Awesome television appearance. With Keely Smith, Sam Butera and the Witnesses, natch
“If each one of us does not amass riches only for oneself, but half for the service of others, in this f**k [pause], in this case the providence of God will become visible through this gesture of solidarity,” Francis said to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Italian media reported.
His Holiness meant to use the Italian word for “example,” which is “caso.” Instead, he used the word “cazzo,” which Italians use as a synonym for the four-letter obscenity. The papal slip-up immediately went viral on Italian websites and quickly made its way to YouTube.
But the 77-year-old pontiff kept his cool, and his defenders took to the Internet to say it was a common mistake for native Spanish speakers when they talk in Italian. Others said the literal translation of the word is a synonym for the male organ — but that it is also commonly used as the F-word.
A Vatican spokesman had no comment on the f**k-up.
Walter Russell Mead reports: I just spent two weeks traveling across Europe, visiting France, Italy, Germany, and Romania. Everywhere I went, people wanted to talk about Washington’s dispiriting budget shenanigans, the European implications of the “pivot to Asia” and the mess in the Middle East. But while the Europeans are more or less united on the subject of America’s shortcomings (they like Obama but don’t think his foreign policy is working well, they hate and fear the Tea Party, and they just don’t understand why we do what we do about guns and health care), it was on the subject of Europe that I found them the most divided.
In Italy, I heard from a range of people: industrialists, foreign policy thinkers and policymakers, and journalists. One message came through loud and clear. The Italians feel caught in a cruel trap; the euro is killing them but they don’t see any alternative. When a German visitor gave the conventional Berlin view (the southern countries got themselves into trouble by bad policy, and austerity is the only way out; budget discipline and cutting labor costs are the only way Italy can once again prosper), a roomful of Italians practically jumped on the table to denounce his approach.