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Wired in

An SCO diary

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie met Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican last Thursday.

Ms Jolie (above), a special envoy for the United Nations’ refugee agency, met the 78-year old pontiff in Apostolic Palace, along with two of her children, Shiloh and Zahara, after a screening of her new film and second directorial effort, Unbroken.

She directed the film about US Olympian and World War Two hero Louis Zamperini, whose plane was shot down over the Pacific during the Second World War.

The film, which stars British actor and BAFTA nominee Jack O’Connell, tells the story of his survival in a raft for nearly two months and his later ordeal as an inmate in prisoner of war camps.

It touches on his Christian faith, which helped him overcome the extreme cruelty he endured at the hands of the Japanese in captivity.

The film shows ‘positive human and spiritual values, in particular forgiveness,’ said Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.

“To be invited to screen Unbroken at the Vatican is an honour and a tribute to Louie’s legacy as a man of faith and someone who exemplified the power of forgiveness and the strength of the human spirit,” Ms Jolie said. “These are universal themes at the heart of the human experience everywhere.”

The Holy Father, however, was unable to make it to the screening, despite being an avowed cinema fan. Perhaps he’ll catch it on DVD, though given Unbroken’s lukewarm reviews, perhaps not…



When Pope Francis is in the Philippines this week, traffic enforcers have vowed they won’t let the capital’s streets get gridlocked if they have to answer the call of nature. 2000 traffic enforcers who will be on duty during the Papal visit will be required to wear adult diapers, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman, Francis Tolentino, said.

Mr Tolentino also encouraged people who will wait for hours to see the Pope to also wear diapers. The prospect of wearing diapers while on duty was ‘well received’ by his men, he said on Wednesday. Mr Tolentino said the idea was tested last Friday by 800 traffic enforcers who work shifts during the nearly 24-hour annual procession of the Black Nazarene (below). The first time that traffic enforcers in the Philippines will wear diapers while on duty in the streets. The Black Nazarene procession attracts hundreds of thousands of barefoot, mostly male, Filipino Roman Catholics, who parade a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ. Mr Tolentino says there won’t be enough portable toilets for the millions of people expected to see Pope Francis hold an open-air mass at the seaside Rizal Park this Sunday.

“If you attend an event that will last for 24 hours, you cannot go around looking for a [portable toilet],” Mr Tolentino said. Priests, nuns, seminarians, and the elderly also should consider wearing diapers, he said. Asked if he will also wear one, Mr Tolentino said, “I will try, but in my case, I have less hydration.”

Many nations would be overjoyed at the prospect of a Papal visit, but Philippines are perhaps the only one where people literally wet themselves with excitement…..


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