Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pontifical Commission for Internet Communication?

With thanks yet again to Fr Blake, who has reported on the Vatican's latest Communications initiative.

Scene: The Vatican gardens; time shortly after the closure of the Synod of Bishops.

Discovered, Pope Benedict and his Secretary Mgr G.G. enjoying a post-prandial stroll.
Both appear to be deep in thought, if not prayer.

B16 (suddenly breaking the silence) I've decided after all against our idea of a Congregation for the Doctrine of the Blog. How far advanced are the plans for it?

G.G. (his crest visibly fallen) Not very far your Holiness. As you know the business plan showed that it would be very expensive, I mean particularly on the pay-roll side, and in the current economic climate.....Well perhaps we should....

B16: Exactly! And those salaries would represent an ongoing outlay. I've already stretched the budget with those solar panels on the roof, but at least they'll pay for themselves eventually. And all those euros just to manage a blog, not to mention the problem of comments. No! (then humbly) I am the successor of Peter and I do not want to go off at half-rock.' (chuckles innocently) Agreed?

G.G.: Well, yes but.......

B16: (reading his mind) Look, if we have to spend on this technocomm. thingy. Let's make it what they call in English a 'a one-off done deal'. (A gleam has come into the Papal eyes.) A real schtonker eh? In time for World Communications Day. Cheer up GG, I think I have the answer.

G.G.: (really nervous now. After all these years recognising the signs that something big is up the Ratzinger sleeve.) (Weakly) Yes Holy Father (Almost inaudibly) What is it?

B16: (with his most charming and broadest grin) WE BUY YOUTUBE!

G.G. AAARRgggh! (his sigh tails away into silence. There is a thump.)

B16: (muttering) Mein Jesu! Sancta Maria! What have I done!?
(deftly draws a white and yellow cellphone from his robe and dials a favourite. Waits, almost in tears.) Oh schnell, schnell!......(then at last)
Ah! Tarcisio, my brother, come quickly and bring smelling salts. Georg minor seems to have fainted. I think I've been over-working him, God forgive me. (disconnects the call) (grabs the cushion that GG always carries in case he himself needs it; and kneels next to the prone body.

G.G. (opening his eyes, smiles like a cherub; hoarsely, as B16 gazes paternally down at him) Anything you tube,(corrects himself)- sorry, - anything you choose, dear, dear Holy Father.

The curtain falls swiftly as Cardinal Bertone rushes onto the scene.

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