, he became Bishop's secretary and diocesan chancellor and a few years away from an episcopacy. The BBC reporter asked him what kind of pope he wanted - the response of holy praying pope as not exactly what the reporter expected or wanted...
My partner started recounting to the kids how adorable but 'flakey' Fr David was - how it took him seven years to find time to baptize our youngest...[I had insisted that he HAD to do it]
My eldest started asking about the assassination attempt on JPII and the story of the little girl who needed an operation, but Paul VI was friends with her rural parish priest and he had paid for her operation and told the priest to make sure the girl dedicated her life to the Immaculate heart of Mary [Our Lady of Fatima] It was that cured young girl in the crowd wearing the huge rosette that made John Paul II bend down and the bullets miss his head... {I don't know if the anecdote is true but my kids' eyes light up with wonder at it}
Then came the announcement - Joseph ??? It can't be ??? It is ! Oh My GOD!!!!! IT IS!!!!

The way my wife and kids describe it might be a little 'florid' ; but according to them it was a 'When Harry met Sally moment'...

Neighbours stopped in the street outside our open windows. Passers-by stared in the direction of our house...

A Male voice emanating , screaming 'YES! YES ! YES!!!' for minutes on end, shouting heavenward
'THANKYOU...I LOVE YOU...OH THANKYOU!!! YES-YES-YESSSSS !!!!' tears in my eyes, banging my fist on the floor in abject ecstasy...

God gave us Benedict; and half my neighbours can no longer look me in the eye without blushing and scuttling off - a story my kids love to embarass me with at every family gathering...

Harry - you suggest that many clerics were disappointed at his election - I reply 'ORCHIDS!!' - for a lot of them the roof of their smug complacent situationist pragmatic relativist world fell in - to them it was a nightmare made manifest ! upset ? They were livid ! It was a cataclysm of cosmic proportions to them....

I hit my knees at ever opportunity and thank God for the overwhelming bounteous grace He has bestowed upon His undeserving Church by giving us Benedict XVI.

Now put that in your pipe and see if white smoke rises !!!

2 comments:

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

I remember that moment too. I lept out of my seat yelling "YES!!" on top of my voice when he stepped onto the balcony.

Ttony said...

I "knew" it would be Ratzinger: the Piers Paul Read article in the Spectator brought together everything which felt right about the moment. And I know enough history to have guessed that a Bavarian born in the 1920s would have been brought up on stories about the great Pope Benedict. So, I was idly looking at Paddy Power and noticed that I could get (if memory serves) about 14/1 on Ratzinger, and 25/1 on Benedict: or £3500 for a £10 bet. My wife burst into my reverie: "Come on, you're being picked up at six in the morning" (I was going to the US) "and you've not even started to pack". So I dutifully logged off and went to pack.

Three days later, the conference I was at a US military establishment was interrupted by somebody who made a small announcement: "If there are any Catholics here, they might like to know that Cardinal Ratzinger has been elected Pope."

"And I bet he's chosen the name Benedict", I whispered to the person next to me.

Still pleased; still poor.