Wednesday, November 15, 2006

He's good papal

“His Holiness was very affable and very cooperative. Perhaps a little awkward at times, without the showmanship, if one may use the term, of John Paul II. But always very helpful and cooperative.”

So says photographer Giancarlo Giuliani, on photographing Pope Benedict XVI for a 2007 calendar that will benefit a Rwandan mission aiding children, leading me to wonder, with friends like these? I mean, shouldn't there be a statute of limitations on unfavorable comparisons between John Paul the Great's "showmanship" and Benedict's "awkwardness"?

Admittedly, the Pope doesn't look terribly relaxed on the calendar's cover, as he gazes at a fountain. Somehow, I imagine the pontiff's trying to look nonchalant as the David Bailey-like lensman kneels on the opposite side of the fountain saying, "Yeah, Papa! That's it! Give it to me ... give it to me!"

Todd Starnes imagines something similar, only he somehow segues into a tale of the time Playboy magazine persuaded a student at Baylor, a Southern Baptist university, to pose for its pages.

"Now," Starnes writes, "for those who are not familiar with the Southern Baptist way, let me offer a primer. There are a few things Baptists don't do — getting nekkid is one of them. It ranks right up there with dating Methodists."