Holy Roller to Hit the Big AppleGuess what everybody? This April, New York is going to get a very important visit! That’s right, the Popemobile is coming! We couldn’t be more excited. We’ve always wanted to see the Popemobile in person. It’s such an honor that the Popemobile is visiting the city during our lifetime; it’s only been here four times before, in history. Apparently, the pope-mobile is going to go down to ground zero and even take part in a giant Mass at Yankee Stadium (last time the pope-mobile was here, it visited Shea — the Popemobile, of course, is a nonpartisan car). During the pope-mobile’s most recent visit to the Big Apple, in 1995, it was carrying Pope John Paul II. This time it will be carrying Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict was last in the city before he was pope, in 1988, when his arrival was met with protests by gay groups because he called their sexuality a “moral disorder” and also by Jews because he thinks that they should become Christian to get “perfected” (well, he said Judaism “finds its fulfillment” in Christianity, but the pope doesn’t go on as many talk shows as Ann Coulter so he can’t be expected to have his rhetoric quite so down pat). Anyway, we can’t wait to go see the Popemobile when it comes. It’s really caught up with the times. We hear it has power steering now!
Benedict Will Bless City With April Visit [NYDN]
When Benedict Last Visited New York [NYT]
in other news
Conan’s Stalker Loves Fellini, JesusWe learn today that Conan O’Brien has a stalker, which is no big news. David Letterman had one before Conan was even a twinkle in NBC’s eye. But what’s interesting here is that Conan’s stalker is a Catholic priest. A totally scary Catholic priest, in the awesomest way. In Father David Ajemian’s letters to Conan, some written on parish letterhead, he comes out with quotes like this:
“I’m told by some of those officious little usher people that you’re overbooked. Is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans? You owe me big-time, pal. I want a public confession before I even consider giving you absolution.”
Wow, we never before thought of confession and absolution in such a terrifying/erotic way. (There are other letters where he issues veiled threats at Conan’s life, which are, you know, less funny, like when he compares himself to the Virginia Tech killer.) Other fun facts about Ajemian? Well, when he was ordained, the Boston Herald said he was a “turned on to religion partly by Federicio Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita.” Oh, yeah, and he went to college with Conan. Yeah, that’s right. Harvard: just as unscrupulous with admission as the Catholic clergy.
Priest Jailed in Stalking of Conan O’Brien [NYT]
the morning line
And in Non-Explosion News...
• As if last night’s man-made horrors weren’t enough, here’s one from Mother Nature: A tornado touched down in Islip Terrace, uprooting trees and ripping up a law office, as two storms pummeled Long Island at the same time. [WNBC]
• Some Wall Street Journal employees answer phones by drawling “News Corporation” in an Australian accent. [NYT]
• Congress is refusing to pass a “routine resolution” honoring the New York Archdiocese because it mentions scandal-tainted Cardinal Edward Egan by name. Honorable, we guess. Remind us why Congress is honoring archdioceses in the first place? [NYP]
• Al Sharpton, who led the drive to get Don Imus fired, will have no problem with his nemesis’ return to the airwaves: “He has a right to make a living.” So does the Rev, who clearly needs new material. [amNY]
• And mazel tov to Mark Malkoff, who visited every Starbucks in Manhattan — there are 171 — in 24 hours. Bad news: Dude’s an “aspiring filmmaker” and, naturally, filmed the journey. [NYDN]