“Please do not post jokes about the new Pope” is my first reaction when my son who is looking at Norwegian News, shouts in Italian “Mamma mamma fumata bianca”. He has noted the text below the TV image. Norwegian TV keeps on talking about something else. We switch to RAI. I take the mobile and update my status “Please do not post jokes about the new Pope”. Somebody of my 700 Facebook friends has already managed to post the picture of the pink smoke. It follows one hour of RAI 1, comments on facebook. The Italian journalist Bruno Vespa, I do not know why, is again at RAI 1 and exchange the Italian National song with the Vatican song. People, thousands of people are standing, praying and crying in Rome.
It is my fourth conclave. I think of an Autumn of more than thirty years ago, when the first new Pope was elected, and I, 14 years old, travel alone to Rome, by bus, starting from Pisa station at 01.30 in the night to see the new Pope. It is the day I smoke my first Malboro cigarette, on a bus full of young people singing and playing guitar.
I look at my mobile, I look at my past. Roberto is again more concentrated than me and shouts again “Mamma la tenda si muove”.
It is when the Pope says “Buonasera” and I see that one of my colleagues has written “Congrats to my Catholic friends on the election of a South American Pope! (Just heard live on CNN :-)» that I first cry a bit. It was my fourth conclave. The first on social media for me and for the Pope. But with physical tears.