Thursday, March 14, 2013

Habetis Papam

The election of a new pope, regardless of what the Holy Spirit might think, is a world-historical event. It is a relatively rare occurrence: there have only really been four popes in this blogger's lifetime (if one excludes the short-lived John Paul I), and only 17 since the independence of the United States. The pope also heads an institution of rare longevity (nearly 2,000 years), is at least the nominal spiritual leader of more than one billion Catholics, and has the power, if he waves at you on parade, to allow sex without sin.

I was a bit disappointed, of course, that the new pope chose not to resume the nomenclatural progression first observed by Eddie Izzard and set aside by Benedict: “First we had Pope John, then Pope Paul, then Pope John Paul. The next pope will be John Paul George...and I think we see where they're going with this.”

(I title this short post “habetis papam” rather than “habemus papam” because I am not a Catholic, so this pope isn't really mine to have. I prefer to say “habemus papadum,”* particularly at the outset of a good Indian dinner.)

* Or "habemus papadas," but that doesn't sound as funny.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Great post! =) (Nothing kicks off a good Indian dinner like papadum.) I think what is also notable about this particular Pope is that he is from Argentina which I think is probably good thing. As you can see from this map: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324880504578298931378799260.html South America is among the strongest Catholic areas...and really haven't the European Popes fucked things up enough. Given an Argentinian a chance!

Dave Nichols said...

Good point. Juxtaposing Francis's nationality with Benedict's reminds me of the old saying: "If you want to hide a German, hire an Argentinean."

Carl Anderson said...

The Latin accusative would be "papam" (rather than "papem"), no? Not that "papa" is a terribly classical word, but, still! :) And so, I guess the accusative of "parpaṭa" (Sanskrit antecedent of English "pa[p]padum", acquired by way of Tamil "pappaṭam") would be parpaṭam -- close enough to a plausible Latin accusative as makes no odds. :) Though I think a single pappadum would not go far with a plural verb form; maybe better "habemus papadas" (the Sanskrit accusative plural would be "parpaṭān").

Dave Nichols said...

Thank you, Carl. Corrections made.

Rob said...

http://cwhig.blogspot.com/2013/03/habemus-papadum.html