Weather Updates

Sneed: Pope Francis taking a page out of an Anthony Quinn film?

storyidforme: 58863170
tmspicid: 21421235
fileheaderid: 10079416
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: January 7, 2014 6:45AM

It’s in the script!

Action! Take two? Revelations Pope Francis, an advocate for the poor, sneaks out of the Vatican at night dressed as a priest to help the homeless in Rome, reminded Sneed of an old movie script.

◆ To wit: Francis’ nightly journey visiting Rome’s impoverished, disguised as a priest, is a doppelganger for the script of the 1968 hit film “The Shoes of the Fisherman,” starring actor Anthony Quinn as a newly elected pope.

◆ Take two: The papal character “often leaves the Vatican in disguise to mingle with the people to remain in touch with the poor and needy,” according to a New York Times review.

◆ Take three? In the decades-old film, when millions of Chinese face starvation, the pope offers to sell the riches of the church in order to feed them and suggests all wealthy countries do the same!

Next up?

A Mandela memo. . .

The man known as the “Lion of Africa”, South African liberator Nelson Mandela, may be gone.

But to those who met him, he remains immortal.

◆ A Ryan memo: Nearly 14 years ago, former Gov. George Ryan visited Mandela on a trade mission to South Africa.

Ryan’s reflections to Sneed back then:

“We were in his living room and he [Mandela] spoke without a scintilla of bitterness.

They beat the hell out of him, and this great man kept telling us how honored he was to meet us!” Ryan said.

“I couldn’t believe how I felt. Yes, I got teary. Who wouldn’t? This man spent 27 years in prison trying to free his people. It’s not surprising a man would come out crying.

Mandela talked about the education of his people and the HIV-AIDS epidemic that is decimating them.

He sat in a comfortable chair, drinking a glass of hot water and wearing an AIDS red ribbon button, and told us talking about sex was taboo in his country and ‘if a child ever asked his mother where he came from, they got slapped in the face.’”

Ryan’s late wife, Lura Lynn, told Sneed then, “Everybody [in the room] hugged Mandela, except my husband.

“He was just transfixed,” she said.

The ‘Blame me’ three. . .

Top White House officials have lined up to take the blame for the botched Obamacare rollout.

◆ First up: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius took the blame.

◆ Second up: Shortly thereafter, President Barack Obama took the blame.

◆ The latest: Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, told a Georgetown health policy forum audience Tuesday he is taking the blame for the jacked up website.

◆ Batter up? Soooo. . . Why have we yet to hear a peep from top White House senior advisor/best friend Valerie Jarrett?

Bow wow. . .

◆ Lab blab: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has a new puppy; a yellow lab named Ben, short for Benjamin Franklin, who is known as the father of the Foreign Service.

◆ Bush bite: Former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager claims her dad’s beloved dog, Barney, who died this year, used to bite people.

◆ An Xmas pup? Sneed hears Gov. Pat Quinn’sbeloved Yorkshire terrier, Bailey, who died this year, is about to be replaced.

Sneedlings. . .

It’s a fraternity of forget-me-nots: Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields will hand State Police top cop Hiram Grau a check for $1,000 Thursday in support of State Troopers Miles Walsh and Sadie Connor, who lost their homes in the tornado that devastated Washington, Ill. . . . Friday’s birthdays: Lindsay Price, 37; Judd Apatow, 46, and Ashley Madekwe, 32.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.