Today, of course, is Easter, when the Catholic Church celebrates the Resurrection of Our Lord. The pope, every Easter Sunday, gives one of his biannual Urbi et Orbi addresses at St. Peter’s square. Francis has already given his. He issued a fine condemnation of Saturday’s suicide bombing of refugees in Syria. Francis is an interesting person; he will be discussed later, and in great detail, as I attempt to fully unspool this long history I’m calling “the Saga of Pope Paul VI.” For now it need only be said that Francis is one of the two popes (or antipopes, more correctly) out of the four since 1978 who were actually aware of Paul VI’s survival and exile. The other one was John Paul I (Albino Luciani), who died after only thirty-three days in office. But more on that, also, in the future.
One of the more surreal pieces of trivia surrounding Francis and Pope Paul VI is the fact that on October 19th 2014, Francis presided over the solemn beatification of Paul VI. He publicly and formally decreed a man to be in heaven whom he knew to be alive. It is a fantastic charade that recognizes no bounds. And with that, a Happy Easter to all.
William Blake, Christ Appearing to His Disciples After the Resurrection (c. 1795)