Encouraging news today, as Eggs Benedict goes all Latin. No, we're not talking Ricky Martin (Calm down, Eggs!), but the opportunity given the faithful to return to the Latin mass, thrown out at the modernising Second Vatican Council. Now Eggs claims that the old rite was never abrogated, and he's the pope so he ought to know. So if you've been excommunicated for rambling on in a dead language now's your chance to squeeze back in and do it with papal approval.
The encouraging news is that while 97% of Italy's population is baptised, 86% declares itself catholic and 57% practising, only 21.4% is actually prepared to shift its arse from couch to pew on a regular basis. And the arses that so inadequately line the peninsula's places of worship tend to be old, poor and southern. Not at all the human resources that old Prada-wearing Eggs is after.
The reasons 'practising' catholics give for not actually practising include boredom (33.7%), banal sermons (7.8%) and a lack of spirituality (11%). I'm sure a little Latin, Gregorian chants and the priest's back turned to the congregation will push up viewing figures no end.