Pope Francis met with Patrician Kirill today in Havana, because like the rest of the world, both men want to see the place before America ruins it. You probably know Francis: he’s the new, cool Pope. (Unless you’re a woman, or gay, or had a priest’s finger in your butt as a child; then, he’s not so cool.)
The other guy is Patrician Kirill, which is a name that the producers of Babylon 5 thought up for the villain, but decided was too silly. Patrician is exactly the same as Pope. Literally: one’s a Latin way of saying “father,” and the other is Greek. Both of these men are the Garcias of their organizations.
The Patrician (who, I will bet, is nowhere near as awesome as the Patrician from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels) heads the Russian Orthodox Church, which split from the Greek Orthodox Church many years ago over–among other things–how many fingers to use when making the sign of the cross.
God’s Word is God’s Word, man. Three fingers or die.
The significance of the event is that the Pope and the Patriarch haven’t met in a thousand years. Which seems deliberate, honestly. You can avoid someone for a while, but a millennium says you’re doing it on purpose. Maybe the Patriarch called the Pope, and the Pope meant to call him back but forgot, and then a hundred years had gone by and it’s this thing and before you know it: thousand years.
You would think they would run into each other by accident. At the religion convention or something.
Anyway, much like Phil and Phriends shows at TXR, TotD had some of the Ashbury Street Irregulars in the room while the historic conversation took place, and I can present part of it here now:
“That’s-a nice-a hat!”
“Perfecto. You-a look-a like da vicodin.”
“Spaceeba, Your Holiness.”
“No, no: my-a father was “Your Holiness.” Call-a me Frankie.”
“Da, Frankie. What we talk about?”
“How about-a we talk about-a Jesus?”
“I love that guy!”
“He’s-a good guy.”
“Aren’t you from Argentina? Why do you have a comic Italian accent?”
“All-a Popes sound-a like Chico Marx. Is-a da rules.”