Funeral games

John Lloyd, a Financial Times editor, makes a good case that “the stern, illiberal and anti-modern …  John Paul” could only have viewed this week’s media ecstasy as a tragedy. bq. In Rome this week, we have seen another kind of frenzy: a media-assisted swarming about the body of the Pope. This has been generously interpreted as devotion but it seems to carry elements of something at once more atavistically ancient and feverishly modern. Ancient, in that the pilgrims who queued for hours came with the same desire to possess a relic of the departed holy one as did the faithful lured by the hucksterism of pardoners to buy a sliver of the True Cross or the bone of a saint. Modern, in that they bore disposable cameras and mobile phones with which to capture an electronic relic that, unlike the medieval fakes, will always be “real”. “FT”:

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