Somebody Who Should Know told me that our beloved Holy Father is sometimes known among his Curial fellow-toilers as Ming the Merciless.
The term suggests to me flickering black-and-white adventure movies from the 1930s, long fingernails, improbably droopy moustaches, unimaginable oriental cruelties, opium dens, and all that. Am I on the right lines?
One simply cannot imagine Oriental Cruelties, or even Opium-fuelled Orgies, in Pope Francis' Rome.
Incidentally, apparently the Holy Father, to show that he is not a luxuriating Renaissance Prince, is spending a humble and abstemious August in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Does anyone know whether or not the air-conditioning (vide Laudato si Paragraph whatsit) is on?
Is there any truth in the rumour that the cooler and papally-vacated Castelgandolfo has been made exclusively available to clerical bloggers and their wives?