Showing posts with label Vatican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vatican. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Habemus Papum

So on March 14th 2013, the college of Cardinals elected  a new pope for the Catholic church - 86 year old Cardinal Jorge Bergoglia from Buenos Aires, Argentina henceforth to be known as Pope Francis I. This choice, which came after 5 votes, established a few firsts for the Catholic Church:
1) First pope from South America
2) First pope from outside Europe - modern era
3) First Argentinian pope
4) First Pope from the Jesuit order
The Pope's choice of name - in this case, after Francis of Assisi,  is often considered to be the reflection of whom the Pope will model himself on during his papacy. Pope John Paul II took his name from two separate previous Popes as his new identity. He speaks German, Spanish and Italian. 
This election, along with the previous one, is among the shortest ever elections ever in Vatican history. 

Also, a good read:
Smoke at the Vatican: How Do They Do It?

Viva Il Papa!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Review : The Rozabal Line


It's been a long time since I had taken up a work by an Indian author. Chetan Bhagat has scarred me. An involuntary twitch passes over my face every time I recall the absurdity that was " One night @ the call center ". So despite a conscious effort to not read any Indian works of fiction, Ashwin Sanghi's name appearing again and again on my screen, made me visit the nearest bookstore and take up "The Rozabal Line".

The book packs a plot that brings together history, conspiracy theories and religion across time. Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Atheism, Vatican, Al Qaeda, Illuminati, Opus Dei, Mossad, R&AW, CIA all come together in this book and across time. Despite the volume of different theories that he has brought together, the author has managed admirably to fit all the pieces together well. Yet, the book falls flat on the story when it comes to the protagonist's part. It almost seemed as if the author was more passionate about all the historical events and organisations and talking about them more than the base upon which he made them rest. Comparisons to Dan Brown's work is to be expected. However, the author has brought up new ideas and events regarding Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism that Dan Brown's work didn't include and hence, TRL feels richer in these areas.
Also, the style is that of a non linear narrative. You dip in and out of various points of time in history, which makes you dazed and provides you with no orientation as to where the story is heading. I consider it as a plus point.
It makes for an exciting read. While it lasts.