THE POPE’S LEFT HAND
Rome, 2011. A German archaeologist and tour guide discovers the Pope in a Protestant church, and is engulfed in a whirlwind of questions: when does the Pope’s hand move and when does it stay still? Why did Gaddafi send Berlusconi 30 Berber horses, and why is Rome such a popular destination for Germans when they’re seen there as barbarians, thanks to the Goths, the Landsknechts and the Nazis? A female Catholic from Cologne wants to be an archbishop, a murderer gives away the Pantheon, rats run over the Via Veneto... The tour guide steps nimbly through the backstreets of Rome as he does through its long history, along the way praising the Italian art of saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at the same time.
This new story by Friedrich Christian Delius is a rhetorical tour-de-force, a brilliantly constructed examination of present day Rome in all its mysterious, dark glory, which depicts a modern legend: just how did the Pope become a Lutheran?