Excerpt: All things considered, I’d rather be in Rome. Isn’t everyone?
Tout le journalism monde has descended on Rome since Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise retirement last month. The ensuing Vatican intrigue has been appropriately sumptuous: Was it the gay cabal? Blackmail? Did the butler do it?
And now what?
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The 115 cardinals electing the new pope finally made their choice Wednesday after weeks of finger-drumming by the international press. The Vatican’s tiny communications office had been driven batty by 5,000 reporters who arrived with deadlines and little to report.
The Vatican, despite Pope Emeritus Benedict’s relatively recent foray into the Twitterverse, apparently is not yet on the 24/7 news clock. The cardinals, according to one source in Rome, declined to be rushed by journalists. Meanwhile, reporters stateside daily embarrassed themselves by projecting their own values on to the centuries-old institution — insisting that the church has to modernize on issues ranging from women priests to same-sex marriage to abortion.
One colleague recently intoned a popular, if overwrought, sentiment: If the church doesn’t change its position on women in the clergy, the church is doomed.
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