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Holy smoke & Roman mirrors


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http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/pope-francis-divider-1.3965860

 

Pope Francis is a conundrum.

From a pontiff of glorious colours of liberation and freshness, he suddenly turns into a complacent grey and a very Latin American conservative. He promises much but, it must be said, delivers little. ...

Catholic liberals and progressives have certainly felt empowered under Francis, but when they ask themselves what this has actually meant in the parishes,

churches and pews, many admit that it's mostly holy smoke and Roman mirrors

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3 hours ago, pnutts said:

Catholic liberals and progressives have certainly felt empowered under Francis, but when they ask themselves what this has actually meant in the parishes,

churches and pews, many admit that it's mostly holy smoke and Roman mirrors

Coming from Africa I don't understand what holy smoke and Roman mirrors mean. Can you enlighten me based on context? Thanks 

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The west has a saying, "Smoke & Mirrors" meaning it is an illusion. Used in so called "illusionists entertainment acts"

What you think you see is not real.

Holy smoke & Roman mirrors is just the writer's way of saying all the so-called changes in the Roman Catholic church never happened, giving a 'religious sounding' play on words.

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Holy Smoke is also a play on words in regarding the method Catholics choose a new pope.  When the Cardinals all meet together in the Vatican to choose a new Pope, they burn the voting ballots and a chemical compound in a stove.  The smoke from the stove goes up a chimney and out for everyone outside to see.  While they are voting and have not decided on a new pope, the smoke is black.  When the Cardinals finally elect a new pope, they change the color of the smoke to white.  

 

Holy Smoke is also an euphemism or an expression of surprise or that one is pleased or excited.  It's origin probably stems from the above description about Papal selection.

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3 hours ago, Shawnster said:

Holy Smoke is also an euphemism or an expression of surprise or that one is pleased or excited.

Way back when I was in high school, my history teacher, while studying Joan of Arc made a few comments.

What the people said when she was burned at the stake "Holy Smoke" and "She was a flame in the eyes of the people"

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