David Warren has done it again… droll, tongue in cheek, even a little cheeky in innuendo …
The Monks of Glenstal Abbey, Regina Coeli, 2009
Perhaps the word they are looking for in Rome is clemency. Or, clementia, should we wish to be late mediaeval about it. Merciful, if you will, with respect to Catholic doctrine, since it is mercy in itself. Imagine now, gentle reader, a full year in which the “we” of the Church (and any well-wishers) will be gentle, mild, and humane. I was thinking, especially towards faithful Catholics, who have suffered enough through the last couple of years, or rather, the last half century. Rome could let up on them for a while.
The pope himself might wish to spend the whole of the year, not saying anything. Just letting things pass. When asked, for instance, leading questions by members of the press, while aloft in aeroplanes — above 30,000 feet, where the air pressure might contribute to a certain dangerously giddy whimsicality — he could just smile benignly. No special linguistic accomplishment is necessary for that. Bless them, perhaps: for they are so much in need of blessings, these poor journalistic souls. Smile, then put on headphones, and listen to Gregorian chant.
Or much better it would be, to stay out of aeroplanes; to stay home; for instance to relax at Castel Gandolfo. There are swans there, I understand: one might watch them glide on the Lago Albano. Or if no swans, surely other elegant birds. There are walks to take in the Alban Hills. There is even a golf course, I am told. And too, the remains of the Villa of Domitian to explore. Let us reflect, after all the cruelty of his first-century persecutions: that Domitian is dead. And that we have his Villa.
“May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”