by our religious correspondant Mik Bulk
But why am I here? “That’s what they all ask,” an official laughs as he whisks me along the corridors. I’ve only been in the City of God for a half an hour and already I can feel awe. It is all about this old place. I’m here, of course, because of certain seismic events that you might just have heard about.
It’s not often a Pope retires while still alive – in fact, it’s been many lifetimes, and even more lifetimes since we had a Pope from the “new world” – but there you have it in a nutshell.
The air is thick in this holy place. My aide, Carltino Rossi, is charming – and very handsome!
He chuckles as I scribble notes on my office iPad. “Have you an app for this?” he beams. I say I don’t know what he means and he laughs some more.
I ask what he thinks of the Pope: “What do you think of the new Pope, do you think?” I question him.
He points, in a tantalising fashion, upwards. I tell him I don’t understand. He laughs.
Later we share a coffee on a stunning veranda. I think we are becoming friends now that I have begun to win over his trust.
The art in the buildings is spellbinding – no Damien Albarn here! – and I pass comments on it.
Finally my new friend is serious: “It’s time to go.”
And so it is. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what others think. Here in the Land of God, all that matters is what you or I think (if we’re here).