Unlike everyone else who witnessed the Holy Father taking a phone call in the middle of a General Audience in St. Peter’s Square the other day, I was not the least bit surprised. And why should I be, since I was the one who made the call?
No sooner had I dialed the number than I was put immediately through to the pope, who seemed quite delighted to hear from me. For about five seconds, that is, no doubt thinking I was the Reverend James Martin, whom I had instructed the switchboard operator at the Vatican to inform the pope was on the other line.
And until things fell apart, which happened fairly quickly, I was hoping for a productive exchange. Once he realized he’d been snookered, however, he abruptly hung up, leaving me to imagine the number of heads likely to roll on the floor of the Vatican switchboard.
But not before I had succeeded in leaving my own message, which was to tell him to stop all the madness. At once. Otherwise, I managed to blurt out just before the papal smartphone slammed shut, it would not be possible to acquit His Holiness from complicity in the disasters taking place in the life of the Church. He will own them. Whether wittingly or not scarcely matters anymore. The point is, it has got to stop, and until he steps in to do so the Church will continue to fracture and unravel, spiraling completely out of control.
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