That is a good question and I am not the first to ask it. Folks are just giddy about the Pope’s delightfully non-offensive and refreshingly healing trip to Turkey. I understand there’s a lot of relief out there and an urgent desire for Catholic leadership to be OK again. Still, there’s just something about the current Pope. Stephen Colbert’s forced march recitation of the Nicene Creed last night was a little chilling. At least for me, who was raised sort of Catholic. It brought back some flashbacks of Masses past. While he recited it, I wondered if that was even legal or whatever to do on TV in a non-church setting? Then I remembered: it’s cable.

Before anyone starts thinking that the Pope is really down with the people and understands why what he said about violence and Islam was not OK. And all that — I recommend you check out his coat of arms. There are some compelling explanations about the “Ethiopian” on the pope’s personal flag. Something involving Bavarian saints. Whatever. This flag ornamented strangely with a negro is what is flown on the popemobile and wherever in the world he goes as his personal standard. What exactly was he thinking that folks like you and I would think? Am I supposed to be flattered as a black person that the former “God’s Rottweiler” chooses a likeness of my people as “ornamentation”? Pope John Paul II on the other hand chose a non-racial flag that involved a big M for his hero Mary, Mother of God. How does Benedict XVI think this flag is likely to be received in places like Cuba, the Caribbean, Brazil and Africa in general? Someone, anyone, please help me understand this man.

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