The headline read, "Without a Pope the Vatican is running in slow motion." So last week it was in overdrive? Outwardly I don't see any difference. I'm not Catholic, and I certainly don't mean to make light of the Church, but it just seems like the Vatican moves at its own pace and nothing can change its velocity.
Sort of like Italy that surrounds it. I've never been to Italy, but it intrigues me. It's hard for my mind to stereotype Italy and the Italian people. There seems to be such a wide chasm between perception and reality, more so than just about anyplace I can imagine.
For example, newspaper reports suggest they're a very dysfunctional people. They form and dissolve governments about as often as Kim Kardashian changes shoes. They have mastered the art of cheating on their taxes. They have a very generous welfare state....people seem to take it easy, preferring to sit around and eat pasta and drink vino. Work is almost an afterthought. The government is flat busted broke. People seem to live in hovels that date back to Roman times.
Yet they have a tremendous sense of style. Italian women are Ooh-la-la gorgeous...
...as are their cars, even their little proletarian Fiats.
Their carabinieri (police) even patrol in style, with uniforms designed with fashion in mind. Isn't Prada an Italian company? In many ways they seem backwards, yet they make world class Ferrari's, Maserati's, and Lamborghini's, and machine tools, and firearms, and helicopters, too. Lots of very high-tech stuff is made and exported from Italy. Does that mean they have a top-notch educational system?
I'd love to go there someday and unravel the mystery Italy has become in my mind. I think I'll make that my daydream for today.
If I ever make it there, will I be disappointed?
EDIT....Did you hear that when President George W. Bush was in Italy he was granted an audience with Pope John Paul II? After a nice visit, as he was leaving, "W" leaned over and quietly told the Pope, "...and please tell Mrs. Paul how much I like her fish sticks." :)