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Sunday, August 28, 2022


by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

Pope Francis on Saturday inducted 20 cardinals from around the world, choosing men who mostly agree with his vision of a more progressive and inclusive Church and influencing their choice of his eventual successor. —Reuters, August 27, 2022

Pope Francis [born Jorge Bergoglio] says he wouldn't live in the Vatican or return to his native Argentina if and when he ever retires. ABC News, July 12, 2022

Joe Ratzinger's a marvel. He gets ten
Off me for walking when his sun had set—
Retiring from his job as pontiff when
God told him he was past it—though he'd get
Eleven if the saintly fellow would
Be called, not Benedict, but Joe the Pope
Emeritus, and twelve if Joseph could
Remember his white cassocks are a nope!...
Go back to Argentina, or be found
On Vatican estates, if I step down?
Good heavens, no! Don't let me hang around,
Let Jorge hold confessions in the town
If he retires... But I'm not going yet—
Or you'll get some hardliner I'll regret!

Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus at Florida State University who has returned to live in his native England. His acrostic sonnets have appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Better Than Starbucks, the Creativity Webzine, Current Conservation, the Daily Mail, the Ekphrastic Review, Grand Little Things, Light, Lighten Up Online, The New Verse News, Oddball Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, the Satirist, The Washington Post, and WestWard Quarterly.