Habemus Papam

As I waited for the red velvet curtains to part, an irreverent thought struck me. Wouldn’t it be lovely if some Vatican wag reprised the classic Eric Morecambe hand round the throat gag; an allusion that will be lost on all those who are neither British, nor of a certain age.

I also found myself thinking about Nanni Moretti’s gentle comedy Habemus Papam, which tells of a reluctant man’s elevation to the throne of St Peter. Like all great comedies it has a ring of truth about it, particularly the scene in which the convocation of cardinals sitting in the Sistine chapel all offer up an individual prayer, “Oh God, let it not be me.”

There will be many similarly minded giving thanks today.

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