Pope Benedict XVI just got a Twitter account—@Pontifex. Finally! And not tweeting a single thing so far has netted His
Naziness Holiness well upwards of 100,000 followers. Dat’s alotta Catholics! Or people who find Catholicism funny (overlap: 70%). Since the digital world has been so keen to welcome Benny to their shores, might we check out the seven people he bothered to follow back?
1. @Pontifex_de: This is also the Pope, but in German! Makes sense. That’s where he’s from, we hear.
2. @Pontifex_es: ¡AY CARAMBA! The Pope en español! Again, just the main Pope Twitter feed in a different language, with added soap opera melodrama.
3. @Pontifex_pt: Almost certainly the best thing about this Portuguese version (hello Brazil!) is that here the Pope goes by “Papa Bento.”
4. @Pontifex_pl: The Polish edition, no doubt a tribute to Pope John Paul II. Will presumably have the Pope’s many, many Polish jokes edited out.
5. @Pontifex_it: Does Italy really need this? I thought the Pope just stood out on his balcony with a microphone when he wanted to talk to Italians.
6. @Pontifex_fr: France’s Pope Benoît XVI posts here. No word yet on whether Pope Benedict will excommunicate Benoît for blasphemy, or what this apparent schism means for the church.
7. @Pontifex_ar: JUST IN CASE THE ARABIC-SPEAKING NATIONS START TAKING JESUS A BIT MORE SERIOUSLY, FINGERS CROSSED.
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There’s a certain stripe of film to which the Vatican will typically lend its imprimatur. Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ, and Victor Flemming’s Joan of Arc have all, to the surprise of no one, received two big, papal thumbs up from Catholic authorities in the past. But this week the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, singled out a film that, while no less esteemed in its own right, doesn’t quite fit the template: The Blues Brothers.
THR reports that in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the film’s release, L’Osservatore has called the pic a “Catholic classic” and recommended it to Catholics everywhere. On the surface it might seem like an incongruous choice, but the rationale isn’t impossible to deduce. Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) are, after all, “on a mission from God.” Sure, they might scare up no end of vehicular mayhem along the way—the film features one of the greatest screen pile-ups of all time—but it’s all in the name of saving a Catholic orphanage from the wrecking ball. In fact, the only (non-musician) character in the film to whom the Brothers Blues pay one iota of respect is Kathleen Freeman’s nun, a.k.a. The Penguin, who runs the insolvent home for boys.
So the next time you’re feeling like you need a little Pope-sanctioned entertainment, but aren’t quite feeling up for all fourteen stages of the cross, there is, mirabile dictu, an alternative.