Monday, April 18, 2005

There's no such thing as bad publicity!

Or as Brendan Behan put it, "There's no such thing as bad publicity, except your obituary."

Whoever in Paddy Power's bookmakers thought up the idea of a market on the Papal election, it is doubtful they ever dreamed of the amount of publicity it would generate. Even American-based Catholic blogs, such as Amy Welborn's Open Book, has a link to the market page. Paddy Power himself actually went to Rome at the weekend, and got coverage on CNN!! Not to mention whatever new accounts and new clients they've received.

Now as I write this, Francis Arinze is favourite at 3-1. I was present at Croke Park in 1999 at a rally of the Pioneer Association, where he gave a homily on the subject of temperance. What struck me was his explanation of temperance as a virtue not just in Christianity, but in Eastern cultures.

Not long ago, the first black smoke came from the chimney; this brings up the question. Suppose they fail to elect a candidate, then put the ballot papers in the furnace, but someone forgets to put in the wet straw or whatever they use to make the smoke black?? Actually, can the cardinals themselves in the Sistine Chapel actually see the top of the chimney to make sure they smoke is black?? Just a thought.

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