Visual 'media' have their interests.
On October 29, Dr Kirk (GKIRKUK) publised a photograph of PF surrounded by young people ... all so spontaneous ... so happy ...
I would say, No; the picture is carefully posed almost as if by that master of disegna, Poussin. Notice how, in the bottom of the picture, the young people are linked together by one youth's arm reaching out to another youth's arm ... ditto, two girls. Observe how the the girl with the regular features on PF's left is leaning in towards his manly chest, balanced by the bearded youth [complementarity!!] to PF's right, nuzzling his shoulder. Calculate ... but No; you will find it diverting to work it all out yourself.
In the front row, there is the character Frasier from the old American sitcom Cheers. I bet he demanded a fat fee.
In its own way, all this is reminiscent of the care Pius XII took with his image. When he was photographed with a visiting bishop, the poor bishop had to stand rather uncomfortably looking at the camera; but the gracious pontiff is looking at a different undefined point which emphasises his dignity and otherwordliness. Then there are the Canary pictures ... Pacelli as another ... now I come to think of it ... another S Francis. It comes as no surprise to learn that Pius XII went to great pains with studio photographers to identify and refine those postures which would show him to best effect.
Strange that Benedict XVI seemed not to need all this self-conscious self-promotion.
After the Synod, a video was made showing Youff and Cardinals, categories which so rarely seem to overlap, overlapping on the dance floor. At one point, we see, just for a second, a figure who looks to me uncannily like our own, our very own, Archbishop Vincent Nichols. But he is not dancing. He is doing exactly what I would have done if I had had the misfortune to find myself in such embarrassing company: he is sitting on a chair and languidly clapping and wondering how soon he can decently get away from it all.
I wonder (so does Dr Kirk) if Vincent's mind has shifted a little. Hitherto, he has been an apparently unreserved Bergoglian. He has adhered to documents suggesting identity between the Holy Ghost and the every word and doing of PF. Speculation inevitably arose that he hoped for preferment ... perhaps to be made Prefect of the new Dicastery for the Family.
Not a sausage. Not even an inflated baloon in his Christmas stocking.
Could this explain why, according to reports, his Eminence has now distanced himself from some of PF's more sinister projects? I have particularly in mind PF's rather obvious plot to manipulate and use synods so as to create new procedures for casting a spuriously Magisterial cloak over the more dodgy of his pet policies.
Could it be that Cardinal Vincent is ... er ... positioning himself with a eye to the next conclave? Just a thought ...