THE POPE HAS DIED
YES, THE POPE HAS DIED!
Not the German bloke who lives in Rome! I'm talking about the REAL Pope; Shenouda the 3rd. I cannot claim to have known him, but I have been close enough to touch him, if I had felt the urge, which I didn't. We saw him at the consecration of the new Coptic Church, just up our street (I'm almost sure that I Blogged it at the time?)
I'm not au fait with their ceremonies and practices, and might well be quite uncomfortable with them if I were! But the Pope himself came across as a lovely man, very 'grandad like'. He is known as Baba Shenouda to his flock. I suppose it's the same as the Catholics calling their priests 'father', except that they seem to REALLY love this bloke! The Coptic Christians will be in mourning for quite sometime I imagine. The bell (which I have not heard before) has now been tolling for two hours! We all know the phrase "Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee!" But this is the first time that I can remember hearing a bell toll for anyone. Perhaps they 'tolled the bell' for old Winston Churchill, but I don't remember. Even if I did, it would only be the recording on the TV or wireless, anyway. This is completely different, when I'm actually here, it seems so serious and solemn! I haven't heard the Mosques yet, could it possibly be that the Muslims are allowing the toll of the bell to be the only loud sound, as a mark of respect?
This is one of the pictures I took of him, with my phone, actually inside the new church. The quality is absolute rubbish (it's only 3.58kb), but it's the best one I have! Even though he was very small, his 'presence' was very imposing. He definitely had that 'star quality'. He's been the Pope for forty years, and I've no idea about how they go about appointing a replacement.