Elmore Leonard: "The Next Pope, A Cool Black Nun"
That above was the headline -- "The Next Pope, A Cool Black Nun" -- but somebody at the NYT apparently had a case of the PC something-or-others, and now Elmore's fun op-ed piece is titled something he NEVER would have approved, "For Pope: A Dude Like Dad." Bleh.
An excerpt from Elmore's piece -- which, thankfully, didn't get deballed like the headline:
WHEN I was a boy, around the time Pope Pius XI died, in 1939, I remember my dad saying he could be the next pope if he got the votes. He said there were no rules saying the pope had to come out of the cardinal pool, or be a bishop or priest of some kind; he only had to be a Catholic -- male, of course -- of good standing in the church, to be elected.
My mother, Flora, normally a kind soul, would tell Elmore Sr., "Shush, you could never in the world be the pope." It was the only subject I remember them arguing about.
I grew up Catholic, went to Mass every day in grade school and high school; was taught by the Jesuits; spent two and a half years in the Navy during the war; returned, and was graduated from another Jesuit school, the University of Detroit. I even taught catechism in the '60s, although I just told stories for the most part.
My dad might have been qualified to be pope. He worked for General Motors.
...The Vatican is an old boys' club. Tradition going all the way back to Peter says it's a man's job. But wouldn't a woman, one who isn't the least bit timid, be interesting in the role? Like a cool black nun who comes to the throne after 30 years doing God's work with little recognition. She'd be the first pope in heels. Maybe from the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, in Harlem -- the real Sister Act. Get a singing, swinging sister to jazz up St. Peter's Basilica. I guarantee people would tune in.
P.S. You can still see Elmore's title in the URL:
And here's a copy with a slightly different version of the "cool black nun" from the NYT online from last night:
Probably fears by those at the NYT of being racist or being called racist were behind this change, but the ridiculous thing is, what really reflects racial bias is having a group of people who, by virtue of their race, we aren't allowed to joke about or even comment on (at least, not in a very out-there way).